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Cancer Biology, Prevention & Control: The UDC Edge

There is a great need for minority biomedical scientists to conduct cancer research and to better address the health disparities issues in this Nation. However, there are few if any programs in the country like UDC’s master’s degree program in Cancer Biology, Prevention & Control. The UDC and the LCCC have been funded to jointly conduct education, research and outreach since 2000. This unique partnership enables you to benefit from both UDC’s focus on community behavior and outreach and the research capacity of Georgetown. By learning from active faculty researchers and taking advantage of opportunities to engage with the community, you can make a difference in addressing health disparities and contribute to cutting edge research while still a student.

Master’s Degree (MS) in Cancer Biology, Prevention & Control

The Washington, D.C. community suffers from many significant health care disparities. According to research from Georgetown University, African American D.C. residents are more likely to develop all cancers and more likely to be diagnosed after the cancer had metastasized, and D.C. also has the highest mortality rate from breast cancer in the nation. You may have been affected by this crisis personally, or you may simply feel that the status quo in D.C. and other urban communities needs to change.

The University of the District of Columbia, in partnership with the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center (LCCC) at Georgetown University, offers a unique master’s degree program in cancer biology, prevention and control, where you can apply your aptitude in science toward creating the change you seek.

The program, jointly administered and taught by UDC and LCCC faculty, is funded by a grant from the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health.

Curriculum and Requirements in the UDC Cancer Biology, Prevention & Control Master’s Degree Program

Students applying for admission into the master's degree program in cancer   biology, prevention, and control must meet the following criteria:

  • Hold a bachelor's degree in biological sciences from an accredited educational institution; or have earned an equivalent degree in biology or natural sciences from a recognized college or university in another country.
    • A degree in a discipline or area other than biological sciences will require an evaluation by the Graduate Advisory Committee and admission may be on a conditional basis.
  • Have a minimum overall grade point average of 3.00.

The master’s program requires 36 credits for graduation through a plan of study that incorporates classroom study, research, and community work. A sampling of the innovative coursework students are exposed to, include classes such as:

  • Cancer Epidemiology
  • Cancer Education, Outreach, and Field Study
  • Tumor Biology
  • Principles and Practices of Behavior Science in Cancer Control

Student Organizations and Activities in the UDC Cancer Biology, Prevention & Control Master’s Degree Program

Students in the master’s program have the opportunity to participate in a number of research-oriented institutes and programs, including:

  • The UDC Cancer Research and Education Academy supports minority science students with an interest in cancer research and addressing health disparities in the D.C. area.
  • The STEM Center for Research and Development is a valuable resource for biology students and other students in STEM disciplines. The center offers course, research, and enrichment activities designed to strengthen students’ academic skills and engagement and to increase graduation rates.
  • The Minority Biological Research Support and Minority Access to Research Careers grant programs expose degree program students to current technologies and state-of-the-art equipment through hands-on research opportunities.

Students can also take a summer research internship, rotating between laboratories to gain a better sense of what they’d like to study, through the Bridges to the Doctorate grant program.

Faculty Spotlight: UDC Cancer Biology, Prevention & Control Master’s Degree Program

Carolyn Cousin, Ph.D., professor and program director, is an experienced cell biologist and parasitologist with a longstanding research interest in the area of schistosomiasis. She has received more than $5 million in grants from the NIH and the Agency for International Development to fund this research. Cousins also served as the principal investigator on a USDA-funded grant to examine the current perception of African Americans on cancer in the District of Columbia. She has received numerous awards and accolades for her teaching and research, both from within the university and from organizations such as the National Institutes of Health, the Washington Post, Beta Kappa Chi Scientific Honor Society and the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education.

Career Pathways and Prospects

By the time you graduate from the cancer biology, prevention and control master’s degree program, you will have already contributed to addressing health disparities and cutting-edge research on cancer biology and control. This preparation provides you with a distinct advantage when it comes to enrolling in a PhD program such as public health or tumor biology, or becoming a field or laboratory researcher. Through the join connections of the UDC and Georgetown faculty, students receive concrete assistance to achieve their educational and career aspirations.

Contact info:

Carolyn Cousin, Professor, Director

E: ccousin@udc.edu | T: 202.274.5874 | F: 202.274.6419