Admission requirements

  1. Graduation from an accredited college or university with a 3.00 cumulative grade point ratio and at least 24 semester hours in biology and a general program, including related scientific subjects, which would be equivalent to the biology major offered for the Bachelor of Science degree at Fairleigh Dickinson University. Students who are deficient in some subject, but whose records are otherwise superior, may make up their deficiencies while they are enrolled in the graduate program.
  2. Undergraduate academic attainment in biology, which meets with the approval of the graduate biology faculty.
  3. Submission of an official score report for the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test taken within the last five years. (The GRE requirement is waived for applicants who have completed a master’s degree.)
  4. Three letters of recommendation.

Applicants who have not completed all requirements for admission to the degree program may be permitted to enroll in classes for credit on a non-matriculated or non-degree basis.

Requirements for the Master of Science degree, Biotechnology concentration (total 32 credits)

  1. Satisfactory completion of a minimum of 32 credits in the courses approved for a graduate major in biology. A minimum of 20 credits must be taken in biological sciences. A maximum of 6 credits may be transferred from another institution with the permission of the school director if these credits are not part of an existing master’s degree. In addition, courses may be taken in other colleges and campuses of the University, with the director’s permission.
  2. Before a student may register beyond 9 credits, he or she is required to obtain a biology adviser. The adviser will help the student select courses most appropriate for the student’s needs and interests. Ideally, the student will select a faculty member in the area of interest most closely paralleling his or her own. This faculty member also may serve as the student’s mentor.
  3. Students have the option of completing their degrees with or without a research option. Students electing to do the research and the thesis option must take the 4-credit sequence consisting of:

Required Biology Seminar courses (for 2 credits)

Biology Seminar I and II are both required and must be taken in the fall and spring semesters.

Required Biotechnology Concentration Courses (16 credits)



Biotechnology Concentration Electives (14 credits)

Choose from the following free elective courses. All the courses are 3 credits unless otherwise indicated.

Students have the option of completing their degrees with or without a research option. Students electing to do the research and the thesis option must take the 4-credit sequence consisting of:

Course Descriptions

  • BIOL5306 Study of the structure and function of the molecular and cellar components of the immune system, genetic bases of immune responses, normal and pathological responses, tumor immunology, transplantation, and immunological techniques. Open to qualified undergraduates with permission of instructor or advisor.

  • BIOL6240 Modern Cell Biology investigates the central concept for cellular functioning, DNA to RNA to Protein, by integrating biomolecules, biotechnology, regulating mechanisms, signals and signaling pathways and aberrations that result in pathology, such as cancer.

  • BIOL6241 The laboratory encompasses sequential experiments using tissueculture:cell toxicity; apoptosis; oxidative stress; immunocytochemistry, ELISA, SiRNA, or promoter-reporter transfection, mRNA isolation, polymerase chain reaction, gel electrophoresis; Northern blotting.

  • BIOL6632 Recent developments in special fields of biology.

  • BIOL6661 Experiments illustrating topics discussed in BIOL 6761 - Advanced Microbiology Lecture

  • BIOL6705 Molecular organization of cells. Internal membranes and synthesis of macromolecules. The cell nucleus and cell division. Control of the cell cycle. Cytoskeleton and cell- cell adhesion. The extracellular matrix and signal transduction.

  • BIOL6719 This course introduces methods of current genetic and genomic analysis to understand the molecular mechanisms of development and regulation of genes in embryonic development. Lectures are based on developmental biology textbook and scientific literature on model organisms.

  • BIOL6720 Purification of DNA. Manipulation of prokaryotic and eukaryotic DNA. Vectors, cloning, gene expression and in vitro mutagenesis. Production of proteins from cloned genes. Applications of recombinant DNA technology in basic research, medicine, agriculture and industry.

  • BIOL6724 Structure and function of human genes and chromosomes. Chromosome mapping and the Human Genome Project. Numerical and structural chromosomal abnormalities. Metabolic Defects. Genetic aspects of cancer and disorders of the immune system. Gene therapy. Genetic counseling. Ethical issues.

  • BIOL6728 Studies relating implications of biotechnological and biomedical innovations, individual perception of issues, and the universal policies influencing the state of living species.

  • BIOL6733 Enzyme sources and purification, structure, kinetics and mechanisms. Sequencing and characterization, biocatalysis, control of enzyme activity, clinical aspects of enzymology, and applications of biotechnology. Use of protein data banks and molecular modeling.

  • BIOL6743 Current biological research using mega amounts of data provided by microarrays, crystallographic, sequencing and other techniques. Topics explore such data and some of the analysis methods available on-line focusing primarily on the DNA chips used for transcriptional profiling.

  • BIOL6744 Experiments illustrating the topics discussed in BIOL 6743, Topics in Bioinformatics.

  • BIOL6745 Physiology of hormones from endocrine and non-endocrine cells. Molecular structure, homology, biosynthesis, secretion, transport and metabolism of hormones. Mechanism of hormone action and receptor specificity. Pathophysiology of hormones. Techniques of measurement of hormone, production of hormone analogs.

  • BIOL6747 Current biotechnology techniques, including DNA cloning, gene egulation and protein expression/activity, using in-vitro models as prokarytic, and eukaryotic cells or tissue-equivalents.

  • BIOL6748 Experiments illustrating the topics discussed in BIOL 6747 Biotechniques.

  • BIOL6756 Skin structure, function, and immunology and their impact on the application and efficacy of cosmetic products. Pharmacological principles such as pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics are reviewed. The importance of skin safety testing.

  • BIOL6758 Development and approval of new medications in the United States. Current medications used in the management of pathophysiological conditions involving the cardiovascular, respiratory, gastrointestinal, endocrine and nervous systems. Anti-viral and anti- bacterial agents. Immunotherapy. Orphan drugs.

  • BIOL6760 Virus morphology and chemical composition, transmission and dynamics of infection, virus entry, virus assembly, and virus vectors. Recent discoveries in molecular biology, pathogenesis, and medical aspects of viruses.

  • BIOL6761 Discussion of current topics addressing the organization and physiological processes in microorganisms, their impact in our lives and ecosystem.

  • BIOL6772 Principles and methods of biological testing for toxicity of effluents and receiving waters. Interpretation of laboratory and field tests that evaluate environmental hazards. Principles of cost-efficient compliance with toxicity limits placed on discharges.

  • BIOL6840 Biology, characteristics and requirements of cells in culture. Aseptic cell culture methods and applications of the techniques to specify types of cell lines. Evaluation of cultured cell function. Scale-up of cell cultures. Cell-based assays and drug discovery. Applications in recombinant DNA technology.

  • BIOL6845 Classic and current biotechniques to include handling numbers, weighing, and solution preparation, experimental design, spectrophotometry, chromatography, enzyme kinetics/inhibition, assays for reactive oxygen species, cell culture, agarose and polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, Southern & Western blotting, cloning, eukaryotic cells, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and real time.

  • BIOL6846 Experiments illustrate the topics discussed in BIOL 6845 Lecture: Techniques: Theories & Applications

  • BIOL6900 A series of lectures on topics of current interest by invited speakers. Exposure of students to research developments and techniques in selected areas of specialization.

  • BIOL6901 A series of lectures on topics of current interest by invited speakers. Exposure of students to research developments and techniques in selected areas specialization.

  • BIOL7803 The student is required to write and then defend before a faculty committee a thesis based on laboratory research and prepared under gthe supervision of a faculty member

  • BIOL7804 The student is requi8red to write and then defend before a faculty committee a thesis based on laboratory research and prepared under the supervision of a faculty member.