Graduate Program : Program of Bio-Molecular Function

The graduate program offered under the Division of Molecular and Life Sciences (DMLS) at POSTECH, which was established in September, 1999 as an interdisciplinary program in biology and biotechnology, annually accepted 35 students for MS and 20 for Ph.D. programs. Participating in the DMLS were 18 professors from the Department of Life Science, 12 professors from Chemistry, and 3 from Chemical Engineering. Evaluated as the best life science graduate program in Korea by the Ministry of Education, the DMLS was awarded a seven-year graduate education grant under the Brain Korea 21 Program in 1999 (about 2 million dollars per year) until 2005. Also, in the annual assessments of university departments by the Korean Council for University Education POSTECH Department of Life Science was evaluated as the best department in 1994 and 2004.

After a successful completion of the first stage of BK21 Program the Division started the Second Stage of BK21 Program of Bio-Molecular Function in 2006. The numbers of professors and graduate students participating in the BK21 Program of Bio-Molecular Function are 18 and 152 respectively, accounting for 90% of Life Science faculty and 82.3% of graduate student body. And the number of participants will be adjusted annually according to fair competitive evaluation system.

To better coordinate research and education in graduate program, the Program has adopted a Track System of four major tracks of Structural and Molecular Biology, Molecular Medicine, Cellular & Developmental Biology, and Plant Sciences. Each track provides recommended courses and guides graduate students coherently throughout the program.

The graduate program emphasizes in-depth knowledge and intensive research necessary for developing leadership in the field of life sciences. The Division offered a wide selection of courses, all of which students are free to select for their needs and interests except for three core courses. Oral exams and a written English test (or 550 in TOEFL) are required for all applicants. A minimum of 15 graduate course credits and 13 research credits, together with a thesis, are required for the MS degree, while the Ph.D. degree requires a minimum of 9 graduate course credits and 23 research credits beyond the MS level, and a dissertation to be published in internationally recognized journals.

Graduate research is conducted with state-of-the-art instruments and techniques. Graduate students, at an early stage of the program, decide on the research subject of their choice under the guidance of their advising professors, so that they can focus their efforts on the dissertation topics throughout the program. Dissertation research is expected to be distinguished by originality and creativity. Group discussions and seminars provide opportunities to exchange ideas and experiences with experts in and out of POSTECH. Students are also exposed to technological advances in other countries through international exchange and collaboration programs.