Courses

MS Program Courses

Over the course of 16 months, students will take Stem Cell Biology courses as well as those in other departments.

Stem Cell Biology Master’s Program Courses

Students will complete 9-12 course credits during the Fall semester of Year 1. Students in Plan A begin research for their thesis project in the Spring semester and continue through the summer.  During the Spring semester of Year 1 and Fall of Year 2, students will take courses and work on their research project in the lab.  Students in Plan B will take courses during the Fall and Spring Semesters of Year 1 and additional courses while completing the research project and seminar in Fall of Year 2.

Link to University of Minesota Graduate Course Catalog

MS Program Credit Requirements
The minimum amount of 6 credits is considered full time.  Anything less than 6 credits is part time.

Plan A

  • Major course requirements: 14 credits minimum
  • Elective course requirements: 4 credits minimum
  • Minimum Total Course Credits: 20 credits
  • Thesis Credits: 10 credits (SCB 8777)

Plan B

  • Major course requirements: 14 credits minimum
  • Elective course requirements: 6 credits minimum
  • Minimum Total Course Credits: 30 credits

Major Courses

Major Courses

SCB 5051: SCB Practical Training Module

Intensive two-week course. Hands-on instruction in techniques of tissue culture. Conventional, fluorescence, and confocal microscopy. Flow cytometry for both analysis of cell populations and sorting of cells.

1.0 credit; Prerequisite: SCB MS students; instructor approval; Offered fall semester

SCB 5054: SCI Research Conferences and Journal Club (x3 semesters)

Students attend weekly Stem Cell Institute research seminars and journal clubs, write brief summaries, participate in journal club, and present original research paper.

2.0 credits; Prerequisite: SCB MS students; instructor approval; Fall and spring semesters, every year

SCB 8181: Stem Cell Biology

Stem cell research and its applications. Critical analysis, written summaries/critiques, oral presentations. The course provides beginning graduate students with an overview of stem cell biology. Topics include: embryonic stem cells; biochemistry of pluripotency; neural and hematopoietic stem cells; cell production and renewal in muscle, kidney, pancreas, and heart; limb regeneration. Ethical and legal issues raised by embryonic stem cell work; clinical cell therapy in selected areas. Students will be expected to read and present primary research literature.

3.0 credits; Prerequsites: (GCD 4034 or GCD 8121 or BIOC 8002), (GCD 4161 or GCD 8161) or instructor approval; Fall semester, every year

Students must take at least one of the following classes:

GCD 4034: Molecular Genetics

Molecular genetics of prokaryotes/eukaryotes. Gene regulation, genome analysis. Modern techniques such as recombinant DNA, targeted mutations, genome manipulation, and gene chip technology.

3.0 credits; Prerequisites: Biol 4003, Biol 4004; advanced bioscience undergrad recommended; Spring semester, every year

OR

BIOC 8007: Molecular Biology of DNA

Structure and organization of genes. Replication. Transcription. Epigenetic modification of chromatin. Genome editing. Deep sequencing.Cellular adhesion mechanisms.

2.0 credits; Prerequisties: BMBB or MCDB concurrent registration is required (or allowed) in G grad student or instr consent; First half of fall semester, every year

AND

BIOC 8008: Molecular Biology of RNA

Translation. RNA editing. Epigenetics and long non-coding RNA. MicroRNAs and RNA interference. Pre-mRNA processing.

2.0 credits; Prerequisties: BMBB or MCDB concurrent registration is required (or allowed) in G grad student or instr consent; Second half of fall semester, every year

 

Students must take at least one of the following classes:

BTHX 8000: Advanced Topics in Bioethics: Ethics, Policy and Law in Controversial Science

This interdisciplinary course will examine issues at the nexus of law, ethics, public policy, and emerging sciences and technologies (ES&T) including nanotechnology, genetic and biomedical engineering, cognitive science, synthetic biology, and robotics. Topics will include the role of science and technology as both a tool for and the subject of law and policy; the legal, ethical, economic, and policy implications of ES&T research and development; environmental and human health risk analysis and regulation (eg, EPA, FDA, OSHA, and state and local regulatory mechanisms); intellectual property issues; liability issues; and global impacts. Students with a broad range of interests are encouraged to enroll.  Meets with PA 5731/Law 6037

3.0 credits; Prerequisite: 4xxx or 5xxx ethics course or instructor approval; Fall semester

GCD 8008: Mammalian Gene Transfer and Expression

Current gene transfer technology. Applications of genetic modifications in animals, particularly transgenic animals and human gene therapy.

