Master Program

Main content

The Institute of Biochemistry (IBC) coordinates the curriculum of the Biochemistry Major within the framework of the ETH Biology Master program. Below, you will find some information about our goals, the structure of the program, and how to contact us.

Student advisor
If you have any questions concerning our Master program, please do not hesitate to contact the student advisor:
Alicia Smith (phone: +41 (0)44 632 31 37).

Our Goals
The Master program in Biochemistry builds on the broad and basic training of the Bachelor, and aims at developing:

  • advanced, research-oriented theoretical and practical skills in modern cellular Biochemistry
  • problem-solving in research
  • the skills to critically evaluate scientific literature and to write scientific reports
  • the ability to learn independently
  • a scientific and communicative attitude

Our Program
The training focuses on the molecular mechanisms and concepts underlying the biochemistry of cellular physiology. We investigate the structural and functional details of individual cell components, and are particularly focused on the question of how different processes are regulated and integrated to carry out highly coordinated cellular functions. Research examples include intracellular transport, cell growth, cell division and establishment of cell polarity.

A central part of modern cellular biochemistry is dedicated to approaches that allow the analysis of molecular mechanisms in vivo and in vitro, making it possible to understand temporally and spatially dynamic biochemical processes in their physiological context. This Master program therefore combines in an interdiscipinary environment classical biochemical approaches with contemporary cell biological and genetic methods, including live cell imaging and quantitative data analysis.

Master thesis and Research projects
Two research projects of 3 months each followed by a Master thesis of 6 months are the practical part of the Master curriculum. The choice of the project supervisors is made in agreement with the student advisor. In general, the decision is based on the suitability of the proposed thesis subject for a Major in Biochemistry. Students can take full advantage of the research groups hosted by the two universities in Zurich.

In order to give students more insights into the research carried out within the IBC, we provide an updated, detailed list of potential Master Projects.

At the end of the three month Master research project I & II, the IBC master students present their work in the form of a scientific poster. For more information, please contact the student advisor.

Our Courses
The mandatory and elective courses for the Master program in Biochemistry are summarized at the Department of Biology Masters website. Further details about the  courses can be found in the electronic university course catalogue.

Students from the ETH Zurich and the University of Zurich who are interested in following the Biochemistry Master program should contact the IBC student advisor.

We also encourage students with a Bachelor from a University outside of Zurich to get in touch with the IBC student advisor for further information, and for an informal discussion of their application. Their admission to the Biology Master program is however subject to acceptance by the ETH Master program.

The IBC currently organizes the following Masters Courses:

Cellular Biochemistry of health and disease

A Problem-based approach to Cellular Biochemistry

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