2017-2018 Graduate Bulletin

Natural Sciences General

Office: Boettcher West, Room 228
Mailing Address: 2050 E. Iliff Avenue, Denver, CO 80208
Phone: 303-871-4866
Email: kirsten.norwood@du.edu
Website: http://www.du.edu/nsm/

Professional Science Master in Biological Sciences

The Professional Science Master's (PSM) with a concentration in Biomedical Sciences offers rigorous academic training and professional practical skills to prepare students for challenging careers in the biomedical sciences and allied health sciences. The program strives to provide strong scientific knowledge and promote global-awareness, ethics, communication and other important professional skills through acquiring knowledge within and across disciplines at DU. Students will gain an awareness and knowledge of the many current issues and concerns facing the fields of allied health and biomedical sciences industries.

Molecular and Cellular Biophysics

The Molecular and Cellular Biophysics PhD (MCB) program provides opportunities for doctoral studies in the interdisciplinary field of biophysics. Participation of faculty from the Departments of Biological Sciences, Chemistry & Biochemistry, and Physics & Astronomy enhances the strength and breadth of our program by incorporating cross-disciplinary and collaborative approaches to research. The MCB PhD program is centered on research activities that coincide with faculty experience and expertise. Areas of research in the MCB program include cellular physiology, developmental dynamics, protein folding and aggregation, protein network analysis, signal transduction cascades, synthetic biology, systems biology and the development of novel imaging techniques. Projects at the interface of traditional disciplines of physics, biology and chemistry as well as methods of mathematical analysis and computer modeling are particularly encouraged.

The MCB PhD program offers both a core foundation in biophysical theory and practice yet provides flexibility and individualized attention such that students with diverse scientific backgrounds will have the opportunity to be trained in molecular and cellular biophysics. During their first year in the program, students conduct lab rotations, take a year-long course sequence that covers foundations of molecular and cellular biophysics and take additional graduate courses to supplement their undergraduate training. At the end of their first year, students will join the lab in which they will conduct their thesis research.

Students with strong quantitative undergraduate backgrounds (e.g., undergraduate degrees in physics, chemistry, mathematics, computer science/engineering) who desire to apply these skills to various biological problems, as well as students with a background in cell or molecular biology with a solid foundation in mathematics and physics are particularly encouraged to apply. Financial aid is usually offered in the form of Graduate Teaching or Graduate Research Assistantships, which cover tuition costs and provide a stipend for living expenses.

Doctor of Philosophy in Molecular and Cellular Biophysics

Application Deadlines

  • Fall 2017 Priority Deadline: January 31, 2017
  • Fall 2017 Final Submission Deadline: September 15, 2017
  • Fall 2017 Deadline for Applicants Educated Outside the U.S.: July 31, 2017

Admission Requirements

  • Online admission application
  • $65.00 Application Fee
  • University Minimum Degree and GPA Requirements
  • Transcripts: One official transcript from each post-secondary institution.
  • GRE: The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is required and a subject test is recommended. Competitive subject GRE scores will strengthen a candidate's application. Applicants can report subject GRE scores in any of the following disciplines: Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology. Scores must be received directly from the appropriate testing agency by the deadline. The institution code for the University of Denver is 4842.
  • Letters of Recommendation: Three (3) letters of recommendation are required. Letters should be submitted by recommenders through the online application.
  • Personal Statement: A personal statement of at least 300 words is required. The statement should include information concerning your education, practical (research) experience, special interests and specific purpose for applying to the interdisciplinary program in molecular and cellular biophysics at the University of Denver.
  • Prerequisites: A minimum of one year of calculus and one year of college physics (preferably calculus-based), regardless of undergraduate major, are required.
  • Please Note: Students with strong quantitative undergraduate backgrounds (e.g., undergraduate degrees in physics, chemistry, mathematics, computer science/engineering) who desire to apply these skills to various biological problems, as well as students with a background in cell or molecular biology with a solid foundation in mathematics and physics, are encouraged to apply.

Additional Standards for Non-Native English Speakers

Official scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) are required of all graduate applicants, regardless of citizenship status, whose native language is not English or who have been educated in countries where English is not the native language. The minimum TOEFL/IELTS/CAE test score requirements for the degree program are:

  • Minimum TOEFL Score (paper-based test): 550
  • Minimum TOEFL Score (internet-based test): 80
  • Minimum IELTS Score: 6.0
  • Minimum CAE Score: 169
  • English Conditional Admission Offered: No, this program does not offer English Conditional Admission.

