Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology College of Natural Science Michigan State University

Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology College of Natural Science Michigan State University

East Lansing, MI
student ratio
total students
Not Reported
average amount to complete degree
Not Reported
fall application deadline
acceptance rate
3 Degrees Offered
degrees offered


Michigan State University - A Leader in Education and Sustainability

Michigan State University (MSU) near Lansing, Michigan, is the nation's premier land-grant university. The 5,200-acre campus is one of the greenest in the nation, while the university also manages an additional 15,000 acres throughout the state for agricultural, animal, and forestry research. MSU's more than 47,000 students value the university's internationally recognized research, academic, and service-learning programs.

Many of the world's most reliable university review sources rank Michigan State University among the best in the world. The "U.S. News and World Report" ranks many MSU graduate programs among the top 10 of their kind in the nation.

Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Michigan State University is home to 19 colleges of instruction, including the College of Natural Science, which prides itself on its strong interdisciplinary approach. The college supports 25 departments, laboratories, and programs, including the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (BMB).

With around 40 faculty members and a large number of staff and specialists, the BMB department provides a rigorous undergraduate, graduate, and post graduate education in 3 focus areas: structural and computational biology, genes and signaling, and plant biochemistry. BMB students also have the opportunity to participate in more than 10 joint programs on campus, including those implemented with the Center for Integrative Toxicology, the Plant Research Laboratory, and the Department of Cell and Molecular Biology. Off campus, students can also participate in joint programs at the Van Andel Research Institute in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

State-of-the-Art Research Facilities in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

MSU students complete research projects and publications that blend academic theory with real-world innovations. The department's research covers a wide spectrum of topics, from human disease processes and drug development to lipid and carbohydrate biosynthesis.

The College of Natural Science is home to some of the finest research and teaching facilities in the nation. The 6-floor Biochemistry Building houses 33 excellently equipped research laboratories and a number of related research facilities, including a tissue-culture facility and a plant growth facility. Among the state-of-the-art research equipment available in the building are 2 protein sequenators, advanced HPLC and PCR equipment, a laser-excited fluorescence spectrometer with subcellular resolution, a differential scanning calorimeter, digital image analyzers, minisupercomputers for computational chemistry and molecular modeling, automated centrifuges, and numerous other instruments for instruction and scientific inquiry.

Professional Science Master's Program

The College of Natural Science offers Professional Science Masters (PSM) degrees in 6 different areas of study, including biomedical laboratory operations and industrial microbiology. The PSM offers students who are interested in a wide variety of career options the opportunity to train in technical areas of science or mathematics for positions within various industries. PSM students also complete industrial internships and certification in basic business practices and skills to assure that they are qualified for positions in business and industry upon graduation.

Graduate Degrees Available through the BMB Program

For the purpose of preparing students for effective careers in research and teaching, the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology offers Master of Science (MS) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degrees, as well as opportunities for postdoctoral study.

Because the BMB department is also heavily involved with the Colleges of Human Medicine and Osteopathic Medicine, students are able to select their topics for dissertation research from a wide array of topics in biochemistry and molecular biology. There are also many opportunities for graduate students to participate in joint programs with subjects ranging from neuroscience to plant sciences.

Supported by BMB Faculty with a Drive for Excellence and Innovation

Michigan State's BMB program is supported by faculty members both on the main campus and in the Van Andel Research Institute (VARI). BMB faculty members are internationally trained, world renowned professionals whose work embodies MSU's tradition of innovation and excellence in research. Faculty research topics cover the department's core topics of genes and regulation, plant biochemistry, and structural and computational biology.

For instance, Associate Professor Kevin D. Walker recently received a Faculty Early Career Development Award from the National Science Foundation for his research relating plant enzymes to the biosynthesis of chemicals with therapeutic properties.

