Molecular & Cellular Biology

Revealing the secrets of nature & educating next generation of science innovators



The M.S. degree in MCB requires that students complete a minimum of 30 graduate units, including the Master’s Thesis and at least 15 regularly graded units of course work, with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.000. Only grades of C or better in graduate course work satisfy requirements for the degree. 

The course requirements consist of a minimum of 15 units of regularly graded courses:

  • MCB 572a – Cell Systems (4 units), offered every fall

  • BIOC 568 – Nucleic Acids (4 units), offered every spring

  • MCB 546 – Genetic and Molecular Networks (4 units), offered every spring

  • A minimum of 3 regularly graded units of graduate-level elective course work.  Approved elective courses include, but are not limited to, BIOC 565 (Proteins and Enzymes), BIOC 585 (Biological Structures), MCB 588 (Principles of Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology), ECOL 553 (Functional and Evolutionary Genomics), MCB 580 (Introduction to Systems Biology), CBIO 552 (Cancer Biology), CMM 577 (Principles of Cell Biology), MCB 582 (Frontiers in Biological and Biomedical Research), and PLS 539 (Methods in Cell Biology and Genomics). Substitutions for these elective courses may be approved by the student’s Master’s committee. 

In addition, the following pass/fail graded courses are required:

  1. MCB 595a-001 – Journal Club (1 unit) for two semesters, offered every semester

  2. MCB 595a-002 – Seminar (1 unit) for two semesters, offered every semester

  3. MCB 910 – Thesis (3 units), for two semesters, offered every semester 

Any remaining graduate units may be fulfilled by additional, pass/fail graded graduate-level courses, such as MCB 900 (Research), MCB 695E (Science, Society and Ethics), and MCB 696A (Lab Presentations and Discussion).  Similar to the regularly graded coursework, substitutions for these elective courses may be approved by the student’s Master’s committee.