Read the English Language Proficiency policy for more details.

Read the English Conditional Admission (ECA) policy for more details.

Read the Required Tests for GTA Eligibility policy for more details.

Additional Standards for International Applicants

Per Student & Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) regulation, international applicants must meet all standards for admission before an I-20 or DS-2019 is issued, [per U.S. Federal Register: 8 CFR § 214.3(k)] or is academically eligible for admission and is admitted [per 22 C.F.R. §62]. Read the Additional Standards For International Applicants policy for more details.

Financial Aid

There are many different options available to finance your education. Most University of Denver graduate students are granted some type of financial support. Our Office of Financial Aid is committed to helping you explore your options.

PROFESSIONAL SCIENCE MASTER IN BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES

Application Deadlines

  • Fall 2017 Priority Deadline: January 1, 2017
  • Fall 2017 Final Submission Deadline: September 15, 2017
  • Fall 2017 Deadline for Applicants Educated Outside the U.S.: July 31, 2017

Admission Requirements

  • Online admission application
  • $65.00 Application Fee
  • University Minimum Degree and GPA Requirements:
  • Transcripts: One official transcript from each post-secondary institution.
  • GRE: Application to the PSM program requires the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) general test or the MCAT. The GRE subject test is not required. Scores must be received directly from the appropriate testing agency by the program's stated deadline. The institution code for the University of Denver is 4842.
  • Letters of Recommendation: Three (3) letters of recommendation are required. Letters should be submitted by recommenders through the online application.
  • Personal Statement: A personal statement of at least 300 words is required. The personal statement of interest and qualifications should address your career goals as they relate to the PSM specialization in Biomedical Sciences (maximum 2 pages).
  • Prerequisites: Students with an undergraduate major in chemistry, physics or mathematics and minimal preparation in biological sciences also will be considered but may be required to take undergraduate courses when the prerequisites are lacking. Course prerequisites include: one year of chemistry, one year of calculus (recommended), one year of physics, and two years of biology.

Additional Standards for Non-Native English Speakers

Official scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) are required of all graduate applicants, regardless of citizenship status, whose native language is not English or who have been educated in countries where English is not the native language. The minimum TOEFL/IELTS/CAE test score requirements for the degree program are:

  • Minimum TOEFL Score (paper-based test): 550
  • Minimum TOEFL Score (internet-based test): 80
  • Minimum IELTS Score: 6.0
  • Minimum CAE Score: 169
  • English Conditional Admission Offered: In cases where minimum TOEFL/IELTS/CAE scores were not achieved or no English proficiency test was taken, the Biological Sciences program may offer English Conditional Admission (ECA) to academically qualified non-native English speakers. 

Read the English Language Proficiency policy for more details.

Read the English Conditional Admission (ECA) policy for more details.

Read the Required Tests for GTA Eligibility policy for more details.

Additional Standards for International Applicants

Per Student & Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) regulation, international applicants must meet all standards for admission before an I-20 or DS-2019 is issued, [per U.S. Federal Register: 8 CFR § 214.3(k)] or is academically eligible for admission and is admitted [per 22 C.F.R. §62]. Read the Additional Standards For International Applicants policy for more details.

Financial Aid

There are many different options available to finance your education. Most University of Denver graduate students are granted some type of financial support. Our Office of Financial Aid is committed to helping you explore your options.

Doctor of Philosophy in Molecular and Cellular Biophysics

Graduate studies in the program are highly individualized; programs should fit each student’s unique needs and interests. Students are required to perform original, publishable research and to present a thesis based on research to the faculty of the molecular and cellular biophysics program.

A student qualifies for the PhD degree after demonstrating growth as an independent investigator—identifying a significant research question; proposing a hypothesis or model to answer the question; testing the hypothesis with appropriate experiments; and writing a dissertation acceptable to the department.

