Cell and Molecular Biology, M.S.

Cell and Molecular Biology, M.S.

Get a Master's in Cell and Molecular Biology

Cell and Molecular Biology MS

The master’s in cell and molecular biology at Florida Tech is part of the interdisciplinary Biological Sciences graduate program. Through a better understanding of human processes and the world around us, graduate students and professors develop medical and environmental technologies for solutions that improve the lives of people and the habitats around the world.

Participating professors from the biology, chemistry, and mathematical sciences departments combine to create a dynamic program that provides a deeper understanding of molecular functions to help detect, prevent, and cure diseases.

Graduate students in the master’s in cell and molecular biology degree program gain expanded expertise in such areas as DNA and protein purification, recombinant DNA technology, biotechnology, genomics, bioinformatics, biopharmaceuticals, and more.

Customizable Program

The master’s in cell and molecular biology program is just one of the four specializations offered at Florida Tech, the others being biotechnology, ecology, and marine biology. Students can customize the flexible program to their particular areas of interest. On- and off-campus research projects as well as internships provide an integrated variety of studies in molecular medicine.

Why Pursue a Master's in Cell and Molecular Biology at Florida Tech?

The molecular and cell biology master’s degree program at Florida Tech is a hands-on research-based curriculum that provides students intensive study in the classroom, in the field, and in the laboratory.

As a leading research university, graduate students earning a molecular and cell biology master’s degree pursue research in a wide range of areas that align with their interests and career goals. For more than 50 years, Florida Tech has trained scientists and engineers for leadership roles in many diverse careers. Degree programs prepare graduates using the latest body of technical knowledge and provide facilities to conduct state-of-the-art research.

World Class Faculty

Experienced, doctoral level instructors mentor students working toward a master’s in cell and molecular biology. Florida Tech professors bring to the classroom both research and teaching experience in a wide range of areas related to the biological sciences that includes bacterial genetics, genetic engineering, bioinformatics, gene modification, Alzheimer’s disease, nanotechnology, and tissue engineering.

Working with faculty who mentor students in a close-knit learning environment, the program involves technical classes and specialized labs that prepare graduates for an exciting career in medicine, research, agriculture, and food technology, building valuable skills, practical experience, and the perfect preparation for a doctoral program and employment.

Research Opportunities that Offer Practical Experience

The molecular and cell biology master’s degree lets students work alongside faculty, graduate students, and fellow undergraduates in research labs, to expand their understanding of molecular biology and promote innovative thinking. The university’s close proximity to diverse ecosystems, paired with state-of-the-art facilities, allows for unparalleled hands-on research.

High-Tech Laboratories Filled with Modern Instrumentation

Students have access to eight teaching labs, 12 modern research labs, a 16-workstation computer facility, an electron microscopy suite, a small mammal and reptile care facility, and a temperature-controlled, 800-square-foot greenhouse. The F.W. Olin Life Sciences Building includes an aquaculture facility, climate change institute, chemistry department, state-of-the-art instrumentation, and rooms for NMR spectrometers, photochemistry, high-resolution microscopy, and imaging laboratory. The Vero Beach Marine Laboratory, located on four acres of oceanfront property, provides ready-access to field sites for study on aquaculture, ecology, and toxicology of marine organisms.

Unmatched Florida Location for Research

You’ll be hard-pressed to find another university offering a molecular and cell biology master’s degree that can compete with Florida Tech’s location. While many graduate students live and work in the area, Florida Tech students come from around the world. The university’s location on Florida’s space coast puts it close to rich marine environments, including the Atlantic Ocean and the Indian River Lagoon—the most diverse estuaries in North America. Florida Tech benefits from Florida’s miles of coastline in the internships and employment opportunities it receives from local, state, and national agencies, marine environmental consulting firms, public aquariums, and private marine research organizations.

The area also has one of the largest high-tech workforce in the country, with more than 5,000 high-tech corporations and government and military organizations located nearby. This workforce also provides an abundance of internship and employment opportunities.

What Cell and Molecular Biology Research or Other Opportunities Can I Expect?

