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  • Molecular Basis of Cancer Master’s Program Online

    MS in Molecular Basis of Cancer Degree

    Drexel University’s online master’s program in the molecular basis of cancer is the first fully online cancer biology master’s program in the United States. Our curriculum is specifically designed to maximize flexibility, including allowing you to take your practicum as a course in your work environment without the need for in-person laboratory trainings.

    When earning the Master’s in Molecular Basis of Cancer degree online, you can expect to gain:

    • Knowledge of fundamental molecular and biochemical processes at the cellular level and how these processes are altered in cancer
    • Knowledge of how molecular and biochemical processes are used to target cancer during therapy
    • The ability to define the significance of scientific discovery in relation to cancer biology
    • Experience in clearly communicating scientific knowledge in written and online formats
    • Proficiency in identifying, evaluating and utilizing scientific literature and other resources

    This program is "stackable" with the Post-Baccalaureate Certificate Program in Molecular Basis of Cancer and all completed courses in the Certificate Program can be applied towards the Master’s Degree.

    Why Choose Drexel for an online Master’s In Cancer Biology and Therapies?

    Drexel University’s online master’s program in biology of cancer is designed to provide you with an in-depth understanding of academic and practical knowledge in basic and translational cancer research, with an emphasis in molecular targets and therapeutics. With the goal of helping you to establish or advance your career within the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry, the specialized focus of this molecular cancer research degree will be on research and development relevant to new diagnostics, therapeutics, and treatment of cancers of various etiologies. After establishing foundational knowledge in cellular and molecular biology of cancer, special attention will be given to topics including:

    • Therapeutic and diagnostic identification
    • Drug discovery and development
    • Mechanisms of tumor growth and metastasis
    • Challenges of cancer drug resistance

    About this Program

    In general, Drexel University’s Master’s Program in Molecular Basis of Cancer will encompass three years of required and elective graduate courses. The successful completion of this molecular cancer biology and therapy degree program will be determined by grades obtained in the interactive online courses, participation in virtual journal clubs, and optional practicum/laboratory experiences. A total of 36 semester credits is required to complete the program.

    Program Features

    • 100% Online: one of the first cancer biology masters’ programs to be offered fully online
    • All credits from Drexel’s online Certificate in Molecular Basis of Cancer may be transferred into Drexel’s MS in Molecular Basis of Cancer program
    • Courses are taught by faculty with current experiences in molecular cancer research
    • No application fee
    • No GRE required
    • Flexible curriculum that caters to your career goals
    • Average completion time: 2-3 years
    • Practicum can be completed in your personal work environment without the need for in-person laboratory trainings

    Requirements To Enroll

    The online Master Program in Molecular Basis of Cancer is available to those who have already obtained a BS or BA degree in the life, physical or health sciences who may wish to pursue industry-focused training. This includes those who wish to have a broader base of information about cancer biology and research, those who may wish to transition into the industry, or those who are currently seeking a promotion in the industry.

    For acceptance to the Master of Science Program in Molecular Basis of Cancer, you must have completed a four-year, biology or chemistry-based BA/BS degree program with a preferred GPA of at least 3.00. No standardized test is required for admission but if one has been taken, such as the GRE and MCAT, the scores should be submitted for review.

    The merit of each applicant will be evaluated by the admissions committee of the program and all qualifications, including professional experience, will be taken into consideration.

    What Can You Do With Master’s In Cancer Biology?

    This molecular biology of cancer program is designed to prepare you for or to advance your existing career in cancer biology, basic science, translational, and clinical research in government, industry, and academic environments. Whether you are just starting your career or looking to advance to the next level, Drexel’s online MS in Molecular Basis of Cancer will help to prepare you for rewarding careers, such as Biochemist, mid-level industry scientist, and managerial roles. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Biochemist and Biophysicist jobs are expected to grow 9% by 2031, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. This represents an addition of approximately 5,700 new jobs in that same time period.

    Source: BLS.gov

    How Much Can Graduates of The Online Master’s in Molecular Basis Of Cancer Program Make?

    Recent BLS.gov reports show that Biochemists and Biophysicists earn an average salary of $102,270 per year or $49.17 per hour. However, salaries can fluctuate for a number of reasons. These include a candidate’s experience, education level, job title, and location.

    The following are a few cancer biology research career paths and median annual salaries, according to BLS.gov, Payscale.com, and Salary.com:

    • Biochemist or Biophysicist - $102,270
    • Cancer Registrar - $50,072
    • Cell Therapy Specialist - $59,798
    • Clinical Research Coordinator (CRC) - $56,237
    • Master's Level Cancer Biology Scientist - $68,000
    • Project Manager - $75,479

    FAQs: Online MS in Molecular Basis of Cancer

    What campus requirements are there for the MS in Molecular Basis of Cancer program?
    While we would love to see you visit campus, especially for graduation, you will not be required to come to campus for this program. The curriculum is 100% online.

