Cancer Biology This is a Track

College : Medicine Degree :MS
Department : Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences Option : Nonthesis
Program Websites : http://biomed.ucf.edu

TRACK DESCRIPTION

The Cancer Biology Track in the Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences Program is a nonthesis plan of study for students who want to further their knowledge in the cancer biology field and who may pursue doctoral training or professional education focused on medicine and cancer biology. Students interested in research and thesis work should apply to the Master of Science in Biotechnology Program.

CURRICULUM

The Cancer Biology Track in the Biomedical Sciences MS program requires a minimum of 33 credit hours of courses that includes a capstone experience. Students take 18 credit hours of required core courses, 12 credit hours of elective courses relevant to cancer biology and related disciplines, a capstone project focusing on cancer biology and an oral comprehensive exam.
 
Total Credit Hours Required:
33 Credit Hours Minimum beyond the Bachelor's Degree

Nonthesis students are not considered for departmental graduate assistantships or tuition assistance.

Required Courses—18 Credit Hours

  • BSC 6432 Biomedical Sciences I (5 credit hours)
  • BSC 6433 Biomedical Sciences II (5 credit hours)
  • BSC 6407C Laboratory Methods in Molecular Biology (3 credit hours)
  • PCB 5236 Cancer Biology (3 credit hours)
  • MCB 6938 Seminar or IDS 7680 Seminar (1 credit hour, to be repeated by all students) 

Elective Courses—12 Credit Hours

  • PCB 5025 Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology (3 credit hours)
  • MCB 5415 Cellular Metabolism (3 credit hours)
  • PCB 5235 Molecular Immunology (3 credit hours)
  • MCB 5225 Molecular Biology of Disease (3 credit hours)
  • PCB 6595 Regulation of Gene Expression (3 credit hours)
  • MCB 5505 Molecular Virology (3 credit hours)
  • PCB 5275 Signal Transduction Mechanisms (3 credit hours)
  • MCB 6226 Molecular Diagnostics (3 credit hours)
  • IDS 5127 Foundation of Bio-Imaging Science (3 credit hours)
  • BSC 5418 Tissue Engineering (3 credit hours)
  • BSC 5436 Biomedical Informatics: Structure Analysis (3 credit hours)
  • PCB 5265 Stem Cell Biology (3 credit hours)
  • Other elective courses must be approved by the Program Coordinator. 

Capstone—3 Credit Hours

  • MCB 6026 Capstone Course (3 credit hours minimum)

An in-depth current literature research report in the area of Cancer Biology will be required for each student. The student will select a faculty adviser to chair a faculty committee of three members for evaluation of the report.

The Capstone Process

Students are encouraged to contact faculty as early as possible in order to identify a faculty whose research focus complements the student's interest. The student and the mentor should select two additional faculty members to serve on the capstone evaluation committee.

Students must submit a signed Capstone Committee form to the Program Coordinator for approval as soon as the registration for the course is complete. The form must be submitted to the Program Office.

When you are ready to defend your Capstone project, you must register for the capstone course (MCB 6026) for three credit hours. It is important that the student register for the capstone course with the intention of completing the project at the end of the semester.

The Capstone Report

Evaluation of the capstone project requires a written report (in the format of a mini-review manuscript) and a presentation (project defense) in front of the capstone committee. No visitors are allowed during the capstone defense. Students may ask for advice and guidance from the project mentor/chair. The average capstone report ranges from 10 to 15 single-space pages in a manuscript format with proper citations. The student's Committee Chair will be responsible for checking the report for plagiarism using either Turnitin or iThenticate before the report is shared with the committee. The committee must receive the report at least one week before the time of presentation.

Note: The defense (presentation) must be held no later than one week before final exam week.

The Capstone Defense/Comprehensive Exam

The capstone defense and comprehensive exam evaluation is designed to assess the student's knowledge and understanding of the project and other relevant subjects in the field. Questions asked by the capstone committee to evaluate the student as competent in the field will satisfy the requirement of the comprehensive exam. The oral presentation will take place in the form of a 30-40 minute seminar and will be followed by questions and discussion.

