Skip to main content

“Staying in Place” order will be in effect for GVSU students living in Allendale Township from September 17 through October 1. Complete your daily online self-assessment.

Cell and Molecular Biology, M.S.

Professional Science Masters in Biotechnology or Thesis based options.

Cell and molecular biology (CMB) is for students with a passion for the life sciences. It is focused on determining how cells develop and function and the significance of those functions in the living organism. CMB is the basis for such applied fields as biotechnology, pharmacology, and biomedicine. Our program prepares students for employment in life sciences or for doctoral-level or professional (medical, M.D./Ph.D.) programs.

Visit the program website for more information.

Listen to Podcast

Michigan Job Growth by 2024
GVSU ranking as a West Michigan Talent Provider
Annual Median Wage

Source: EMSI, 2020

Program Overview

The Professional Science Masters (PSM) in biotechnology offers a series of high-impact life science courses as well as training in biostatistics and bioinformatics. The PSM program also includes training in scientific communication, ethics and professionalism in science as well as such business-related skills as project management and business plans. An internship serves as the culminating experience.

The thesis-based (research emphasis) track focuses on an intensive, 15-18 month research project which results in a publishable thesis. Students work closely with a research mentor and are expected to present the results of their research at a professional conference.

Application Deadlines

Deadline for fall semester is February 1, international; and April 1, domestic. Winter semester deadline is September 1, international; and November 1, domestic. The $30 nonrefundable application fee is waived if the applicant has previously applied to GVSU. Visit

Why Study CMB at Grand Valley?

  • Located within a region quickly developing into an important center for biotechnology research, industry, and education.
  • Rewarding internships are available at the Van Andel Research Institute, Michigan State College of Human Medicine, Spectrum Health Research Labs, Walter's Greenhouses, and other area organizations.
  • Faculty members are actively engaged in research, much of it carried out with students.
  • Laboratories provide students with experience using state-of-the-art equipment.
  • The interdisciplinary core program of the PSM provides students with a cross-disciplinary perspective not possible within a single major.
  • The PSM program provides students with a practical and applied curriculum closely tied to the scientific workforce needs of business and industry and includes internship experience.

Location & Format

Classes for graduate students in this major meet downtown on the Robert C. Pew Grand Rapids Campus and the GVSU Health Campus, near the Grand Rapids Medical Mile.

  • Face To Face


Students study a variety of topics, including:

  • Scientific communication
  • Ethics and professionalism in science
  • DNA/RNA manipulation
  • Cell culture and bioprocessing
  • Responsible conduct of research

Career Options

CMB prepares students for careers in:

  • Biotechnology
  • Life science research
  • Intellectual property law
  • Forensics
  • Medicine
  • Industry
  • Pharmaceuticals

Admission Requirements

There are separate admissions committees for the research emphasis and the biotechnology emphasis degree programs. The research emphasis is a thesis-based masters. The biotechnology emphasis is one of the four internship-based professional science masters (PSM) programs at GVSU.


  • A minimum grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for all undergraduate coursework is required.
  • Satisfactory GRE score.
  • Extensive undergraduate life science experience.
  • Personal statement of career goals and background experiences, including an explanation of how this program will help achieve educational and professional objectives.
  • Written recommendations from at least two individuals who are in positions to attest to the applicant's successful completion of the program.
  • Telecommunications interview with program faculty.

For More Information

Cell and Molecular Biology
3300A Kindschi Hall of Science
(616) 331-2315

Graduate Admissions Office

Program Director

Mark Staves, Ph.D.
(616) 331-2473



When you became a Laker, you opened up a lifetime of learning, and now alumni like you can use your Laker Lifetime Learning (L3) account for classes that provide greater knowledge and new skills. Your account is waiting for you to use for future classes at GVSU. All you have to do is click on the button below to find out more.

Find Out More About Your Laker Lifetime Learning Account (L3)