MS Molecular and Cellular Biology

Program Description

Degree Awarded: MS Molecular and Cellular Biology

The MS program in molecular and cellular biology encourages interdisciplinary, innovative, world-class research. It allows students to choose from a diverse range of research and training opportunities that extend beyond the traditional boundaries of biological research.

Graduates are prepared for successful careers in the biological sciences.

Molecular and Cellular Biology (MS/PhD) Faculty

Courses and electives

At a Glance: program details

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.

Degree Requirements

Required Core (6 credit hours)
  • MCB 555 Advanced Molecular and Cellular Sciences (3)
  • MCB 556 Advanced Molecular and Cellular Biology II (3)
Other Requirements (8 credit hours)
  • MCB 501 Seminar: Molecular and Cellular Biology Colloquium (4 - 1 credit taken 4x)
  • BIO 543 Molecular Genetics and Genomics (3)
  • BIO 610 Introduction to Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) in Life Sciences (1)
Culminating Experience (6 credit hours)
  • MCB 599 Thesis (6)
Electives and Research (10 credit hours)
  • MCB 592 Research (6+)
  • Example elective options:
    • BIO 611 Topics Resp Conduct Research: Emerging Technologies Life Science
    • MCB 590 Reading and Conference
    • MCB 591 Topic Seminar
    • MCB/BIO 598 Advanced Developmental Biology
    • MCB 791 Seminar: Molecular Virology Journal Club
    • MIC 598 Advanced Immunology
    • MIC 598 Bacterial Diversity and Systematics
    • MIC 598 Bacterial Pathogenesis
    • MIC 598 Bioinformatic Analysis of High-throughput DNA Data
    • MIC 598 General Virology
    • MIC 598 Geomicrobiology
    • MIC 598 Immunology: Molecular & Cellular Foundations
    • MIC 598 Microbial Ecology and Evolution
    • MIC 598 Novel Models for Host-Microbe Interactions
    • MIC 598 Special Topics: Advanced Immunology
    • MIC 598 Special Topics: Immun: Molecular and Cell Foundations
    • MIC 598 Viromics
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 (if applicable)

Application Deadline

  • Applications are accepted between the open date, September 1st and close date, December 1st for consideration for the following August
Additional Application Information
  • The Molecular and Cellular Biology MS program admits one group of students annually to start their program the following August
  • There is no guarantee that applications received after December 1st will be reviewed
  • You'll be notified of your admission status by April 15th 
  • Review tips for applying
Desired Qualifications
  • Research experience 
  • International students: TOEFL score of 100, or IELTS score of 6.5

To apply, follow the Apply Now link.

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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:

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

Global Opportunities

Global Experience

With over 250 programs in more than 65 countries (ranging from one week to one year), study abroad is possible for all ASU students wishing to gain global skills and knowledge in preparation for a 21st-century career. Students earn ASU credit for completed courses, while staying on track for graduation, and may apply financial aid and scholarships toward program costs.

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.