Biotechnology

[Fields of Study]

Graduate and Adjunct Graduate Faculty: All members of the graduate and adjunct graduate faculty are included in Biotechnology.

The Biotechnology program at UNT Health Science Center is a specialized master's program designed to train individuals for careers in industry and research by providing the tools and experience needed for highly technical positions offered in emerging biotechnology companies, life science organizations, and research institutions. The Master of Science degree in the discipline of biotechnology is administered by the Department of Biomedical Sciences. 

The master's degree in biotechnology will provide a strong foundation upon which to build a career. The rigorous curriculum focuses on providing students a broad-based view of the biomedical sciences, as well as in depth knowledge of lab management and industry practice, ethical issues, and laboratory skills necessary to prepare the student for a career in the biotechnology and life science industry. As part of the Biotechnology program, all students will complete a 2-semester (40 hours/week) internship practicum in biotechnology and use this experience to write a detailed internship practicum report pursuant to receiving the Master of Science degree. The average time to complete the degree is 2 years. Students are only admitted in the summer semester.

Opportunities for Graduates in Biotechnology

Biotechnology in the United States is a dynamic industry and there are many opportunities for employment. When considering a career in biotechnology, most people think of a scientist in a white coat in a laboratory developing drugs to improve the quality of life. However, biotechnology has a wide variety of career opportunities ranging from sales and marketing, to research and development, to manufacturing and quality control and assurance. The biotechnology industry continues to flourish nationwide. Not only are the total number of biotechnology companies increasing, but employment in the biotechnology field continues to grow as well since the number of employees has increased by more than 90 percent.

There are many career options for someone with a graduate degree in biotechnology. Career options include: a bioinformatician helps to design, develop and use tools for gaining information about biotech procedures, implement these tools and analyze the data obtained from them. A biotechnical scientist works as part of a team of scientists under the direction of a group leader on a given product. A consultant provides advice and support in product development, process implementation, forensic analysis, manufacturing, and management recruitment and training. Their goal is to identify possible problems or issues and help trouble-shoot them, ensuring optimal client returns on investment. An industry researcher is a professional who helps define the range and scope of new areas of research. 

Program Requirements

Each student is responsible for the completion of the requirements for the program according to the procedures that follow. Each item must be completed in the sequence and time period indicated. Forms are subject to revision at any time and should be obtained from the GSBS Forms and Guidelines website.

  1. The admissions committee will review all applicants for acceptance into the MS in Biotechnology Program. A student must have a bachelor’s degree and must meet the general admission requirements as described in the catalog in effect at the time of application. All applications must be completed and received in accordance with the deadlines published in the academic calendar. A student admitted into the Master of Science program in biotechnology must take a minimum of 9 semester credit hours (SCH) per long semester and 6 SCH during the summer (24 SCH/year).
  2. Students must be in good academic standing prior to be allowed to start their internship at a site (cumulative GPA 3.0). Exceptions to this rule can only be granted by the dean or his designee.
  3. By the end of the second summer semester or before, usually six weeks prior to starting the internship, the student will be assigned a major professor and an advisory committee consisting of the major professor and two other graduate faculty members. The names of these individuals must be filed in the GSBS Office of Admissions and Services prior to starting the internship or no later than one week after starting. In addition, a degree plan must also be filed with the GSBS Office of Admissions and Services at this time.
  4. During the fall and spring semesters of the second year, the student will enroll in Internship Practicum (BMSC 5697; 9 SCH). The internship will be at a site previously approved by the advisory committee. During this time, the student will gain experience in tasks associated with the application of biotechnology in an industrial setting.
  5. A formal research proposal describing how the practicum is to be spent must be approved by the advisory committee and submitted  to the graduate school 6-8 weeks after starting the internship.
  6. At the end of Internship Practicum (BMSC 5997), students will present their work as both oral and written reports. The oral presentation will be open to the public and will then be followed by a private defense with the advisory committee. The student must submit a first draft of his/her internship practicum report and internship daily journal to the major professor prior to the public seminar for review. The major professor must approve the internship practicum report prior to the student submitting it to advisory committee members. The final written report should be given to the committee no later than two (2) weeks before the formal defense. Students should coordinate the reservation of a seminar room with the Graduate School office no later than one (1) month prior to their defense. At this time the committee will either approve/or not approve the work of the internship and the report. If disapproved, the student may have a chance to revise the report or repeat the practicum one time at the discretion of the committee. The major professor together with the other members of the committee will assign a letter grade to the practicum. The report must be submitted in accordance with the instructions for completing graduation requirements within the deadlines for graduation published in the academic calendar. A more detailed description of the internship practicum and report requirements may be found in the Internship Practicum Guidelines available on the GSBS Graduation website.
  7. It is strongly suggested that the student and major professor, as well as the major professor and the on-site mentor, communicate on a regular basis to review the student’s progress during the practicum. 

