Biotechnology, MS

Degree Requirements | Admission Requirements | Transfer Credit Policy | Costs and Financial Aid

The MS in Biotechnology and Biomedical Science

This MS program in biotechnology and biomedical science trains students in the theory and 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 biotechnology 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 two-semester research experimentation course, and elective courses in biology, chemistry, and physics. Work in these courses is particularly appropriate for students with interests in the emerging fields of biotechnology, molecular genetics, tissue culture, and computerized laboratory technology.

Degree Requirements

Thirty credits are required for the master of science degree in biotechnology and biomedical science.

Each degree candidate is assigned to a three-member advising committee, which will be responsible for insuring that the student fulfills all requirements of the program and the Office of Graduate Studies.

All students must complete the following courses for a total of 9 credits:

Biol 650 Scientific Communication 3 credits
Biol 696 Research Experimentation 6 credits: two semesters

All students must complete at least four of the following courses for a minimum of 12 credits:

Biol 608 (Phys 608) Biophysical Instrumentation
Bio 612 Advanced Cell Biology
Biol 615 Immunology
Biol 626 Molecular Genetics of Bacteria
Biol 627 Bacterial Physiology
Biol 664 DNA and Protein Sequence Analysis
Biol 675/676 Advanced Molecular Biology
Biol 677 Advanced Eukaryotic Genetics
Biol 678/679 Protein Chemistry and Enzymology

Students must complete the remainder of credits (9 credits) by taking elective courses chosen from the following list. At least two must be biology courses.

Biol 602 Plant Molecular Biology  
Biol 607 Introduction to Computational Data Analysis for Biology  
Biol 614 Advanced Cell Chemistry  
Biol 619 Theory and Techniques of Electron Microscopy** **Open as an elective only to those students whose thesis projects require the use of electron microscopy.
Biol 622 Concepts and Methods in Cytology  
Biol 625 Genomics and Biotechnology  
Biol 653 Current Literature  
Biol 660 Seminar in Developmental Biology  
Biol 668 Cellular and Molecular Endocrinology  
Biol 672-673 Directed Readings  
Biol 674 Cell Signaling  
Biol 681 Network Biology  
Biol 685 Biomedical Tracers  
Biol 692 Advanced Physiology  
Biol 699 Thesis Research (must take at least 4 credits)
Chem 653 Introduction to Polymer Chemistry  
Chem 658 Medicinal Chemistry  
EnvSci 611 Applied Statistics  
Physic 603 Nuclear Radiation Physics and Biophysics Laboratory  
Physic 604 Cryogenics and Vacuum Technology  
Physic 609 Physics of Medical Imaging  
Physic 610 Topics in medical Imaging  

Students wishing to substitute any other courses for those on this list of electives must have prior approval from their Academic Advising Committee and the graduate program director in biology.

Each student prepares a written report on his or her research work and must also take an oral examination, which will not necessarily be limited to the topic of the report. The student must submit an outline of the report to his or her advising committee before taking the oral examination.

Students may choose either an internship option 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 4 additional research credits, as Biol 699. This, in combination with two semesters of Biol 696, will allow for a maximum of 10 credits toward research.

Note: These degree requirements are subject to change as developments in the field affect the program's curriculum. Please contact the director of graduate programs in biology for the most current information.

Admission Requirements

  • Submission of the graduate admissions application form.
  • A distinguished undergraduate transcript; 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 4-year college or university of recognized standing.
  • Official transcripts of all graduate and undergraduate work. (Two copies of each transcript must be sent directly to the university's Office of Graduate Admissions. 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.
  • Submissions 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 go to Graduate Admissions.
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.

Transfer Credit Policy

Applicants who have completed appropriate graduate course work at other accredited institutions may transfer the equivalent of six credits toward UMass Boston graduate degree requirements from courses in which the applicant received a grade of B or higher, provided these are courses that have not been used to fulfill requirements for another degree, and were completed no more than seven years before the applicant's matriculation of UMass Boston. Transfer credit is subject to the final approval of the graduate program director and the dean of graduate studies.

Costs and Financial Aid

As a public university, the costs of attending UMass Boston are moderate, especially for students who qualify as residents of Massachusetts. Financial aid is available in the form of grants, loans, and a limited number of assistantships that provide a stipend and remission of tuition.

For information about financial assistance please see the graduate assistance page, or write or call:

Office of Financial Aid Services
University of Massachusetts Boston
100 Morrissey Blvd.
Boston, MA 02125

Further Information

Please consult the frequently asked questions (FAQs) at the bottom of the preceding Graduate Programs home page.

Biotechnology and Biomedical Science Faculty

  • Steven Ackerman, PhD, University of Pennsylvania; Molecular Biology of Gene Regulation
  • Gregory Beck, PhD, State University of New York at Stony Brook; Evolutionary Immunology
  • Kenneth Campbell, PhD, University of Michigan; Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology, Reproductive Ecology
  • Adán Colón-Carmona, PhD, University of California Irvine; Cell Biology, Genetics and Molecular Biology of Plants
  • Katherine Gibson, PhD, Princeton University; Plant - Microbe Interactions, Cell Signaling, Cell Cycle Regulation
  • Andrew Grosovsky, ScD, Harvard University; Mechanisms of Mutagenesis and Genomic Instability in Human Cells
  • William Hagar, PhD, Temple University; Photosynthesis
  • Linda Huang, PhD, California Institute of Technology; Cell Biology, Signal Transduction, and Regulation of Cell Morphology
  • Richard Kesseli, PhD, University of California at Davis; Evolution, Molecular and Population Genetics
  • Kenneth Kleene, PhD, University of Washington; Developmental Molecular Biology
  • Alexia Pollack, PhD, Neurobiology
  • Michael Shiaris, PhD, University of Tennessee; Microbial Ecology
  • Rachel Skvirsky, PhD, Harvard University; Molecular Genetics, Microbiology
  • Manickam Sugumaran, PhD, Indian Institute of Science; Protein Chemistry, Enzymology
  • Alexey Veraksa, PhD, University of California, San Diego; Cell Signaling and Gene Regulation in Development

Faculty in the School for the Environment and Computer Science and Chemistry Departments also participate in this program.

Please note:
All information on this website is subject to change.
This website is neither a contract nor an offer to make a contract.