Master of Science in Stem Cell Biology

 Master of Science (M.S.) Degree in Stem Cell Biology

This degree program offers training in stem cell biology, a rapidly growing interdisciplinary field.  Molecular, cellular, and developmental biology are the foundations of the program.  Students complete 30 credits in graduate level courses.  After completing required course credits, students choose the remaining credits from a wide range of courses to fulfill the degree program.

Students have the opportunity to study at an interdisciplinary program situated in a major research university at the Stem Cell Institute featuring a large, interdisciplinary, world-renowned faculty. The University of Minnesota has a long-standing commitment to discovery in the field of biology and research. 

This program is an excellent preparation for work in academic and bioscience industry settings.

Students will:

  • take lecture, lab, and seminar classes in the above-listed disciplines in addition to stem cell biology classes.
  • interact with members of the Stem Cell Institute by participating in research seminars and journal clubs.
  • spend a full calendar year conducting stem cell research in a Stem Cell Biology Graduate Program faculty member's laboratory. This research will form the basis of the Master’s thesis (Plan A only)

Focus and rationale

Stem cell biology is a rapidly growing interdisciplinary field that rests on foundations provided by molecular, cellular, and developmental biology.  It has important medical applications through the production of cells for disease modeling, toxicology screening, therapeutic transplantation,  and the stimulation of endogenous regeneration of body tissues. It interfaces with tissue engineering, which is the use of engineering principles to construct tissues and organs from living cells;  with gene therapy, which involves the alteration of cellular properties by the introduction of new genes; and also with cancer research.

labThe Stem Cell Institute (SCI) of the University of Minnesota was founded in 1999 under the leadership of Dr. Catherine Verfaillie The current directory of the Stem Cell Institute is Dr. Brenda Ogle, who is also the head of the department of Biomedical Engineering.  SCI faculty members undertake research on the properties of embryonic, induced pluripotent,  and adult stem cells, and associated developmental biology problems.  Faculty work on basic science and clinical research including the area of hematopoietic cell transplantation. The SCI currently comprises 52 faculty members, 12 of whom are located in the McGuire Translational Research Facility (MTRF) on the East Bank campus.  The MTRF also houses core facilities such as confocal microscopy, quantitative PCR and cell culture collaborative space.  Other SCI faculty are located in buildings  on the East Bank and St. Paul campuses.  They include members of the College of Veterinary Medicine, College of Science and Engineering, as well as the Medical School and College of Biological Sciences.

The SCI has expertise across the field of stem cell biology. SCI faculty are members of the Stem Cell Biology graduate program as well as Molecular, Cellular Developmental Biology & Genetics (MCDB&G); Neuroscience, Microbiology, Immunology and Cancer Biology (MICAB); and Pharmacology graduate programs.