Biotechnology (BTEC)

Graduate Programs in Biotechnology

RICHARD E. WOLF, Jr., Ph.D., Graduate Program Director
SHELDON E. BROEDEL, Jr., Ph.D., Associate Graduate Program Director

Degrees Offered

Master in Professional Studies (M.P.S.): Biotechnology; Graduate Certificate in Professional Studies: Biotechnology Management; ADDED Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Biochemical Regulatory Engineering (See separate listing under Chemical and Biochemical Engineering Department)

M.P.S.: Biotechnology

Program Description

Designed for professionals in the biotechnology field, the M.P.S. program incorporates advanced life science courses with regulatory and management courses. In addition to providing advanced instruction in the life sciences, the program provides practical instruction on how to bring new products to market successfully. The program also includes coursework in leadership, management and financial management in a life-science-oriented business.

Degree Requirements

The M.P.S.: Biotechnology is designed as an applied, terminal masterís degree that incorporates science, regulatory and management courses. The M.P.S. curriculum consists of 10 courses (30 credits) and covers biotechnology science, bioregulatory affairs and management.

Life Science Courses*        15 credits

  • BTEC 650: Applied Biochemistry
  • BTEC 651: Molecular and Cell Biology
  • BTEC 652: Molecular Biotechnology
  • BTEC 653: Applied Bioprocess Engineering
  • BTEC 654: Emerging Topics in Biotechnology

*These courses are offered in sequence starting in the fall semester of each year. All pre-requisites must be met with a grade of ďCĒ or better.

Core Management Courses        12 credits

  • BTEC 660: Regulatory Issues in Biotechnology
  • BTEC 665: Management, Leadership and Communication
  • BTEC 670: Legal and Ethical Issues in the Science Profession
  • BTEC 680: Financial Management for Science Professionals

Program Elective        3 credits
(Chose one from the following)

  • BTEC 662: Good Manufacturing Practices for Bioprocesses
  • BTEC 685: Project Management Fundamentals
  • BTEC 690: Innovation and Technology Entrepreneurship

Internship Option

Students interested in acquiring practical experience within a biotechnology-related company may apply for an internship through the UMBC Shriver Center. The option to earn academic credit is available.

MPS Program Admissions Requirements
  • A bachelorís degree in biology, chemistry, biochemistry or chemical/ biochemical-engineering with a GPA of 3.0 or higher. Additionally, the successfu completion of two semesters of organic chemistry is required.
  • GRE scores are not required if the bachelorís degree was earned at an accredited U.S. university.

International Admission

The M.P.S.: Biotechnology can accommodate the full-time course load required for international students. International students are required to take two additional electives courses. These electives may be customized to ft the particular professional development needs of the student. All international students are required to start in the fall semester.

All international applicants need to meet the following minimum requirements:

  • A bachelorís degree in biology, chemistry, biochemistry or chemical/biochemical engineering*
  • Minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 on 4.0 scale
  • Two semesters of organic chemistry
  • GRE scores are not required for this program
  • TOEFL Scores: Minimum scores 597 (Written), 247 (computerized), 99 (iBT). Scores must be less than 2 years old.
  • iBT Score Breakdown: Writing (23), Listening (23), Reading (25), Speaking (28)

*If you have a three-year degree versus a four-year degree your transcript will be reviewed to determine whether you have met the necessary pre-requisites for the masterís program. Eligibility for admission can only be determined upon receipt of a complete application. Application information can be found at www.umbc.edu/gradschool/admissions.

Use the code PRST-BT on the application form for Master in Professional Studies Biotechnology.

Financial Assistance

Because this program is designed primarily for working professionals, graduate assistantships are not available. International students must provide their own support for full-time enrollment in this program. For details on international student financial requirements, see the International Education Services Web site at www.umbc.edu/ies.

Graduate Certificate in Professional Studies: Biotechnology Management

Program Description

The four-course (12 credit) Professional Studies Certificate in Biotechnology Management is designed to provide the business and management skills needed for success in the biotechnology field. All credits earned in this certificate may be applied to the Master of Professional Studies (M.P.S.): Biotechnology degree.

Degree Requirements

To earn the Graduate Certificate in Professional Studies: Biotechnology, students must complete four courses: Regulatory Issues in Biotechnology (BTEC 660), Leadership and Team Building (BTEC 665), Legal and Ethical Issues in the Science Professions (BTEC 670) and Financial Management for Science Professionals (BTEC 680).

Program Admission Requirements

To apply for admission, you should have a bachelorís degree with a GPA of 3.0 or higher. GRE scores are not required. To view admission information, visit www.umbc.edu/gradschool/admissions/.

Use the code PSBM on the application form, under Certificate Information for Certificate of Professional Studies in Biotechnology.

