Master of Science in Molecular Biochemistry and Biophysics

32 credit hours

The Molecular Biochemistry and Biophysics (MBB) program complements more traditional M.S. programs in biology, chemistry and physics, by offering an integrated, molecular-based approach to understanding biological problems, taking insights from all three disciplines.

The MBB M.S. program at Illinois Tech features a diverse array of graduate courses. Courses offered include Advanced Biochemistry, Macromolecular Structure; Molecular Biology; Molecular Biophysics; Physical Biochemistry; and more. Illinois Tech’s MBB M.S. program provides the skills, knowledge, and experiences to open doors to interdisciplinary career opportunities.  

All the students in the program have to complete:

1) Comprehensive examination

2) Option 1: Thesis or Option 2: Library or laboratory research project


A master’s student must complete 32 credit hours of approved graduate work, including a core of 20 credit hours; one credit hour of BIOL 595; five to six credit hours of approved electives; and six credit hours of research toward the thesis (BIOL 591), or BIOL 581 and one additional elective, or BIOL 522 and BIOL 523​.

Required Courses (21)
BIOL 501Graduate Laboratory Techniques2
BIOL 504Biochemistry3
BIOL 512Advanced Biochemistry3
or PHYS 410 Molecular Biophysics
BIOL 515Molecular Biology3
BIOL 533Advanced Graduate Laboratory Techniques3
BIOL 544Molecular Biology of Cells3
BIOL 555Macromolecular Structure3
BIOL 595Biology Colloquium1
Research Course Requirements (6)
Select one of the following options:6
Option 1
Select one additional elective
Option 2
Research Techniques in the Biological Sciences I
and Research Techniques in Biological Sciences II
Option 3
Research and Thesis M.S.6
Elective Courses (5-6)
Select five to six credit hours from the following:5-6
Any 500-level biology course
Medical Microbiology3
Concepts of Cancer Biology3
Human Physiology3
Special Problems 11-3
Total Credit Hours32-33

Student may be approved for special problems as appropriate.

The elective is chosen in consultation with an academic adviser. Research for the dissertation must be carried out under the direct supervision of a participating faculty member; the faculty research adviser also acts as the candidate’s academic adviser.

Thesis Option

The thesis option is designed for individuals planning careers as experimental biologists, including those who may wish to pursue a Ph.D. This option is available on a competitive basis. Students choosing the thesis option must complete six credit hours of thesis research (BIOL 591, CHEM 591, or PHYS 591). Students must also prepare a written thesis based on laboratory research.

Non-Thesis Option

The non-thesis option is intended as a degree to meet the needs of teachers, science administrators, policy makers in the life sciences, patent attorneys, and others. Students who elect the non-thesis option must complete a library research project in BIOL 581 or a laboratory-based research project in BIOL 522 plus BIOL 523.