M.S. in Molecular Biotechnology curriculum

The curriculum is divided into three phases. The first nine months are focused on formal coursework. In the next 12 months, students will complete a well-defined research project in a research laboratory. In the last three (summer) months, students have the option of remaining in the research lab or, upon Graduate Committee approval, continuing their practical training as an intern in a biotechnology company or organization outside of WSU.

Work during this internship can involve any aspect of biotechnology, including for example: commercial or private enterprises, marketing or sales, or participation in biotechnology publishing.

Year one

Starting fall semester

The primary goal for the curriculum in year one is to provide all students entering the program with the basic and applied scientific theory necessary to succeed in a biotechnology research lab. Very few assumptions are made as to previous training. During this period students will learn the theory behind commonly employed biotechnology methods. All students will be required to take two laboratory courses (BIO 6020 and 6120) that will expose them to common microbiological and molecular biological methods. BIO 6020 will include certification classes conducted by the university on laboratory and biohazard safety, radiation safety, and procedures for working with animal or human subjects.

Student progress evaluation

At the end of the first academic year, the Graduate Committee will evaluate each student's performance in the classroom. Students must achieve a minimum grade point average of 3.0 to continue in the program.

Selection of research mentors

The director of the biotechnology program will oversee the placement of students into a laboratory for their research project and internship. The director will solicit faculty and student feedback on laboratory placement thus matching both student and faculty interests/requests. There will be no limit on the number of students who may be mentored in a lab provided the faculty concerned has indicated in writing their willingness to accept and mentor these students. In special circumstances, students may be placed in laboratories outside of the Department of Biological Sciences. The Graduate Committee will resolve any conflicts in the selection process.

Year two

The focus in year two is laboratory experience but with an emphasis on technology theory and research productivity.

Student final evaluation

At the end of the winter semester of year two students will submit a written report of their research project in the form of an M.S. thesis. They will also make an oral presentation of their research. A committee consisting of the research mentor, another graduate faculty and the director of the program will jointly evaluate the student report and oral presentation. Thus, each student will have individualized committees similar to that of an M.S. student except that in the case of biotech students the director will be a member of every Committee.

Biotechnology internship (summer of year two)

Students have the option of remaining in the research lab or, upon Graduate Committee approval, continuing their practical training as an intern in a biotechnology company or organization outside of WSU. Work during this internship can involve any aspect of biotechnology, including for example commercial or private research, marketing or sales, or biotechnology publishing. Grading awarded will be on the basis of U or S.

Curriculum review

This sample plan of work represents one path to degree completion and does not guarantee graduation by the proposed timeline subject to student performance and class availability. Students are advised to meet with their advisor to develop an individualized plan of work.

Year one, semester one (fall)

Course # Title Credits
BIO 5330 Principles and Applications of Biotechnology I 3
BIO 6020 Methods: Analyses 4
BIO 6000 Molecular Cell Biology I 3
     
Total 10

Year one, semester two (winter)

Course # Title Credits
BIO 6330 Principles and Applications of Biotechnology II  3
BIO 6120 Molecular Biology Laboratory I 3
BIO 6010 Molecular Cell Biology II 3
  Elective (Public Health Major)  
Total 9

Year one, semester three (summer)

Course # Title Credits
BIO 7996 Research Problems  2
     
Total 2

 

Year two, semester four (fall)

Course # Title Credits
  Bioinformatics related course or Human Genetics or BIO 6160 Proteins and Protomics  
BIO 6070 Visual and Performing Arts (VP) 3
BIO 8995 Biology Seminar 2
BIO 7996 Research Problems 3
     
Total 8

Year two, semester five (winter)

Course # Title Credits
BIO 7996 Research Problems 3
BIO 6994 Technical Communication in Molecular Biotechology 3
  Elective 2
     
     
Total 8

Year two, semester six (summer)

Course # Title Credits
BIO 8996 Biotechnology Internship 2
     
Total 2