The Department of Dermatology and Cutaneous Surgery offers a unique Masters of Science in Skin Biology and Dermatological Science (MS-SBDS) program. The program prepares students for careers and leadership in skin science and industry. The curriculum covers basic science and laboratory techniques, as well as management skills, grant & regulatory issues, enterprise issues, and clinical problems.

The Master of Science in Skin Biology and Dermatological Sciences program (MS in SBDS) is unique in its depth and breadth because it covers basic science research and laboratory techniques. In addition, the degree considers a variety of additional skills to help you succeed in industry and academia, for it considers management skills, grant writing, regulatory issues, enterprise formation issues, and clinical problems.

Skin biology includes many biological processes: development, perpetual differentiation and barrier maintenance, stem cell biology, tissue repair and regeneration, neogenesis, native and adapted immunity, and genetic disorders just to name a few. The areas represented in our research base include aging, microbiology, inflammation, immunology, genomics, pharmacology, biochemistry, cell and stem cell biology as well as clinical research using areas of a variety of skin disorders, aging, aesthetics, cancer, and wounds as a clinical touchpoint.

Training in all these aspects is currently not provided by any single program in the United States. Thus, a Master’s degree in Skin Biology and Dermatological Sciences will impart a unique skill set and research background. There is a growing need for knowledgeable health care professionals. Health care providers, policy makers, research scientists, academic practices in the US and in the rest of the world, as well as makers of skin and skin care products from devices, drugs and cosmeceuticals and their workers need trained personnel. The coursework in this degree program will offer essential scientific knowledge, management, and administrative skills that will be helpful for individuals desiring a skin sciences oriented career.

Program Options

Master of Science (MSc.) in Skin Biology and Dermatological Sciences (MS in SBDS), offers a Thesis path and Non-Thesis path.

  • Thesis Path: The MSc. with thesis path requires completion of a laboratory research project and thesis. This option is tailored for students interested in doing research or contemplating work for a Ph.D. degree or academic career.
  • Non-Thesis Path: The MSc. without thesis option is designed for students who wish to improve their knowledge in Skin Biology and related sciences through a rigorous series of courses. The program may fit for people from industries or organizations.

Both thesis and non-thesis options are also helpful for students seeking to apply to medical school or a dermatology residency program.


Jie Li, MD, PhD, Graduate Program Director
David Lewis, PhD, Graduate Program Coordinator
MS in Skin Biology and Dermatological Sciences
305 243 6875