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ASU's molecular and cellular biology master’s program is focused on understanding the fundamental molecular events at the core of all life. You’ll develop skills in contemporary scientific approaches and techniques that are used in this life sciences field.
As a student in this interdisciplinary program, you’ll have the flexibility to tailor your studies to meet your personal professional goals. Also, you’ll experience a diverse range of research and training opportunities focused on a multidisciplinary approach that extends beyond the traditional boundaries of biological research.
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.
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.
The Master of Science in molecular and cellular biology is comprised of three core courses, electives, participation in our colloquium and the completion of a thesis featuring your original research. Your electives may be chosen from a wide variety of areas, which will allow you to pursue your specific research interests in biology, biochemistry, bioengineering, evolution, microbiology, and molecular and cellular biology.
The Molecular and Cellular Biology Master's program admits one group of students annually to start their program the following August. Before applying, we encourage you to read our Tips for Applying.
To apply, follow the Apply Now link.
You will be asked to:
Applications are accepted Oct. 1 - Dec. 15, with a preference date of Dec. 1. There is no guarantee that applications received after Dec. 15 will be reviewed.
In January, the top applicants will be invited to a recruitment event scheduled in mid- to late-February. We will notify you of your admissions status by April 15.
Note: We encourage you to apply even if your GRE results do not meet the desired scores. We consider all components of your application package before making a decision.
The MCB program has taught me to think critically and prepared me for a future in research.
—Alissa Lynch current MCB student
This program requires 30 credits. MCB 501 must be taken every semester. Exactly 6 of the 30 credits will be thesis credits. Your final defense consists of a public seminar immediately followed by a private discussion with your dissertation committee.
Electives or Research
Total hours required
You will work with your supervisory committee to develop an individualized plan of study and choose the electives that suit your specific research area. You are required to take MCB 555 and 556, as well as participate in colloquium MCB 501. You will conduct original research, and develop and defend your thesis. Your electives can be chosen from a variety of graduate programs including biochemistry, biology, evolution, microbiology, biomedical engineering, and molecular and cellular biology.
MCB 555 Advanced Molecular and Cellular Biology: (6) Intensive lecture- and literature-based studies in membrane biology, neurobiology, signal transduction, bioimaging and molecular-based disease.
MCB 501 Molecular and Cellular Biology Colloquium. Weekly seminar series that includes students, postdoctoral fellows, faculty and visiting speakers. Registration and attendance are required each semester.
MCB 556 Advanced Molecular and Cellular Biology (3) Lecture- and literature-based studies in gene regulation, developmental genetics, protein structure and function, and microbiology and immunology.
BIO 610 Introduction to Research Ethics (1) All MCB graduate students must attend an Ethics in Research class during the first or second year. This 10-week course meets once a week for 75 minutes. It introduces the ethical and regulatory issues in the nine core areas of responsible conduct of research, as defined by the National Institutes of Health.
Participating faculty members and researchers come from many departments, colleges, centers and institutes across the university, including:
In addition to Arizona State University, some faculty members are based at partner institutions in greater Phoenix, including: