Graduate Certificate in Chemical Biology

The Certificate Program in Chemical Biology trains pre-doctoral students with research interest in the dynamics, structure and function of biomacromolecules. The program provides formal training to an interdisciplinary graduate study program that spans the chemical - biological interface with a focus on the synthesis, dynamics and structure of biologically relevant molecules and macromolecules.  The program has participation of students and mentors from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (primarily Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences) and in the School of Pharmacy (principally in Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Chemistry). 

About the Program

At the heart of the Certificate Program in Chemical Biology is an integrated academic curriculum and a seminar series that provides participating students with a working knowledge of the key concepts and methods of the interdisciplinary field of Chemical Biology. Students with strong chemical or biological backgrounds will reap the benefits of collaborative exposure to modern techniques and theories in disciplines across the chemical biology interface.  Students are required to:

  • Follow a defined course sequence designed to provide a working knowledge across the chemical biology interface.  The curriculum includes a flagship course defining the principles and practice of chemical biology.  A fundamental part of the curriculum is the seminar course entitled "Careers in the Biomedical Sciences," which highlights opportunites for doctoral graduates outside academia and industry.
  • Organize and participate in the annual Biomedical Sciences Symposium. This symposium includes oral presentations by the students on their research and a lecture by an internationally recognized keynote speaker in a research area at the chemistry/biology interface. The students also lead an afternoon interdisciplinary poster session that is open to all students.
  • Organize and participate in hosting speakers for the Chemical Biology seminar series.

Admission to Graduate Studies

An applicant seeking to pursue graduate study in the College may be admitted as either a degree-seeking or non-degree seeking student. Policies and procedures of Graduate Studies govern the process of Graduate admission. These may be found in the Graduate Studies section of the online catalog.

Please consult the Departments & Programs section of the online catalog for information regarding program-specific admissions criteria and requirements. Special admissions requirements pertain to Interdisciplinary Studies degrees, which may be found in the Graduate Studies section of the online catalog.

The Certificate Program is open to all graduate students at KU.  The training platform will provide students with an integrated educational training program that hones their skills and provides a broad wealth of information for career development. This program extends beyond the standard knowledge and capabilities developed in the independent departmental doctoral programs. Candidates in this program develop a working knowledge of both advanced chemistry and advanced biochemistry/biology, which supplements the more specialized environment within the laboratory of their research mentor. Underrepresented minority students and students with disabilities are encouraged to apply.  Any necessary accommodations for students with disabilities are made with the assistance of the office of Student Access Services.

Please see the Admission to Graduate Study policy for information on admission requirements.  Applications may be submitted at

Certificate Requirements

Course requirements:  Students must complete 5 courses for a total of 13 - 18 graduate credit hours.

One introductory course:2-6
Graduate Molecular Biosciences
Introduction to Chemistry in Biology
Physical Chemistry of Solutions, Solids and Surfaces
BIOL 860Principles and Practice of Chemical Biology3
1 hour, seminar; taken 4 semesters4
Careers in the Biomedical Sciences
One elective in chemical biology:3
Course must be outside the student's home department. The elective course should be approved by the program directors.
Ethics and Safety Training1-2
Scientific Integrity: Molecular Biosciences
Responsible Scholarship in the Chemical Sciences
Issues in Scientific Integrity
Total Hours13-18