Course Listing

BTEC 650
Applied Biochemistry [3]

This course will review the chemistry of living systems, with an emphasis on topics of biotechnological and biomedical interest. The course will also survey the methods used in modern biochemistry so students will be able to understand the connection between empirical data and the established facts and concepts presented in the course. The first part of the course will focus on the relationship between the structure and function of proteins, nucleic acids, carbohydrates, lipids and membranes. Important chemical concepts relevant to these molecules and their components (amino acids, nucleotides, etc.), such as pH and weak chemical interactions, will be presented. After an introduction to enzyme kinetics, the course will concentrate on the principles and pathways of intermediary metabolism. The final topics will be concerned with informational biochemistryóDNA replication, recombination, repair and transcription, as well as protein synthesis.

BTEC 651
Molecular and Cell Biology [3]

This course explores the molecular basis of cell structure, organization and function. Topics include genetic mechanisms (DNA replication, repair and recombination, genome organization, regulation of gene expression), internal cellular organization and activity (the cytoskeleton, membrane structure/function, cytoplasmic organelles, sorting to intracellular compartments, vesicular trafficking, intracellular communication), cell growth and reproduction (the cell cycle, cell division) and cells in the context of the organism (cell junctions and adhesion, extra-cellular matrix, cell motility, cell-cell signaling). An emphasis will be placed on experimental methods and strategies applied to molecular and cell biological investigations. Text and lecture materials will be supplemented with readings from the current literature, and significant class time will be allotted to discussions and student presentations. Prerequisite: BTEC 650 or equivalent course in biochemistry.

BTEC 652
Molecular Biotechnology [3]

A lecture-, discussion- and project-based course that focuses on the molecular and genetic tools used to analyze and modify genetic material and to modify organisms to produce desired small molecules and proteins. Topics will include the properties and uses of biotechnology-useful enzymes, sequencing techniques, PCR, cloning vectors and hosts, DNA and protein microarrays, directed mutagenesis and the manipulation of expression (and its levels) of particular gene products. The experimental and model systems that will be studied include bacteria, yeast, plant and higher mammals. Extensive use of Internet resources and online journals will be expected. Prerequisite: BTEC 651 or consent of instructor.

BTEC 653
Applied Bioprocess Engineering [3]

A chemical engineering course covering basic process engineering, from the milliliter to the kiloliter scale. Topics relevant to the commercial bioprocesses used in the food, pharmaceutical and waste treatment industries will be introduced. Both upstream processes (e.g., fermentation, cell growth, energetics, mass transfer and enzyme kinetics) and downstream processes (chromatographic separations, ultrafiltration and waste treatment) will be covered. Prerequisite: BTEC 652 or consent of instructor.

BTEC 654
Emerging Topics in Biotechnology [3]

This seminar-style, capstone course is an in-depth exploration of emerging technologies, innovations and new products that are noteworthy to the biotechnology industry. The first half of the course focuses on examining and critiquing what new scientific discoveries will likely impact the industry and in what ways. In the second half of the course, students, working in teams, will give written and oral presentations on case studies that attempt to predict products derived from the new innovations and discoveries. The objective of the course is to give the student insight into the process of translating scientific discovery into innovative products. Prerequisite: BTEC 653 or consent of instructor.

BTEC 660
Regulatory Issues in Biotechnology [3]

This course provides a comprehensive coverage of all steps involved with the regulatory approval process for a biotechnology-derived product. Documentation preparation for IND, NDA, BLA. Pre-clinical safety data, clinical studies, facilities inspection and scientific and regulatory principles.

BTEC 662
Good Manufacturing Practices for Bioprocesses [3]

In-depth coverage of developing and implementing good manufacturing practices (GMPs) in the biotech industry. Topics include building and facilities, equipment design, utilities, in-process controls, records and adequate process validation.

BTEC 665
Leadership and Team-Building [3]

In this course, students will analyze leadership case studies across a wide range of industries and environments in order to identify effective leadership and communication principles that may be applied in their own organizations. Students will learn how to influence people throughout their organization, lead effective teams, create an inclusive workplace, and implement and manage change.

BTEC 670
Legal and Ethical Issues in the Science Professions [3]

This course offers an overview of legal issues affecting biotechnology and other science-based industries and frames basic philosophical and ethical considerations regarding genetic data and manipulation. The course includes a discussion of intellectual property issues.

BTEC 680
Financial Management [3]

This course will cover the fundamentals of setting up, reading and analyzing financial statements and reports in a science-based business setting. Course topics will include: project budgeting, profit planning, return on investment and basic corporate finance. Students will analyze case studies from the biotechnology and other science-based industries.

BTEC 685
Project Management Fundamentals [3]

Students learn the fundamentals of managing projects in a systematic way. These fundamentals can be applied within any industry and work environment and will serve as the foundation for more specialized project management study. Principles and techniques are further reinforced through practical case studies and team projects in which students simulate project management processes and techniques.

BTEC 690
Innovation & Technology Entrepreneurship [3]

This course offers an overview of innovation and its role in entrepreneurial ventures, both new companies and within existing corporations. Additionally, the basics of entrepreneurship with specific emphasis on technology-based business start up will be investigated. For the purposes of this course technologies include IT engineering, and biotech. This course covers where to find innovative ideas and how to determine if a business idea is feasible along with a high level discussion of the critical success factors in new venture start up.