Programs/Education » Masters Program
One-Year Masters Program in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
A two-semester post-baccalaureate program designed to enrich and improve credentials of graduates to apply for admission to medical, dental or other healthcare-related profession.
This is a two-semester non-thesis program for the study of biochemistry- and molecular biology-related courses leading to a Master of Science degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.
The program is primarily designed to enrich and improve academic credentials of graduates. Our distinctive program emphasizes student development in four areas (coursework, experiential learning, presentation skills, and personal growth), and allows students to broaden and strengthen their academic foundation for further intellectual development, such as gaining entrance into medical-, dental- or health profession-related schools.
Class size is aimed at approximately 15 students. Students take the Human Medical Cellular Biochemistry and Human Medical Metabolic Biochemistry courses, with a strong emphasis on clinical application of biochemical and molecular knowledge. These courses are taken along with first-year medical students at the Tulane School of Medicine. Other medically-related courses include Medical Histology, Chromosomal Instability and Cancer, Topics in Clinical Research and Topics in Pediatrics. Our Medical Biochemistry Grand Rounds Externship Seminar series provides students a unique opportunity to experience Medicine Grand Rounds from a biochemical perspective. All students benefit from several other Biochemistry- or Molecular Biology-related courses, including a Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Seminar series, Graduate-level Biochemistry, Research Methods in Biochemistry, Biomedical Statistics and Data Analysis, as well as a Biochemistry Workshop and Grant Writing. All courses are taught within the Tulane School of Medicine by full time faculty.
Applicants for admission to the Master of Science degree program should have a baccalaureate degree. In general, applicants should have a minimum GPA (3.5), and either MCAT (28), DATS (19). However, applicants with credentials slightly lower than the above are also encouraged to apply.
We also look for students with a strong background in chemistry and biology: Students who have taken such courses as Organic Chemistry, Molecular or Cellular Biology, Biochemistry, Genetics, etc. Excellent letters of recommendation are also important. Lab research experience, though not required, is valuable for our consideration of application.
Students must take 30 credit hours of course work during the fall and spring semesters to complete the requirements for the degree. Although not thesis based, this degree does involve several written assignments and oral presentations as part of the required course work. No research is required, and therefore this is considered a "non-thesis" degree.
The Master of Science degree program curriculum is designed for completion within two semesters. Classes begin in January or August.
Program Curriculum (30 credit hours):
Students must complete a minimum of 30 credit hours from the courses listed below.
Required Courses (in alphabetical order):
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Seminar (GBCH-6020-01, Days/Times to be determined, 1 credit hour/semester, Course Director: Samuel J. Landry) Students are required to attend and participate in the seminars given by the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Students are also required to write a one-page summary describing the content and significance of each seminar.
Human Medical Cellular Biochemistry (GBCH-7500-01, August - October, Days/Times vary with medical school calendar, 6 credit hours, Course Director: David Franklin) The objectives and content of the Human Medical Cellular Biochemistry course are designed to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of cellular structure and function, and the manner by which cellular processes are normally integrated and regulated. This course stresses both the normal cellular function, and why disease states occur if normal cellular processes are disrupted. This course is taken with first year medical students.
Metabolic Biochemistry of Human Disease (GBCH-7520-01, December – February, Days/Times vary with medical school calendar, 6 credit hours, Course Director: David Franklin) The objectives and content of the Metabolic Biochemistry of Human Disease course are designed to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of the metabolic pathways involving the four major metabolic compounds: carbohydrates, lipids, amino acids and nucleotides; and the manner by which metabolism is normally integrated and regulated. This course stresses both the normal metabolic function, and why disease states occur if normal metabolic processes are disrupted. This course is taken with first year medical students.
Elective Courses (in alphabetical order):
Academic Writing and Critique (GBCH-7560-01, Fall semester, Days/Times to be determined, 2 credit hours, Course director: Samuel J. Landry) Students will review the structure and syntax of papers from the primary literature and of grant proposals, investigate and report the validity of an advertised health claim, prepare a two-page grant proposal, and review a grant proposal. Review activities will be carried out in small groups with facilitation by the instructor. The grade will be based on class participation, student feedback, the report, and the proposal.
