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University Bulletin
Graduate Degree Programs

Biotechnology (BIO T)

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SCOTT SELLECK, Department Head, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

LOIDA J. ESCOTE-CARLSON, Lead Program Chair
211 Life Sciences Building
814-863-5751; lje6@psu.edu

Degree Conferred:

The Graduate Faculty

 

The Program

The Master of Biotechnology degree program is offered through a collaboration of the Life Sciences Consortium with the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and the Department of Chemical Engineering. It is a multidisciplinary program involving at least thirty-two regular faculty members from fourteen different academic departments in Penn State University as well as ad hoc mentors from the academic faculty and from industry. The Master of Biotechnology curriculum is designed to give students broad knowledge and training in the scientific and practical aspects of biotechnology. It involves innovative, hands-on, and multidisciplinary learning approaches to educate and train students in the science behind biotechnology, its business and legal aspects, and the ethical and social issues that it brings about. In addition, the courses and the activities required of all students in this program intend to develop team working and communication skills, which are very important in industry in particular. Graduates of this program are expected to have the knowledge and training for diverse career options: as academic educators, as scientists in both academic and industry settings, as members of decision-making business and management teams in government and biotechnology industries, as bioentrepreneurs, and as members and leaders of governmental, public, and private organizations that deal with social, ethical and legal issues in biotechnology. Furthermore, because of their broad knowledge in biotechnology, graduates of this program are expected to fill a niche in industry where knowledge and ability to interphase and communicate with various functional groups within the organization are required.

Admission Requirements

Applications will be considered in accordance with the requirements of the Graduate School as described in the GENERAL INFORMATION section of the Graduate Bulletin. The program is appropriate for students with a baccalaureate degree in biological sciences, chemistry, or engineering or other baccalaureate degrees that include sufficient credits from relevant courses in the life sciences. Applicants must have a minimum junior/senior grade point average of 3.00 (on a 4.00 scale). Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) scores are required with a combined total of at least 1700 points for the verbal, quantitative, and analytical tests. Typically, students are admitted as part of a cohort to commence studies in the fall. The best-qualified applicants will be accepted up to the number of spaces available for new students.

Degree Requirements

A minimum of 30 graduate credits is required for completion of the program, 18 credits of which must be from courses in the 500 level. Students are required to take 16 to 19 credits from core courses described below. Additional credits are from industry internship and elective courses which are determined based on the interest and career track the student decides to pursue: agriculture, medical applications, or diversified. All Master of Biotechnology candidates are required to write a research paper based on a research project conducted in an academic research laboratory or in industry. A student whose research project is conducted in an academic laboratory will be required to do an internship in industry.

Core Courses

AGRICULTURAL AND BIOLOGICAL ENGINEERING (A B E)

  • 468. MICROBIOLOGICAL ENGINEERING

BIOCHEMISTRY AND MOLECULAR BIOLOGY (B M B)

  • 400. MOLECULAR BIOLOGY OF THE GENE (3)

BIOTECHNOLOGY (BIOTC)

  • 479. METHODS IN BIOFERMENTATIONS (3)

INTEGRATIVE BIOSCIENCES (IBIOS)

  • 571. CURRENT ISSUES IN BIOTECHNOLOGY (2)
  • 590. LSC COLLOQUIUM SEMINAR SERIES (1)
  • 591. ETHICS IN THE LIFE SCIENCES (1)
  • 593. MOLECULAR BIOLOGY LABORATORY (3)
  • 594. RESEARCH PROJECT IN BIOTECHNOLOGY (3-6)

Electives

These courses are chosen from offerings in various academic departments based on students' interest or track and career objectives. These include IBIOS 595 (Industry Internship), which is required unless a student already opted to do IBIOS 594 (Research Project) in industry, and IBIOS 597C (Special Topics: Advanced Laboratory Techniques in the Life Sciences), another elective course that is virtually required of students who intend to pursue research and development careers in industry. This is a modular laboratory course dealing with specialized techniques currently used in life sciences research: mammalian cell culture and monoclonal antibody production, quantitative cell analysis by flow cytometry and digital microscopy, nucleic acid sequence analysis, high-throughput analysis of nucleic acids using microarrays, protein analysis by mass spectrometry, techniques in animal transgenics, and other specialized techniques a student may arrange to work on with a research laboratory on campus.

