Master of Science
Main Campus - Melbourne

Master of Science in Biological Sciences–Biotechnology

The marine environment is a rich source of pharmaceuticals, polymers, diagnostic reagents and genetically diverse organisms. The biological processes of the majority of marine organisms are not well understood and the biotechnology industry lacks individuals trained to develop and practice biotechnology using marine animals, plants and microorganisms. The master's program in biotechnology is a nonthesis program that builds on Florida Tech's unique location on the Atlantic coast, and its established strengths in marine biology, marine ecology, natural products chemistry, molecular biology and biochemistry to provide a path for students who aspire to learn biotechnology and earn jobs in industry. The program is focused on those areas of biotechnology related to microbiology, natural products chemistry and molecular biology of marine organisms. Students are provided with a diverse combination of classroom experience, field studies, chemical and molecular biological laboratory techniques and development of communication skills most appropriate for an industrial or academic research career.

The goal of this training program is to produce individuals with a strong interdisciplinary background in biology and chemistry, who will be qualified to meet the needs of biotechnology in industrial or academic settings. To provide additional experience with state-of-the-art technology, students in this program have the opportunity to include summer internships in an industrial laboratory as part of their degree training. In most cases, these internships are related to collaboration between Florida Tech faculty and a particular laboratory in a biotechnology firm. Internship sites include Merck, Sharp and Dohme (Rahway, N.J.), Lederle Labs (Pearl River, N.Y.) and Zymogenetics (Seattle, Wash.). Those students wishing to receive internship training locally may substitute a research experience with Florida Tech faculty, subject to approval.

Admission Requirements

The applicant must have a bachelor of science degree in biology, chemistry, biochemistry or equivalent. Applicants deficient in organic chemistry, genetics, biochemistry or microbiology are required to take undergraduate courses before starting the master of science 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 enrollment, by October 1.

Degree Requirements

The master's degree in biotechnology is conferred on students who have successfully completed 30 credit hours that may include six credit hours of internship and/or three credit hours 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 three-credit hour courses:

BIO 5012 Protein Biotechnology 3
BIO 5014 Plant Biotechnology 3
BIO 5539   Microbial Biotechnology   3

Remaining restricted electives include graduate-level biotechnology courses that 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. The program concludes with a final program examination (oral).