MA in MCBB
The Molecular Biology, Cell Biology & Biochemistry (MCBB) Program offers two paths to the MA degree: the MA with Scholarly Review Paper and the MA with Research Thesis, both designed to provide a solid foundation in these three interdisciplinary fields through coursework, seminars, and research.
The program culminates with a thesis, which can be either research-based or literature-based. Research-based theses are founded on original research performed in a faculty member’s laboratory. Literature-based theses comprise a comprehensive review of a defined scientific field, as supervised by a faculty member. The primary goal of the program is to propel students into successful research careers in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries. The program accepts post-bachelor’s applicants with degrees in related disciplines where the focus has been on biology, chemistry, biotechnology, biochemistry, or a relevant field.
1. Acquire thorough understanding of knowledge in molecular biology, cell biology, and biochemistry.
2. Acquire laboratory and critical-thinking skills in the biological sciences.
3. Follow the ethics for appropriate behavior in the scientific discipline.
4. Be prepared to enter the job market.
A total of 32 credits is required. MA course requirements for both the MA with Scholarly Review Paper and the MA with Research Thesis are as follows:
- BI 552 Molecular Biology I (4 credits)
- BI 553 Molecular Biology II (4 credits)
- BI 621 Biochemistry I (4 credits)
- BI 622 Biochemistry II (4 credits)
- BI 735 Advanced Cell Biology (4 credits)
- BI 583 Progress in Cell & Molecular Biology (2 credits)*
- BI 584 Progress in Cell & Molecular Biology (2 credits)*
- Minimum of 8 credits of elective courses and/or research credits, chosen in consultation with the student’s advisor.
*Students are required to attend BI 583/584 throughout their graduate career but only 4 credits may count toward the degree.
More information is available in the Graduate Program Guide.
Scholarly Paper Requirements
The Scholarly Review Paper must be on a selected topic in the field of Molecular Biology, Cell Biology, or Biochemistry in consultation with a faculty advisor from the MCBB Program who serves as the first reader. The paper should review a selected current research topic, and usually includes several chapters and extensive literature references. The final version of the paper must be read and approved by the first reader and at least one other MCBB faculty member. The paper must comply with the format described in the current Graduate Program Guide. A final copy must be given to both readers, and an electronic copy must be sent to the Graduate Program Specialist. This paper is not submitted to GRS.
Research Thesis Requirements
The Research Thesis details the original research that was conducted under the sponsoring faculty member. The thesis must meet the format outlined in the current Graduate Program Guide. The thesis must be read and approved by a committee of three faculty members that includes at least two faculty members from the MCBB Program; one committee member must be the faculty member who acted as the research advisor. The student must provide final copies of the thesis to the first and second readers (and, when requested, to other members of the Committee), as well as an electronic copy to the Graduate Program Specialist.
The final reader-approved thesis must be submitted to the Electronics Thesis and Dissertations (ETD) Administrator for final approval by the graduate school before the date posted on the GRS submission calendar. More information about thesis formatting and submission can be found on the GRS website.
Officially, the master’s degree requirements must be completed within three years from the date of first registration. However, students may apply to the Graduate School for extensions past the three-year deadline. MA degrees are conferred in May, September, or January, as specified on the GRS website.
The MCBB Program does not guarantee financial support for MA students, though there are often Teaching Assistant positions available for MS students that provide $6,000 per semester; tuition must still be paid by the student.