Biochemistry Workshop [BMSP-7101-01 (Fall semester, Friday, 10:30 am -Noon); BMSP-7110-01(Spring semester, Friday, 9-10:30 am), 3 credit hours/semester, Course Director: Zachary Pursell] Students work in teams to present a seminar to the class on a selected research paper approved by the course instructor. Student teams will explain the topic background and specific hypothesis being tested, describe in detail the experimental design and results, and discuss the conclusions reached and whether or not they were justified. The student audience is expected to participate in class discussion following the presentation. In addition, each student is required to write a one-page summary explaining the hypothesis, content and significance of the findings for each presented paper.
Biomedical Statistics and Data Analysis (GBCH-7250-01, Spring semester, TTh, 10:30-11:30 am, 2 credit hours, Course Director: William Wimley) The objective of this course is to provide biomedical graduate students with the knowledge needed to apply statistical tests and analyses to their own data and with the knowledge to understand the statistical analyses they are likely to encounter in the literature. Subjects include single and multiple parameter analyses for measured and counted variables, as well as linear and non-linear regression. Grades are based on exams that require students to apply what they learned to solving statistical problems.
Chromosomal Instability and Cancer (GBCH-7180-01, Spring semester, MTh 1-3 pm, 4 credit hours, Course Director: Arthur Lustig) This is an analytical reading course in which students must present and critique data from papers that cover specified topics in molecular genetics. The student is exposed both to the topic of interest (genomic instability) and the basic cellular processes in biochemical genetic terms. Each pair of lectures will review a concept and then analyze how defects in the process lead to the disease state. Three "supertopics" will be covered: 1) Chromosomal Elements; 2) DNA Damage; 3) Cell Cycle. This course also provides students many of the concepts of molecular genetics. Exams consist of a critique of a specific paper.
Graduate Biochemistry (GBCH-6010-01, Fall semester, WF, 8:30-10:30 am, 4 credit hours, Course Director: William Wimley) The course objectives are to provide graduate level exposure to basic Biochemistry, including the structure and function of proteins, membranes and lipids, the basis of enzyme function and metabolic cycles, glycoconjugate biochemistry, and DNA/RNA structure and function. Grades are assigned based on three exams given over the semester.
Medical Biochemistry Grand Rounds Externship (GBCH-7540-01 (Fall), GBCH-7550-01 (Spring), Days/Times to be determined, 1 credit hour/semester, Course Director: Hua Lu) Students are required to actively attend each of the Grand Rounds offered by either the Department of Medicine or the Department of Pediatrics and to give a one-page report post Grand Round. This report will summarize clinical and research topics, background knowledge, major experimental/diagnostic/therapeutic approaches discussed, key results, conclusions and significances of the studies presented in each Grand Round, as well as some critiques on the Grand Round. Grades are based on participation and reports.
Medical Histology (ANAT-6010-01, December – March, Days/Times vary with medical school calendar, 6 credit hours, Course Director: Rajunor Ettarh) The objectives and content of the Medical Histology course are designed to provide students with an understanding of the form of structures, as seen under the microscope. Specifically, it provides a basic background in histology concerning the properties of cells and cellular interactions with one another as components of tissues and organs. An emphasis is placed on structural-functional correlates at both the light and electron microscopic levels. Students are expected to be able to describe the normal structure and function of various cell types, tissues, and organs, and to differentiate the histological structures from each other on practical examinations. This course is taken with first year medical students.
Research Methods in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (GBCH-7120, Days/Times to be determined, 2 credit hours/semester, Course Director: William Wimley) Each student will work in a laboratory to learn how different methods are used to carry out research in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. At the end of the semester, the student is required to write a 2 to 3-page report describing the principle of the methods and the results of the work. The grade will be based on the feedback of the laboratory PI and the report.
Signal Transduction and Hormone Action (BMS-799-01, Spring semester, Days/Times to be determined, 2 credit hours, Course Director: Brian G. Rowan, Ph.D.) Current molecular mechanisms for cellular signal transduction pathways and hormone action including membrane receptors and downstream pathways, second messenger systems, receptor-ion channels, kinase/phosphatases, extracellular matrix signaling, signaling and cell death, Wnt signaling pathways and nuclear receptor signaling.