One way that students in the biology master’s degree program prepare for their career is by conducting molecular biology research. This real-world experience builds the skills and expertise students will use in future careers and mirrors the type of work they might do in their jobs.

Potential research topics include:

  • Bacterial genetics
  • Genetic engineering
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Developmental biology
  • Invasive species
  • Sensory biology of venomous snakes and gamefish
  • Marine mammalogy

In addition to molecular biology research, students working towards a master’s degree may have the opportunity for internships and assistants as they become available. Graduate students can also become members of the scientific societies that support the biology field.

Research Facilities

Among the laboratories available for molecular biology research, graduates can take advantage of these unique facilities:

  • Aquaculture Laboratory—The indoor aquaculture facility, most of which is wet laboratory space, includes recirculating systems ranging from small glass aquaria through 720-gallon tanks that harbor a wide variety of aquatic species. Controlled environmental factors (temperature, salinity, and photoperiod) can be imposed on any of these systems, providing outstanding capabilities for studies of reproduction, early life history, growout, nutrition, behavior, and related areas of virtually any aquatic species. A phytoplankton and live-food culture system is available for nutritional support for planktivorous organisms, as well as support equipment for providing aeration, refrigeration, filtration, water-quality testing, and particle counting.
  • Vero Beach Marine Lab—Located on four acres of oceanfront property, the lab provides ready-access to field sites for molecular biology research on coastal organisms and studies of physical and geological processes of the coastal zone. The lab has a seawater system and extensive holding tanks for aquaculture work, as well as a two-story laboratory equipped with seawater tables and flow-through seawater to support research on aquaculture, ecology, and toxicology of marine organisms.
  • Center for High Resolution Microscopy and Imaging—This multidisciplinary laboratory for molecular biology research provides state-of-the art light and fluorescence microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, scanning probe microscopy and X-ray microanalysis of natural and artificial materials. The lab can prepare almost any kind of sample for microscopic evaluation, image sample surfaces and cross-sections at very high resolutions and analyze elemental compositions of materials.

How will a master's degree benefit my cell and molecular biology career?

Molecular biology involves such diverse career areas as genetic engineering, biotechnology, food technology, pharmaceutical research and manufacturing, education, and medical research. A master’s of science in cell and molecular biology from Florida Tech prepares students for these molecular biology careers in business, industry, and government. Graduates are also well prepared to enter a doctoral program.

Career Outlook

Graduates find jobs in the agricultural, biotechnology, food, and healthcare industries, where a biologist might work in a laboratory carrying out research, process control, or quality control. Employers who have recruited Florida Tech graduates include the American Museum of Natural Science, EPCOT, Genetics Associates, Inc., Moffitt Cancer Center, and Biogen Idec.

The Occupational Outlook Handbook, published by the US Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Standards (BLS), provides information about specific jobs including median annual pay, working conditions and job outlook, among other things. According to the bureau, employment in the diverse field of biology is expected to grow as much as 13% through 2022 in the medical industry. With expanded research related to cancer, Alzheimer’s and other diseases, research into treatment, antibiotics, and resistance should continue to spur job growth. Employment of microbiologists is projected to grow seven 7% as pharmaceutical manufacturers, food producers, chemical, and energy companies will need them to ensure product quality and production efficiency.

Molecular Biology Careers

  • Pharmaceutical researcher
  • Medical and clinical laboratory technician
  • Environmental management and conservation
  • Higher education: professor and researcher
  • Biotechnology: develop and enhance products, tools, and technology for use in agriculture and food science
  • Agricultural food scientist
  • Forensic science
  • Genomics scientist
  • Computational biologist
  • Mathematics: bioinformatics and computational biology apply mathematical techniques to solve biological problems
  • Marine biologist
  • Toxicologist

Doctoral Degree Program

After receiving a master’s in cell and molecular biology, many Florida Tech students enter a doctoral program. Along with the opportunity to further their scientific research, a doctorate can increase an individual’s earning potential and position them as a subject-matter expert. Some tuition scholarships are available.