Academic Programs Catalog

College of Natural Science

Interdepartmental Degree Programs

Graduate Study
Cell and Molecular Biology - Master of Science

This program provides theoretical and practical training in cell and molecular biology to prepare students for a variety of professional positions in academia, industry or government.


Most students enter the Master of Science degree program in cell and molecular biology with the goal of eventually obtaining a Ph.D. degree. However, students with limited research experience or specific deficiencies in their undergraduate training may be admitted to this program to obtain additional experience.  Applicants will be considered by the Cell and Molecular Biology admissions committee, and in general the criteria for admission are similar to those of the Ph.D. program (an undergraduate major in biological science, acceptable GPA and GRE scores, and letters of recommendation).

In addition to meeting the requirements of the university and the College of Natural Science, students must meet the requirements specified below.

Requirements for the Master of Science Degree in Cell and Molecular Biology

Students in the M.S. program in Cell and Molecular Biology must complete a total of 30 credits for the degree under either Plan A (with thesis) or Plan B (without thesis). These credits must include core courses in molecular biology, cell biology, and genetics. Detailed course and other requirements are specified in the cell and molecular biology graduate manual.

For a Plan A master’s degree, students must complete a minimum of 4 and a maximum of 10 credits of Cell and Molecular Biology 899, Master’s Research. They must also prepare a written thesis, complete a final research seminar, and pass an oral examination.

For a Plan B master’s degree, student may complete a maximum of 8 credits of Cell and Molecular Biology 890, Independent Study. They must also complete a final report and pass an oral examination.