Topics in Clinical Research (MSCR-6430, Spring semester, Days/Times to be determined, 3 credit hours, Course Co-Directors: Roy S. Weiner and Paula Gregory) Students will study Institutional Review Boards (IRB), relations and regulations, discuss the required elements in a clinical research contract and the responsibilities of the clinical researcher, identify effective use of research personnel, and develop negotiating skills to facilitate support for clinical research. The course will also encompass the principle of randomization and "intention-to-treat" analysis in experimental studies, integration of clinical trials and lab support, specimen collections and laboratory problem based learning. A researcher/clinician centric insight into the logistics of technology transfer and intellectual property (IP) development will be studied. The practical aspects of technology transfer in an academic context will also be investigated.
Topics in Pediatric Research (GBCH-4060-01, Fall semester, Days/Times to be determined, 1 credit hour, Course Directors: Samir El-Dahr and Zubaida Saifudeen) The objectives and content of the course provide the student with an understanding of the pathophysiology, biochemistry and molecular biology of pediatric diseases. This course will link clinical aspects of pediatric diseases to basic science mechanisms and instruct the student on how to apply basic science information in the clinic.
Full time tuition for the 2012-13 academic year is $22,750 to be paid on a two-semester basis. No tuition waivers or stipends are available for this program. Information on the possibility of financial aid loans can be found at the Tulane University Office of Financial Aid's website at http://www.finaidhsc.tulane.edu/. Students will also be charged the following estimated fees on a per semester basis: Academic Support Services ($400 max.), Student Activities ($120), Reily Recreation Center ($130), and Student Health Services ($320).
The application for admission to the Master of Science degree program should be submitted to the Graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences. Applications will be reviewed as they are received and applicants will be admitted on a competitive basis. Therefore early submission of applications is highly encouraged.
1) To apply to the program, an online application must be filled out which can be accessed at http://www.biomedicalsciences.tulane.edu (click where it says "Apply to the BMS graduate program" at the bottom of the page)
NOTE: Several Ph.D. and M.S. programs at Tulane use this application service. Be careful to indicate that you are applying for a MASTERS degree with BIOCHEMISTRY AND MOLECULAR BIOLOGY. You may also wish to send an email to Dr. David S. Franklin (Program Director, email@example.com) or Dr. William Wimley (Program Co-Director, firstname.lastname@example.org) to notify us that you have submitted an online application to our program.
In addition to the online application, you must also submit ALL of the following items:
2) An application fee of $50.00 payable online to Tulane University at the time your application is submitted. This fee is non-refundable.
3) MCAT or DAT scores must be reported on the application. If reporting MCAT scores, students must include their 16 digit VERIFICATION CODE from the AAMC website. GRE scores will be verified through the ETS. International students must also have official TOEFL scores sent, and all application materials must be in English.
4) An OFFICIAL transcript from EACH college or university attended.
5) Three letters of recommendation from professors, preferably from your science classes. A link is provided on the website above. In lieu of letters of recommendation that have been prepared specifically for this application, recommendations on file from undergraduate career development offices may be submitted - but we need more than a single summary letter. This year you may submit letters online through CollegeNet- the BMS website should explain this procedure.
For the last two items, have your registrar and professors send the official transcripts and letters directly to the following address:
Attention: Masters Applications
c/o Kristy Catlin
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, #8543
Tulane University School of Medicine
1430 Tulane Avenue
New Orleans, LA 70112
The application process opens on October 1, 2012 and closes on July 1, 2013.
Applications are currently being accepted on a rolling basis for the spring 2013 and fall 2013 semesters. Application deadlines: spring 2013 semester due by December 14, 2012; fall 2013 semester due by July 1, 2013. The University's deadline for receiving ALL application materials is July 1, 2013. Although this is the application deadline, because we work on a rolling admissions basis, there is no guarantee that there will be openings in the class up until the deadlines.
For administrative questions (online application, tuition, etc.): email@example.com
Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000 firstname.lastname@example.org