Biological Sciences Programs Requirements & Standards

Prerequisites for Admission

To be eligible for admission to any graduate program, you must hold at least a bachelor's degree from an accredited university or college, or be currently enrolled in an undergraduate/first-professional degree program at the University and be fluent in both spoken and written English. More specifically, applicants interested in the biological sciences program should have a BS or BA in a scientific or health program, and background in two or more of the following areas:

  • Genetics
  • Cell Biology
  • Microbiology
  • Biochemistry

In addition, you must demonstrate previous laboratory experience in at least two of these areas. You may substitute relevant work experience for formal coursework at the discretion of the program director.

Degree Options

The master's program in cell biology & biotechnology offers three degree options:

  • The MS non-thesis option is designed for the working student with courses offered in the evening hours. You can pursue this option on a part-time basis. The option has a course requirement of 36 semester hours.
  • The MS thesis option is a research-based degree in which as either a full- or part-time student you will conduct research on a topic of mutual interest with a faculty advisor. To maximize interaction among the graduate students, the thesis option students also will enroll in the evening courses. You may be able to conduct a collaborative research project using the worksite as a primary research site. The option has a course requirement of 20 credit ours of didactic work plus at least 10 credits of research.
  • The MS Professional option is designed for the working student with courses offerred in the evening hours. A combination of cell biology, biotechnology and business management courses leads to a requirement of 38 credits.

You will complete a core curriculum designed to provide an advanced foundation in cell biology and biotechnology. In addition, all MS students must complete a minimum of 3 credits at the 800 level.

The PhD program in cell & molecular biology offers both full-time and part-time opportunities.

The PhD in cell and molecular biology is a research-based degree that includes a minimum of 20 didactic course credits, including the core of the cell biology and biotechnology MS program, 20 research credits, completion of an extensive research program, and preparation of a doctoral dissertation.

The DO/PhD program in cell & molecular biology consists of a 2-3-2 model of education, combining two years of medical education, three years of research in the cell and molecular biology PhD program resulting in a body of novel and significant research that is defendable as a completed dissertation, and two years of clinical experiential education; students in this degree program must complete the PhD degree requirements before proceeding to the clinical experience. Students may choose a mentor from among the graduate faculty members of the Department of Biological Sciences or affiliated faculty members at PCOM. Applicants for this program must apply directly to PCOM for the DO program and be judged to be acceptable for DO education prior to admission for the combined DO/PhD degree track.