About the Program

Our Master of Science program, which students may complete on a part-time or full-time basis, involves approximately two years of coursework and a research project performed under the supervision of a faculty advisor. Upon entering the program, students progress through the following timeline:

  • Consult with faculty and the program director and choose an advisor
  • Select a graduate advisory committee, who will assist in course and thesis planning
  • Choose a thesis project by the end of the first semester
  • Begin conducting supervised research in the advisor’s laboratory
  • Upon completion of the research project, write and submit a thesis
  • Pass a final exam in the form of an oral thesis defense, conducted by the graduate advisory committee


M.S. students take courses designed for graduate students with an emphasis on research design and experimentation. Students must amass at least 30 credit hours.

Continuation to Ph.D.

Students who plan to eventually work towards a doctorate in biochemistry and molecular biology should apply directly to our Ph.D. program and forego the M.S. degree. Applicants who are unsure but desire experience in biomedical research before making the decision will be well served by our M.S. program.

Outstanding performance in our M.S. program can help students gain admittance to a doctoral program at VCU or elsewhere.

M.S. students wishing to gain admission to the Ph.D. program should contact the program director, Tomasz Kordula: tomasz.kordula@vcuhealth.org.


Supporting our students is at the core of the School of Medicine's mission. We provide a wide variety of resources to help enhance our graduate students' experience and ensure their safety, as well as resources to support our faculty.

Apply Now

The application to our M.S. program is available here.

If you have any questions about the program or application requirements, please contact:

Tomasz Kordula, Ph.D.
Program Director