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Graduate: Biochemistry and Cell Biology

  • Program Overview

    Biochemistry and Cell Biology MS Program Description

    The graduate program leading to the MS degree in Biochemistry and Cell Biology is intended to provide a sound scientific foundation for those planning to pursue a career in research, teaching, entry into a career in biotechnology, or further graduate studies in the life sciences. In addition, for students interested in attending medical, dental, veterinary or other health-related schools, the MS degree program can complement and enhance their background in the biochemical sciences including biochemical, biomedical, and molecular biology research. Core concepts and skills are taught through a series of required core courses, with the remaining coursework consisting of advanced electives and special topics courses selected in consultation with the student's advisory committee. The curriculum is comprised of 24 credit hours earned in biochemistry, cellular biology and molecular genetics courses that are complemented by hands on laboratory research and exposure to advanced methods in biochemistry and cell biology. The remaining credits may be selected from elective courses, special seminar courses, and courses in experimental design, data analysis and laboratory techniques. Both research-based and literature-based thesis options are available and can be completed by fulltime students in three semesters. The program includes faculty from the Departments of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Chemistry, Physiology and Biophysics, and the Pharmacological Sciences, as well as from Brookhaven National Laboratory.

    For more detailed information, visit the BCB MS Web site at:

  • Admissions

    Biochemistry and Cell Biology (BCB) MS Program Admissions

    Application Deadline: April 15

    Applications are considered from September until April 15 every year.

    Applicants do not need to send their official transcripts until they are offered admission into the program.  

    In addition to the minimum requirements of the Graduate School, the following are suggested requirements:

    • BS or BA degree in a life science related field, with a minimum undergraduate grade point average of 3.00. Pre-requisites include mathematics through one year of calculus, chemistry (including organic chemistry and laboratory), general physics, and one year of biology (including laboratory). It is highly recommended that students will have taken two semesters of biochemistry, and one semester each of genetics, cell biology, physical chemistry, and English composition. Students accepted into the program without a pre-requisite may be asked to take the appropriate upper level undergraduate course prior to undertaking specific graduate level courses.
    • Personal Statement: What would you consider your special qualifications to be? What do you propose to do with your advanced degree professionally? Discuss briefly your experience in biochemistry and cell biology outside the classroom.
    • Three letters of recommendation from people who can evaluate the applicant's potential for graduate work and independent research.
    • International Students: A proficiency in the English language is required. If your native or primary language is not English, you must take an English proficiency test. To be considered for admission, an applicant must present an acceptable score on the TOEFL or IELTS test. IELTS: Overall score of 6.5 with no subsection below 6. TOEFL: Paper-based test: 550; computer based test: 213; or Internet-based test: 90. Under special circumstances, lower scores may be considered.

  • Degree Requirements

    Degree Requirements for Biochemistry and Cell Biology (BCB) MS Program

    Research-based thesis option (30 credits)
    The research-based thesis option requires 30 credits comprised of 24 credits in core courses, at least 2 credits of MS Thesis in Biochemistry and Cell Biology in addition to the Research Practicum course included in the core curriculum, and 6 elective credits. Thesis research can be conducted in the laboratory of Biochemistry and Cell Biology faculty, in the research laboratories of faculty from other Departments at Stony Brook, and at Brookhaven National Laboratory, or through research internships under the guidance of approved mentors at local biotechnology firms. This option requires completion of a written, research-based project.

    Literature-based thesis option (30 credits)
    The literature-based thesis option requires 30 credits comprised of 24 credits in core courses, including 4 credits of MS Research practicum, 2 credits of MS Thesis in Biochemistry and Cell Biology, and 6 elective credits. This option requires completion of a written, literature-based project.

     Core Course Requirements (24 credits)

    • MCB 503 Molecular Genetics (Fall, 3 credits)
    • MCB 520 Graduate Biochemistry I (Fall, 3 credits)
    • MCB 656 Cell Biology (Spring, 4 credits)
    • BCB 551 Introduction to Research in Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Integrity in Science (Fall, 2 credits)
    • BCB 552 Advanced Laboratory Methods in Biochemistry and Cell
      Biology (Fall, 3 credits)
    • BCB 559 MS Research Practicum in Biochemistry and Cell Biology (Fall, Spring & Summer, 0-4 credits)
    • BCB 599 MS Thesis in Biochemistry and Cell Biology (Fall, Spring
      & Summer, 0 – 6 credits)
    • MCB 601 Colloquium in Molecular and Cellular Biology (Fall, 1 credit)
    • MCB 602 Colloquium in Molecular and Cellular Biology (Spring, 1 credit)
  • Facilities


    The Biological Sciences Division and Health Sciences Center are well equipped for work in biochemistry and cellular biology. Individual faculty laboratories and central services provide a full array of state-of-the-art equipment. These include the Flow Cytometry Facility, the Cell Culture and Hybridoma Facility, the Transgenic Mouse Facility, the University Microscopy Imaging Center, and the Center for Analysis and Synthesis of Macromolecules. The Health Sciences Library contains a comprehensive collection of biomedical journals and books and is complemented by the Melville Library on the main campus.

  • Faculty
  • Contact

    Biochemistry and Cell Biology (BCB) MS Program

    Aaron Neiman, Life Sciences Building 332 (631) 632-1543

    BCB MS Graduate Program Director
    Neta Dean, Life Sciences Building 310, (631) 632-9309

    Program Administrator
    Pamela Wolfskill, Life Sciences Building 450, (631) 632-8585

    Degree awarded
    Master of Science (MS) in Biochemistry and Cell Biology