Oct 18, 2018  
2015-2016 Graduate Catalog 
2015-2016 Graduate Catalog

Biotechnology and Biomedical Science, MS

The Master of Science Degree in Biotechnology and Biomedical Science

Students learn the theory of and acquire the laboratory techniques used in biotechnology and biomedical science—two high technology areas of expanding national and local importance. The program provides a firm foundation in the principles underlying modern biotechnological techniques and integrates this theoretical understanding with intensive training in a variety of laboratory skills and in computer applications to biotechnology.

The curriculum of the program consists of required courses in biology and biophysics, a required research experimentation course, and elective courses in biology, chemistry, environmental sciences, and/or physics. Work in these courses is particularly appropriate for students with interests in the emerging fields of biotechnology, molecular genetics, tissue culture, and advanced computerized laboratory technology.

The program can accommodate cooperative arrangements with various private and public sector laboratories, in which some students will do supervised research as interns. Interchange between these laboratories and the university will ensure that all students receive training that is congruent with the needs of the private and public sectors.

Degree Requirements

On admission, the student will be assigned an academic advisor, who must be a full-time member of the Biology Department faculty. Within six months, the student and academic advisor will choose an academic advisory committee (AAC) and will submit this proposed committee for approval to the biology graduate program director (GPD) and the biology graduate committee, which oversees all aspects of graduate study in biotechnology and biomedical science.

The AAC will comprise the academic advisor and two additional members in the student’s area of interest. The student, in consultation with the AAC, will plan an appropriate course of study. The AAC will monitor the student’s progress. The academic advisor and the student will provide a yearly progress report to the GPD and the biology graduate committee. With the approval of the GPD, the student may change his/her academic advisor or rearrange his/her AAC.

Course Work

A minimum of thirty credits is required for the Master of Science degree in biotechnology and biomedical science.

All students must complete the following courses (9 credits):


*Open as an elective only to those students choosing the thesis option. This course may be taken for a maximum of 4 credits.

Students wishing to substitute

Students wishing to substitute any other courses for those on this list of electives must have prior approval from their advising committee, the biotechnology and biomedical science program advisor, and the graduate program director.

Students may choose

Students may choose either an internship option (which will enable them to pursue a thesis research project in a laboratory outside of the department) or a thesis option (which will enable them to pursue a thesis research project in the laboratory of a faculty member). Thesis students have the option of taking BIOL 699  (4 research credits) as one of their elective options. This course, in combination with two semesters of BIOL 694 , will allow for a maximum of 10 research credits that may be counted toward the degree.

Each student must prepare

Each student must prepare a written report (internship option) or thesis (thesis option) on his/her research work and must also take an oral examination, which will not necessarily be limited to the topic of the report or thesis. The student must submit an outline of his/her report or thesis to the AAC before taking the oral examination.

Admission Requirements

Please see the general statement of admission requirements for all graduate studies programs in the “Admissions ” section of this publication, and the “Special Instructions for Applicants to Individual Programs” section of the application for admission to graduate study. The following are the requirements for the MS Program in Biotechnology and Biomedical Science:

  • Submission of the graduate admissions application form.
  • A distinguished undergraduate transcript with strengths in biology, biochemistry, or other related fields; competitive students generally have at least a 3.0 overall GPA, although lower grades can be acceptable.
  • A bachelor’s degree, or its equivalent, from a four-year college or university of recognized standing.
  • Official transcripts of all graduate and undergraduate work. (One copy of each transcript must be sent directly to the university’s Office of Graduate Admissions and Records. A final transcript showing that the bachelor’s degree has been awarded must be received before the student can enter the program.)
  • Three letters of recommendation.
  • Submission of scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) Combined Aptitude Test.
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL official test score) is required for international applicants. For more information regarding minimal TOEFL scores, please refer to the section “International Applicants ” under “Admissions ” in this publication.

The stated interests of a prospective student must coincide to an acceptable degree with the faculty specialties represented in the program. The biology graduate committee, in conjunction with the director of graduate programs in biology, is responsible for reviewing applications and for recommending candidates to the dean of graduate studies.

Students who are missing some basic courses that would be appropriate for this program may be admitted provisionally and asked to complete additional undergraduate course work before being granted full admission to the graduate program.