Comparative Biochemistry

University of California, Berkeley

About the Program

The interdisciplinary Graduate Group in Comparative Biochemistry administers the PhD degree for students interested in a biochemical and molecular approach to problems in the biological sciences. Students work under the supervision of faculty from diverse disciplines including Molecular and Cell Biology; Nutritional Science and Toxicology; Plant and Microbial Biology; Chemistry; Chemical Engineering; Environmental Science, Policy, and Management; Public Health; and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

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Admission to the University

Applying for Graduate Admission

Thank you for considering UC Berkeley for graduate study! UC Berkeley offers more than 120 graduate programs representing the breadth and depth of interdisciplinary scholarship. The Graduate Division hosts a complete list of graduate academic programs, departments, degrees offered, and application deadlines can be found on the Graduate Division website.

Prospective students must submit an online application to be considered for admission, in addition to any supplemental materials specific to the program for which they are applying. The online application and steps to take to apply can be found on the Graduate Division website.

Admission Requirements

The minimum graduate admission requirements are:

  1. A bachelor’s degree or recognized equivalent from an accredited institution;

  2. A satisfactory scholastic average, usually a minimum grade-point average (GPA) of 3.0 (B) on a 4.0 scale; and

  3. Enough undergraduate training to do graduate work in your chosen field.

For a list of requirements to complete your graduate application, please see the Graduate Division’s Admissions Requirements page. It is also important to check with the program or department of interest, as they may have additional requirements specific to their program of study and degree. Department contact information can be found here.

Where to apply?

Visit the Berkeley Graduate Division application page.

Doctoral Degree Requirements

Normative Time Requirements

Normative time is defined as the elapsed time in years that under normal circumstances would be needed to complete all requirements for the PhD degree assuming that the student engaged in full-time, uninterrupted study and is making desirable progress toward the degree. The normative time for Comparative Biochemistry is five years. Requirements include completion of course work, an oral qualifying exam, and a Ph.D. dissertation. Listed below is a sample of courses that students may take to satisfy the course requirements. The exact courses taken will vary depending on the student's research focus and goals. 


Courses Required (examples)
Advanced Biochemistry/Molecular Biology:
MCELLBI 110Molecular Biology: Macromolecular Synthesis and Cellular Function4
MCELLBI 200AFundamentals of Molecular and Cell Biology3
Enzymes/Metabolism/Cell Biology/Plant Microbial Biology:
PLANTBI 200APlant Developmental Genetics1.5
NUSCTX 250Advanced Topics in Metabolic Biology3
MCELLBI C214Protein Chemistry, Enzymology, and Bio-organic Chemistry2
MCELLBI 230Advanced Cell and Developmental Biology4
Physical Biochemistry:
MCELLBI 206Physical Biochemistry3
CHEM 270A/270BAdvanced Biophysical Chemistry I1
COMPBIO 294Comparative Biochemistry Seminar1
Grad Elective Courses per approved study list
Grad Elective Seminar per approved study list
COMPBIO 299Graduate Research1-12


Comparative Biochemistry

Contact Information

Graduate Group in Comparative Biochemistry

324 Barker Hall

Phone: 510-643-1711

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Department Chair

Fenyong Liu, PhD (Public Health)

Phone: 510-643-2436

Graduate Student Affairs Officer

Phong Trang

324 Barker Hall MC #7354

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