Master's in Biotechnology

Master of Science
Main Campus - Melbourne
Major Code: 8024 Degree Awarded: Master of Science
Age Restriction: N Admission Status: graduate
Delivery Mode/s: classroom only Location/s: main campus
Admission Materials: 3 letters of recommendation, objectives, GRE

Biotechnology is a rapidly evolving industry with major impact on healthcare, environmental remediation, agriculture and energy resources. In order to compete effectively for a position in this growing area, students must be capable of integrating information from the classroom and the laboratory in multiple disciplines including biology, chemistry, engineering, computer science and business. The biotechnology program provides the opportunity for a student to choose areas of biotechnology most appropriate for the research or business career they desire. Students are provided not only with a curriculum that includes core courses fundamental for all areas of biotechnology, but also a program sufficiently flexible to prepare the student for work in industry or academia, or transition to other advanced educational programs. Strong emphasis is placed on the development of communication skills highly valued in the biotechnology industry.

To provide additional experience with state-of-the-art laboratory technology, students have the option to include research internships in an academic or industrial laboratory as part of the degree. Florida Tech is uniquely positioned in a rapidly expanding biotechnology corridor in Florida (Scripps and Max Planck Institutes, Port St. Lucie; Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville; and the Lake Nona Medical Research Campus and Sanford/Burnham Medical Research Institute, Orlando), and qualified students may participate in ongoing research at these laboratories. Students may also apply credit for work in faculty laboratories at Florida Tech or at summer internships out of state.

Admission Requirements

The applicant must have a bachelor's degree in biology, chemistry, biochemistry or equivalent. Applicants deficient in organic chemistry, genetics, biochemistry, molecular biology or microbiology are required to take undergraduate courses before starting the master's program. For this program, GRE scores (General Test only), three letters of recommendation and a statement of objectives are required. Admission decisions for fall semester enrollment are made by March 15, and for spring semester by October 1.

Degree Requirements

The Master of Science in Biological Sciences/Biotechnology is a nonthesis option and requires satisfactory completion of 30 credit hours that may also include six credits of internship (on or off campus) and/ or three credits of research. Students are required to take Cell and Molecular Biology (BIO 5501 ) and Laboratory Methods (BIO 5016 ) in addition to at least one of the following:

  • BIO 5012 Protein Biotechnology
    Credit Hours: 3
    Introduces the fundamentals in protein biotechnology in industrial, medical and agricultural applications. Includes expression of recombinant proteins and analysis, transgenic animal and transgenic plant for protein production, gene therapy and the current status of the protein biotechnology industry.
  • BIO 5014 Plant Biotechnology
    Credit Hours: 3
    Focuses on the underlying plant science and its possible exploitation in biotechnology. Includes recombinant DNA technology, plant-water relations and drought resistance, photosynthesis and global warming, selecting variant plants from cultures and phytoremediation.
  • BIO 5539 Microbial Biotechnology
    Credit Hours: 3
    Overviews microbes as producers of economically important proteins and other organic compounds. Includes expression of proteins from cloned genes, antibiotics, fermentation, bacterial degradation, environmental applications and culture methodology.

Remaining restricted electives include graduate-level (5000 or above) biotechnology-related courses and may be offered by departments other than biological sciences. Coursework is selected under the direction of the student's advisor and approved by the department head. This nonthesis option concludes with a final program examination.