1997-98 UAF Catalog

Degrees and Programs

Course Description Index

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

College of Science, Engineering and Mathematics
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
(907) 474-7525

Degrees: B.S.*, M.S., Ph.D.

*See Chemistry Program

Minimum Requirements for Degrees: M.S.: 30 additional credits; Ph.D.: open

The program in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology utilizes faculty from many departments and research institutes in the university and emphasizes an understanding of the molecular principles involved in life processes.

Alaska presents rich opportunities for biochemical and molecular biological research. Plants and animals living in the Arctic have evolved remarkable genetic and biochemical adaptations to the region's characteristic low temperatures and dim sunlight. For instance, a large alga that inhabits the floor of the Beaufort Sea along the northern coast of Alaska stores carbohydrates during the continuous daylight of the Arctic summer, then uses that carbohydrate for growth during the long Arctic night under the pack ice. Our understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying this adaptation is still far from complete. Nevertheless, solutions to this and many other fascinating biochemical problems beckon on the Arctic horizon.

This program, which emphasizes an understanding of the molecular principles involved in life processes, provides academic and research experience for both undergraduate and graduate students who are interested in careers in the growing area of biotechnology. This program may be especially attractive to students interested in pre-medicine.

Graduate Degree Requirements

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology -- M.S.

  1. Complete UAF degree requirements.
  2. Complete a minimum of 30 credits of approved courses. At least 24 credits, including thesis and/or research, must be at the 600 level.
  3. Complete a thesis and pass an oral defense of thesis.

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology -- Ph.D.

  1. Complete UAF degree requirements.
  2. Complete at least three semesters in residence at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
  3. Complete 12 credit hours of program courses plus 4 electives and 18 credit hours of thesis.
  4. Pass a written and oral comprehensive examination.
  5. Complete and defend an original research-based thesis.