Masters in Cytogenetics: Degree Program Overview

Oct 13, 2019

Essential Information

A Master of Science (MS) program in Cytogenetics provides students with advanced training in the field, with focuses on the traits of the cell that determine hereditary characteristics. Through theoretical coursework and hands-on lab experience, students learn to identify genetic conditions that lead to illness and develop methods of treatment. Graduate programs usually begin by covering advanced topics in biology and organic chemistry, and then students pursue independent research relating to the analysis and alteration of genetic characteristics. In order to apply, students must hold a bachelor's degree in biology, organic chemistry or a pre-medical field.

Master of Science in Cytogenetics

Cytogenetic coursework provides a background in cellular and molecular genetics. Master's degree study also covers the essentials of laboratory analysis and safety. Additionally, students can expect to learn about:

  • Biostatistics in cytogenetics
  • Hematology
  • Research ethics
  • Human genetics
  • Reproductive health
  • Oncology

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

Biological scientists can gain entry level jobs with only a four-year degree, but most positions require a master's or a doctorate. By earning a Ph.D., you'll be qualified to lead research projects. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicted that the demand for biochemists and biophysicists should increase by 6% between 2018 and 2028, and that the mean annual salary for these professionals was $105,940 as of 2018 (

Employers of medical scientists usually look for candidates with doctorates. Demand in this field, according to the BLS, should grow by 8% between 2018 and 2028, which was attributed to the development of new medical technologies, including those in cytogenetics. The BLS also reported that the mean annual income for medical scientists was $96,420 as of 2018.

Continuing Education Information

Ph.D. is required for most careers in cytogenetics research. After earning your master's degree, you'll be able to enroll in a Ph.D. program and pursue an academic career leading research projects and making contributions to the scientific literature in the field of cytogenetics. The research skills that you acquire can also be used in collaboration with biomedical scientists, public health officials and policymakers. A doctoral degree can also lead to teaching positions at the university level.

A Master of Science program in cytogenetics is an ideal starting point for experienced science students who want to start working toward a Ph.D. and ultimately pursue an academic research position in the field.

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