Squamous cell lung cancer causes approximately 400,000 deaths worldwide per year. Identification of specific molecular alterations, such as activating mutations in the epidermal growth factor receptor kinase and echinoderm microtubule-associated protein-like 4/anaplastic lymphoma kinase fusions have led to significant therapeutic gains in patients with adenocarcinoma. However, meaningful therapeutic gains based on the molecular pathobiology of squamous cell lung cancer have not yet been realized. A comprehensive genomic characterization of 178 cases of squamous cell lung cancer has recently been reported. Squamous cell lung cancer appears to be characterized by a broader and more complex group of genomic alterations than adenocarcinoma. In this review, potentially targetable genes or pathways in squamous cell lung cancer are emphasized in relation to available therapeutic agents in development or active clinical trials. This organization of data will provide a framework for development for clinical investigation. Squamous cell lung cancer appears to be characterized by not only driver mutations in candidate genes but also gene copy number alterations resulting in tumor proliferation and survival. Better understanding of these genetic alterations and their use as therapeutic targets will require broad collaboration between industry, government, the cooperative groups, and academic institutions with the ultimate goal of rapid translation of scientific advancement to patient benefit.