2.0 credits; Prerequisite: instructor approval; A-F or Aud, Spring semester, every year 

GCD 8161: Advanced Developmental Biology

Current concepts/experimental approaches to basic mechanisms of development. Model organisms. Embryology, cell fate determination, differentiation, pattern formation, polarity, cell migration, cell interactions. Analysis of original research articles.

3.0 credits; Prerequisites: [BMBB or MCDBconcurrent registration is required (or allowed) in G grad student or GCD4161] or [[GCD 8131 or Biol 4003], Biol 4004, GCD4034]] or instructor approval; Spring semester, every year

 Also Required

For Plan A - SCB 8777: Thesis Credits

Thesis credits: master's

1.0 - 10.0; Fall, Spring and Summer semesters, every year

For Plan B - SCB 5900: Master's Plan B Research Paper and Presentation

Students write research paper based on primary literature on stem cell biology topic of interest, mentored by faculty member.

2.0 credits;  SCB MS students; instructor approval; A-F, Fall, Spring  and Summer semesters, every year

Suggested courses to meet the elective course requirements

Suggested courses to meet the elective course requirements

5000 or 8000 level course(s) in biological sciences

BIOC 5123: Selected Topics in Molecular Biology

Cutting edge areas in molecular biology. Topics focus on the "3 R's" of DNA: repair, replication, and recombination. Faculty who are experts in these areas teach modules on specific topics, including discussion of their research interests.

3.0 credits; Prerequisite: BIOC 4332 or 8002 or [3021, BIOL 4003] or instructor consent; A-F, Fall semester, every year

BIOC 8007: Molecular Biology of DNA

Structure and organization of genes. Replication. Transcription. Epigenetic modification of chromatin. Genome editing. Deep sequencing. Cellular adhesion mechanisms.

2.0 credits; instructor consent; first half of Fall semester; every year

 

BIOC 8008: Molecular Biology of RNA

Translation. RNA editing. Epigenetics and long non-coding RNA. MicroRNAs and RNA interference. Pre-mRNA processing.

2.0 credits; instructor consent; second half of Fall semester; every year

 

BIOC 8002: Molecular Biology and Regulation of Biological Processes

Classical to current topics in molecular biology. Aspects of DNA, RNA, and protein biology. DNA replication, repair, and recombination. RNA transcription, editing, and regulation. Protein translation/modification. Technologies such as deep-sequencing micro-RNA and prions.

3.0 credits; Prerequisite: [BMBB or MCDBG] grad student or instructor consent; A-F, Fall semester, every year

BIOC 8401: Ethics, Public Policy, and Careers in Molecular and Cellular Biology

Ethics of scientific investigation from viewpoint of western scientific enterprise. Relationship between science, culture, and public policies. Careers in molecular/cellular biology. Nontraditional career tracks. Invited speakers, case studies, small-group discussions, lectures.

1.0 credit (max 2.0 credits); Prerequisites: Grad student in (BMBB or MCDB&G); S-N or Aud, Fall and spring semester, every year

BIOL 4004: Cell Biology

Processes fundamental to cells. Emphasizes eukaryotic cells. Assembly/function of membranes/organelles. Cell division, cell form/movement, intercellular communication, transport, secretion pathways. Cancer cells, differentiated cells.

3.0 credits; Prerequisite: BIOL 4003, [BIOC 3021 or BIOC 4331], [CBS major or CSE major or grad MSB major]

BMEN 5041: Tissue Engineering

Fundamentals of wound healing and tissue repair; characterization of cell-matrix interactions; case study of engineered tissues, including skin, bone marrow, liver, vessel, and cartilage; regulation of biomaterials and engineered tissues.

3.0 credits; Prerequites: IT upper division or graduate student or medical student or instructor approval; Fall and spring semester, every year

BMEN 5351: Cell Engineering

Engineering approaches to cell-related phenomena important to cell/tissue engineering. Receptor/ligand binding. Trafficking/signaling processes. Applications to cell proliferation, adhesion, and motility. Cell-matrix interactions.

3.0 credits; Prerequisite: [2401, [2501 or concurrent registration is required (or allowed) in 5501], [MATH 2243 or MATH 2373]] or CSE upper div or grad student or instructor approval; Fall and Spring semesters, offered periodically

BMEN 5444: Muscle

Muscle structure/function: molecular mechanism by which force is generated.

