Edward A. Doisy Department of
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Entry with a Bachelor's degree

The Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology is a member of the Graduate Programs in Biomedical Sciences at St. Louis University School of Medicine. Each year, ten to fifteen highly qualified candidates with bachelors' degrees are accepted into this multidisciplinary Ph.D. program. To assist students in deciding which of the diverse areas of biomedical research is right for them, this program provides students with the opportunity to explore research in as many as five different disciplines during the first year of graduate training.

Approximately 70 faculty members in the programs of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, Pharmacological and Physiological Sciences, the Institute for Molecular Virology, Pathology as well as Biochemistry and Molecular Biology provide an almost unlimited variety of research projects to choose from. In recognition that successful graduates of the future will need a broad background in biomedical science and flexible skills, the first year also includes interdisciplinary lecture courses, small group discussions, and participation in a colloquium series where the contemporary developments in the biomedical sciences are presented and discussed. Informed by their experiences in this first year, students then select a Ph.D. mentor in a specific program, such as Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and continue with their Ph.D. training in that specific program.

For entry with a Bachelor's degree, application is made to the Graduate Programs in the Biomedical Sciences at St. Louis University School of Medicine. Application requirements and instructions for applying online are available here. In addition to the online application, however, the applicant must request that the following documentation be sent to the Graduate Programs in the Biomedical Sciences:

Three letters of recommendation from undergraduate instructors or other persons who are familiar with the applicant's academic performance in science courses and/or in a research setting.

Recent scores obtained on the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE). An advanced subject examination test taken in chemistry, biology, biochemistry, or in cell and molecular biology is encouraged.

An official copy of the applicant's undergraduate transcripts.

International applicants must also submit a completed Declaration of Financial Support packet and TOEFL or IELTS scores.

Timetable for Admission

Screening of applicants begins in the December preceding the academic year of enrollment. During the months of February, March, and April, highly qualified candidates are invited, at our expense, to come to St. Louis for interviews, and to acquaint themselves with the area, the university, and the Graduate Programs in Biomedical Sciences. Offers of admission into the program are generally made shortly after the interviews are complete. Acceptance of the offer of admission into the program by the applicant is expected no later than April 15. Late applications are considered on a space available basis. The first academic year generally begins in the third week of August.


The prospective graduate student must have completed an undergraduate degree with a major in chemistry, biology, or a related field with outstanding scholastic achievement. While not required for admission, physical chemistry is strongly recommended, as is a strong background in mathematics.

Entry through the School of Medicine M.D./Ph.D. Program

An M.D./Ph.D. training program has been established to recruit applicants to the Saint Louis University School of Medicine who have exceptional scholastic records and prior training in research. Application is competitive and a limited number of positions are available. The program offers financial support in the form of full tuition remission for both Medical School and Graduate School tuition. Trainees typically complete the first two years of medical school before undertaking the Ph.D. portion of their training. After completion of the Ph.D. dissertation, trainees return to complete the final years of medical school.

Candidates seeking admission to the M.D./Ph.D. program should apply directly to: Medical School Admissions Office 1402 South Grand Boulevard St. Louis, Missouri 63104

Their website is located at: http://medschool.slu.edu/admissions/ from which you can download admissions forms. Medical College Admission Test scores are required for consideration for entry into the M.D./Ph.D. program.

Entry After Completion of the Second Year of Medical School

A second point of entry to the M.D./Ph.D. program follows the second year of the traditional medical school curriculum. A small number of medical students, who have solid scholastic records, an interest in research, and research experience, are accepted directly as Ph.D. candidates by the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Students entering the program after their second year of medical school are qualified to apply for a Katzman Fellowship award. The Philip and Lillian Katzman Scholarship Fund was established by the family of Dr. Philip Katzman, a former faculty member in the department, to encourage research training of medical students. The fellowship provides tuition remission for medical students during their graduate training and during their final years of medical school.

Course of Study and Completion of the Ph.D.

Students accepted for the combined program entering at either level are subject to the regulations and residency requirements of the Graduate School and Medical School. Students are also required to meet the course requirements in the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Department. However, courses taken in the School of Medicine can be accepted toward fulfillment of course requirements for the graduate degree, subject to approval by the program. The combined M.D./Ph.D. degree program is expected to take seven years, on the average, from the time of admission to Medical School.