Master's Degree

Biotechnology (M.S.)

Basic Degree Information/Description:

The Master of Science degree in Biotechnology offers opportunities for rigorous, advanced study and research in biotechnology, in order to prepare students for employment and research in this rapidly advancing and expanding field.  A broad common base of knowledge for biotechnology is provided in the Master's degree by a comprehensive core curriculum that includes key areas in biochemistry, cell and molecular biology and immunology.  Additional coursework is selected from a list of laboratory courses (some required) and approved electives in a broad range of subjects. The opportunity to develop additional technical expertise may also be available through an internship in biotechnology-based companies.

Why pursue an M.S. in Biotechnology at UTSA?

  • Only University in San Antonio offering post-graduate training in Biotechnology.
  • The Biomedical/Biotechnology industry is one of the largest industries in San Antonio
  • Program includes hands-on laboratory training for every student in the program in techniques widely used in academic and biotechnology research labs.

Admission Requirements and Deadlines

Degree Requirements: Typically, a Master’s degree program of study will consist of 36 semester credit hours beyond the bachelor’s degree. Undergraduate courses, general education courses, and prerequisites for graduate courses cannot be counted toward this total. For a complete list of degree requirements please see the Graduate Catalog.

Admission requirements and pre-requisites: Bachelor's degree with 18 credit hours in field of study or in another appropriate field of study, comparable to the Bachelor of Science degree in Biology at UTSA.

Specific Degree Requirements: In particular, incoming students are required to have taken and received at least a "B" in upper-division undergraduate lecture and laboratory courses in cell biology and biochemistry, and to have an undergraduate course in genetics.  In addition, an undergraduate course in immunology, preferably with a laboratory component is recommended.  Students whose undergraduate preparation is deficient in one of these subjects but who meet the remaining standards for admission may be conditionally admitted and required to complete specific undergraduate course(s) as a condition of admission. In such cases students should anticipate that additional time will be required to complete the degree.  A grade point average of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) on the last 60 semester credit hours of academic study is required for admission. Students who do not meet this requirement and are interested in acceptance as a Special Graduate student or a non-degree-seeking student should apply to the M.S. in Biology program.  The nature of the program dictates that the number of students admitted each year is limited and, as a consequence, gaining admission is highly competitive.

Graduate Studies Application: Yes

Department Application: No

Transcripts: Official transcripts from all institutions attended.  All international transcripts must be recorded in English or officially translated to English.

Test Scores: General GRE Required

Resume or CV: No

Letters of Recommendation: 2 L/R required

Statement of Purpose: Yes- statement of future plans for a career in Biotechnology

Minimum TOEFL Score (for International Applicants): 550 paper/79 internet

Minimum IELTS Score (for International Applicants): 6.5

Additional Requirements:  International students and those with international degrees may be required to submit additional documents per our admissions policies and procedures. The Graduate School reserves the right to request any additional documents needed to fairly and consistently evaluate applicant credentials.

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Application Deadline Dates

Domestic Applicants (Citizens and Permanent Residents):
Spring- November 1 (Priority Deadline- September 1)
Summer- April 1
Fall- July 1 (Priority Deadline- April 1)

International Applicants:
Spring- September 1
Summer- March 1
Fall- April 1

Contact Information:

Graduate Advisor of Record: Valerie Sponsel, Ph.D.
Email: valerie.sponsel@utsa.edu
Telephone: (210) 458-5929

Degree Website: http://bio.utsa.edu/graduate-studies/master-of-science-in-biotechnology/

Degree Catalog Link: http://www.utsa.edu/gcat/chapter6/COS/biodept.html#msbt

Career Options Available for an M.S. in Biotechnology Graduate:

  • Students can use the program as either a stepping stone towards entering a PhD degree program or to provide valuable training to assist in obtaining a job in either the Biomedical or Biotechnology industry.

Funding Opportunities:

  • Teaching Assistantships are Available

Course Scheduling and Offerings:

  • This program is housed on UTSA’s Main campus.
  • A handful of courses are offered in the evenings but most courses - especially the lab-based courses take place during the day.

Research taking place in the Biotechnology M.S. program:

  • The Biology Dept has approximately 50 tenured and tenure track faculty conducting research in a variety of research areas.
  • Several Research Centers are located on the UTSA Campus
  • Faculty conduct research in a wide range of subjects such as neurobiology, molecular microbiology, immunology, developmental biology, botany and stem cell biology.
  • Graduating students have been accepted into Ph.D. programs at Institutes such as the MD Anderson Cancer Center and Carnegie Mellon University.

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