3 credits; Spring semester, offered periodically

BTHX 5210: Ethics of Human Subject Research

Issues in ethics of human subjects research.

3.0 credits; Prerequsite: graduate student or instructor consent; Fall semester, every year

BTHX 5325: Biomedical Ethics

Major topics/issues in biomedical ethics. Patients' rights/duties, informed consent, confidentiality, ethical issues in medical research, initiation/termination of medical treatment, euthanasia, abortion, allocation of medical resources.

3/0 credits; Prerequisite: graaduate student or instructor consent

BTHX 5400: Introduction to Ethics in Health Policy

Topics vary to reflect issues of current significance. Relates to law/politics as appropriate but focuses on moral analyses of policy issues.

3.0 credits; Prerequisite: Graduate student or professional student or instructor consent; Spring semester of even years

BTHX 8000: Advanced Topics in Bioethics

Advanced study of bioethics topics of contemporary interest.  Emerging Sciences and Technologies

1.0 - 4.0 credits; Prerequisite: Graduate or professional student; Fall Semester, every year

GCD 4034: Molecular Genetics

Molecular genetics of prokaryotes/eukaryotes. Gene regulation, genome analysis. Modern techniques such as recombinant DNA, targeted mutations, genome manipulation, and gene chip technology.

3.0 credits; Prerequisite: BIOL 4003, BIOL 4004; advanced bioscience undergraduate recommended; Spring semester, every year

GCD 5036: Molecular Cell Biology

Modern, integrative approaches combining cell/molecular biology, biochemistry, and genetics to investigate cell organization/function. Membranes, signaling, extracellular matrix, secretion, endocytosis, cytoskeleton, nucleus. Analysis of scientific papers to illustrate new concepts in and experimental approaches to cell organization/function.

3.0 credits; Prerequsite: Biol 4004 or instructor consent; [sr or grad student] recommended; Fall Semester, every year

GCD 8008: Mammalian Gene Transfer and Expression

Current gene transfer technology. Applications of genetic modifications in animals, particularly transgenic animals and human gene therapy.

2.0 credits; Prerequite: instructor approval; A-F or Aud, Spring semester, every year

GCD 8131: Advanced Genetics

Literature-based course covering modern genetic analysis, including mutant screens, characterization of multiple alleles, gene mapping and cloning, genome sequencing, intergenic interactions, transposable elements, genetic mosaics, and molecular mechanisms of recombination.

3.0 credits; Prerequites: 3022 or Biol 4003, BioC 3021 or BioC 4331 or instructor approval; Fall semester, every year

GCD 8151: Cell Structure and Function

Structure, function, and biochemistry of cellular organelles. Cellular interactions in eukaryotes. Emphasizes membranes, secretion, trafficking, cytoskeleton, cell motility, nucleus, cell cycle, apoptosis, cell signaling, and signal transduction mechanisms.

3.0 credits; Prerequisites: [4034 or 8121 or BioC 8002], Biol 4004] or BMBB or MCDB&G graduate student, instructor approval; Fall semester, every year

GCD 8161: Advanced Developmental Biology

Current concepts/experimental approaches to basic mechanisms of development. Model organisms. Embryology, cell fate determination, differentiation, pattern formation, polarity, cell migration, cell interactions. Analysis of original research articles.

3.0 credits; Prerequites: [BMBB or MCDBconcurrent registration is required (or allowed) in G grad student or GCD4161] or [[GCD 8131 or Biol 4003], Biol 4004, GCD4034]] or instructor approval; Spring semester, every year

MICA 8003: Immunity and Immunopathology

Lymphocyte activation, signal transduction in lymphocytes, antigen receptor genetics, antigen presentation, lymphoid anatomy, adaptive immune responses to microbes, immunodeficiency, immunopathology, cytokines, transplantation, autoimmunity.

4.0 credits; Prerequisites: Upper level undergrad immunology course or instructor approval; Fall semester, every year

MICA 8004: Cellular and Cancer Biology

Fundamental concepts in cellular, molecular, and genetic basis of disease. Molecular basis of inflammation and cancer metastasis. Genetic basis for inherited disorders and gene therapy. Molecular mechanisms of pathogenesis.

4.0 credits; Prerequisites: One undergrad or graduate course each in (biochemistry, cell biology) or instructor approval; A-F or Aud, Spring semester, every year

MICA 8014: Small RNA Biology

Small RNAs as major regulators of gene/protein expression. MicroRNAs and their potential use in diagnosis/prognosis of various disease conditions, including cancers. Biology of small RNAs and their role in health and disease.

