MA in Molecular Biology, Cell Biology & Biochemistry

Course Requirements

Course descriptions are located in the Courses portion of this Bulletin. For details on requirements regarding grade point averages, annual reports, and responsible conduct in research, please see the MCBB Graduate Program Guide.

Required Core Courses (24 credits total)

32 credits of coursework are required for the MA, distributed as follows:

  • CAS BI 552 Molecular Biology I (4 cr)
  • CAS BI 583/584 Progress in Cell and Molecular Biology (2 cr each; the student is required to attend this seminar throughout his or her graduate career at Boston University, but may only count a total of 4 credits toward the degree.)
  • GRS BI 553 Molecular Biology II (4 cr)
  • GRS BI 735 Advanced Cell Biology (4 cr)
  • GRS MB 621 Graduate Biochemistry (4 cr)
  • GRS MB 622 Advanced Biochemistry (4 cr)

Elective Courses (at least 8 credits total)

In consultation with the student’s advisor, the student chooses the remaining graduate-level courses, of which no more than 4 credits may be obtained from 2-credit seminar/readings courses. Appropriate courses are listed below. However, other courses, subject to the approval of the MCBB committee, may also be appropriate depending on the student’s area of research:

  • CAS BB 522 Molecular Biology Laboratory (4 cr)
  • CAS BF 527 Bioinformatics Applications (4 cr)
  • CAS BI 502 Topics in the Mathematical Structure of Biological Systems (4 cr)
  • CAS BI 505 Evolution and Development (4 cr)
  • CAS BI 545 Neurobiology of Motivated Behavior (4 cr)
  • CAS BI 551 Biology of Stem Cells (4 cr)
  • CAS BI 554 Neuroendocrinology (4 cr)
  • CAS BI 556 Membrane Biochemistry (4 cr)
  • CAS BI 572 Advanced Genetics (4 cr)
  • CAS BI 576 Carcinogenesis (4 cr)
  • CAS BI 581/582 Seminar in Biology (2 cr each)
  • CAS CH 525 Physical Biochemistry (4 cr)
  • ENG BE 500 Epigenomics (4 cr)
  • ENG BE 508 Quantitative Studies of the Respiratory and Cardiovascular Systems (4 cr)
  • ENG BE 517 Optical Microscopy of Biological Materials (4 cr)
  • ENG BE 560 Biomolecular Architecture (4 cr)
  • ENG BE 561 DNA Protein Sequence Analysis (4 cr)
  • ENG BE 565 Molecular Biotechnology (4 cr)
  • ENG BE 705 Single Molecule Approaches to Biophysics and Bioengineering—Fundamentals and Applications (4 cr)
  • ENG BE 706 Quantitative Physiology for Engineers (4 cr)
  • ENG BE 768 Biological Database Analysis (4 cr)
  • ENG BE 777 Computational Genomics (4 cr)
  • GMS BT 520 Biology of Cancer (4 cr)
  • GMS MI 713 Comprehensive Immunology (4 cr)
  • GMS MI 823 Special Topics in Microbiology
  • GRS BI 610 Cellular Aspects of Development and Differentiation (4 cr)
  • GRS BI 642 Physiology and Biochemistry of Reproduction (4 cr)
  • GRS BI 645 Cellular and Molecular Neurophysiology (4 cr)
  • GRS BI 646 Biology of the Cell Cycle (4 cr)
  • GRS BI 655 Developmental Neurobiology (4 cr)
  • GRS BI 681 Molecular Biology of the Neuron (4 cr)
  • GRS BI 708 Biochemical and Molecular Aspects of Development (4 cr)
  • GRS CH 625 Enzymology: Mechanisms of Enzymatic Reactions (4 cr)
  • GRS CH 626 Epigenetics (4 cr)
  • GRS CH 627 RNA Structure and Function (4 cr)
  • GRS CH 629 DNA Nanotechnology (4 cr)
  • GRS CH 632 Advanced Coordination Chemistry II: Inorganic Reaction Mechanisms (4 cr)
  • GRS CH 633 Physical Methods for Inorganic and Bioinorganic Chemistry (4 cr)
  • GRS CH 634 Metallobiochemistry (4 cr)
  • GRS CH 7XX Chemical Biology (4 cr)
  • GRS CH 7XX Macromolecular Structure Determination (4 cr)
  • GRS CH 7XX Protein Chemistry: Function and Form (4 cr)
  • GRS CH 7XX Quantitative Biochemistry (4 cr)
  • GRS MB 701/702 Graduate Readings in Molecular Biology, Cell Biology, and Biochemistry (2 cr each)
  • GRS PY 771 Concepts in Biophysics (4 cr)
  • SAR HS 560 Muscle Biology in Health and Disease (4 cr)
  • SPH BS 704 Introduction to Biostatistics (4 cr)
  • SPH BS 723 Introduction to Statistical Computing (4 cr)

Non-research MA

For a non-research MA, a scholarly review paper covering a topic agreed upon with the student’s advisor is required. The paper is evaluated and requires approval from the student’s MA committee, consisting of at least three faculty, of whom at least two must be members of the MCBB program. Students normally enroll in GRS MB 701/702 as credit for scholarly thesis work.

Research MA

For a research MA, a thesis describing the student’s original research is required, to be evaluated by and requiring approval from the MA committee. The MA committee for the research degree consists of at least three faculty, of whom at least two must be members of the MCBB program. No formal defense is required.