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Cell Biology and Anatomy

Program Description

Just the Facts

Cell Biology and Anatomy. An integrated, combined program that focuses on the scientific study of cell structure, function, and dynamics within the context of organismic, regional, and gross anatomical systems. Includes instruction in molecular biology, cell biology and histology, structural biology, anatomy, embryology, endocrinology, and applications to specific systems, diseases, defects, and processes.

This program is available in these options:

  • Bachelor's degree
  • Graduate Certificate
  • Master's degree
  • Doctoral degree

High School Courses

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Additional Information

Some of the most exciting advances in science and medicine take place in laboratories every day. That's why cell biology students are content to work in labs on a regular basis.

A student's goals will help determine which courses to take, and whether a bachelor's, master's or PhD degree should be the goal.

Some programs are offered as part of medical school programs. Others are offered by biology and biochemistry departments. Cell biology may also be studied under the hubs of molecular biology, cytobiology or cytology (the study of cells).

Most cell biology programs will be made up of courses in molecular and cell biology, physiology, biostatistics, chemistry, organic chemistry, anatomy and various other math and science classes. The higher the level of education, the more concentrated and specific the courses will be.

If you're not sure whether cell biology is for you, you may want to enroll in a general biology program for your undergraduate degree. Take plenty of cell biology classes and then pursue a specialization at the master's level.

Most undergraduates majoring in biology or cell biology will also have to take courses in the humanities and social sciences. The reading, writing and logic skills learned in these other courses will serve the future scientist well when it comes to analyzing and reporting on findings.

Lab, research and even computer work will all play major roles in a cell biology student's coursework.

"In cell biology and genetics, we use computers for searching databases for published articles, gene sequences, molecular modeling and various other tasks," says Bonnie Baxter. She is a biology professor at Hobart and William Smith Colleges.

A bachelor's degree in biology or cell biology usually takes four or five years.

"Bachelor degree recipients with science laboratory skills can go right into high-paying jobs in biotechnology," says professor Craig Woodward of Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts. "It will also prepare them for graduate or professional school."

After completing a bachelor's or master's degree, many students will decide to do a PhD if they wish to engage in independent research, or a medical doctorate if they wish to practice medicine.

Students should hone their discussion skills by joining math and science clubs in both high school and college.

Additional courses in writing, computer science or public speaking may be of particular value.

Costs include tuition and books. Students usually don't need personal microscopes or other scientific materials.


Occupational Outlook Handbook
Find more information related to this field of study

Cells Alive!
Check out some pictures of living cells and other cool stuff

Cell and Molecular Biology Online
A detailed guide to related sites on the web


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