Dr. Lani Keller, a Quinnipiac professor dies several fruit fly larva she microdissected to see them better as part of summer research project in which she and two students are using both genetics and pharmacology to supress a degenerative neuromuscular disease in the fruit fly larva they study on July, 6, 2015 in the Clarice Buckman Center. (Image by Johnathon Henninger/ for Quinnipiac University)

MS in Molecular and Cell Biology

Program Overview

You’ll study cell composition and function with an eye toward working in the burgeoning field of biotechnology, where you might develop new treatments, medications and detection methods for a range of debilitating illnesses. This multidisciplinary degree also prepares you for doctoral study in fields such as bioengineering, as well as for entrance to medical, dental and veterinary school.

Course work blends advanced biochemistry, cell biology, molecular genetics and other sub-fields with training in lab techniques and research methods. Experienced faculty teach you the theory and practical skills necessary for employment in hospital research labs, R&D departments and universities.

Our program gives you the flexibility of two distinct paths to graduation. In the traditional thesis track, you carry out significant laboratory research under the guidance of faculty in an on-campus, industrial or hospital lab setting. The second option enables you to take additional course work, culminating in a comprehensive written exam.

Video Overview

Curriculum and Requirements

MS in Molecular and Cell Biology
Program of Study

The 34 credits required for the MS degree in molecular and cell biology include five courses (20 credits) in the science core, elective courses chosen in consultation with the program director and a thesis or non-thesis option (the non-thesis option requires the successful completion of a comprehensive examination; the thesis option requires two additional credits, for a total of 36 credits).


Course List
Core Curriculum
BIO 515Advanced Biochemistry4
BIO 568Molecular and Cell Biology4
BIO 571Molecular Genetics4
BIO 605DNA Methods Laboratory4
BIO 606Protein Methods Laboratory4
Thesis or Non-Thesis Option
Select one of the options14-16
Total Credits34-36

Thesis Option

Course List
Core Curriculum Requirements20
BIO 650Thesis I in Molecular and Cell Biology4
BIO 651Thesis II in Molecular and Cell Biology4
BIO 688Thesis Independent Study2
Graduate electives6
Total Credits36

Non-Thesis Option

Course List
Core Curriculum Requirements20
BIO 675Comp Exam in Molecular and Cell Biology2
Graduate electives12
Total Credits34

Graduate Elective Courses

Course List
BIO 505Writing and Science3
BIO 562Bioinformatics3
BIO 580Animal Cell Culture4
BIO 589Neurophysiology3
BIO 650Thesis I in Molecular and Cell Biology4
BIO 651Thesis II in Molecular and Cell Biology4
BIO 675Comp Exam in Molecular and Cell Biology2
BIO 688Thesis Independent Study1-4
BIO 689Independent Study1-4
BMS 510Biostatistics3
BMS 517Human Embryology3
BMS 518Pathophysiology3
BMS 522Immunology3
BMS 526Epidemiology3
BMS 527Pharmacology3
BMS 532
& 532L
and Histology Lab
BMS 564Fundamentals of Oncology4
BMS 565Leukemia3
BMS 569Antimicrobial Therapy3
BMS 570Virology4
BMS 572Pathogenic Microbiology (with lab)4
BMS 573Mycology3
BMS 576Drug Discovery and Development3
BMS 578Cellular Basis of Neurobiological Disorders3
BMS 579Molecular Pathology3
BMS 583Forensic Pathology3
BMS 595Transplantation Immunology3
PA 515Human Physiology4

The thesis involves original laboratory research performed under the guidance of a thesis committee and the director of the molecular and cell biology program. The thesis committee evaluates a student’s progress by approving the research project and subsequently advising the student whenever the need arises.

Comprehensive Examination

The written comprehensive exam (BIO 675) is a requirement of the non-thesis option for the MS degree in molecular and cell biology. Students must demonstrate both breadth and depth of knowledge by illustrating a command of the subject matter obtained from individual courses into unified concepts, which link the student’s own specialization to other fields of study. Completion of a minimum of four of the five core curriculum courses is required to register for the comprehensive examination. Minimum grade of 3.0 is required to pass the comprehensive examination. Students must meet with the program director before registering for the comprehensive exam.