Current Students


  • A minimum of 30 credit hours are required for M.S. degree completion; 15 to 19 of these credits must be from research, 8 from core courses (BMB7010 and BMB7030), 3 from Journal Club (BMB7890), and 0-4 from optional elective courses with adviser approval.
  • The first semester focuses on classroom instruction, during which students will select a thesis adviser and committee, and draft a Research Proposal, typically following short informal rotations in at least two labs; the length of these is negotiated with specific advisers, typically two weeks. The committee consists of the adviser and two other BMI faculty. Students also complete a Plan of Work (listing courses the student intends to take over the remaining semesters) at the end of the 1st Fall semester in consultation with their adviser.
  • From the 2nd semester on, the attention shifts to conducting thoughtful and thorough research in the laboratory and field of their choice. Program expectations include ~30 hours of lab work per week for the Winter, Spring-summer, 2nd Fall and 2nd Winter semesters. 

A typical course plan is:







BMB 7010 General Biochemistry 4 cr; BMB 7030 Core Concepts 4 cr; BMB 7890 Journal Club 0 cra

BMB 7996 Research 7 crb; BMB 7890 BMB Journal Club 1 cr a

BMB 7996 Research 2 cr b




BMB 7996 Research 2 crb; Master's research BMB 8990 4 cr;

7890 BMB Journal Club 1 cr a

Master's research BMB 8990 4 cr

7890 BMB Journal Club 1 cr a



a Attendance at Journal club and seminar is required both Fall and Winter semesters regardless of registration. b BMB 7996 research credits are flexible and may be traded for up to 4 credits of formal coursework with adviser approval. Research is expected to be full time from the 2nd semester and is not proportional to registration credit numbers. Note: international students or those with external requirements based on scholarships may have to take credits beyond the 30 required by the program.


  • Courses between the 5000-6999 levels cannot be used towards a master's degree unless they have been approved by the Departmental Graduate Committee.
  • No courses below the 5000 level can be used towards a graduate degree.
  • Students enrolled in a master's degree program are required to file a Plan of Work by the end of the first Fall semester. Students who fail to submit a Plan of Work may be required to take additional coursework. Following this, the applicant should petition his/her research adviser to advance to the rank of 'candidate'. Other forms are required and posted on this BB site.
  • Master's candidates with less than 16 hours of course credits in BMB may apply to the PhD program with the approval of the Graduate Committee, typically in their first November-December. All credits earned towards the MS degree will apply toward the PhD. Master's candidates with more than 16 hours must complete the Master's degree, and apply to the Ph.D. program if they wish, typically in their 2nd November-December.
  • All coursework must be completed in accordance with the regulations of the Graduate School and the College. A minimum G.P.A. of 3.0 must be maintained throughout the program, 3.5 is required to maintain the scholarship. Students should strive to be 1st or 2nd author on one peer reviewed publication to validate the quality of their research and to compete effectively in their post-graduate careers.

Seminars and Research Conferences

  • Attendance at departmental seminars and journal club presentations in all semesters is mandatory for all graduate students regardless of registration for credits. M.S. students in their first year are required to participate by presenting a journal article of their choice to gain experience in oral presentations. Participation in the annual Chuan-Pu Lee, Ph.D. Endowed Graduate Student Research Presentation Day (GSRPD) is encouraged; this event commemorates the former Professor Emeritus C. P. Lee in our department.

Research Requirements

  • The successful completion of an original research project is an essential part of the M.S. program and requires a full-time commitment of ≥ 30 hours per week in the lab after the first semester for Research track students, or after the second semester for Research and Course track students, for the remaining 4 semesters. "Plan of Work" and "Research Plan" forms should be filed by the end of the first semester with the department and with Office of Graduate Studies.
  • Thesis committee meetings. Students are required to have a committee meeting in the final weeks of each semester beginning Winter semester of the first year, including a pre-defense committee meeting at which the committee must agree the student is ready to defend. These meetings are important because they ensure that the student is on track, the research being done is of the appropriate quality, and any issues are addressed. The committee will complete a formal evaluation and grade for research credits at these meetings and make recommendations as needed.
  • Writing the thesis. In the 2nd Winter semester, students finalize the writing of their thesis, a process that should be ongoing from the time the Research Proposal was approved in the 1st Fall semester. The thesis is written using a format similar to a research paper and is a complete account of all research carried out by the student in pursuit of the degree. The content of the thesis is at the discretion of the student and their adviser but the formatting must strictly adhere to guidelines set forth by the Graduate School. After it is written, committee members should be given at least two weeks to review the thesis and make the necessary corrections/suggestions before submission for the formatting check. In consultation with the adviser, every effort should be made to incorporate the committee members' suggestions in the final version of thesis. A thesis draft, minus the reference section, should be submitted to the program director for a preliminary plagiarism check.
  • Final Presentation. The presentation of thesis work consists of an approximately one-hour seminar followed by a question-and-answer session. After all questions have been answered, the student's thesis committee will convene with just the thesis committee for more questions and to decide whether the student has fulfilled all requirements. If the committee is satisfied, the student must make sure all administrative tasks have been completed prior to graduation. This includes final corrections if any, submitting a signed thesis cover page, submitting a signed Final Form, and uploading the final thesis to the WSU digital commons website. Students should consult with their adviser whether or when to make the uploaded thesis visible to the public.


Once all requirements have been met and the student is finished with their degree, they are able to participate in the graduation ceremony. It is not required but rather strongly encouraged that students participate. Caps and garments can be rented or bought from the University Bookstore. Students who attend the ceremony will receive their diploma at that time, otherwise it will be mailed. Specific information regarding regalia rental and other ceremony specifics will be emailed to the student by the Commencement Office prior to the event.

Forms for Current M.S. Students:

More detailed information about the program can be found in the BMB M.S. Graduate Handbook.