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Degree Overview: Master’s Degree Program in Biotechnology Studies

Majors Overview April 27, 2015

Get information about master’s degree programs in biotechnology studies and their educational requirements, coursework, and job and wage outlook.

Master’s Degree Programs in Biotechnology Studies

The focus of the work of professionals in the biotechnical field is on the interactions of existence, in addition to the evaluation and manipulation of microbiological (or atomic), biological, and biochemical structures. Many areas of biotechnology are available to students, including natural products, microbiology, the history of mammals, cancer ecology, and vegetable and herbal growth. Students also study other topic areas, like genomics, genes, enzymes, and cloning.

The program includes lab work, and internships as major components within it. A thesis based on their research must often be completed by students. It takes about 24 credits to complete master’s degree programs focusing in biotechnology within two years. Applicants are expected to hold a bachelor’s degree in a biology-related field.

Educational Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to a master’s degree program to have completed some prior education in a bio-related field and hold at least a bachelor’s degree. The admission process involves the completion of a formal application, submission of an application fee, presentation of transcripts and GRE scores, and submission of letters of recommendation. Prior work experience may also be a requirement at some schools.


The focus of program coursework is primarily on cell systems, molecules, chromosomes, and genetic materials; instruction is imparted through lab work and internships. Students also engage in experimentation with microscopic cells and learn about ways of separating genetic materials as well as liquid from solids. The program coursework includes the completion of a thesis. Core coursework may include topic areas such as:

•Human immune system
•Motion of material bodies
•Development of biological materials
•Creation of small particles

Job and Wage Outlook

Over the 2010 – 2020 decade, a much-faster-than-average job growth rate of 19% have been predicted for biochemists and biophysicists (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In May 2012, these professionals brought home an average annual wage of $81,480. Microbiologists, who are expected to see a job growth rate of 7% over the same decade, earned an average annual wage of $66,260 (BLS).

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