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Master of Science in Biotechnology

Program Coordinator: Dr. Peter Bradley
Tel: 508-929-8571
Biology/Biotechnology Courses

The Master of Science in Biotechnology is a part time program designed to broaden the students understanding of the biological sciences and to prepare the student for professional careers in Biotechnology or doctoral study. Classes are usually held in the evenings and combine lectures with laboratory experiences in a broad range of subjects. Individual courses are open to students who hold a Bachelor’s degree in a biological subject or Biotechnology. Many students enrolled in the program part-time are employed in Massachusetts Biotech companies and have finished the program in three years.

Prerequisites for Admission to the Program:

In order to be admitted to the program a candidate must meet the Worcester State University general admission requirements for the degree of Master of Science. To view these requirements please go to:

 The program is open to graduates of accredited institutions of higher education who have been awarded a baccalaureate degree in Biology, Biotechnology, Chemistry or similar majors and they can start taking classes while they are applying. Graduate study in Biotechnology at Worcester State University assumes sound undergraduate training and pronounced academic capability. The applicant should have achieved a minimum grade point average of 2.75 in all undergraduate work and an average of 3.00 in all course work within his/her major at the junior and senior level.

Program of Study for the Degree

The quantitative requirement for the degree is 33 graduate credits in an approved schedule of courses within the program. In addition, students must show computer science proficiency or statistics competency. This ancillary requirement is usually satisfied by taking an additional approved course. All work for the degree must be completed within a period of six years from the date of admission to the program.

Of the 33 credits required for the degree, at least 21 credits must be earned as a matriculated graduate student at Worcester State University. Credits for which students have earned a “B-” or higher within a two year period immediately prior to the date of their acceptance into the program are transferable from an accredited institution, including credits earned at Worcester State University. A maximum of 12 such transfer credits may be accepted. Matriculated students who do not maintain a GPA 3.0 or higher or have two grades below a “B-” will be terminated from the program.

Degree Requirements required of all students:

            Satisfy ancillary requirement in statistics or computer science
            BI 921  Biotechnology and DNA 4 credits
            BI 927  Tissue Culture Techniques 3 credits
            BI 930  Biological Chemistry 3 credits
            Biology or Chemistry electives 14 credits minimum
            BI 990  Seminar in Biology/Biotechnology 3 credits
            BI 995  Research in Biology/Biotechnology 6 credits (Acceptable
            thesis and thesis defense)

Elective Courses are from this list or others when approved by the faculty:

            BI 905  Historical Perspectives
            BI 910  Public Health Parasitology
            BI 915  Advanced Botany
            BI 935  Biochemical Techniques
            BI 936  Immunology
            BI 937  Molecular Virology
            BI 938  Toxicology
            BI 940  Reproductive Physiology
            BI 945  Neuroendocrinology
            BI 980  Selected Topics in Advanced Biology
            BI 981  Independent Study in Biology/Biotechnology
            BI 985  Graduate Internship in Biology/Biotechnology
            CH 941  Biochemistry of Nucleic Acids
            CH 942  Structure & Function of Proteins
            CH 943  Laboratory Techniques in Biochemistry
            CH 990  Special Problems in Chemistry
            CH 991  Directed Study
            CH 996  Internship in Chemistry

To fulfill requirements for the Course BI 995 Research in Biology/Biotechnology (6 credits) the candidate must complete an acceptable thesis or paper submitted in publishable format based upon the original research based on laboratory research experience. Laboratory investigations are supervised by faculty in the laboratories at Worcester State University or by arrangement at another institution. The candidate must adhere to the form specified for the thesis by the Biology Department graduate faculty. The thesis will be defended in an oral examination conducted by the faculty. During the semester in which the candidate anticipates receiving the degree, the following timetable for the thesis completion and defense shall apply.

1. A minimum of four weeks prior to graduation the paper must be presented to the candidate’s graduate research advisor.

2. A minimum of two weeks prior to commencement the final copy of the paper, following approval by the candidate’s graduate research advisor, will be evaluated.

Comprehensive Examination/Thesis defense:

To receive the Master of Science in Biotechnology the candidate is required to pass a comprehensive examination/thesis defense in the candidate’s area of specialization. If a candidate fails the examination he/she will be granted one other chance to satisfactorily fulfill this requirement. At least twenty-four approved graduate credits must be earned before the candidate can submit a request for the scheduling of a comprehensive exam/thesis defense.

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