This 40-credit Master of Science degree is composed of 4 Required Core Courses and 6 Elective Courses. Within the Electives you can choose to pursue one of the six optional Areas of Concentration, including:

  • Biodefense
  • Bioinformatics
  • Biotechnology Enterprise
  • Molecular Targets and Drug Discovery
  • Regenerative and Stem Cell Technologies
  • Regulatory Affairs

Additionally, this degree program offers an optional culminating experience of a Thesis as an 11th course, for four additional credits at full tuition.

Core Courses - Required

Complete all 4 courses.

Please note some Areas of Concentration may alter the core course requirements for this degree.

This course explores the essential roles of key biological molecules: proteins, lipids, and carbohydrates. It provides a systematic and methodical application of general and organic chemistry principles, particularly as applied to protein biochemistry. Students examine the structure, function, and regulation of a wide variety of proteins, and also the techniques and laboratory methods used to purify and characterize proteins. Enzyme mechanisms, kinetics and inhibition are covered in detail. Major pathways for carbohydrate metabolism are examined from thermodynamic and regulatory perspectives. This course illuminates the links between the disciplines of chemistry and biology.

This course provides a comprehensive overview of the key concepts in molecular biology. Topics to be covered include nucleic acid structure and function, DNA replication, transcription, translation, chromosome structure, and the remodeling and regulation of gene expression in prokaryotes and eukaryotes. Extended topics to be covered include methods in recombinant DNA technology, microarrays, and microRNA.

This course covers cell organization and subcellular structure. Students examine the evolution of the cell, chromosome, and plasma membrane structures and behaviors, as well as the mechanics of cell division, sites of macromolecular synthesis and processing, transport across cell membranes, cell dynamics, organelle biogenesis, and cell specialization. Students are also introduced to the experimental techniques used in cell biology to study cell growth, manipulation, and evaluation.

This course is a continuation of 410.603 Advanced Cell Biology and further explores cell organization and subcellular structure. Students examine cell-to-cell signaling that involves hormones and receptors, signal transduction pathways, second messenger molecules, cell adhesion, extracellular matrix, cell cycle, programmed cell death, methylation of DNA, modification of chromatin structure, and mechanisms of the cell. The roles that defects in signal transduction pathways play in the development of cancer and other disease states will be stressed. Prerequisites: 410.601 Biochemistry, 410.602 Molecular Biology, 410.603 Advanced Cell Biology I.

Elective Courses

You will choose 6 electives from the list of more than 100 general biotechnology electives and science elective courses. Be certain to select at least 2 science electives, and the remaining can be either general biotechnology electives or science electives.

You may choose to pursue one of the six optional Areas of Concentration. To qualify, follow the unique set of course requirements for your particular concentration.

Optional 11th Course Culminating Experience

This option extends the 10-course degree program to 11 courses.

Students wishing to complete a thesis may do so by embarking on a two-semester thesis project, which includes the 410.800 Independent Research Project and 410.801 Biotechnology Thesis courses. This project must be a hypothesis-based, original research study. The student must complete 410.800 Independent Research Project and fulfill the requirements of that course, including submission of a project proposal, final paper, and poster presentation, before enrolling in the subsequent thesis course. For the thesis course, students are required to submit a revised proposal (an update of the 410.800 proposal) for review and approval by the faculty adviser and biotechnology program committee one month prior to the beginning of the term. Students must meet with the faculty adviser periodically for discussion of the project’s progress. Graduation with a thesis is subject to approval by the thesis committee and program committee and requires the student to present his/her project to a faculty committee both orally and in writing. Prerequisites: Successful completion of 410.800 Independent Research Project and 410.645 Biostatistics.


Students should be aware of state-specific information for online programs. For more information, please contact an admissions representative.

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