Chemical Biology Masters of Science in Cancer Chemical Biology Student Handbook

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Summary of Contents
Masters Degree Program
Academic Schedule
Requirements for the M.S. Degree
Applying for Graduation and Deadlines
Chronology of the M.S. Degree
Financial Information
Staying Informed
Safety & Emergency Precautions & Procedures


Masters Degree Program
This section provides information on the requirements for the degree of Masters of Science in Cancer Chemical Biology. The requirements stated here include those set by the Program and those set by the Rackham School of Graduate Studies. Students are also encouraged to consult the Rackham Graduate Student Handbook.

Program requirements for the M.S. degree are administered by the Operating Committee, which consists of the Program Director, Associate Director and several Program faculty.  The Program Director, in consultation with this Committee, has the authority to set and interpret rules and requirements and, when circumstances warrant, grant exceptions upon formal appeal.  Throughout the tenure of the Program, students are encouraged and welcomed to consult with the Program Director, Operating Committee and Dissertation Committee for additional advice and guidance.  If questions, concerns or conflict arise at any point in the Program, students should contact the Program Director or their designate.

Course elections for each term must be approved either by the Operating Committee or the Program Director. Each student's status is reviewed by the Operating Committee after each term and an appropriate report is provided to the student when needed. NOTE: Failure to follow the approved registration can jeopardize a student's standing in the M.S. program. Students should not make unapproved changes to their schedules.


Academic Schedule
The academic year at the University of Michigan consists of three full terms: Fall, Winter and Spring/Summer.  The Fall term begins in September and ends in December; the Winter term runs from January through April.  Each Fall and Winter semester has a mid-term break in which classes do not meet and a final exam period at the end of the term.  The Spring/Summer term spans May through August.  Two short terms, Spring and Summer, run concurrently with the Spring/Summer term.  Spring classes meet May through June and Summer term courses meet July through August.  Most didactic courses of interest to graduate students are offered only in the Fall and Winter terms.

Class periods begin ten minutes after the hour (or half-hour), although classes are listed as beginning on the hour or half-hour.  Note: The words “semester” and “term” possess identical meanings at UM and are used interchangeably.


Requirements for the M.S. Degree
A student is expected to remain in good standing during his/her term of study by complying with the rules, regulations, and requirements set forth by the Rackham Graduate School and the Program in Chemical Biology.


Graduate School Requirements
The basic requirements for the degree of Master of Science set by the Graduate School and the Program include:

  1. Minimum residence and fee requirements.
  2. A "B" (3.0) average for all courses in the graduate student's record.
  3. At least 24 credit hours of graduate coursework registered as a Rackham student while in residence on the Ann Arbor campus.


Credits and Rackham Requirements
Students enrolled in the full-time Chemical Biology course of study must register for consecutive Fall and Winter terms to complete 24 credits and all degree requirements within one year. A student is considered full-time with registration of eight credit hours per term, however it is important to keep in mind that 24 credits hours over one year is still the requirement.


Course Requirements
The Program is concerned that the student has an adequate undergraduate background in chemistry, biology and mathematics and that the Program’s core courses adequately prepare students to branch into more specialized fields in chemical biology.

During their studies, students complete four core courses in Chemical Biology: CHEMBIO 501, 601, 502 and 602.  Additionally, students are required to complete PIBS 503 (research responsibility and ethics).  Students will also be required to complete other graduate level elective courses (minimum of 2 credits) to meet the minimum 24 credits for graduation.

Courses taken in fulfillment of Rackham degree requirements must be approved for Rackham graduate credit. Courses at the 300 level or below may not be used for graduate credit. Courses at the 400 level are open to both undergraduates and graduate students but must be approved by the Registrar to carry graduate credit. 400-level courses usually require additional work for graduate students; students should contact the instructor to inquire about that extra work prior to registration.

Courses not approved for Rackham graduate credit appear on the transcript with the notation NFC or NDC. The course grade will appear but will not be averaged into the cumulative grade point average or the total credits required for the program (CTP) total.

