Master of Science in Cancer Biology


Program Description

The MS program in Cancer Biology offers a strong didactic and laboratory curriculum in cancer biology with a major focus on molecular oncology. Our goal is to provide intensive research training for students who are interested in a career in academia, medicine, industry, or related careers in which first-hand research experience is an asset. Research interests in the Department of Oncology are diverse and dynamic, allowing students to choose from a broad spectrum of topics for their research thesis. Students are encouraged to attend weekly departmental seminars, Grand Rounds presentations and annual symposia. These regular interactions between students and faculty help our students develop oral communication and collaboration skills for future success.

Degree Requirements

The master's degree in Cancer Biology is offered under Plan A only. A minimum of 30 credits, eight of which must be from thesis research, and the completion of an original research project are required to receive a MS degree. The coursework includes 17 credits of compulsory courses and 5 credits of elective courses (listed below). A minimum GPA of 3.0 must be maintained throughout the MS program. Students should select an advisor and committee as early as possible in the second semester of year 1 to begin full time thesis research. Students should strive to publish one peer-reviewed paper as first or second author to demonstrate the quality of their research.

Plan A Curriculum (Total 30 cr.)

Required courses (17 cr.):

MGG 7010 Molecular Biology & Genetics (4 cr.) Fall semester only
BIO 6000 Molecular Cell Biology I (3 cr.) Fall semester only
CB 7210 Fundamentals of Cancer Biology (3 cr.) Winter semester only
CB 7500 MS Biostatistics (2 cr.) Winter semester only
CB 7510 Journal Club/Seminar MS only, Winter semester only (1 cr.) Max 2 over course of the program. 1/winter semester
CB 7710 Rotation (2 cr.) Fall semester
CB 7800 Ethics (1 cr.) Winter semester

CB 8999 Master's thesis research (8 cr)

Elective courses (5 cr.):

CB 7300 Special Topics (1-4 topics, 1 cr. each)
PHC 7650 (1-4 topics, 1 cr. each)
PSL 7880 Special Problems which are offered every semester (1 cr.)

Admission Requirements

Admission to the MS program is contingent upon admission to the Graduate School and the graduate programs of the School of Medicine. Qualified applicants must have a BS or BA degree from an accredited college or university, preferably with a major in biology, chemistry, physics, or a closely related discipline. A complete application includes the basic application form, personal statement, official transcripts from previous institutions, and three letters of reference.  International students must be proficient in English as determined by satisfactory performance on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) examination. TOEFL scores should be reported to Wayne State University using institution code 1898. Applications must be submitted online by April 1st. Graduate School Admissions policies can be found at the Office of Graduate Admissions.

Contact Information

Administrative Office for MS Program in Cancer Biology
Department of Oncology
Wayne State University School of Medicine
421 E Canfield Street
Detroit, MI 48201
Tel: 313-578-4302