Skip to McMaster Navigation Skip to Site Navigation Skip to main content
McMaster logo

Course listings

Chemical Biology graduate courses

The Chemical Biology Program offers a number of unique courses that are designed to foster interdisciplinary and independent learning. All courses are taught in the inquiry style and focus heavily on the examination of the current literature at the interface of Chemistry, Biochemistry, and Biology. Whenever possible, courses are administered by a minimum of two faculty members from different departments involved in the program in an effort to provide complementary viewpoints on a given topic. The Chemical Biology courses are open also to students from other programs with the permission of the instructor.

All incoming Chemical Biology graduate students are required to take the CHEMBIO 700 course (or CHBY700), ‘Topics in Chemical Biology’, which is an introduction to graduate school and chemical biology.  This course is worth three credit units and is split into two modules, CHBY700A and CHBY700B, each worth 1.5 units. CHBY700A is usually in the Fall and is essentially an introduction to graduate school and scientific communication, while CHBY700B is typically offered in the Winter term and focuses on current topics in chemical biology.

The CHBY700A module combines an initial orientation with additional content on equity-diversity and inclusion (EDI) as well as general communication in science, while the CHBY700B module sets the tone more specifically for the Chemical Biology graduate program. The CHBY700B module uses topics from the current literature to provide an overview of Chemical Biology and will demonstrate the integration of chemical, biochemical and biological approaches to solve current problems of relevance to medicine, the environment, and drug design. The focus of this course varies from year to year, but the integrative approach to chemical biology remains the goal each year.

Besides CHBY700A/B, Chemical Biology graduate students are required to participate in our Colloquium either through CHBY701 or CHBY702. CHBY701 is a non-credit course option in which students prepare and present a seminar concerning a detailed examination of their own area of research. Participants are required to provide a suitable background to the work and critically discuss salient aspects of the field. A question period will follow in order to provide a forum for discussion of the material presented.

CHBY702 is a three-unit credit course option to participate in the Colloquium. CHBY702 students present a seminar concerning a detailed examination of their own area of research, similar to what described for CHBY701, but they also write a review article describing the current state of their field. The review must provide a suitable background to the area, the current state of the research within the field, and an appraisal of possible future trends and directions. Students are encouraged to provide a critical assessment of the material presented and use the format employed by the journal “Trends in Biochemical Sciences” or “Accounts of Chemical Research”.

Students who take CHBY700 and opt for the CHBY702 colloquium option will have met all the course requirements of the Chemical Biology graduate program. Students who take CHBY700 and opt for the CHBY701 colloquium option will need three additional credit units to meet all the course requirements of the Chemical Biology graduate program.  These additional credits can be earned by taking relevant courses or modules offered by the participating departments.  Hence, a wide range of options is available to Chemical Biology graduate students to choose from, with permission from their supervisor and the instructor.

Expandable List

BCHM 711 – Special Topics in Biomolecular Sciences: Immunometabolism

BCHM 711 – Special Topics in Biomolecular Sciences: Pharmacology & Cell Biology

BCHM 732 – Writing for Science


BIOL 707 – Ecological Statistics

BIOL 709 – Special Topics in Biology

BIOL 712 – Communication and Scholarship Skills in Biology

BIOL 724 – Molecular Ecology

BIOL 780 – Advanced Microscopy and Imaging

BIOL 799 – Genetic Basis of Common Disease


CHEM 708 – Analytical Separation Science

CHEM 725 – Group Theory

CHEM 730 –  X-ray Theory

CHEM 740 – Basic Theory of 1D & 2D NMR Spectroscopy

CHEM 743 – Inorganic Problems

CHEM 749 – Introduction to Biomolecular NMR

CHEM 757 – Applications of Lab-on-a-Chip Devices

CHEM 770 – Molecular Electronic Structure Theory

CHEM 784 – Physical Chemistry of Materials

CHEM 799 – Special Topics (2 Dimensional Materials)

CHEM 799 – Special Topics (Numerical Optimization in Computational Chemistry Using Python)

CHEM 799 – Special Topics (Topics in Polymer Chemistry)

CHEM 799 – Special Topics (Conformational Analysis)

CHEM 799 – Special Topics (Topics to be Announced)

CHEM 799 – Special Topics (Topics to be Announced)

*600-level half courses are also available for credit, at the M.Sc. level only and with approval from the program director, to a maximum of one-half course (equivalent to two module credits).  If you are interested in 600-level courses, please contact the director, Dr. Giuseppe Melacini.

CHEM 60A3 – Natural Products

CHEM 60B3 – Polymers and Organic Materials

CHEM 6AA3 – Recent Advance Analyt Chemist

CHEM 6IC3 – Solid State Chemistry

CHEM 6II3 – Transition Metal Organometallic Chemistry & Catalysis

CHEM 6PB3 – Computational Models for Electronic Structure & Chemical Bonding

BCHM 6E03 – Gene Regulation and Stem Cells and Development

BCHM 6N03 – Molecular Membrane Biology

BCHM 6Q03 – Biochemical Pharmacology

BCHM 6S03 – Introduction to Molecular Biophysics

BCHM 6Y03 – Genomes and Evolution

MOL BIOL 6BB3 – Plant Metabolism and Molecular Biology

BIOL 6DD3 – Molecular Evolution

BIO 6E03 – Population Genetics

MOL BIO 6H03 – Molecular Biology of Cancer

BIO 6P03 – Medical Microbiology

BIO 6X03 – Environmental Physiology