Master of Science in Biotechnology
Northeastern’s Biotechnology Programs comprises the Master of Science in Biotechnology and seven graduate stackable certificates*. The MS in Biotechnology is a Professional Science Master’s program, an innovative, nonthesis graduate degree program. It combines advanced interdisciplinary training in biotechnology, biology, chemistry, and pharmaceutical sciences with the development of high-value business skills critical to success in today’s dynamic workplace.
Students who have completed up to two certificates* may apply those credits to the master’s. MS graduates are eligible to apply for certificates, not in the subject of their MS concentration.
*Please note that some graduate certificates are only available on ground at the Boston campus.
Who Should Apply
The MS in Biotechnology is well-suited for students right out of college or students who are looking to advance their career and have been working for several years. Students pursue the MS degree for multiple reasons including personal satisfaction, career advancement, moving to a managerial role, enhancing their salary, and to change specificities in the field.
The program is designed for students of diverse academic backgrounds to be successful. A typical student has a strong chemistry, biochemistry, or biology background; however, other engineers, sciences, and humanity majors can be successful. Upon graduation, students are team leaders or lead researchers; we typically have a 95% placement rate within six months of graduation.
Employment in the Biotech Industry
Source: Research and Development in Biotechnology (NAICS 541711)
Core courses and electives are in biotechnology, biology, biostatistics, business, chemical engineering, and chemistry. Students choose from five concentrations in which core courses are combined with elective study matched with their specialization. All science concentrations give students the opportunity to participate in hands-on lab experience and take part in independent work in research labs. All concentrations feature a co-op assignment with a leading industry employer. Current program concentrations include:
• Molecular Biotechnology – Integrates biochemistry and molecular biology in the cellular context. Includes the organization and replication of genomes, principles and methods for genetic manipulation, the regulation of gene expression, and the structure and function of organelles. Emphasizes protein synthesis, including translation, post-translational modifications, and translocations of proteins within the cells and secretion.
• Process Sciences – Focuses on the production of drug substance of biopharmaceuticals from cell culture process to purification of the biologic molecules. Students learn the principles of development and implementation of biological manufacturing processes through the integration of concepts and fundamentals of engineering and life sciences. The concentration addresses biochemical engineering, mammalian cell culture process development, and protein purification. Student comprehension is reinforced by both lecture courses and project-driven laboratory experience that provides hands-on learning of cell culture and protein separation.
• Biopharmaceutical Analytics – Focuses on structures and activities of biological molecules and their variants formed during the production of biopharmaceuticals. Students learn the diversity of molecular forms derived from the biological products through various biological and chemical mechanisms, and the impact of these structural changes on the safety and efficacy of these biopharmaceuticals. Students learn the science and practice applied in the biotechnology industry to analyze and characterize these molecular forms. This is accomplished through both lecture courses of the analytical sciences and project-driven laboratory experience that utilizes analytical techniques such as mass spectroscopy and molecular separations.
• Pharmaceutical Technologies – Focuses on the conversion of purified proteins to biopharmaceutical drug products that are compatible for clinical use. This concentration addresses the design of the product formulation and the development and implementation of the drug product manufacturing processes. Students learn the sciences of the interactions of the biologic molecules in the process conditions and the relevant process technology, such as aseptic operations and freeze-drying, needed for drug product manufacturing. This is accomplished through both lecture courses and project-driven laboratory experience that provides hands-on learning of formulation design and drug product process development.
• Biotechnology Enterprise – Integrates business and management skills with the science of biotechnology. Students learn the fundamental concepts of leadership, entrepreneurship and innovation, financial decision making, and marketing. They gain teamwork, management, and business development skills in the process and graduate prepared to become scientist-managers. Some of the specialization courses for this concentration are offered only online.
After New England, the San Francisco Bay Area is the 2nd highest region for innovation capital raised in the biotech sector as of 2016 according to EY’s report “Biotechnology Report 2017: Beyond Borders Staying the Course”.
Explore our suite of biotechnology programs offered at the San Francisco location. See program details below.
Master of Science in Bioinformatics
Northeastern’s Master of Science in Bioinformatics provides cross-disciplinary training in biology, computer science, and information technology—along with real-world experience. The program prepares graduates to play pivotal roles in today’s cutting-edge life science, biotechnology, and pharmaceutical industries focused on genomics, proteomics, personalized medicine, drug discovery, and cancer therapy. Learn more.
Certificates are targeted to those who want to advance their careers without getting a master’s degree.
- Graduate Certificate in Biotechnology*: Designed in response to a need in the biotechnology industry for individuals without a biotechnology background to obtain a strong foundation in basic biotechnology concepts and skills.
- Graduate Certificate in Experimental Biotechnology**: Designed in response to a need in the biotechnology industry for individuals without a biotechnology background to obtain a strong foundation in lab-based, hands-on, biotechnology skills.
- Graduate Certificate in Molecular Biotechnology**: Designed in response to a need in the biotechnology industry for individuals with an advanced knowledge of the principles and practices of state-of-the-art molecular biology techniques and advanced protein structure analysis.
- Graduate Certificate in Process Sciences: Designed in response to a need in the biotechnology industry for individuals with an advanced knowledge of the principles and practices of process development of biopharmaceuticals.
- Graduate Certificate in Biopharmaceutical Analytical Sciences: Designed in response to a need in the biotechnology industry for individuals with an advanced knowledge of the principles and practices of state-of-the-art analyses of protein structures with focus on the characterization and quantification of proteins and variant derivatives.
- Graduate Certificate in Pharmaceutical Technologies: Designed in response to a need in the biotechnology industry for individuals with an advanced knowledge of the principles and practices of the stages of drug development and biopharmaceutical development. Two courses are offered in on-ground format only.
- Graduate Certificate in Regulatory Science*: Designed in response to a need in the biotechnology industry for individuals, in particular regulators, to obtain a strong foundation in the science behind good regulatory practice today, specifically in relation to biopharmaceuticals.
- Graduate Certificate in Biotechnology Enterprise*: Designed in response to a need in the biotechnology industry for individuals with a biotechnology background to obtain a strong foundation in the business aspects of biotechnology to help prepare for a more business-oriented role.
* This program can be taken completely online.
** This program can be taken on-ground at the Boston campus, San Francisco campus, or online with an on-ground residency at the Boston campus or San Francisco campus required. To qualify for application, individuals must be eligible to study in the U.S. on a part-time basis.
Microcredentials in Biotechnology
The ever-changing landscape of the biotechnology field requires constant training. This minicourse is designed to familiarize participants with some of the most cutting-edge topics available in molecular biology today: stem cells, RNA interference, CRISPR/CAS9, CAR T-cells, gene therapy, and more. Participants will learn the theory behind these new technologies, how they are done, and their power in scientific discovery and treatment.
Graduates are prepared to innovate, collaborate, and lead as research, managerial, or technical professionals in a wide range of biotechnology specialties.
The multibillion-dollar biotechnology industry is diverse, growing, and filled with opportunity. Individuals with advanced scientific knowledge, intellectual flexibility, drive, and professional skills can pursue paths of innovation with the potential to meet critical healthcare and environmental challenges—and to change lives. The industry’s unparalleled growth is projected to continue in the coming years. The result is an ongoing expansion of career opportunities on every level and in every industry sector, from large pharmaceutical operations to entrepreneurial biotechnology startups.
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