The Master of Science (M.S.) program in Cancer Biology prepares the student for a career at the advanced technical level in academia, industry, or government. Graduating students may also find teaching positions at the secondary or junior college level. 

The application process is an online process. Application to this graduate program is facilitated through the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences (IGPBS). Detailed instructions on how to apply and the application deadlines are posted on the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences website http://www.kumc.edu/igpbs/how-to-apply.html.

Admission Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution documented by submission of official transcript indicating the degree has been conferred before entering the program. Official transcripts from institutions attended post-baccalaureate are also required.
    Students with degrees from outside the U.S. may be subject to transcript evaluation indicating the degree is equivalent to a U.S. degree and meets the minimum cumulative GPA requirements.
  • A cumulative grade-point average (GPA) of at least a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for the bachelor’s degree.
  • Applicants who are not native speakers of English, whether domestic or international, must demonstrate they meet the Minimum English Proficiency Requirement.
  • A background check is required during the admission process; it may affect the student's eligibility to enter the program.
  • An official copy of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) score sent from Educational Testing Service (ETS) to University of Kansas Medical Center - ETS institutional code 6895.
  • Three letters of recommendation.
  • Prerequisite coursework:
    • One year of general chemistry
    • One year of organic chemistry or one semester of organic chemistry and one semester of biochemistry
    • One year of biological sciences
    • One semester of calculus
    • One semester of physics
  • Research experience (beyond labs associated with lecture courses) is strongly suggested.

Applicants will be assessed based on a combination of GPA, research experience, and GRE scores. Students not meeting the above requirements may be eligible for provisional admission.  After an applicant has been admitted, a program may defer an applicant's admission for one year after which time the applicant must submit a new application.

Admission requirements are subject to change. In most cases, use the catalog of the year student entered the program. Other years’ catalogs».

The Master of Science (M.S.) program in Cancer Biology prepares the student for a career at the advanced technical level in academia, industry, or government.

Degree requirements:

  • Degree requirements are normally completed within 3 years of admission to the program although a maximum of 7 years is allowed.
  • Completion of a minimum of 30 credit hours.
  • Cumulative grade-point average (GPA) of at least a 3.0 for all KU graduate coursework.
  • Enrollment in a minimum of one (1) credit hour of CBIO 899 Master's Thesis in Cancer Biology the semester the student will defend the thesis and graduate.
  • Successful completion of the thesis defense the semester the student will graduate. The thesis should be comparable in scope to justify co-authorship on a rigorously peer-reviewed manuscript.  In general, CBIO students graduating with an MS degree should have justified co-authorship on at least one peer-reviewed publication (as determined by their thesis advisory committee).
  • Successful Thesis Submission and Publication (according to Office of Graduate Studies policy.
  • Successful completion of the following Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Biomedical Science (IGPBS) courses (or their equivalent):
    GSMC 850Proteins and Metabolism2
    GSMC 851Molecular Genetics2
    GSMC 852Introduction to Biomedical Research I2
    GSMC 853Cellular Structure2
    GSMC 854Cell Communication2
    GSMC 855Introduction to Biomedical Research II2
    GSMC 856Introduction to Research Ethics1
    GSMC 857Biographics1
    GSMC 858Introduction to Faculty Research1
    GSMC 859Research Rotations1-4
  • Successful completion of the following Cancer Biology courses:
    CBIO 800Mechanisms of Tumor Development and Progression: Colloquium Format3
    CBIO 850Cancer Center Seminar1
    CBIO 860Communicating Cancer Science1
    CBIO 890Master's Research in Cancer Biology1-10
    CBIO 899Master's Thesis in Cancer Biology1-10
    CBIO 900Carcinogenesis and Cancer Biology3
  • Successful completion of  PATH 913 Introduction to Grant Proposal Writing.
  • Successful completion of advanced elective coursework as determined in consultation with the student's advisor.  Electives may be chosen from this list but are not limited to:
    Cancer Biology courses (3)
    CBIO 820Cellular and Molecular Mechanisms of Signal Transduction in Cancer: Colloquium2
    CBIO 830
    CBIO 870Analysis of Scientific Papers1
    Other Department courses (39)
    ANAT 845Graduate Histology3
    ANAT 868Advanced Developmental Biology2
    BCHM 808Methods for Analyzing Biomolecules3
    BCHM 922Advanced Molecular Genetics3
    BCHM 923Protein Structure and Function3
    BIOS 714Fundamentals of Biostatistics I3
    BIOS 717Fundamentals of Biostatistics II3
    DN 884Diet, Physical Activity & Cancer3
    MICR 805Teaching in Higher Education3
    MICR 808Immunology3
    PATH 803Stem Cell Biology2
    PATH 804Selected Topics in Signal Transduction1
    PATH 806Epigenetics2
    PHCL 761General Principles of Pharmacology1
    PHCL 765Chemotherapy1
    PHSL 843Physiology of Disease3
    Course in fundamentals of biostatistics and/or informatics.
  • Continued attendance at the KUCC seminar (minimum 75% required determined by sign-in) in both the Fall and Spring semesters after completing 5 semesters of CBIO 850 Cancer Center Seminar.
  • Annual presentation and continued attendance at Communicating Cancer Science in both the Fall and Spring semesters after completing 5 semesters of CBIO 860 Communicating Cancer Science.
  • Annual participation and/or attendance at the KU Medical Center Student Research Forum.
  • Annual participation and/or attendance at the KU Cancer Center Research Retreats.

Degree requirements and course descriptions are subject to change. Any courses taken as an equivalent must be approved by the Graduate Director and the Office of Graduate Studies. In most cases, use the catalog of the year student entered the program.   Other years’ catalogs».

Typical Plan of Study

Year 1
FallHoursSpringHoursSummerHours
GSMC 8502GSMC 8532GSMC 859 (select mentor)1-4
GSMC 8512GSMC 8542May take an elective course from the student's chosen degree program in consultation with the student's advisor. 
GSMC 8522GSMC 8552 
GSMC 8561GSMC 8591-4 
GSMC 8571  
GSMC 8581  
GSMC 8591-4  
 10-13 7-10 1-4
Year 2
FallHoursSpringHoursSummerHours
CBIO 8501CBIO 8003CBIO 8901-10
CBIO 860 (one presentation annually Fall or Spring)1CBIO 8501Elective1-3
CBIO 8901-10CBIO 860 (one presentation annually Fall or Spring)1 
Elective1-3CBIO 9003 
Annual participation and/or attendance in the KU Cancer Center Research Retreats. CBIO 8901-10 
 PATH 9131 
 Annual participation and/or attendance in KUMC Student Research Forum.  
 4-15 10-19 2-13
Year 3
FallHoursSpringHours 
CBIO 8501CBIO 8501 
CBIO 860 (one presentation annually Fall or Spring)1CBIO 860 (one presentation annually Fall or Spring)1 
CBIO 8991-10CBIO 8991-10 
Elective1-3Annual participation and/or attendance in KUMC Student Research Forum.  
Thesis defense scheduled semester approved by committee to graduate.    
Annual participation and/or attendance in the KU Cancer Center Research Retreats.   
 4-15 3-12 
Total Hours: 41-101