PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
The department offers separate progams in genetics or biochemistry and molecular biology leading to the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degrees. Enrollment is open to students with baccalaureate degrees in agricultural, biological, or physical sciences or engineering. Entering students must have excellent academic records in mathematical, physical, and biological sciences.
Students matriculating into the graduate program are required to have completed a four-year bachelor's degree (or equivalent) with an superior academic record. The Graduate Admissions Committee meets several times a year to consider applications and will notify applicants of their status at these times.
The average GRE scores of students presently in the program are 521 on the verbal and 690 on the quantitative. A GPA of 3.0 or higher on a scale of 4.0 is required for a competitive application.
If English is your second language, you must have a TOEFL score of 600 (paper based test) or 250 (computer based test) or 100 (internet based - new 2006) in order to qualify for both teaching and research assistantships. Exceptions will be reviewed on a case by case basis by the Graduate Committee. You must also pass a test of written and spoken English upon arrival at Clemson.
Prior to enrollment, students are required to complete one year of general biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry, and physics.
In addition to the above required courses, it is highly recommended that students enrolling in the program have completed at least one semester of genetics, biochemistry, cell biology, and calculus.
The PhD degree in genetics or biochemistry and molecular biology requires 12 hours of coursework. Additional hours requried for full-time status are fulfilled by doctoral research. At least 18 hours of doctoral research are required for the PhD In addition, all students must register for seminar each semester of enrollement.
Beginning in the second year of enrollment all genetics students are required to present Research in Progress (RIP) seminars as part of the GEN 825/851 requirements. Pre-doctoral students will present 15-20 minute seminars; doctoral candidates will be given a full hour to present.
Comprehensive Examinations and Defense
Successful completion of written and oral comprehensive examinations will admit the doctoral student to candidacy for the PhD degree. Comprehensive examinations are administrered following the end of the second year, but before the end of the fifth semester of the program.
The student must prepare a PhD dissertation describing the original research accomplished and the results obtained. When the dissertation has met the approval of the students major advisor, the student will present his or her research before the public and defend the research before the advisory committee and all faculty who wish to attend in a private oral examination.