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Cellular & Molecular Medicine (MS) 
Program Description

This Cellular & Molecular Medicine masters program is designed to educate students at the graduate level in biomedical sciences, with an emphasis on training in basic and translational clinical research, and to provide students with an advanced understanding of human anatomy and functional histology and cell biology.  This program is open to applicants who hold a Bachelors Degree.

Upon completing this Masters program, a graduate will have a fundamental overview of the normal structure and function of the major organs of the human body, the major types of diseases that afflict those organs – either individually or multiply – and the types of disease processes involved, and knowledge of opportunities, strategies, and approaches to prevent or treat such diseases.

Department/Academic Unit(s)

Cellular & Molecular Medicine -

The Department of Cellular & Molecular Medicine is one of the five basic science departments of the University of Arizona College of Medicine located on the Northeast side of the University of Arizona Campus in Tucson, AZ.  The mission of the Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine (CMM) is to provide pre- and post-doctoral, medical and graduate education in an interdisplinary environment through research activities to advance knowledge of biological structure as related to function and disease from the molecular level to the whole organism.

CMM faculty run active research programs in modern molecular and cellular biology which include areas of developmental biology, neuroscience, parasitology, immunology, cancer biology, and cellular structure and function. Our graduate program attracts outstanding students from all parts of the US and the world. Graduate students from the interdisciplinary programs of cancer biology, genetics, molecular & cellular biology and biochemistry, neuroscience, and physiological sciences also receive training in CMM faculty laboratories.

CMM Mailing address:

PO Box 245044, 1501 N. Campbell Ave. 

Life Sciences North, Room 450, Tucson, AZ  85724-5044

College of Medicine, Tucson  
Campus where offered
Main Campus - Tucson  
Admissions Contact
Kathy R Ben
Graduate Program Coordinator
Kathy R Ben
Mona Lopez
Director of Graduate Studies
Lonnie P Lybarger
Graduate College Degree Counselor
Annie Prisbrey
Tuition and Fees
Please refer to the UA Bursar's Office Tuition and Fees Calculator for up-to-date information about tuition and fees. 
Please refer to the UA Registrar's's Office Special Course Fees for up-to-date information about special course fees. 

Admissions Information

Admissions Requirements

The application deadline for Fall and Summer is February 15th. At this time, our program does not have a Spring admission; the Master's Advisory committee endeavors to make all admissions decisions by April 1st.

A bachelor's degree is a prerequisite for entering the Masters program. A student may apply to the MS program prior to receiving his/her bachelor's degree, but must have received the degree prior to starting the MS program.  

  • While it is expected that the applicant's undergraduate major normally be in the natural sciences, students with degrees in other fields who have sufficient coursework in the natural sciences will be considered. 
  • The Masters Degree requires that the student complete a minimum of 30 units of credit.

Listed below are items that are required to complete this application for admission:

  1. Personal Statement (up to 500 words) - Explain your motivation for pursuing graduate school, including your career goals after completion of the degree.  Explain why the CMM MS Program is a good match for you – specifically, explain what you expect to gain from and contribute to the program.  You may address any weaknesses and/or challenges, and how these were overcome, within the personal statement.
  2. Skills Statement (up to 200 words) - Describe the relevant skills, experiences, and/or accomplishments that demonstrate your readiness and potential for this graduate program.
  3. CV/resume - upload a copy of your curriculum vitae/resume in PDF format.
  4. The Department of Cellular & Molecular Medicine requires each applicant to have a minimum of 3 letters of recommendation submitted on their behalf. 
    • Ideally, these letters should be written by professors, research or professional supervisors, etc.  that can speak about your academic and research ability.
  5. International applicants will be considered for admission.  All applicants must meet the requirements of the Graduate College concerning proficiency in the English language. Information on English proficiency tests at the University of Arizona can be found at at the UA Admissions site.

Test scores for the GRE, the MCAT, or the DAT are optional and are not required for admissions, but applicants can choose to upload test results if they like. 

