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Master of Science in Biotechnology

Degree - Master of Science in Biotechnology, MS
Concentration: N/A

Description of Program

The Master of Science in Biotechnology degree program is designed to train students in cellular and molecular biology and genetic engineering. Students are acclimated to a firm foundation in the principles of genetics and molecular biology of both prokaryotic and eukaryotic organisms. Students specialize in an area appropriate to his or her interest and career goals. Graduates are prepared for career experiences in government, university, and industry positions or to continue their training in an advanced degree program or professional school.

Learning Outcomes

  • Clearly articulate research goals, objectives an experimental design goals and potential experimental outcomes of thesis level research
  • Organize, interpret, and present results generated from research in a manner consistent with guidelines established by the graduate school
  • Synthesize and prepare an abstract of research at a national, regional, or state research conference to present findings
  • Obtain employment in related biotechnology fields, or admission to a doctoral program or professional program

Admission Requirements:

Students applying for entrance to the Master of Science in Biotechnology are required to submit an application for admission, Apply Online (www.alcorn.edu/academics/graduate-studies).

  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Official transcript from an accredited school (if a student has attended more than one school, transcripts must be submitted from all schools attended). At least one transcript must document the student has a bachelor’s degree with a cumulative grade point average of 3.0. Some departments have additional requirements students must meet for admission
  • Immunization Record

Decisions are made only after receipt of all credentials by the department’s admission committee. The Center for Biotechnology uses an admission formula to accept students. The entire application packet, including all supporting materials, must be submitted to the Graduate School. Official test scores must be submitted from Education Testing Service (ETS) and must not be older than five years, official transcripts from the sending school, and Credential Evaluations (International students) from an approved Credential Evaluation Service.

Standardized Test:

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test is the official standardized test required for admission to the Master of Science in Biotechnology. WAIVED

Degree Requirements:

The curriculum for the Master of Science in Biotechnology requires 33 credit hours of coursework and a thesis for degree completion. An oral defense of the thesis is required for progression to degree completion. Students complete 24 hours of required core credits and 9 hours of electives.

Graduation expectations require the following:

  • A minimum of 27 credit hours of graduate instruction must be completed in residence at Alcorn State University
  • Earn no more than two Cs in coursework
  • Write an acceptable thesis and defend it orally
  • Official transcripts on file for all transfer credits accepted by the University

Academic advisors are allowed to accept up to six semester credit hours earned at an accredited university with a grade of “B” or higher for graduate coursework completed. Substitutions of coursework are allowed with the approval of an advisor and department administrators up to nine hours if the substitution(s) meet curriculum requirements.

See Transfer of Credits Policy for additional information.
See the Substitution of Courses Policy for additional information.

Academic Track: Capstone Project

The thesis is an exit requirement for the Master of Science in Biotechnology. The Center for Biotechnology has specific expectations for selection of topics for the thesis research. Students pursue independent research on a question or problem of their choice in the relevant disciplines under the guidance of a graduate faculty to produce a paper that reflects understanding of the topic and in the respective discipline.

Master Degree Audit:

Before candidacy for graduation can be confirmed, each student progression to degree completion will be evaluated to determine if student has met all academic requirements for course work and other aspects of the student’s course of study and Graduate School requirements. When these requirements are met, the student is cleared for graduation.

Time to Degree Completion

Alcorn’s time to degree completion policy allows 6 years to complete the biotechnology program. Degree completion depends on the pace a student completes the curriculum. If the time exceeds six years, the student must petition the Graduate School to consider an appeal for more time to degree completion.

See the Student Academic Appeals Policy for Expiration of Timeline for additional requirements

Degree Plan and Course Sequence

Required Core Courses (24 Hours)
BT 500 Research Seminar
BT 505 Current Topics in Biotechnology
BT 570A Techniques in Biotechnology
BT 650 Thesis Research
CH 580 Advanced Biochemistry
PS 595 Experiment Design and Method

Approved Electives
BI 503 Mycology
BI 523 Advanced Biostatistics
BI 525 Advanced Immunology
BI 526 Advanced Pharmacology
BI 581 Advanced Toxicology
BT 526 Economic Aspects of Biotechnology
BT 544 Advanced Plant Breeding
BT 545 Laboratory Methods in Tissue/Cell Culture
BT 546 Principles of Population Genetics
BT 551 Genomics
BT 570B Techniques in Biotechnology
BT 590 Bio-informatics
BT 600 Internship in Biotechnology

For More Information Contact:
Dr. Melissa Mason ▪ 601.877.4006 ▪
mcmason@alcorn.edu (Center for Biotechnology)