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Successful students in the Molecular Biophysics (MOB) Graduate Program at Florida State University come from many different scientific backgrounds and the curriculum for the Structural Biology | Computational Biophysics Graduate Program is designed with the flexibility to meet  individual goals. You will take a minimal number of required courses and choose from a large and growing range of elective courses so that your training can be tailored specifically to your research interests.  Our program is designed so that you spend the maximum amount of time in research training rather than in the classroom.

Students enter the program on the Molecular Biophysics/Structural Biology track or the Computational Structural Biology track. MOB faculty members can be mentors to students in either track. However, students who choose the Computational Structural Biology track are typically clear that they are interested in working on modeling and simulation using computational methods, though some of these labs do have both computational and experimental components.  The Molecular Biophysics/Structural Biology track is for students with interests that are come under the broader Molecular Biophysics discipline and includes interests in x-ray crystallography, electron microscopy, NMR, EPR and other methods to explore molecular structure/function relationships.

The MOB Graduate Program offers a limited number of classes under the MOB prefix. Other courses taken by MOB graduate students will be offered through Chemistry, Physics, Biological Science, Scientific Computing or other departments. All students take a total of at least 18 credit hours of graduate level academic graded courses. More information about courses offered by the various departments is available in the FSU Graduate Bulletin.

See the MOB Courses page for information on Directed Individual Study (MOB 5905), Dissertation (MOB 6980), Preliminary Exam (MOB 8964), Thesis Prospectus Defense (MOB 8965) and Dissertation Defense (MOB 8985). Some semesters MOB offers Special Topics courses under the MOB 5935 number.

Curriculum for the Structural Biology | Computational Biophysics Graduate Program:

Required academic courses for all MOB students:

  • BCH 5505 Structure and Function of Enzymes
  • BCH 5745 Chemical and Physical Characterization of Biopolymers
  • PCB 5137 Advanced Cell Biology
  • Responsible Conduct of Research


Students will select at least 3 additional electives in consultation with their supervisory committee. Some suggested electives are listed below depending on the major code. However, students have the flexibility to take any appropriate graduate level science course to provide additional foundation in their area of research interest, regardless of track.

Molecular Biophysics/Structural Biology

  • BCH 5405 Molecular Biology for Biochemists
  • PCB 5595 Advanced Molecular Biology
  • BCH 5887 Programming for Chemists and Biochemists

Computational Structural Biology

  • MAP 5486 Computational Methods in Biology
  • MAP 5165 Methods of Applied Mathematics
  • CHM 5480 Statistical Thermodynamics
  • ISC 5305 Scientific Programming
  • ISC 5315 Applied Computational Science I

Additional possible electives for both tracks

  • PHZ 5715 Biophysics I
  • PCB 5845 Cell and Molecular Neuroscience
  • CHM 5175 Measurements and Data Analysis in Chemistry
  • CHM 5555 Chemical Reactivity
  • CHM 5710 Chemical Structure and Bonding
  • CHM5480 Quantum Mechanics
  • Special Topics Courses in Techniques (offered on a rotating schedule):
    3D Electron Microscopy
    X-ray Crystallography
    Membrane Biophysics
    Other special topics courses as offered

Or, in consultation with your committee, choose from a wide variety of courses offered in several departments

Additional MOB Requirements

      • At least three rotations working in labs of MOB faculty, extending over Fall and Spring of the first year, and lasting approximately 6 weeks each
      • One semester of teaching in the second or third year
      • Weekly attendance in the Fall and Spring Structural Biology/Biochemistry Seminar Series
      • Weekly participation in the Fall and Spring MOB “Students for Effective Communication in Science” seminar series.
      • Presentation of at least one seminar per year (this requirement may be met the first 2 years by presenting to fellow graduate students in the SECS group)
      • Successful completion of a qualifying examination consisting of a written and oral component (typically complete by the end of the 2nd year)
      • Successful presentation and defense of your research proposal, after which you will be admitted to doctoral candidacy (typically completed by the end of the 3rd year)
      • The University requires that the degree be completed within 5 calendar years from the time the student gains admittance to candidacy
      • Successful defense of an innovative and noteworthy doctoral dissertation
MOB Links

HongLi - CopyMOB Graduate Program Director
Dr. Hong Li
Professor of Chemistry & Biochemistry

For more information contact:
MOB Graduate Program Coordinator