Jan 17, 2022  
2018-2019 Graduate Catalog 

Master of Science in Molecular/Cellular Biology (MCBI)

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This program prepares students to pursue research and teaching careers in molecular and cellular biology.

Program Admission

Applicants must meet the following requirements

  1. A bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution
  2. At least 20 hours in biology, with a course in genetics
  3. A course in physiology or cell biology
  4. One year of general chemistry
  5. A course in biochemistry
  6. One semester of calculus or statistics
  7. An academic record of B (3.0) or better during the junior and senior years
  8. Two letters of recommendation
  9. A personal statement
  10. Submission to the Office of Graduate Admissions scores from Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) general tests (subject test not required)
  11. Meeting the admission requirements of the Graduate School

If a statistics course was not previously taken, BIO 509 - Statistics for Biologists  must be taken as part of the program of study. If a biochemistry course was not previously taken, biochemistry must be taken the first fall semester of the program. A course in physical chemistry and a course in microbiology are highly recommended.

Conditional Admission | Students deficient in a requirement for admission to any of the programs may be granted conditional admission. Subject to removal for the deficiency, while beginning graduate study. Hours earned in making up deficiencies are in addition to those normally required for the degree.

Department Information

Biology, College of Arts & Sciences

Marianne Laporte, Ph.D. | Department Head | 441 Science Complex | 734.487.4242 | mlaporte@emich.edu

Advising Information

Marianne Laporte, Ph.D. | 441 Science Complex | 734.487.4242 | mlaporte@emich.edu

Upon admission to the biology program, students will receive initial advising from the graduate coordinator, the principal advisor in their selected concentration, or the departmental graduate committee. Students are responsible for forming a permanent guidance committee and developing a program of study approved by that committee before registering for their second semester. After the first semester, if no program of study is on file, the guidance committee is not obligated to include any unapproved courses taken as part of the student’s final program. The guidance committee for Thesis students will include at least three faculty members from the Biology Department. The student usually selects the chair of the committee, and the other two members are chosen by the chair in consultation with the student. Additional members of the committee may be added from inside or outside the department by agreement between the chair and the student.

The guidance committee for Non-thesis students will consist of the principal graduate advisor for the selected concentration and the graduate coordinator. The graduate advisor, in consultation with the student, will prepare the student’s program, which must be approved by the graduate coordinator. The student may select a third member of the guidance committee from faculty within the Biology Department.

Program Requirements

At least 30 hours of approved graduate-level work is required, including a minimum of 24 hours within the Biology Department. To ensure scheduling of appropriate research experiences, internships, and specialized course work, students must, by the end of their first semester, formulate a specific program of study in consultation with their faculty guidance committee. 

In addition to the common requirements, students must opt for one of two alternative degree plans; thesis or non-thesis.

Thesis: This plan is most appropriate for students intending on a research career in biology. A Candidate completes an original investigation under the supervision of a guidance (thesis) committee. This research must be suitable for publication, written in a form acceptable to the Graduate School and defended in an oral examination. The plan requires a minimum of 30 credit hours including a minimum of six credit hours and a maximum of 10 credit hours in research (thesis and independent study). A maximum of six hours may be earned in BIO 690 /691 /692 - Thesis  for thesis research.

Non-thesis: This plan is most appropriate for students intending on a professional career that does not emphasize research or for those interested in obtaining a broader understanding of biological theory. All students in this plan must complete 34 credit hours of course work. All candidates are encouraged to include research or practical experiences by enrolling for three hours in either BIO 587 - Cooperative Education in Biology BIO 686 /687 /688 - Practicum in Biology  or BIO 697 /698 /699 - Independent Study .

Degree Requirements: 30-34 hours

The concentration in molecular/cellular biology requires a minimum of 30 credit hours for thesis students and 34 credit hours for non-thesis students. As many as six hours may be taken outside of the Biology Department as cognates. All courses in the program of study must be approved by the students’ guidance committee.


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