Master of Science in Biotechnology

Program Format
On-Ground|Online|
College Name
Application Deadlines
Fall 2022

Domestic or International In-Country: August 1, 2022
International Out of Country: June 1, 2022

INTERNATIONAL STUDENT STUDY PERMITS

We recommend students looking to pursue a Study Permit apply 3 months minimum in advance of the program start date.

Learn more about Study Permit application on the OGS website.
Credits Required for Graduation
34 Semester Hours

Overview

Northeastern’s MS in Biotechnology is an innovative, non-thesis graduate degree program. The curriculum of this professional science master’s combines advanced interdisciplinary training in biology, chemistry, chemical engineering, and pharmaceutical science with the development of high-value business skills critical to success in today’s dynamic workplace. Graduates are prepared to innovate, collaborate, and lead as research, managerial, or technical professionals in a wide range of biotechnology specialties. The program is taught by respected faculty who are also senior leaders in their fields. They bring extensive experience, first-hand knowledge of industry trends, and assure that the curriculum is rigorous, current, and relevant.

Students choose from concentrations in which core courses are combined with specialization and elective study. All concentrations feature a co-op work experience with an industry, academic, or government employer. All concentrations except the biotechnology enterprise concentration include a hands-on lab experience and opportunities to take part in independent work in research labs. The following concentrations are available on our Boston campus:

  • The agricultural concentration goes beyond the production of biological drugs and focuses on the key agricultural biotechnology (agritech) principles and methods used today. Successful students learn the principles of agritech and the role they play in the concepts and fundamentals of agriculture today. The concentration addresses plant, animal, food, and ecological biotechnology.  The learning of the students is reinforced by both lecture courses and project-driven laboratory experience that provides hands-on learning of modern agricultural methodologies.
  • The biodefense concentration prepares students for the initial homeland biodefense and bioterrorism response. Successful students learn the microbiology and epidemiology of biological agents that are potential threats, identify and propose countermeasures, and develop expertise in response and recovery strategies and policies. The learning combines the foundational biotechnology courses with case-based and hands-on bioethical, biowarfare, and bioterrorism courses.
  • The molecular biotechnology concentrationprovides students with didactic and practical knowledge in molecular biotechnology, protein expression, and structural biology. Students learn how to generate and optimize molecular forms used to express recombinant proteins to be used as biopharmaceuticals. Particular attention is paid to cutting-edge technologies such as RNAi and CRISPR/CAS9. In addition, the students learn how to purify biopharmaceuticals and analyze aggregation and how to prevent it.
  • The process science concentrationfocuses on the production of drug substance of biopharmaceuticals from the cell culture process to purification of biologic molecules. The 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. The learning of the students is reinforced by both lecture courses and project-driven laboratory experience that provides hands-on learning of cell culture and protein separation.
  • The manufacturing and quality operations concentrationtrains students to ensure the production of quality medicines. Students will improve their competency and learn new practical skills, enabling them to increase productivity in various sectors of biotechnology—including basic research of biological systems, discovery, development, and manufacturing of biopharmaceuticals.
  • The biopharmaceutical analytical sciences concentrationfocuses 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. The 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.
  • The pharmaceutical technologies concentrationfocuses 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.
  • The scientific information management concentrationfocuses on the collection, analysis, and visualization of scientific data. This concentration addresses the issues surrounding big data that face industry today. Students learn how to manage, store, visualize, and provide overall analysis of large scientific data sets. This is accomplished through both lecture courses and project-driven laboratory experiences that provide hands-on learning of the impacts of data on the scientific process.
  • The biotechnologyregulatory science concentration focuses on the science behind good regulatory practice today. This concentration addresses the issues surrounding current and innovative science practices that influence regulatory decisions. Students learn the science behind compliance. This is accomplished through both lecture courses and project-driven laboratory experiences that provide hands-on learning of the science behind dossier analysis.
  • The biotechnology enterprise concentrationintegrates 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.

Students are not required to declare a concentration. With the elective option, students select 11 credits of electives in place of concentration-specific courses.

Career Outlook

The multi-billion-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 start-ups.

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