M.A. Degree

M.A. Degree Roadmap

Plans 1 and 2 Requirements

MCDB offers a Masters degree in order to meet the recognized need for M.A. level graduates with an MCDB emphasis, and specifically to prepare students for research and/or administrative positions in the biotechnology industry. MCDB offers two M.A. programs: an M.A. by Thesis (Plan 1), emphasizing independent research training, and an M.A. by Exam (Plan 2), emphasizing coursework and broader academic training. Students will choose which plan to follow, with the expectation that all M.A. students will be enrolled full-time, and register for at least 12 units each quarter. Often, students on the Plan 2 track can complete the degree in one year with careful planning.

Plan 1 (Thesis)

(1) a research thesis, (2) graduate core course modules (16 units), and (3) a minimum of 30 units (core modules and elective courses) of graduate coursework.

The thesis research is conducted under the mentorship of a faculty member, who will be the Chair of the student's Thesis Committee. Once the thesis is successfully reviewed and all graduate coursework is complete, the student is ready to graduate with a M.A. Plan 1 degree.

Plan 2 (Examination)

(1) graduate core course modules (16 units), and (2) a minimum of 36 units (core modules and elective courses) of graduate coursework.

New M.A. Emphasis in Pharmacology and Biotechnology

Students pursuing an emphasis in Pharmacology and Biotechnology take the MCDB core courses (16 units total). An additional 16 units of coursework is taken from a selection of graduate courses chosen from MCDB, Chemistry and Biochemistry and Psychology departments. These electives are grouped into three tracks:1) Molecular Biology and Cell Biology: 2) Chemistry and Biochemistry, and 3) Neurobiology and Behavior. These tracks reflect the three traditional areas of research in the field of pharmacology and biotechnology, and serve as a guideline for students to help shape their curriculum. Students are required to take 8 out of 16 units of elective courses in one of the tracks, but up to 8 additional units of electives may be taken outside of the track. Our intention is to keep the choice of electives as flexible as possible and to allow students to explore different areas of pharmacology. For more information select the link below.

Courses

The MCDB program offers a series of rigorous academic core courses to establish a strong foundation of knowledge in molecular, cellular and developmental biology. Core courses include molecular biology, biochemistry, macromolecular structure, cell biology, signal transduction, and developmental biology. Additional graduate electives, literature courses/journal clubs, training in teaching techniques and seminars complement the course offerings and are chosen by the student.

Thesis (Plan 1 Only)

The thesis research is conducted under the mentorship of a faculty member, who will be the Chair of the student's Thesis Committee. Once the thesis is approved by teh adviser and two additional faculty members, and all graduate coursework is complete, the student is ready to graduate with a M.A. Plan 1 degree.