Professor Leslie Kuhn's research in computational analysis of molecular structures has been used by collaborating researchers in computer science, physics, mathematics, chemistry, molecular biology, and medicine. And at VARI, Senior Scientific Investigator Arthur S. Alberts has been conducting cancer research for nearly 20 years, beginning with a postdoctoral fellowship at what is now the London Research Institute, Cancer Research UK.

Financial Aid Opportunities

Michigan State University is ranked among the 50 "best value" public universities by the Princeton Review and 39th among public universities for in-state students in Kiplinger's "Best Values in Public Colleges." In addition, MSU offers a wide selection of financial aid opportunities, including scholarships and student employment. PhD candidates in the BMB program are also provided with a competitive stipend, health benefits, and tuition waivers. Outstanding BMB students are also eligible for supplemental funds and entrance into the MSU Distinguished Fellowship Program.

Location & Contact

Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

College of Natural Science
Michigan State University

East Lansing, MI 48824
United States

Dr. Thomas Sharkey


Phone: 517-353-0804
Fax: 517-353-9334

Ms. Jessica Lawrence

Graduate Program Secretary

Phone: 517-353-0807
Fax: 517-353-9334

Request More Info

Degrees & Award

  • Degrees Offered
    • Major Degree Levels Offered
    • Biochemistry And Molecular Biology/Environmental Toxicology Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
    • Biochemistry And Molecular Biology Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
      Master of Science (MS)
  • Degrees Awarded
    • Master's Degrees Not reported
    • Doctoral Degrees 10
    • First Professional Degrees Not reported
    • Other Advanced Degrees Not reported
    • * Shows the number of degrees awarded for the last academic year that data was reported.
  • Earning Your Degree
    • Part-time study available? Not reported
    • Evening/weekend programs available? Not reported
    • Distance learning programs available? Not reported
    • Terminal master's degree available? Not reported
  • Degree Requirements
    • Master's Degrees Not reported
    • Doctoral Degrees Not reported
    • First Professional Degrees Not reported
    • Other Advanced Degrees Not reported


9% of applicants are admitted.
  • Acceptance Rate
    • Applied 111
    • Accepted 10
    • Acceptance Rate 9
    • Enrolled Not Reported
  • Applying
    • Application Fee - Domestic Not Reported
    • Application Fee - International Not Reported
    • Electronic applications accepted? Yes
    • Applications processed on a rolling basis? Not Reported
  • Application Deadlines
    • Type Domestic International Priority Date
    • Fall deadline Not Reported Not Reported Not Reported
    • Winter deadline Not Reported Not Reported Not Reported
    • Spring deadline Not Reported Not Reported Not Reported
  • Entrance Requirements
    • Master's DegreesNot Reported
    • Doctoral's DegreesNot Reported
    • First-Professional's DegreesNot Reported
    • Other Advanced DegreesNot Reported
    • International DegreesNot Reported

Tuition & Fees

  • Tuition & Fees *
    • Tuition & FeesNot Reported
    • *Average dollar amount (tuition & fees) required to complete the degree
  • Financial Support
    • Financial award applicants must submitNot Reported
    • Application deadlines for financial awardsNot Reported
    • Types of financial support availableResearch Assitantships, Teaching Assistantships, Scholarship and/or loans, Graduate Assistantships

Student Body

  • Gender
    • Total Graduate Students64
    • Female Percentage41%
    • Male Percentage59%
  • Participation
    • Total Graduate Students64
    • Part-time Percentage0%
    • Full-time Percentage100%
  • Ethnicity
    • Hispanic / Latino0%
    • Black / African American4%
    • White / Caucasian85%
    • American Indian / Alaskan Native0%
    • Asian4%
    • Native Hawaiian / Other Pacific Islander0%
    • Two or more races0%
    • Unknown7%


  • Faculty Breakout
    • Total Faculty26
    • Full-time Percentage100%
    • Part-time Percentage0%
    • Female Percentage19%
    • Male Percentage81%


  • Existing Research
    • Focus of faculty researchNot Reported
    • Externally sponsored research expenditures last year$6,363,757