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How do I Become a Cell Biologist?

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  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 16 December 2018
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Preparation to become a cell biologist typically requires a significant amount of education. A person interested in a career in this field typically starts by earning his high school diploma, though a General Educational Development (GED) diploma or its equivalent may be acceptable as well. He then goes on to complete four years of college, which may qualify him for an entry-level position in a science or research company. In order to have a fuller range of cell biology options available to him, however, a person usually has to attend graduate school and earn a master’s degree or Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) as well.

A person who wants to become a cell biologist often starts preparing in high school by taking advanced courses in science and math. For example, a person interested in this field may take biology, anatomy, physics, algebra, and trigonometry. He may also take pre-calculus in order to prepare for the rigors of college and graduate school training in this complex field.

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While in college, a person who wants to become a cell biologist will study cells, including their behavior and longevity when they are by themselves. He will also study their behavior and function as part of a plant or animal. Likewise, he will learn about single-celled organisms as part of his studies. He will typically also cover how cells are interrelated and thoroughly explore cell anatomy. Among the science fields a person usually explores while pursing a cell biology degree include chemistry, microbiology, molecular and cellular biology, and genes.

After college, a person who wants to become a cell biologist may move on to advanced study of the subject, working toward a master’s degree in cell biology. Typically, the person will have to take an aptitude test to demonstrate his ability to pursue advanced coursework. Admission to a graduate school program in cell biology is often based on college grades, aptitude test scores, and the student’s participation in other activities.

Some people may choose to look for a job after completing college or graduate school, but many others go on to pursue a Ph.D. in cell biology. Earning a Ph.D. may help the student secure more advanced employment after he has completed his education. In fact, a person pursing this field may need a Ph.D. in order to secure some research positions. Additionally, he’ll likely need a doctoral degree if he wants to teach as a tenured professor at a college or university.

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