Master of Science in Biotechnology


The following faculty members have expressed a particular interest in working with the M.S. in Biotechnology degree program:

Professors: Ray Baughman (Chemistry), Lee Bulla (Molecular and Cell Biology), Santosh D’Mello (Molecular and Cell Biology), Rockford Draper (Molecular and Cell Biology)),Steven Goodman (Molecular and Cell Biology), Don Gray (Molecular and Cell Biology), Ali Hooshyar (Mathematics), Lynn Melton (Chemistry), Raimund Ober (Electrical Engineering), Betty Pace (Molecular and Cell Biology), William Pervin (Electrical Engineering, Computer Science, Mathematics),  Lawrence Reitzer (Molecular and Cell Biology),A. Dean Sherry (Chemistry), Robert Serfling (Mathematics), Laksman Tamil (Electrical Engineering)
Associate Professors: Mark Anderson (SOM),Gregg Dieckmann (Chemistry), Gail Breen (Molecular and Cell Biology), David Deeds (SOM), Matthew Goeckner (Electrical Engineering), Warren Goux (Chemistry), Robert Kieschnick (SOM), J B Lee (Electrical Engineering), Stephen Levene (Molecular and Cell Biology), Paul Pantano (Chemistry)
Assistant Professors: Jungmo Anh (Chemistry), Pankaj Choudhary (Mathematics), Ovidiu Daescu (Computer Science), Donovan Haines (Chemistry), Wenchuang Hu (Electrical Engineering), Ying Liu (Computer Science), Nirup Menon (SOM), Issa Panahi (Electrical Engineering)
Senior Lecturers: George Barnes (Management), Andrew Cilia (Electrical Engineering), Joseph Picken (SOM), Robert Robb (SOM), Ricardo Saad (Electrical Engineering)


The M.S. degree in biotechnology is intended to prepare students for careers in biotechnology and to assist currently employed professionals in enhancing their career opportunities in the field of biotechnology.

Botechnology captures the exciting possibilities made possible by the decoding of the human genome and by the advances in bioanalytical instrumentation, and the field is projected for rapid growth. The M.S. in Biotechnology is designed so that students may enter the program with a wide range of prior disciplinary backgrounds, prepare for and take the four core courses, and, by choice from a wide range of approved electives, tailor the remainder of the degree program to their career opportunities. In this manner, students may develop areas of additional depth in fields such as:

  • molecular and cell biology
  • chemistry
  • engineering and computer science
  • health care policy
  • management and business administration
  • science education

The M.S. in Biotechnology requires 36 hours of courses, typically twelve courses of three semester hours each.  Students may also elect to prepare and defend a thesis; more than 36 hours may be required for such a program.

The M.S. in Biotechnology is administered by the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology. Students seeking further information or advisement should contact the Molecular and Cell Biology Department office.

Core Courses

The core consists of four courses –BIOL 5381 Genomics, BIOL 6373 Proteomics, and BIOL 6384 Biotechnology Laboratory, plus a choice of one of the three courses BIOL 5376 Applied Bioinformatics, Math 6341 Bioinformatics, or CS 6372 Biological Database Systems and Data Mining. [rm1] Students enrolled in the Biotechnology M.S., Cell and Molecular Biology M.S. and/or Ph.D. programs will have priority for enrollment in BIOL 6384.  Students who can demonstrate that they have acquired the material and/or skills in a core course may petition the Committee on Biotechnology for permission to substitute an approved elective course.

Program Policies

The program is open to all students who hold a bachelors degree, although those with laboratory science, mathematics, computer science, or engineering degrees are particularly encouraged to apply.  In general, students will not be admitted to the MS in Biotechnology program if they require more than two courses in order to be ready to take the core courses.

Every student admitted to the M.S. in Biotechnology program shall consult with the program advisor(s) and develop a mutually agreed degree plan. All requests for deviations from the degree program described in this catalog shall be discussed first with a program advisor, who will forward the request to the Committee on Biotechnology for decision.

There are no formal prerequisites for most of the core courses, and a student, after obtaining consent of the program advisor, may attempt one or more core courses. However, the level of the BIOL core courses is such that most students will want to have mastered the material in the following courses:

General Chemistry (two semesters, with lab)

Organic Chemistry (two semesters, with lab)

BIO 2311 Introduction to Modern Biology I (with workshop)


BIOL 3361 Biochemistry or BIOL 6352 Modern Biochemistry I

BIOL 3301 Classical and Molecular Genetics or BIOL 6V31 Molecular Genetics


The four core courses should be taken in the following order:  BIOL 5376 Applied Bioinformatics, BIOL 5381 Genomics, BIOL 6373 Proteomics, BIOL 5384 Biotechnology Laboratory.  Consent of instructor is required for core courses taken out of this sequence.

BIOL 5384 Biotechnology Laboratory is a skills based course. Students must show that they have adequate laboratory skills  in order to enroll in BIOL 5384


Also available are four 1-SCH summer preparatory courses for students who do not have the background in both biology and mathematics that is required for success in the core courses.  Students with a strong math background, who need access to modern biology, should take BIOL 5V00 (Biology Preparation – MS in Biotechnology I), BIOL 5V00 (Biology Preparation – MS in Biotechnology II), and MATH 5V06 (Mathematics Preparation – MS in Biotechnology II).  Students with a strong biology background, who need access to mathematics/statistics, should take MATH 5V06-06A (Mathematics Preparation – MS in Biotechnology I), BIOL 5V00 (Biology Preparation – MS in Biotechnology II), and MATH 5V06 (Mathematics Preparation – MS in Biotechnology II).


Students who elect to prepare and defend a thesis must satisfy the MS thesis procedures specified by the department of their thesis supervisor.


As a general rule, any course offered for M.S. and/or Ph.D. students by a department within the Schools of Natural Science and Mathematics, or Engineering and Computer Science or Management may be taken as an elective for the Biotechnology M.S. program. Exceptions may occur, and students should consult the program advisor for the current list of approved electives.

A joint program in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology, administered through the Mathematical Sciences Department, is also available, and courses offered within that program are also available as electives.


 [rm1]This is always an option at the advisors discretion. Statingf it here suggests the courses are not regularly offerred, which so far is not the case.