The Department of Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology is currently accepting applications for the Master of Science (M.S.) degree in Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology (MCDB).

This two-year course of study provides exceptional opportunities to gain experience in the conduct and critical analysis of independent research, under the guidance of experienced faculty mentors, culminates in completion of a thesis, and leads to a research-based Master of Science degree.

Laboratory research is the core component of the program, in which students engage in independent investigations with direct faculty mentoring. A wide range of faculty expertise and research interests is available to provide advanced training in the integrated fields of molecular, cell, and developmental biology. Students can develop a program of courses and research tailored to their interests within areas of faculty expertise.

Although intensive research-based training is the cornerstone of the program, students also take interdisciplinary coursework to complement their research and expand their scientific knowledge. Seminar courses and journal clubs focus on primary scientific literature and provide a forum to acquire skills in the interchange and dissemination of scientific knowledge.

Lastly, students have the opportunity to acquire experience and engage in pedagogical strategies used in science education by serving as Teaching Assistants.

Graduates of the program go on to apply for PhD and other professional degree programs or pursue careers in research, medicine, and teaching.

For questions about the MS program and application process, please contact the MCDB Graduate Student Affairs Office via email at

All MCDB department faculty are affiliated with UCLA’s interdepartmental Graduate Programs in Bioscience. This consortium consists of 10 home areas, including Cell and Developmental Biology, Gene Regulation, Bioinformatics and Neuroscience. To learn more about this program and apply visit the Graduate Programs in Bioscience website.

MCDB faculty also train graduate students through the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) and the Specialty Training and Advanced Research (STAR) program. The MSTP program is for those seeking a joint M.D/Ph.D. degree and the STAR program is for M.D.’s seeking a Ph.D. degree.