Integrated B.S. in Biotechnology - Master of Biotechnology in Biotechnology Program

The integrated B.S. in Biotechnology-Master of Biotechnology degree program is designed to enable qualified undergraduate students in the B.S. Biotechnology program to graduate in five years with the Master of Biotechnology degree. The requirements of the Master of Biotechnology degree are designed to prepare students for diverse career opportunities in the burgeoning biotechnology industry. The integrated B.S. Biotechnology-Master of Biotechnology program will enhance the preparation and qualifications of B.S. Biotechnology students seeking entry-level positions in biotechnology and related industries. At the same time, students develop a practical knowledge of the laboratory techniques that underlie current research in the life sciences that will serve as excellent preparation for those students in the Master of Biotechnology program who later decide to pursue further graduate degrees.

A maximum of 12 credits will be cross-counted towards the B.S. and Masters degrees, from the following courses:

  • B M B 400(2-3)
  • BIOTC 479(3)
  • IBIOS 571(2)
  • IBIOS 591(1)
  • IBIOS 593(3)

B.S. Biotechnology Requirements:

Total credits required: 125
GENERAL EDUCATION: 46 credits (15 of these are included in the REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MAJOR)
REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MAJOR: 94-95 credits

  • Prescribed courses: 67 credits
  • Additional courses: 6-9 credits
  • Supporting courses and related areas: 18-21 credits

Master of Biotechnology Requirements:

Total credits required: 30 (18 of which must be from 500-level courses)

  • Required courses: 16-19 credits
  • Electives: 11-14 credits

Integrated B.S. in Animal Sciences - Master of Biotechnology in Biotechnology

The integrated B.S. in Animal Sciences Master of Biotechnology in Biotechnology degree program is designed to enable qualified undergraduate students in the B.S. Animal Sciences program to graduate in five years with the Master of Biotechnology degree. The requirements of the Master of Biotechnology degree are designed prepare students for diverse career opportunities in the burgeoning biotechnology industry. The integrated B.S. in Animal Sciences Master of Biotechnology in Biotechnology program will enhance the preparation and qualifications of B.S. Animal Sciences students seeking entry-level positions in biotechnology and related industries. At the same time, students develop a practical knowledge of the laboratory techniques that underlie current research in the life sciences that will serve as excellent preparation for those students in the Master of Biotechnology program who later decide to pursuer further graduate degrees.

A maximum of 12 credits will be cross-counted towards the B.S. and Masters degrees*.

YearSemesterB.S. Animal Sciences
(125 credits required)
credits completed
I Fall 15
  Spring 16
II Fall 15.5
  Spring 16
III Fall 15
  Spring 15.5
IV Fall 15*
  Spring 17*
Total credits for B.S. 125

* The following courses to be taken in these semesters will be cross-counted towards the B.S. and Master of Biotechnology. degrees:

  • BIOTC 479. Methods in Biofermentation OR CH E 409 (3 credits)
  • B M B 400. Molecular Biology of the Gene (2-3 credits)
  • IBIOS 571. Current Issues in Biotechnology (2 credits)
  • IBIOS 591. Ethics in the Life Sciences (1 credit)
  • IBIOS 593. Molecular Biology Laboratory (3 credits)
Total credits cross-counted in B.S. and Master of Biotechnology degrees12 credits, 6 of which are 500-level credits
Master of Biotechnology in Biotechnology (30 credits required, 18 of which must be 500-level)
IV Summer IBIOS 595 or equivalent in AN SC (2 credits)
Internship
V Fall IBIOS 594. Research Project (3-6 credits)
  Spring IBIOS 590. Colloquium (1 credit)
Electives, 500-level (3-6 credits)
Other graduate level electives (6 credits)
Minimum total credits earned for Summer and 5th year 18 credits, at least 12 of which are 500-level credits

Admission Requirements

Students must have a GPA of 3.5 at the time of application to the integrated degree program when they have completed at least 75 credits of their B.S. curriculum. The GRE scores normally required in the Master of Biotechnology in Biotechnology program will be waived for applicants to the integrated B.S.-Master of Biotechnology degree.

Graduate courses carry numbers from 500 to 599 and 800 to 899. Advanced undergraduate courses numbered between 400 and 499 may be used to meet some graduate degree requirements when taken by graduate students. Courses below the 400 level may not. A graduate student may register for or audit these courses in order to make up deficiencies or to fill in gaps in previous education but not to meet requirements for an advanced degree.

AGRICULTURAL AND BIOLOGICAL ENGINEERING (A B E) course list

BIOCHEMISTRY, MICROBIOLOGY, and MOLECULAR BIOLOGY (BMMB) course list

BIOTECHNOLOGY (BIOTC) course list

INTEGRATIVE BIOSCIENCES (IBIOS) course list

 

Last Revised by the Department: Summer Session 2006

Blue Sheet Item #: 34-06-359

Review Date: 4/11/06

Faculty linked: 5/27/14

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