Degree Plan

The following is a typical degree plan for students in the biotechnology discipline. 

Degree Plan

Year 1: Summer

BMSC 5400

Biostatistics for Biomedical Sciences 4 SCH
BMSC 5900.001 Special Problems: Short Course in Health Disparities 1 SCH
MOLB 5201.001 Introductory Biochemistry 2 SCH


7 SCH
Year 1: Fall

BMSC 5301 Integrative Biomedical Sciences I: Principles of Biochemistry 4 SCH
BMSC 5302 Integrative Biomedical Sciences II: Molecular Cell Biology 4 SCH
BMSC 5303 Integrative Biomedical Sciences III: Immunology and Microbiology 2 SCH

BMSC 5160

Biomedical Ethics

1 SCH
BMSC 5170 Techniques in Biomedical Sciences 1 SCH
BMSC 5250 Laboratory Management 2 SCH
BMSC 5310 Scientific Communications 3 SCH


17 SCH
Year 1: Spring

BMSC 5304 Integrative Biomedical Sciences IV: Physiology

5 SCH

BMSC 5305 Integrative Biomedical Sciences V: Pharmacology 2 SCH

BMSC 5140

Seminar in Current Topics

1 SCH

BMSC 5170

Techniques in Biomedical Sciences

1-2 SCH

11-12 SCH



Year 2: Summer

CBAN 6440 Methods in Molecular Biology 4 SCH
BMSC 5170 Techniques in Biomedical Sciences 2 SCH


6 SCH
Year 2: Fall

BMSC 5697 Laboratory Internship Practicum 9 SCH



Year 2: Spring

BMSC 5697 Laboratory Internship Practicum 9 SCH



TOTAL
59 SCH

Internship Practicum (BMSC 5997)

Internship Practicum (BMSC 5997) provides a hands-on training experience for the biotechnology student. The program director will identify approved, on-sight and off-campus internship opportunities in north Texas and will work to place students at suitable sites. From time to time, opportunities may exist in other parts of the state or country. It is also possible that occasional opportunities will exist on the campus. The internship takes approximately 2 semesters (32 weeks, 40 hrs/week) during which the student will be working under the direct supervision of an internship mentor at the internship location. UNTHSC does not offer any remuneration to the student when he/she is enrolled in BMSC 5697 and the student should not expect to be paid as an intern.  The student is responsible for transportation to and from the site, whether it is on-campus or off-campus. The student is expected to keep a laboratory notebook/daily journal during this experience. At the end of the practicum, the student will write a report detailing the activities of the internship. The student’s advisory committee must approve this report together with the laboratory notebook. The student must make a formal presentation to the advisory committee and defend the work at this time. A copy of the report must be submitted within the appropriate deadlines for graduation as published in the GSBS Academic Calendar.

Support

In general, master’s students do not qualify for graduate assistantships. They are, however, eligible to apply for the Elena and Thomas Yorio Scholarship for First-Year Students and the Rachel Dauphin Memorial Scholarship (continuing students).

Please contact the recruitment office at gotogradschool@unthsc.edu or 817.735.2789 with any questions.

This page last updated 01st Aug 2014