The structure of the PhD program in Molecular and Cellular Biophysics is as follows:

  • required core courses and elective courses during the first year
  • required lab rotations during the first year
  • required seminar/special topics courses during the second year
  • qualifying exams first year and second year
  • thesis research second year to completion

Degree Requirements

Coursework Requirements

Required Courses
First Year
BIOP 4100Foundations in Biophysics3
BIOP 4150Cellular Biophysics3
CHEM 3130Chemical Systems III3
BIOP 4995Independent Research1-9
Second Year
3 quarters of BIOP 4210 are required
BIOP 4210Current Topics in Biophysics2
BIOP 4210Current Topics in Biophysics2
BIOP 4210Current Topics in Biophysics2
Electives
During the first two years electives can be chosen from existing 3000- or 4000-level courses in the Division and must be chosen with consultation and the approval of the Steering committee. This use of electives is critical given the interdisciplinary nature of this PhD program and scientific discipline and the fact that incoming students will come from a range of disciplines in the physical sciences and life sciences.
The remainder of the credit hours required for the degree may include:
Directed Study
Independent Research
Independent Research
Total Credits90

Minimum credits required for the degree: 90 (must be approved by the program Steering committee)

Non-coursework Requirements

  • passing performance in the qualifying examinations
  • completion of a research dissertation of publishable quality
  • successful oral defense of the dissertation

Additional requirements:

  • successful completion of research rotations during the first year
  • maintaining a minimum GPA of 3.0
  • passing performance in the qualifying examinations
  • attendance at departmental seminars and the presentation of one seminar per year
  • completion of a research dissertation of publishable quality
  • successful oral defense of the dissertation

A complete description of the program’s official requirements and details of qualifying examinations are available on the Natural Sciences & Mathematics website.

Master of Science in Molecular and Cellular Biophysics

The MS in Molecular and Cellular Biophysics is a terminal master's degree for students who enter the PhD in Molecular and Cellular Biophysics but demonstrate a mastery in the program that indicates an MS degree is more suitable.

Degree Requirements
Coursework Requirements

Required courses
BIOP 4100Foundations in Biophysics3
BIOP 4150Cellular Biophysics3
CHEM 3130Chemical Systems III3
BIOP 4210Current Topics in Biophysics (Three quarters are required.)2
BIOP 4210Current Topics in Biophysics (Three quarters are required.)2
BIOP 4210Current Topics in Biophysics (Three quarters are required.)2
BIOP 4995Independent Research (Student must reach a minimum of 45 credit hours with approved independent research coursework.)1-9
Minimum Number of Credits Required45

