Molecular Basis of Cancer MS

Major: Molecular Basis of Cancer
Degree Awarded: Master of Science (MS)
Calendar Type: Semester
Minimum Required Credits: 36.0
Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) code: 26.0911
Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) code: 19-1042

About the Program

The Master of Science in Molecular Basis of Cancer aims to provide students with in-depth understanding of academic and practical knowledge in basic and translational cancer research, with emphasis in molecular targets and therapeutics. This program is designed to help students establish or advance their career within the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry. The specialized focus of the degree will be on research and development relevant to new diagnostics, therapeutics and treatment of cancers of various etiologies. After establishing foundational knowledge in molecular and cellular cancer biology, special attention will be given to topics including therapeutic and target identification, drug discovery and development, mechanisms of tumor growth and metastasis, and the processes by which tumors evade therapeutic interventions during the course of treatment.

It should be noted that this program is “stackable” with the Post-baccalaureate Certificate Program in Molecular Basis of Cancer (CMCA) and all completed courses in the certificate program can be applied toward the MS degree.

The MS in Molecular Basis of Cancer is available to individuals who have already obtained a BS or BA degree in the life, physical or health sciences and wish to pursue industry-focused training. This includes individuals who wish to have a broader base of information about cancer biology and research, those who may wish to transition into the industry or those who have recently transitioned into the industry.

In general, the MS in Molecular Basis of Cancer will encompass three years of required and elective graduate courses. The successful completion of the MS degree in the program will be determined by grades obtained in the interactive online courses and participation in virtual journal clubs. A total of 36 semester credits is required to complete the program. The program is designed to prepare students for careers in cancer biology basic science, translational and clinical research in government, industry and academic environments.

Additional Information

For more detailed information about the curriculum and program goals, please contact:

Jessica Chen, PhD

Admission Requirements

For acceptance to the Master of Science Program in Molecular Basis of Cancer, the applicant must have completed a four-year, biology or chemistry-based BA/BS degree program with a preferred GPA of at least 3.00. All students must submit three confidential letters of recommendation, a personal statement explaining their interest in the program, a current resume or curriculum vitae, and all previous official educational transcripts. No standardized test is required for admission but if one has been taken, such as the GRE and MCAT, the scores should be submitted for review. The merit of each applicant will be evaluated by the admissions committee of the program and all qualifications, including professional experience will be taken into consideration.

Degree Requirements

Required Courses
MCAN 521SAdvanced Molecular Mechanisms of Cancer2.0
CMCA 500SFoundations in Bioscience 13.0
CMCA 501SFoundations in Bioscience 23.0
CMCA 510SIntroduction to Cancer Biology2.0
CMCA 520SMolecular Basis of Cancer3.0
CR 520SApplications of Clinical Research Biostatistics *2.0-3.0
or MIIM 517S Applied Statistics for Biomedical Sciences
CR 612SFundamentals of Compliance *2.0-3.0
or MIIM 503S Biomedical Ethics
Elective Courses *19.0-17.0
Control of the Cell Cycle and Cell Death
Experimental Approaches in Cancer Research
Special Topics in the Molecular Basis of Cancer
Biochemistry of Cancer Therapeutics Discovery
Current Topics in Cell Biology
Practicum in Molecular Basis of Cancer
Special Topics in Cancer Therapeutics
Biotechniques I: Molecular and Genomic Methods
Biotechniques II: Immunological Methods
Immunology, Immunopathology and Infectious Diseases
Introduction to Infectious Diseases
Clinical Correlations in Immunology
Emerging Biomedical Interventions for Human Disease
Molecular Genetics
Graduate Pharmacology
Drug Discovery and Development I
Drug Discovery and Development II
Total Credits36.0

If student takes a 2 credit class, they must add elective credits to their plan in order to reach 36 credit minimum for degree. Students may need to add up to 2 credits total to free electives.

Sample Plans of Study

First Year
CMCA 500S3.0CMCA 501S3.0
CR 612S*3.0CMCA 510S2.0
 6 5
Second Year
CMCA 520S3.0Electives6.0
 7 6
Third Year
CR 520S*3.0MCAN 521S2.0
Electives 3.0Electives 4.0
 6 6
Total Credits 36

If a student takes MIIM 517S (2 credit), they must add 1 elective credit to their plan. If a student takesMIIM 503S (2 credits), they must add 1 elective credit to their plan.  In order to reach the 36 credit minimum for this degree, students may need to add up to 2 credits total to free electives.

First Year
 CMCA 500S3.0
 CMCA 510S2.0
Second Year
CMCA 501S3.0Electives6.0
CR 612S*3.0 
 6 6
Third Year
CMCA 520S3.0MCAN 521S2.0
 7 6
Fourth Year
CR 520S*3.0 
Total Credits 36

If a student takesMIIM 517S (2 credit), they must add 1 elective credit to their plan. If a student takesMIIM 503S (2 credits), they must add 1 elective credit to their plan.  In order to reach the 36 credit minimum for this degree, students may need to add up to 2 credits total to free electives.

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