Fifth-Year Master's Degree Option

Molecular Biology, Cell Biology and Biochemistry Five Year Integrated Baccalaureate-Masters Program

Overview

The Molecular Biology, Cell Biology and Biochemistry Graduate Program (MCBGP) offers a five year combined bachelors/masters degree program leading to either a Master of Arts (MA) or a Master of Science (MS) degree in Biology. The program is designed to develop expertise in key
areas of modern biological science, notably Molecular Biology and Genetics, Cell Biology, Biochemistry and Developmental Biology.

Benefits of 5th Year MA or MS Degree

Students will gain advanced training in reading and analyzing the primary research literature, making and testing experimental hypotheses, designing experiments and potential research programs, and they will learn how to communicate complex ideas and data to a general audience. MS students will also participate in research and present their findings. The knowledge and skills learned in this program can applied to many potential future career goals including: further graduate research in the life sciences, biotechnology based laboratory research, business related to biotechnology, teaching, and intellectual property law.

5th Year Masters Program

  • 5th year Masters programs are open to Brown students.
  • Applicants must meet or exceed requirements for Brown undergraduate concentration in Biology.
  • Students interested in the program are strongly encouraged to contact the MCBGP as early as the start of their junior year.
  • Must apply for 5th year Master’s program before completion of undergraduate studies.
  • Application form with a proposed curriculum should be submitted to the Graduate School.
  • Students will complete a minimum of 8 tuition units in MCBGPapproved courses.
  • All courses will be taken for a letter grade (A/B/C, not S/NC)
  • A grade of B or higher is required in 8 courses
  • Students will demonstrate competency in the four MCBGP core disciplines of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Cell Biology, Biochemistry and Developmental Biology
  • Up to 2 credits taken during undergraduate study can be applied to the 5thyear masters if these courses were not used to fulfill an undergraduate concentration requirement.
  • The 5th year masters curriculum will not include BIOL 2030 (Foundations for Advanced Study in the Life Sciences)
  • There is no financial support available through the MCB Graduate Program for 5th year masters training.  

The MCBGP MS

  • Students will be supervised by a research advisor who is a MCBGP trainer
  • The application must include a letter of recommendation from the MS research advisor, indicating willingness to advise and support the directed research project
  • Students will write, present and publicly defend a Masters Thesis resulting from their directed research
  • Upon matriculation, an advisory committee (including the research advisor and the MCBGP Director) will convene to help students design their curriculum using the following guidelines:
  • At least 2 and as many as 4 credits will be directed research (2950/2960)
  • At least 2 credits will be graduate seminar courses (2000 level)
  • At least 2 credits will be advanced lecture based courses (2000 level)
  • Remaining courses will be determined by the initial advisory committee and can include undergraduate and/or advanced lecture based courses and graduate seminar courses.
  • There is no financial support available through the MCB Graduate Program for MS training. 

The MCBGP MA

  • Directed research is not available in the MA program
  • Upon matriculation, an advisory committee (including the MCBGP Director and one other MCBGP faculty member) will convene to help students design their curriculum using the following guidelines:
  • At least 2 credits will be graduate seminar courses (2000 level)
  • At least 2 credits will be advanced lecture based courses (2000 level)
  • Remaining courses will be determined by the initial advisory committee and can include undergraduate and/or advanced lecture based courses and graduate seminar courses
  • There is no financial support available through the MCB Graduate Prgroam for MA training.