2.0 credits; Prerequsite: BIOC 8002 or MICA 8004 or equivalent or instructor consent; Spring semester, every year

NSC 8211: Developmental Neurobiology

How neuronal types develop. Emphasizes general mechanisms. Experimental data demonstrating mechanisms.

3.0 credits; Prerequisites: Neuroscience grad student or instructor approval; A-F or Aud, Spring, every year

NSCI 4100: Development of the Nervous System

How nervous system develops.  General cellular/molecular mechanism. Experimental data demonstrating mechanisms.

3.0 credits; Prerequisite: BIOC 3021 or BIOC 4331; Fall semester, every year

PHCL 5110: Introduction to Pharmacology

Basic principles of Pharmacology. Focuses on molecular mechanisms of drug action.

3.0 credits; Prerequisite: Grad student or instructor approval; A-F or Audit, Fall semester, every year

PHCL 5112: A Graduate Toolkit I: An Introduction to the Scientific Research Lab

Fundamental concepts, advanced topics related to clinical/biomedical cardiac physiology. Lectures, laboratories, workshops, anatomical dissections. Intense, one week course. prereq: instructor consent

1.0 credit; Prerequisite: instructor consent; Fall semester, every year

PHSL 5510: Advanced Cardiac Physiology and Anatomy

Fundamental concepts, advanced topics related to clinical/biomedical cardiac physiology. Lectures, laboratories, workshops, anatomical dissections. Intense, one week course. prereq: instr consent

2.0-3.0 (max 3.0) credits; Prerequisite: Instructor consent; Spring semester, every year

PHSL 8242: Professional Skills Development for Biomedical Scientists

Strategies/mechanics of writing grant proposal. NIH study section of grant review. Scientific presentations, dissecting scientific literature, PubMed/NIHreporter tools.

1.0 credit; Prerequisites: Instructor consent; A-F, Spring semester, every year

PSY 5063: Introduction to Functional MRI

How to understand and perform a brain imaging experiment. Theory and practice of functional MRI experimental design, execution, and data analysis. Students develop experimental materials/acquire and analyze their own functional MRI data. Lectures/lab exercises.

3.0 credits; Prerequisite: Junior or senior or graduate student or instructor consent; A-F; Fall semester, every year

 

 

Sample Program for Plan A

Sample Program for Plan A

Fall Year 1    
Course Number Course Description Credits
SCB 5051* Practical Training Module 1 cr
SCB 5054* Research Conferences & Journal Clubs 2 cr
SCB 8181* Stem Cell Biology 3 cr
BIOC 8007 & BIOC 8008* Molecular Biology of DNA & RNA (two courses each half the Fall semester 2 cr each
BTHX 5210 Ethics of Human Subject Research 3 cr
     
Spring Year 1    
Course Number Course Description Credits
BMEN 5401 Tissue Engineering 3 cr
GCD 8161* Advanced Developmental Biology 3 cr
SCB 5054 SCI Research Conference and Journal Club 2 cr
SCB 8777* Master's Thesis Credits 5 cr
     
Fall Year 2    
Course Number Course Description Credits
SCB 5054 SCI Research Conference and Journal Club 2 cr
SCB 8777* Master's Thesis Credits 5 cr

Sample Program for Plan B

Sample Program for Plan B

Fall Year 1    
Course Number Course Description Credits
SCB 5051* Practical Training Module 1 cr
SCB 5054* Research Conferences & Journal Clubs 2 cr
SCB 8181* Stem Cell Biology 3 cr
BIOC 8007 & BIOC 8008* Molecular Biology of DNA & RNA (2 courses each for half of Fall semester 2 cr each
BTHX 8000 Ethics, Policy and Law in Controversial Science 3 cr
     
Spring Year 1    
Course Number Course Description Credits
SCB 5054* Research Conferences & Journal Clubs 2 cr
BMEN 5041 Tissue Engineering 3 cr
GCD 8161  Advanced Developmental Biology 3 cr
MICA 8004 Biology of Cancer 4 cr
     
Fall Year 2    
Course Number Course Description Credits
SCB 5054* Research Conferences & Journal Clubs 2 cr
SCB 5900 Masters Research Paper and Presentation 2 cr
GCD 8151 Cell Structure and Function 3 cr