Standardized Tests

For Information about English Proficiency Requirements, please visit:

Financial Aid

The CMM Masters Program does not provide financial aid, however students may contact the Office of Financial Aid for more assistance ( The student is responsible for all expenses related to completion of the degree requirements.

The Graduate College has Graduate Access Fellowships ( to which interested students can apply.

Admissions Deadlines

Domestic Applicants:

  • Fall: February 15
  • Summer: February 15

International Applicants:

  • Fall: February 15
  • Summer: February 15
International Conditional Admission
International applicants will not be considered for conditional admission by this program.
Other Information
The GRE Institution Code for The University of Arizona is 4832
ETS Major Field Code(s) for this program: School Code: 4832; Dept. Code 0203

Completion Requirements

Degree Requirements

Minumum credits: 30
Core coursework:

One of these two options:

  • CMM 501 - Human Gross Anatomy (Summer; 4 units) 

This option is strongly recommended for students interested in pursuing a medical degree or those who wish to gain knowledge in human anatomy.

OR choose at least 4 UNITS from among these:

•     CMM 518 Fundamental Genetic Mechanisms: from Molecules to Genomes (3 UNITS; Fall)

•     CMM 520 Clinical Cancer Genetics (2 UNITS; Spring)

•     CMM 533 Molecular Medicine (1 UNIT; Fall and Spring)

•     CMM 535 Genetic Medicine (1 UNIT; Fall and Spring)

•     CMM 534 Genomic Medicine (1 UNIT; Fall and Spring)

This option is recommended for students who desire a training emphasis in the cell and molecular underpinnings of health and disease.

*Note: students could complete both options - one as a requirement and the other as an elective.

CMM 603 - The Art of Scientific Communication (Spring)

The following three, online 1-unit courses (starting Spring 2020, these courses will fulfill the Microscopy Requirement for CMM-MS students in place of CMM 565A):

  • CMM 541 - Bright-Field Microscopy
  • CMM 542 - Fundamentals of Digital Imaging
  • CMM 546 - Fluorescent Microscopy

One of the following (choose):

OR  This suite of histology courses:                                                                                    

  • CMM 547 (Histology Basics - online)*
  • CMM 548 (Histology of the Digestive and Respiratory Systems-online)*
  • CMM 549 (Histology of the Urogenital and Endocrine Systems - online)*
  • *Note: all three online courses must be taken to fulfill this requirement and cannot be combined with CMM 510 for credit

One of the following (choose):

One of the following (choose):

In addition to the Core Courses above, master's students will be required to complete at least 6 additional elective units with a grade of C or higher.  The following courses are recommended, but other courses in the biomedical sciences and medicine may be appropriate and will also be considered:

The courses listed above are suggestions. The choice of elective courses will be agreed upon by the student and the student's advisor.  Other courses in the biomedical sciences and medicine may be appropriate and will be considered. The student will be required to receive approval from his or her advisory committee for his/her final selection of courses.

Other requirements: Every student will be required to complete the courses above with a grade of C or better. A GPA of 3.0 or higher is required to remain in good standing with the Graduate College.

Every student is required to complete a substantial research project and to submit a written thesis that documents that research. Both laboratory and non-laboratory projects will be considered. The student's research project will be agreed upon by the student and the student's advisory committee (to be made up of at least three faculty members, at least one of whom must be a member of the Masters Advisory Committee). As a guideline, laboratory based thesis should be in the format of a publishable manuscript for an appropriate journal and non-laboratory based thesis should be in the format of a New England Journal of Medicine review article and be 10,000-20,000 words (not including references).

The CMM Masters Program will consider allowing previous coursework to count toward the degree requirements, up to the extent permitted by the Graduate College. The final decision about transfer credits will be made by the student's advisory committee.

Minor Requirements
The Academic Unit has not provided this information. 
Student Handbook  
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Last revised 01 Apr 2020