The student will be evaluated on performance in all three sections (written report, oral presentation and ability to answer questions).

Should the student fail, a second opportunity will be provided within two weeks of the first attempt. A second failure will result in an Unsatisfactory (U) grade in the course and dismissal from the program.

Comprehensive Examination

Students must pass an oral comprehensive exam to qualify for the Master of Science. The oral comprehensive exam tests the student's understanding of the basic concepts in the field and relevant applications. The comprehensive exam will be conducted during the capstone defense and will be administered by the capstone committee. Should the student fail this exam, a second opportunity will be provided within two weeks of the first attempt. A second failure will result in dismissal from the program.

Teaching Requirement

Students without significant prior teaching experience, such as, but not limited to, a minimum of a year in secondary schools or colleges, are required to serve as Classroom Laboratory Assistants (CLA) for a minimum of one semester (one semester in at least one lab section).

Research Shadowing (Optional)

Students are encouraged to discuss with their capstone mentor the possibility of joining the lab for research shadowing of other graduate students. Acquired lab skills should assist students with the capstone project and with future endeavors.

Independent Learning

In the final semester of study students will complete a capstone course that requires an in-depth current literature research report on a relevant subject, which will serve as the independent learning experience. The student will select a faculty adviser to chair a faculty committee of three members for evaluation of the report.

Application Requirements

For information on general UCF graduate admissions requirements that apply to all prospective students, please visit the Admissions section of the Graduate Catalog. Applicants must apply online. All requested materials must be submitted by the established deadline.

In addition to the general UCF graduate application requirements, applicants to this program must provide:

  • One official transcript (in a sealed envelope) from each college/university attended.
  • A bachelor's degree in Biological Sciences or related area.
  • Official, competitive GRE score (taken within the last five years) or MCAT score (taken within the last three years).
  • Three letters of recommendation.
  • A written statement of research experience, area of interest, and immediate and long-range goals.
  • Resume  

Personal interviews are helpful but not required. Applicants who do not have a competitive GPA or GRE/MCAT may occasionally be accepted if there is other convincing evidence of potential for high achievement and success.

Applicants who hold a BS degree in unrelated fields are expected to have the equivalent of 16 semester hours of credit in the biological sciences including a course in general microbiology, biochemistry or molecular biology or cell biology, plus one year of organic chemistry, one year of physics, basic university mathematics and statistics, and laboratory skills equivalent to the minimum required of our own undergraduates. Minor deficiencies may be remedied after acceptance by enrollment at the first opportunity in an appropriate course.

Application Deadlines

Cancer Biology *Fall Priority Fall Spring Summer
Domestic Applicants Jan 15Jan 15

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The Fall 2017 application deadline has been extended until February 15th, 2017.

International Applicants Jan 15Jan 15

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The Fall 2017 application deadline has been extended until February 15th, 2017.

International Transfer Applicants Jan 15Jan 15

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The Fall 2017 application deadline has been extended until February 15th, 2017.

*Applicants who plan to enroll full time in a degree program and who wish to be considered for university fellowships or assistantships should apply by the Fall Priority date.

FINANCIALS

Graduate students may receive financial assistance through fellowships, assistantships, tuition support, or loans. For more information, see the College of Graduate Studies Funding website, which describes the types of financial assistance available at UCF and provides general guidance in planning your graduate finances. The Financial Information section of the Graduate Catalog is another key resource.

Fellowships

Fellowships are awarded based on academic merit to highly qualified students. They are paid to students through the Office of Student Financial Assistance, based on instructions provided by the College of Graduate Studies. Fellowships are given to support a student’s graduate study and do not have a work obligation. For more information, see UCF Graduate Fellowships, which includes descriptions of university fellowships and what you should do to be considered for a fellowship. 


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