MS in Biotechnology Frequently Asked Questions

What is a professional science master’s?

The Professional Science Master’s or PSM is a type of Master of Science degree that combines courses in advanced science, math, or technology with business and professional skills courses and real world hands-on training. It is a non-thesis program.

What degree will I be awarded when I graduate?

You will be awarded a Master of Science (MS) in Biotechnology.

Is the program full or part-time?

Applications are accepted for both full and part-time for the Boston campus and part-time for the Seattle campus. Full-time application are accepted for the fall semester only. Part-time application are accepted for both fall and spring. Students who attend part-time go through the program at their own pace.

I work during the day. Will I be able to attend classes?

The program was designed to accommodate working students.  Classes are scheduled for the late afternoon or evening.  Most classes begin at 5:00 or later.

How long does it take to complete the program?

For students who attend full-time, 2 to 2⅓ years.  Students who attend part-time usually take one or two courses per semester typically completing the program in 3 to 4 years.

I am an international student.  Can I apply to the program?

Yes. International students are accepted at the Boston campus and must attend on a full-time basis.

If I apply to one track (concentration) and am accepted into the program, can I change to another track after I am enrolled?

Yes. Students apply to the track they intend to pursue at the time of application. However, the track is not officially declared until the end of the first year of curriculum. Students can choose a different track from the one they applied to at that time.

I started but did not finish a program at another institution.  Can I transfer credits?

Students are allowed to transfer up to 9 credits from another institution provided the credits were not used to obtain another degree.  The courses must be graduate level and the student must have earned the equivalent of at least a “B” grade.  Students must be accepted into the program before they can petition for credits to be considered for transfer. A description and syllabus for each course must be submitted.  Courses must be the equivalent of a core course or approved elective in the Biotechnology PSM Program.

Are there pre-requisite course requirements?
Yes.  At least one undergraduate course in each of the following subjects is required:

-biochemistry
-molecular biology or genetics or physiology
-organic chemistry
-college-level calculus

Physics is not a requirement. It cannot be substituted for any of the four above courses.

What if I am missing a pre-requisite course?  Can I still apply?

Yes. Missing the pre-requisites is not a barrier to application for any potential applicant.  However, if accepted, those applicants missing pre-requisites must complete them by a specific date.

I took calculus in high school, will that fulfill the calculus pre-requisite?
If the course was recognized by your undergraduate institution as fulfilling that institution’s mathematics requirement and is acknowledged/credited on the undergraduate transcript then it may fulfill the Biotechnology Program’s calculus requirement. Submit the course syllabus for review.

What are the application requirements?

[See the website, Future Students, Admissions or Educational Programs, Admissions]

My research has been published.  Should I include publications in my application package?

Publications, reports, competition projects and/or awards are not required to be uploaded to the application, but they should be referenced (publication title/award name) on your CV/resume.  Another option would be to cite or summarize key results from past projects as part of your accomplishments in your personal statement if that is compatible with the composition.

Can I waive the GRE requirement?
[See the website, Future Students, Admissions or Educational Programs, Admissions]

I am currently employed.  Am I still required to perform the co-op?

Yes, students with permanent jobs will work with the graduate co-op coordinator, their work supervisor, and their academic track advisor to design a special project that meets the co-op requirement.  A student’s permanent job will not fulfill the co-op requirement – the project must be separate from daily work.  There is not a specific number of hours required for the special project.  The project description will be reviewed and approved by the academic director and will be 3 months (12 weeks) to 6 months in length.  The co-op coordinator will perform a site visit with the student and supervisor during the co-op period.

How long is the co-op?

The co-op is a minimum of 3 months (12 weeks), maximum of 6 months in length.

Am I responsible for finding my own co-op?

Yes, students are responsible for securing their own co-op.  However, the program has a dedicated co-op coordinator who is available to help students produce a professional resume and improve their interviewing skills. She will inform students of available positions, train them on how to perform a search, and help them successfully navigate the interview process. The co-op coordinator teaches the co-op preparatory course that covers subjects such as how to dress for the interview and how to negotiate salary.

Is the co-op paid?

Ideally the student obtains a paid co-op.  However, there is no guarantee that the position will be paid.

Does the co-op have to take place in a lab?

The co-op is not limited to laboratory positions. Students have performed co-ops related to the business side of the industry, for example, in technology licensing or in marketing.  However, all co-op descriptions are carefully reviewed and must be approved by the faculty and staff of the program to ensure that the student receives a quality experience.

When does the co-op take place?

Students are not allowed to perform the co-op in their first year of study. They are expected to focus on their courses during that time.  Ideally the co-op occurs at or near the end of the program. Students who have completed their coursework are better positioned to be accepted for a co-op position. Students must be in good academic standing in order to perform the co-op.