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Embryology Schools and Degrees

Degree programs in embryology are uncommon, though related programs in developmental biology are more often available. Such programs are usually offered at the graduate level. Continue reading to find out about course topics and suggestions for choosing a school.

What You Need to Know

Schools with embryology programs allow students to take fertilization labs and participate in embryology-based clinical experiences. Relevant undergraduate and graduate degrees are commonly offered in developmental biology. Master's degree programs are often offered in combination with Ph.D. programs. Various course topics include human fertility, reproductive systems, genetics and ethics.

Degrees Bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees
Program Fields Developmental biology; human fertility and in-vitro fertilization
Courses Male and female reproductive systems, genetics, fertilization technology, gametes, and ethics; molecular biology, microbiology, neurobiology and the physiology of cells

What Embryology Undergraduate Degrees Are Available?

Although most relevant degrees are available through graduate programs, a bachelor's degree in developmental biology could help prepare you for necessary upper-level work in the field. For example, you might enroll in a Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences (Genetics, Cell and Developmental Biology) degree program. A modern cell and developmental biology undergraduate major may also be available.

Bachelor's degree programs in developmental biology are commonly offered in conjunction with studies in other areas, such as molecular, cellular and genetic biology. You may have the opportunity to focus on embryology through independent research. Other courses commonly include:

  • Cell biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Organic chemistry
  • Genetics

What About Graduate Degrees?

Master's degree programs in embryology are rare, but where available, they train students in clinical embryology to work in in-vitro fertilization labs. Graduate degree programs in developmental biology are more common and could help you enter the field of embryology through relevant coursework and clinical experiences. You'll likely be expected to complete a thesis at the master's degree level, which you may use to strengthen your specialization in embryology research.

Master's degree programs in developmental biology are commonly offered within the combined curriculum of Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) programs. Ph.D. programs are based largely on independent study and research, which may culminate in the presentation of original findings, conducting seminars and composing a dissertation or thesis. Core curriculum may include constructing proposals for research. By completing a Ph.D. program in developmental biology, you prepare to enter the field as a clinical research scientist or professor.

These courses might also be covered in a graduate degree program:

  • Male and female reproductive systems
  • Fertilization technology
  • Gametes
  • Ethics
  • Advanced molecular biology
  • Microbiology
  • Neurobiology
  • Cell physiology
  • Neuroscience
  • Microscopic anatomy

How Can I Choose a School?

Before enrolling in a developmental biology program, you should review prospective schools to ensure that an embryology concentration or focus is possible through the curriculum. Access to embryology research laboratories, either on or near campus, would be beneficial to your hands-on training. You may also prefer schools with varied clinical rotation opportunities if you have interests in varied areas, such as stem cell research and genetics.

As a graduate student in either embryology or developmental biology, you may consider the availability of teaching opportunities if you're interested in pursuing a professorial route. You may find programs with strong faculty and mentor input more useful for the development of your curriculum, thesis or dissertation. These schools offer embryology and developmental biology degrees:

  • University of California - Santa Cruz
  • University of California - Santa Barbara
  • Duke University (Durham, NC)
  • SUNY - Upstate Medical University (Syracuse)
  • Eastern Virginia Medical School (Norfolk)
  • Arizona State University (Tempe)