Minimum credits required for the degree: 45

Non-coursework requirements

  • Thesis
  • Oral Defense

Professional Science Master in Biological Sciences

Degree Requirements

Coursework Requirements

Required Courses
BIOL 4085Accelerated Biostatistics2
BIOL 4155Leadership in Science1
BIOL 4211Advanced Cell Biology3
BIOL 4212Advanced Molecular Biology3
BIOL 4231Responsible Conduct in Rsrch1
BIOL 4310Foundations in Literature: Cell and Molecular Biology2
must be taken 2 times
BIOL 4870Medical Ethics4
BIOL 4880Capstone in Biomedical Sciences4
BIOL 4991Independent Study1-17
Elective Courses26
Electives can be chosen from the approved list of existing elective courses in consultation with the Program Director. Additional upper level (3000- or 4000-level) elective courses will be considered with approval of the Program Director.
Natural Sciences
BIOL 3025Science and the Law2,4
BIOL 3100Histology: Medical Microanatomy4
BIOL 3120General Microbiology4
BIOL 3145Cellular and Molecular Biology of Cancer2-4
BIOL 3160Biophysics: Ion Channels & Disease4
BIOL 3230Nutrition3
BIOL 3250Human Physiology5
BIOL 3610Developmental Biology4
BIOL 3630Cell Biology of Development4
BIOL 3640Introductory Neurobiology4
BIOL 3641Systems Neuroscience4
BIOL 3642Neuropharmacology4
BIOL 3644Neuromuscular Pathophysiology4
BIOL 3670Molecular Immunology4
BIOL 3704Advanced Topics in Cell Biology1-4
BIOL 3800Human Molecular Biology4
BIOL 3910Viruses & Infectious Human Diseases4
BIOL 3920Forensic Pathology2-4
BIOL 4213Advanced Cell Signaling3
CHEM 3130Chemical Systems III3
CHEM 3812Biochemistry-Membranes/Metabolism3
CHEM 3811Biochemistry-Proteins3
CHEM 3813Biochemistry-Nucleic Acids3
CHEM 3820Biochemistry Lab3
GEOG 3470GIS & Environmental Health Geography4
Global Health
INTS 4056Information Management in Humanitarian Crises5
INTS 4367Global Health Affairs5
INTS 4483Practical Applications in Global Health5
INTS 4362Gender and Health5
INTS 43665
INTS 4368HIV & AIDS in International Affairs5
INTS 4423Introduction to Epidemiology5
INTS 4435Health and Development5
INTS 4465Population and Society5
INTS 4492Health and Humanitarian Aid5
INTS 4516Major Diseases in Global Health (From Pathophysiology to Action)5
INTS 4576Seminar: Community-Based Research Methods5
Social Sciences
COMN 4020Communication Studies: Relational4
COMN 4110Theories in Interpersonal Communication4
COMN 4701Topics in Communication1-4
PSYC 4002Prosem in Memory and Cognition5
PSYC 4011Proseminar in Emotion5
PSYC 4021Prosem in Social Psychology5
PSYC 4031Developmental Proseminar: Cognition & Perception5
PSYC 4085Stress & Health5
PSYC 4254Intro to Neural Network Models5
PSYC 4255Imaging the Mind5
PSYC 4256Seminar:Cognitive Neuroscience5
PSYC 4258Social Neuroscience5
PSYC 4262Affective Neuroscience4
PSYC 4033Devel Proseminar: Biological5
PSYC 4511Prosem in Psychopathology5
PSYC 4525Prosem in Develop Neuropsych5
PSYC 4526Prosem in Cog Neuroscience5
Engineering
ENBI 4500Biofluids4
ENBI 4510Biomechanics4
ENBI 4520Introduction to Cardiovascular Engineering4
ENBI 4800Adv Topics (Bioengineering) 11-5
Business
ACTG 4610Financial Accounting and Reporting4
FIN 4630Managerial Finance4
INFO 4100Survey of Business Analytics4
INFO 4280Project Management4
MGMT 4620Organizational Dynamics4
MGMT 4630Strategic Human Resources Management4
MKTG 4100Marketing Concepts4
Public Policy
PPOL 4400Analytical & Critical Skills4
PPOL 4600Regulatory Policy4
PPOL 4700Public Management & Budgeting4
Total Credits45
1

 Students may take ENBI 4800 Advanced Topics: Bio-Fluid Mechanics or ENBI 4800 Advanced Topics: Computational Biomechanics.

Minimum credits required for degree: 45

Non-coursework Requirements

  • Capstone project- The capstone project includes a written and public oral presentation of the project.  The program requires a capstone project which involves interactions with allied health and biomedical professions from outside of the DU community.  The capstone experience will be culminated in a formal scholarly work (both written and orally presented) that reflects a student’s individual interest and the integration of science with strong professional skills.

Additional requirements:

  • maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0
  • successful completion of capstone project
  • completion of capstone paper
  • successful oral defense of capstone project

Courses

BIOP 4100 Foundations in Biophysics (3 Credits)

Focus of the course is on application of basic physics principles to the study of cells and macromolecules. Topics include diffusion, random processes, thermodynamics, reaction equilibria and kinetics, computer modeling. Must be admitted to the MCB PhD program or related graduate program with instructor approval. Cross listed with PHYS 4100.

BIOP 4150 Cellular Biophysics (3 Credits)

Biophysical approaches to understanding cell function. We emphasize the various experimental approaches that biophysicists use to study basic cellular processes, including a variety of fluorescence images, optical and electrophysiological techniques. Cross listed with BIOL 4211.

BIOP 4210 Current Topics in Biophysics (2 Credits)

This is a seminar course that focuses on current primary literature in the fields of molecular and cellular biophysics. This is the first of a three course, year-long sequence.

BIOP 4992 Directed Study (1-10 Credits)

BIOP 4993 Lab Rotation (2-9 Credits)

Lab rotation in Molecular and Cellular Biophysics before students pass the first phase of their qualifying exam.

BIOP 4995 Independent Research (1-9 Credits)

Independent research in Molecular and Cellular Biophysics before students pass the first phase of their qualifying exam.

BIOP 5991 Independent Study (1-10 Credits)

BIOP 5995 Independent Research (2-9 Credits)

BIOP 6991 Independent Study (1-10 Credits)

BIOP 6992 Directed Study (1-5 Credits)

BIOP 6995 Independent Research (1-10 Credits)

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