Molecular and Cellular Biology, MS

At a Glance: program details

Do you want to understand the fundamental molecular events at the core of all life? Choose from a diverse range of research and training opportunities and gain skills in contemporary techniques, and enjoy the opportunity to tailor the program around your research and career interests.

Program Description

Degree Awarded: MS Molecular and Cellular Biology

The MS program in molecular and cellular biology encourages interdisciplinary, innovative research, allowing students to choose from a diverse range of research and training opportunities. Students gain skills in contemporary approaches used in molecular and cellular biology.

Our program is unique in that our participating faculty and researchers come from departments, colleges, centers and institutes across Arizona State University, as well as from partner institutions in greater Phoenix. You’ll have opportunities to work with faculty from Mayo Clinic, Phoenix Children’s Hospital, Translational Genomics Research Institute, and the University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix and from ASU, ranked No. 1 in innovation, ahead of Stanford and MIT. See courses and electives below for more information. 

Graduates from our program apply their skills in a variety of settings such as the biotechnology industry, teaching or as entrepreneurs. This program is also well-suited for students who want to pursue medical school, evaluate research options, or begin a PhD program.

Program Faculty

Courses and electives

Degree Requirements

30 credit hours and a thesis

Required Core (6 credit hours)
MCB 555 Advanced Molecular and Cellular Sciences (3)
MCB 556 Advanced Molecular and Cellular Biology II (3)

Electives or Research (10 credit hours)

Other Requirements (8 credit hours)
BIO 543 Molecular Genetics and Genomics (3)
BIO 610 Introduction to Responsible Conduct of Research in Life Sciences (1)
MCB 501 Seminar: Molecular and Cellular Biology Colloquium (4)

Culminating Experience (6 credit hours)
MCB 599 Thesis (6)

Additional Curriculum Information
Students are required to take MCB 501 each semester they are registered. If a student is registered for more or fewer than four semesters, the research hours and MCB 501 hours may be adjusted accordingly to reach 30 credit hours.

Students should see the academic unit for a complete list of approved electives.

Admission Requirements

Applicants must fulfill the requirements of both the Graduate College and The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Applicants are eligible to apply to the program if they have earned a bachelor's or master's degree in the biological sciences, biochemistry or a closely related field from a regionally accredited institution.

Applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in the last 60 hours of their first bachelor's degree program, or applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in an applicable master's degree program.

Applicants must submit the following:

  1. graduate admission application and application fee
  2. official transcripts
  3. academic record form
  4. personal statement
  5. curriculum vitae or resume
  6. three letters of recommendation
  7. proof of English proficiency

Additional Application Information
An applicant whose native language is not English must provide proof of English proficiency regardless of their current residency.

Research experience is a desired qualification.

Flexible Degree Options

Accelerated program options

This program allows students to obtain both a bachelor's and master's degree in as little as five years.
It is offered as an accelerated bachelor's and master's degree with:

BS - Microbiology

Are you fascinated by the incredible way the tiniest organisms can impact our lives? Are you eager to make a difference in science, health and medicine? Explore the wonders of microbiology, and set yourself up for success in your future career.

Website | Locations: TEMPE

BS - Neuroscience

Whether your career goal is in bioengineering, medicine or allied health professions, pharmaceuticals, clinical science, or pure neuroscience or neuroimaging research, this degree provides the foundations and the flexibility you need to help take your first steps. The program encompasses training across four foundational areas in neuroscience.

Website | Locations: TEMPE,ONLNE

BS - Biological Sciences

Your involvement in innovative research with award-winning faculty enables you to gain critical thinking skills and develop key lab techniques. You'll be prepared to jump-start your career in science or to continue on to graduate or professional education.

Website | Locations: TEMPE,ONLNE

BS - Biological Sciences (Genetics, Cell and Developmental Biology)

Experience the excitement of scientific discovery. Learn how genetic information is organized and transmitted across generations and study how genes can affect change at the cellular level and in organisms.

Website | Locations: TEMPE,ONLNE

BS - Biological Sciences (Conservation Biology and Ecology)

Are you concerned about environmental challenges such as climate change and habitat destruction? You can combine a biological approach to ecology with a human perspective rooted in the social sciences, to develop an understanding of the complex problems threatening our world. You'll also acquire the strong background necessary for advanced study.

Website | Locations: TEMPE,ONLNE

BS - Biological Sciences (Biology and Society)

How does science shape the way we understand our world? Explore the social context of science while developing the skills needed to navigate the ethical complexities of scientific discovery. Discover how policy decisions are shaped by biological research and investigate the significance of the sciences in understanding our complex world.

Website | Locations: TEMPE,ONLNE

BS - Molecular Biosciences and Biotechnology

Do you want to make a difference in the world? In molecular biosciences, you can help produce ground-breaking research in biology, biochemistry, biophysics, genetics, genomics and immunology.

Website | Locations: TEMPE

BS - Biological Sciences (Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior)

Are you interested in animals and animal behavior? Do you plan to enter the neuroscience field, apply to medical or veterinary school, or conduct biomedical research? This concentration helps you build strong foundations in biology, chemistry, physics and math --- your first step toward your goals.

Website | Locations: TEMPE

BS - Biological Sciences (Biomedical Sciences)

Are you passionate about attending medical school or doing biomedical research? Gain a strong foundation and experience in ground-breaking research for a valuable edge when you take the next steps toward your future.

Website | Locations: TEMPE,ONLNE

Acceptance to the graduate program requires a separate application. During their junior year, eligible students will be advised by their academic departments to apply.

Next Steps to attend ASU

Learn about our programs

Apply to a program

Visit our campus

Career Opportunities

Those who have earned a master's degree in molecular and cellular biology are prepared for academic careers at every level, from community colleges to research universities, and their skills and knowledge are also valuable for careers in federal and state agencies, in industry, and in nongovernmental organizations.

Career examples include:

  • instructors at community colleges
  • researchers and technicians in government labs and non-profit organizations
  • scientists and bioinformaticians in academic, private and industrial labs
  • science teachers in elementary and high schools

Program Contact Information

If you have questions related to admission, please click here to request information and an admission specialist will reach out to you directly. For questions regarding faculty or courses, please use the contact information below.