• Master of Science in Biotechnology

    The Master of Science in Biotechnology program at Worcester State University helps you broaden your understanding of the biological sciences and prepares you for careers and doctoral programs in the growing field of biotechnology.

    With classes available in the late afternoons and evenings, our flexible, part-time program is designed  with working students like you in mind. The program offers the possibility of transferring up to 12 eligible credits of graduate work—also making it a great value. We also offer a 4-Plus option for our current undergraduate biotechnology major that enable the undergraduate and graduate degree requirements to be completed in 5 years.

    WSU’s biotechnology curriculum covers a wide range of topics in biology and chemistry, and some courses include a hands-on laboratory component, through which you’ll put classroom theory into practice. What’s more, you’ll have exciting opportunities to conduct research with our accomplished faculty or with other experienced scientists in the field. You’ll demonstrate your mastery of program coursework by completing a research project and writing a thesis—and passing a written and/or oral examination when you defend your thesis.

    While many of our students have continued their studies beyond the master’s level, others have found success in an array of laboratory settings in education, industry, research, and manufacturing. In fact, some of our recent graduates are employed by Worcester-area colleges and universities, and most are at various biotechnology companies. As a program graduate, you’ll gain all the advantages that come with being part of our network of biotechnology professionals.

  • Admissions Requirements
    In order to be admitted to the program, a candidate must meet the WSU Graduate School's general admission requirements. 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
    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
    • 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.