Graduate programs in stem cell biology cover the emerging field of regenerative medicine. Master's degree programs in this field prepare students for further education or clinical and pharmaceutical careers. Programs are available specifically in stem cell biology and in biotechnology with a concentration in stem cell technology.
Stem Cell Biology Master's Program Information
Master's degree programs in stem cell biology can often be completed in 12 to 16 months, and some offer select courses online. In addition to courses like those listed below, students may be required to compose a thesis or conduct independent research in the field.
Classes in developmental biology examine processes in human cellular development. Students review relevant academic research and learn about processes that guide normal development or lead to malformations. Specific topics covered usually include embryology, differentiation, and cell migration. While the focus is on human development, other species may be covered, too.
Regenerative medicine courses investigate emerging medical capabilities of cell and gene therapy to treat disease. Specific topics usually include gene editing, immunotherapy, and the production and marketing of relevant products. Pertinent legal and ethical considerations may also be covered.
Classes in molecular biology examine the properties and functions of cell systems. Students gain advanced knowledge of DNA and RNA as well as gene structure and functions. Specific topics include RNA editing and epigenetics along with genome editing.
Stem Cell Biology
Programs in this field can include classes specifically on stem cell biology. These classes provide an overview of stem cell characteristics and medical applications. To prepare for their own research endeavors, students may review existing research in the field on different types of stem cells, including embryonic and neural cells. Assignments may include reading, analyzing, and presenting prior research efforts.
Biochemistry classes examine general and organic chemistry principles as they apply to cell biology and biotechnology. Specific attention can be given to proteins and their functions along with approaches to characterizing them. Topics covered may include cell motility, signaling, and cycling along with enzymes and metabolic pathways.
Stem Cell Biology Master's Program Admissions
All applicants should hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution, and some programs have a minimum GPA requirement of at least 3.0. Institutions may require an undergraduate major in biology or - at minimum - prior coursework in chemistry and biology. In some programs, applicants without this background may be admitted provisionally. Some stem cell biology programs require a standardized exam, such as the MCAT or GRE, and students may need to earn a minimum score of 500 or 300, respectively. Additional application materials may include letters of recommendation and a statement of purpose outlining an applicant's career goals and academic preparation.
Master's degree programs in stem cell biology examine this emerging field through classes and research in areas including chemistry and molecular and developmental biology. Applicants with a strong background in science can pursue a degree in stem cell biology specifically or a master's in a related field with a concentration in stem cell biology.