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University Bulletin
Graduate Degree Programs

Biotechnology (BIO T)

Program Home Page (Opens New Window)

WENDY HANNA-ROSE, Interim 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 Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and the Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences. It is a multidisciplinary program involving faculty members from 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 develop transferable professional skills such as 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. 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

Admission requirements listed here are in addition to requirements stated in the GENERAL INFORMATION section of the Graduate Bulletin. Applicants apply for admission to the program via the Graduate School application for admission.

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 for verbal, quantitative, and analytical writing. 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

Requirements listed here are in addition to requirements stated in the DEGREE REQUIREMENTS section of the Graduate Bulletin.

 

A minimum of 30 credits at the 400, 500, or 800 level is required for completion of the degree, 18 credits of which must be from courses in the 500 or 800 level, with a minimum of 6 credits at the 500 level. Students are required to take 16 to 18 credits from core courses listed below. Additional credits are from industry internship or cooperative education (co-op) and elective courses. A list of approved elective courses is maintained by the graduate program office. All Master of Biotechnology candidates are required to write a research paper based on a research project conducted in an academic, government, or industry research laboratory as the culminating experience for the degree. The research paper is completed while the student is enrolled in MCIBS 594.

Core Courses

BIOCHEMISTRY AND MOLECULAR BIOLOGY (BMB)

  • 400. MOLECULAR BIOLOGY OF THE GENE (2)

BIOLOGICAL ENGINEERING (BE)

  • 468. MICROBIOLOGICAL ENGINEERING (alternative course to BIOTC 479) (3)

BIOTECHNOLOGY (BIOTC)

  • 479. METHODS IN BIOFERMENTATIONS (3)

MOLECULAR, CELLULAR AND INTEGRATIVE BIOSCIENCES (MCIBS)

  • 571. CURRENT ISSUES IN BIOTECHNOLOGY (2)
  • 590. COLLOQUIUM (2)
  • 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 also include MCIBS 595 (Internship) and any 596 (Individual Studies) course under a faculty member whose research relates to a student’s area of interest. A list of approved elective courses is maintained by the graduate program office.

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.

Student must fulfill all degree requirements for each degree in order to be awarded that degree, subject to the double-counting of credits as outlined below. Degree requirements for the Bachelor of Science in Biotechnology are listed in the Undergraduate Bulletin. Degree requirements for the Master of Biotechnology in Biotechnology degree are listed above. Students must sequence their courses so all undergraduate degree requirements are fulfilled before taking courses to count solely towards the graduate degree. If students accepted into the IUG program are unable to complete the M.BIOT. degree, they are still eligible to receive their undergraduate degree if all the undergraduate degree requirements have been satisfied.

Up to 12 credits may be double-counted towards the degree requirements for both the graduate and undergraduate degrees; a minimum of 50% of the double-counted courses must be at the 500 or 800 level. Credits associated with the culminating experience for the graduate degree cannot be double-counted.

The courses that will double count for both degrees are:

  • B M B 400. Molecular Biology of the Gene (2)
  • BIOTC 479 or BE 468. Methods in Biofermentation (3)
  • MCIBS 571. Current Issues in Biotechnology (2)
  • MCIBS 590. Colloquium (2)
  • MCIBS 591. Ethics in the Life Sciences (1)
  • MCIBS 593. Molecular Biology Laboratory (3)

B.S. Biotechnology Requirements:

Total credits required: 125

The recommended academic plan for completion of the requirements in B.S. Biotechnology can be found in this link:  http://bmb.psu.edu/undergraduate/form-center/academic-plans

Master of Biotechnology Requirements:

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

  • Required courses: 16-18 credits
  • Electives: 12-14 credits

 

Admission Requirements for the IUG Program

Students must apply to the program via the Graduate School application for admission, and must meet all the admission requirements of the Graduate School and the Biotechnology graduate program for the Master of Biotechnology degree, listed above. Students shall be admitted to an IUG program no earlier thatn the beginning of the third semester of undergraduate study at Penn State (regardless of transfer or AP credits accumulated prior to enrollment) and no later than the end of the second week of the semester preceding the semester of expected conferral of the undergraduate degree, as specified in the proposed IUG plan of study.

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 rquired in the Master of Biotechnology in Biotechnology program will be waived for applicants to the integrated B.S.-Master of Biotechnology degree.

In consultation with an adviser, students must prepare a plan of study appropriate to this integrated program, and must present their plan of study in person to the head of the graduate program or the appropriate committee overseeing the integrated program prior to being admitted to the program. The plan should cover the entire time period of the integrated program, and it should be reviewed periodically with an adviser as the student advances through the program.

M.BIOT.--Additional Specific Requirements

A minimum of 30 credits at the 400, 500, or 800-level is required for completion of the Master of Biotechnology program, 18 credits of which must be from courses at the 500 or 800 level, with a minimum of 6 credits at the 500 level. A minimum of 16 credits is required in core courses, including a minimum of 3 credits in MCIBS 594 Research Topics, where students complete the final research paper. 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 as the culminating experience for the degree

 

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

BIOTECHNOLOGY (BIOTC) course list

INTEGRATIVE BIOSCIENCES (IBIOS) course list

 

Last Revised by the Department: Fall 2018

Blue Sheet Item #: 47-01-000

Review Date: 8/28/2018

Faculty linked: 5/27/14

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