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Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology, M.S.

Minimum Totals for Graduation: 30 hours

The Master of Science (M.S.) degree in Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology (BCMB) at Central Michigan University is an interdepartmental program that provides scientific training in biochemistry and cellular and molecular biology.

Admission Requirements, Retention & Termination Standards

All applications must be sponsored by a participating faculty member who is willing to take you into their research program. The first step in your application should be to contact faculty members to arrange this sponsorship.

Preference will be given to applications received by February 1 in order to be considered for admission into the program the following fall semester. However, the BCMB program does offer rolling admissions and applications will be considered at any time.

Application materials must be submitted to the Graduate Student Services office and must include:

  • CMU graduate studies application,
  • official college transcripts,
  • official General GRE scores (the MCAT or similar tests for admission to professional school may substitute for the GRE),
  • a statement of purpose outlining your interest in the BCMB program, identifying the faculty sponsor with whom you've already been in contact, and describing your prior research experiences and how they will contribute to your future success,
  • CV/Resume,
  • three letters of recommendation emailed directly to

Candidates are expected to hold a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) or Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree in biology, biochemistry, chemistry or a related area of science.

International students must meet the requirements for regular admission to the Office of Graduate Studies. For English proficiency requirements, see the CMU English Language Standards in the current Graduate Bulletin.

Students admitted for a master's degree in BCMB must have a faculty mentor approved, and the faculty member must provide a plan for financial support, which may include a teaching or research assistantship. Students may apply for a teaching assistantship through one of the participating academic departments (deadline February 1).

Although no specific undergraduate major is required, students enrolled in the program should have an adequate background in basic sciences including biology, chemistry, and mathematics. Normally, coursework should include the following topics:

  • General Chemistry (1 year)
  • Biochemistry (1 semester)
  • Pre-calculus (1 semester)
  • Cell or Molecular Biology (1 semester)
  • Organic Chemistry (2 semesters)
  • Genetics (1 semester)
  • Statistics (1 semester)

Under special circumstances, students who have not completed all these prerequisites may be admitted provided that any deficiencies are corrected at the beginning of their graduate studies.

An evaluation of each student's background will be carried out during the first semester of enrollment by the student's mentor. This evaluation will be used to determine the plan of study including elective coursework.

Students must form a thesis committee within the first semester of graduate work; this committee will include the faculty mentor plus two additional faculty members. Student progress will be assessed at mandatory annual meetings between each student and the thesis committee. Each student will defend the final thesis in a public presentation summarizing research results followed by an oral defense. The public presentation and defense of the thesis will be judged and voted on by the committee and must be approved by the Office of Graduate Studies. All BCMB students will be encouraged to publish their results in scientific journals and to present their work at professional conferences. It is anticipated that full-time students will complete the program in two years.

Program Requirements

The BCMB M.S. is a research-intensive master's degree in which students are trained by conducting research under the guidance of a faculty mentor to complete a thesis. The program includes a set of core courses to develop specialized knowledge in biochemistry, cell and molecular biology that will be augmented by elective courses in the student's area of interest.

Required Courses (10-11 hours)

SCI 710Biomolecular Structure and Function-Proteins and Nucleic Acids


SCI 720Advances in Cell/Molecular Biology and Genetics


SCI 731Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology Colloquium


SCI 740Research Ethics and Responsible Conduct of Research


Electives (10-11 hours)

Select from the following in consultation with the student's advisor and committee:

SCI 750Directed Research in Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology


SCI 770Careers in Biomedical Sciences


Biology: 500-700 level BIO courses

Chemistry: 500-600 level CHM courses

Mathematics and Statistics: 500-700 level MTH and STA courses

Other graduate-level courses recommended by the advisor and approved by the committee.

Thesis (9 hours)

SCI 799Master’s Thesis


Total: 30 semester hours