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Cancer Biology (CBIO) Curriculum

The Master of Science in Cancer Biology (CBIO) program's curriculum includes classes, lab rotations, and supervised thesis research. This combination provides graduates of the program with a knowledge base and set of technical skills to compete for laboratory jobs in the academic or industrial sectors or to enhance potential for advancement.

Below, you'll find the necessary requirements for the Cancer Biology program as well as a curriculum timeline. To meet the professors teaching this curriculum, please take a look at the Cancer Biology faculty page.

Program Requirements

A total of 43 credits is required for graduation.

The program offers thesis and non-thesis options. For those who choose the thesis option, two lab rotations and nine credit hours of research are required. A written thesis is required based on research performed. For those who choose the non-thesis option, nine credit hours of special topics of cancer research are required. Students are required to write a review focused on an area of concentration related to cancer biology.

Program Level Outcomes

Graduates of the Master of Science in Cancer Biology program will achieve seven program level outcomes that describe the skills, competencies and knowledge gained through completion of the program curriculum.

  • Be able to think critically and independently
  • Be able to design and conduct hypothesis-driven research using state-of-the-art techniques
  • Be able to critically interpret general and cancer-related scientific literature
  • Have developed a comprehensive awareness of treatment and management modalities for cancer
  • Be able to use effective written and oral communication to present their scientific discoveries
  • Have acquired the technical and professional skills necessary for a career in academia or industry
  • Understand and abide by ethical and professional standards of the field

Curriculum Timeline

Year 1 – Fall Semester I

  • Core Curriculum I: Molecular Structure and Metabolism
  • First Cancer Biology Lab Rotation
  • Cancer Biology Journal Club
  • Advanced Topics in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  • Responsible Conduct of Research
  • Seminar

Year 1 – Spring Semester I

  • Core Curriculum II: Cells to Systems
  • Second Cancer Biology Lab Rotation
  • Cancer Biology Journal Club
  • Biostatistics I
  • Seminar
  • Elective

Year 2 – Fall Semester II

  • Cancer Biology
  • Cancer Biology Thesis Research
  • Cancer Biology Journal Club
  • Seminar
  • Elective

Year 2 – Spring Semester II

  • Advanced Cancer Biology
  • Cancer Biology Thesis Research
  • Cancer Biology Journal Club
  • Elective


  • Epidemiology of Cancer
  • Biochemistry Experimental Approaches
  • Advanced Cell Biology
  • Cell Cycle and Apoptosis
  • Drug Discovery and Development
A Cancer Biology program graduate student working in the lab at Drexel University College of Medicine.