Biochemistry (Ph.D.) | Graduate

Our Biochemistry doctoral students are at the forefront of biochemical research and molecular medicine, examining biological mechanisms underlying human disease; they are finding new ways to detect and attack diseases and immunological disorders like cancer, neurological disorders, and cardiovascular disease.

Graduates of the Ph.D. in Biochemistry program at Howard's Graduate School are prepared for careers at top research universities and senior-level research positions in biomedical and related industries. The program's key strengths in molecular microbiology, proteomics and genetics, bioinformatics, and drug design and discovery make us a nexus for collaborative investigations between biochemistry researchers and clinicians. You'll learn to apply biochemical techniques, including NMR spectroscopy, crystallography, and single-molecule methods as well as contemporary approaches to cell culture and genetic analysis to answer key questions about the pathogenesis of specific diseases and the development of effective drug therapies. You'll also enjoy the close mentorship of faculty who are committed to your professional development. Our faculty are experts in several areas of biochemistry, including analysis of molecular structure, proteomics and genetics, tumor biology, structural biology, enzymology, RNA catalysis, stress response, and RNA modification. As you advance in the program, you'll become increasingly involved in laboratory research and the critical analysis of biochemical literature. Our graduate seminar series offers a venue to present your early-stage research. Students may pursue a dual M.D./Ph.D. degree.

Program Snapshot

      ❱  72 credit hours 

      ❱  Full-time

      ❱  On-campus format

      ❱  Degree: Ph.D.

      ❱  Dual degree: M.D./Ph.D.

Application Deadlines

Spring 2024 entry: 

      ❱  No spring entry 

Fall 2024 entry: 

      ❱  Dec. 1, 2023 (early deadline)

      ❱  Feb. 15, 2024 (priority deadline)

      ❱  Apr. 15, 2024 (final deadline)

Applicants should submit their applications as early as possible for earlier consideration of departmental funding opportunities. Applicants have until the final deadline to apply. However, applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis throughout the admissions cycle. 


Dr. Zaki Sherif

Director of Graduate Studies

Dr. Matthew George, Jr.

Department Chair

Angela Wilson

Program Coordinator

Program Details

  • Degree Classification: Graduate
  • Related Degrees: M.D. / Ph.D., Ph.D.

Admission Requirements

Application for Admission

  • Online GradCAS application
  • Statement of purpose/ Statement of academic interest (500-1,000 words)
  • GRE scores not required
  • Official transcripts sent to GradCAS
  • 3 letters of recommendation
  • Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university or the international equivalent 
  • Resume or Curriculum Vitae
  • Autobiographical statement (500-750 words)

GRE Required?

  • No

GRE Preferred Minimums

  • GRE Verbal Reasoning: N/A
  • GRE Quantitative Reasoning: N/A
  • GRE Analytical Writing: N/A

GPA Required Minimums

  • Overall GPA minimum: 3.0
  • Undergrad GPA minimum: 3.0

Prerequisite Courses

The following course prerequisites are required. Applicants are required to have at least a B average in these prerequisites. No expiration date for recommended prerequisites.

  • Biology (college-level courses, 8 semester credit hrs)
  • General Chemistry (college-level courses, 8 semester credit hrs)
  • Organic Chemistry (college-level courses, 8 semester credit hrs)
  • Elementary Physical Chemistry (college-level course and lab, 4 semester credit hrs)
  • Physics (college-level courses, 8 semester credit hrs)
  • Calculus (college-level course, 3 semester credit hrs)

Reference Requirements

Evaluator type accepted:

  • Professor (Required)
  • Supervisor/Manager
  • Other 

Evaluator type not accepted:

  • Friend
  • Family Member
  • Coworker
  • Clergy