The academic programs and scientific research interests in the Department of Cell Biology & Neuroscience cover a wide range of topics, with special emphasis on cell biology, neurobiology, developmental biology, physiology, anatomy, biophysics and neuroinformatics. Together, faculty and students in the department study biological processes that span the continuum from single cells to the entire human body. Students may pursue the Master's degree under either Plan A or Plan B. Plan A requires the completion of 20 credits of acceptable graduate-level coursework and 10 credits of thesis. Under Plan B, a 4-credit project and 26 credits of acceptable graduate-level coursework must be completed. Master's candidates must take an oral comprehensive exam near the completion of their graduate program. Required curriculum will be tailored to the needs and interests of each student in consultation with their graduate adviser and committee.
The agribusiness sector of the economy, which produces and sells goods and services to farmers and ranchers on one hand, and processes and markets agricultural commodities on the other, is growing rapidly. In the United States, for every job in agricultural production, there are approximately three jobs in agriculture-related businesses. The MSU agribusiness management curriculum has established an excellent reputation with employers and is specifically designed for management training with emphasis on finance, accounting, and managerial economics in agriculture-related businesses and industries. Many employment possibilities are open to students with training in agricultural business. Positions are available with businesses which process and market agricultural products, and with the large number of businesses that sell products and services to farmers and ranchers, such as fertilizer companies, farm machinery companies, banks, and farm credit institutions. Also, opportunities exist to operate and manage farms and ranches. In addition, federal and state governments employ persons with training in agricultural business. Many of the graduates work for regional, national, and even international agribusiness firms that market, process, and transport agricultural products.
Modern research in cellular and molecular biology and its resultant technology offers unparalleled opportunities to provide solutions to society's most urgent problems in human and animal health, agriculture, and environmental quality. The emerging biotechnology industries are involved in developing products to maintain biodiversity, restore soil and water quality, develop new pharmaceuticals to combat disease, decrease dependence on nonrenewable resources, and improve food and fiber production. Students interested in microbiology, animal or plant science, biochemistry, and animal or human medicine will find challenging careers in the diverse areas of biotechnology in either an academic or industrial setting. Students successfully completing a biotechnology curriculum will also be prepared to enter graduate or medical professional schools for further study. The Bachelor of Science in Biotechnology is an interdisciplinary degree that spans two academic departments: Microbiology and Immunology and Plant Sciences/Plant Pathology. Students will choose an area of emphasis in plant or animal/microbial systems for upper-division coursework. Students will be assigned faculty advisors depending on the chosen option.