Students should periodically discuss their academic progress with their advisors to learn whether they are performing satisfactorily and making sufficient progress toward the degree.  A student whose cumulative GPA falls below a “B” (3.0 on a 4.0 scale) in a given term or half term will be placed on academic probation for the following term or half term of enrollment.  A student may be given an opportunity to correct the scholastic and/or academic deficiency under the supervision of the Director.


Applying for Graduation and Deadlines
To receive your master's degree or certificate, you must apply for graduation through Wolverine Access. Students who have applied for degree by the master's deadline will have their names printed in the commencement program. Applications for graduation will be accepted until the last day of classes of the term in which you wish to receive your degree/diploma; however, your name will not appear in the commencement program. It is your responsibility to see that all requirements are met and recorded by the last day of classes in the term you have applied for degree/diploma.


Chronology of the M.S. Degree
This section displays the typical academic progression through the M.S. degree. Students are expected to complete the Program within 1 year, with a minimum of 24 credits and a final GPA of 3.0 or higher.

Fall Term (September - December)

  • CHEMBIO 501 (macromolecular structure and function, 3 credits)

  • CHEMBIO 601 002 (critical analysis of the current literature, 2 credits)

  • PIBS 503 (research responsibilities and ethics, 1 credit)

  • Elective course(s) in chemistry, biological chemistry, medicinal chemistry, biophysics or other course in consultation with the Program advisor (2-4 credits each)

Year One: Winter Term (January - April)

  • CHEMBIO 502 (protein translation, signal transduction and combinatorial methods, 3 credits)

  • CHEMBIO 602 002 (critical analysis of the current literature, 2 credits)

  • Elective course(s) in chemistry, biological chemistry, medicinal chemistry, biophysics or other course in consultation with the Program advisor (2-4 credits each)


Financial Information
Payment of resident or non-resident tuition fees is determined by residency regulations given in detail on the Registrar's Office website. Students are expected to self-fund the costs associated with this program, including tuition, health insurance, and registration and student fees.


Loan funds administered through the Office of Financial Aid (2011 SAB) are available to meet the needs of any educational expense for students while enrolled in the University. The extent of this financial need must be clearly established by providing a complete statement of the applicant's financial resources and expenses for the academic year. Loans are NOT available for any non-educational expense which is normally financed by a commercial lending institution, nor are they available for the repayment of previously incurred indebtedness. For more information, please see the Office of Financial Aid website.



Staying Informed
Student Handbook
This Handbook is to be used as a guide to the University, Graduate School and Program rules and regulations that govern the Program in Chemical Biology. Students should familiarize themselves with requirements of the Program and the Graduate School. Throughout the Handbook, references are made to Graduate School rules and regulations; these may be found in their entirety in Rackham Graduate Student Handbook, which is located on Rackham's website.


Each student is provided with an e-mail account. Messages and information are sent frequently to the student group ( and to individual students. It is important that students read their UM e-mail on a daily basis.


All mail will be directed to the program office and placed in a pickup box located in Room 4222 of the Life Sciences Institute. 


The Program Office is located in 4008 Life Sciences Institute.  This office can provide assistance in all matters of the Program, including graduate records and admissions, professional development, room reservations and seminar postings. 


Safety and Emergency Precautions and Procedures
It is critical that students follow proper laboratory safety procedures. The research interests of the faculty of the Chemical Biology program are very diverse, making it impossible to create a single set of guidelines that are applicable to all laboratory situations open to students. It is vitally important that students become trained in the safety procedures that are relevant to their lab. All students are required to participate in the Safety Training scheduled during Fall Orientation. For more information on general safety information, please see the EHS website, the University of Michigan 's Environment, Health & Safety organization.


Emergency and Safety Regulations/Emergency Telephone Numbers
In case of an emergency in a campus building, occupants are to use a campus-only phone to dial 911 to provide a description and location of the emergency. The Department of Public Safety (DPS) may also be reached by dialing 3-1131.