Ph.D. Degree

Applications for Fall 2024 are now closed.

Applications for Fall 2025 will open in mid August 2024.  All applications and materials will be due no later than December 1, 2024 (11:59PM EST).



The U-M Program in Chemical Biology is one of the largest free-standing interdepartmental programs in the U.S. offering a Ph.D. degree in Chemical Biology. Students receive unparalleled opportunity for research and the flexibility to tailor the program around their own interests.

Participating faculty have appointments in departments including:

  • Chemistry
  • Biological Chemistry
  • Medicinal Chemistry
  • Biophysics
  • Pharmacology
  • Pathology
  • Microbiology and Immunology
  • Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology
  • Molecular and Integrative Physiology
  • Computational Medicine
  • Bioinformatics 
  • Biomedical Engineering

Curriculum & Candidacy

The doctoral program is designed around a flexible curriculum and designed to conclude in five years.

All students take core courses (Chemistry 525; Chemical Biology 510) designed to provide a strong core of the fundamentals of chemical biology. Additional Chemical Biology coursework provides skills in critical analysis and writing. Based on individual interests, the remaining course requirements of the program can be fulfilled from a variety of chemistry, biochemistry or biology classes taught on campus. Hence, a major advantage of the Chemical Biology Program is that it allows students maximum flexibility in their training program. 

Admission to candidacy marks the transition from a largely classroom-based experience to one that is focused on independent research, and occurs before the third year. Post-candidacy regular annual meetings of the student's dissertation committee are held to ensure progress concludes with a dissertation and defense in the fifth year of the program.


The Chemical Biology Program is committed to providing all graduate students with 12 months of financial support in each of the four to five years of their graduate program tenure.  

All students are admitted with full funding (tuition, stipend and benefits) in their first year through Chemical Biology Program fellowships. Additional fellowship opportunities are available for the first year. 

Beyond the first year, students receive aid through a combination of fellowships, research assistantships and teaching assistantships that provide tuition, excellent health and dental benefits and a stipend.  

The program has no teaching requirement, although opportunities are available in the Chemistry Department. 

Also, there are several campus-wide training grants provided by the federal government, which support Chemical Biology graduate students. In most cases, selection for these training programs occurs in the second year of graduate study. The U-M Rackham Graduate School also awards a number of four-year fellowships to students from backgrounds that are historically under-represented in the sciences. 

Chemical Biology Students at their 2018 fall retreat


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