    Do you accept any transfer credits into this program?
    Yes, any credits earned in Drexel University’s online Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Molecular Basis of Cancer may transfer into the full master’s program.

    Should I still apply if I don’t have a 3.0 GPA?
    Yes, we still encourage you to apply! We recommend that you include all relevant professional experience on your resume.

    Is prior research experience required for application?
    No. While we encourage those with research experiences or those working in a research environment to apply, admission is based on merit and qualifying experiences. Therefore, those with no bench science experiences will be considered for our program.

    Related Programs

    Drexel University offers a variety of Graduate Minors that can be added to any master's degree program.
    State restrictions may apply to some programs.


    Courses encompass the fundamental requirements to establish a solid grounding in microbiology and infectious disease, immunology, biochemistry, genetics, and molecular biology.

    Research experiences are an optional component of the program, which can be completed as Practicum of Molecular Basis of Cancer (MCAN 560S).

    Required Courses  

    MCAN 521S

    Advanced Molecular Mechanisms of Cancer 2.0

    CMCA 500S

    Foundations in Bioscience I 3.0

    CMCA 501S

    Foundations in Bioscience II 3.0
    CMCA 510S Introduction to Cancer Biology 2.0
    CMCA 520S Molecular Basis of Cancer 3.0
    CR 520S Applications of Clinical Research Biostatistics 2.0-3.0
    or MIIM 517S Applied Statistics for Biomedical Sciences
    CR 612S Fundamentals of Compliance  2.0-3.0
    or MIIM 503S Biomedical Ethics
    Electives 17.0-19.0
    CMCA 551S Control of the Cell Cycle and Cell Death
    CMCA 552S Experimental Approaches in Cancer Research
    CMCA T580S Special Topics in the Molecular Basis of Cancer
    MCAN 553S Biochemistry of Cancer Therapeutics Discovery
    MCAN 554S Current Topics in Cell Biology
    MCAN 560S Practicum in Molecular Basis of Cancer
    MCAN T580S Special Topics in Cancer Therapeutics
    MIIM 521S Biotechniques I: Molecular and Genomic Methods
    MIIM 522S Biotechniques II: Immunological Methods
    MIIM 527S Immunology, Immunopathology, and Infectious Diseases
    MIIM 545S Introduction to Infectious Diseases
    MIIM 654S Clinical Correlations in Immunology
    MIIM 655S Emerging Biomedical Interventions for Human Disease
    MLAS 529S Molecular Genetics
    PHRM 512S Graduate Pharmacology
    PHRM 525S Drug Discovery and Development I
    PHRM 526S Drug Discovery and Development II
    Total Credits 36.0

    View Course Descriptions

    Admissions Criteria

    • A four-year biology or chemistry-based bachelor's degree
    • Cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above
      • Lower GPA's will be considered if other strengths are apparent in your application

    Required Documents

    With multiple ways to submit documents, Drexel makes it easy to complete your application. Learn more by visiting our Completing Your Application Guide.

    • A completed application
    • Official transcripts from all universities or colleges and other post-secondary educational institutions (including trade schools) attended
    • Three letters of recommendation (professional or academic)
      • Personal statement (approximately 500 words) that addresses your:
        • Reasons for pursuing a degree from Drexel,
        • Short and long-term career plans, and
        • Vision of how your background, experience, interests, and/or values, when combined with a Drexel degree, will enable you to pursue these goals successfully
      • Resume or Curriculum Vitae
      • Additional requirements for International Students

      Additional Recommended Documents

      • Standardized test scores are not required, but highly recommended in order to make your application more competitive
        • Score reports accepted: GRE, GMAT, LSAT, MCAT
        • Drexel's school code is 2194


      The tuition rate for the academic year 2024-2025 is $1344 per credit.

      For the academic year 2023-2024, students enrolled in an online graduate academic program will be charged a graduate online program fee of $125 per year.

      • This program is eligible for Financial Aid.
      • Special tuition rates available for Drexel University AlumniMilitary members, and members of our Partner Organizations.
        • These rates apply only to new online students and students being readmitted.
        • These rates apply only to fully online courses. Hybrid or on-campus courses may have different rates.
        • Tuition rates are subject to increase with the start of each academic year in the fall term.
        • All students must contact applyDUonline@drexel.edu within the first two weeks of the term to request tuition savings for which they qualify.
        • Special rates cannot be combined. If you qualify for more than one special rate, you'll be given the one with the largest savings.
        • When receiving special tuition plans with Drexel University Online, you may not combine them with other tuition benefits that may be available from Drexel University.


      Academic Calendar

      2023-2024 Academic Year


      Classes Begin

      Classes End

      Fall 2023

      August 21, 2023

      December 15, 2023

      Spring 2024

      January 8, 2024

      May 3, 2024

      Summer 2024

      May 13, 2024

      August 2, 2024


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