Every day, biotechnology is working to solve some of the world’s most pressing problems—infectious and hereditary disease, food security, and sustainable alternatives to fossil fuels—and moving forward with revolutionary solutions.

Whether your experience is based in healthcare, agriculture, or industry—the online, 11-course, 31-credit University of Wisconsin Master of Science in Applied Biotechnology program will teach you how to bring the best of biotechnology innovation to the market, where it can do the most good.

  • First, gain additional understanding of the principles and techniques of biotechnology, ethical, safety, and privacy concerns, funding, intellectual property and patents, professional and technical communication, experimental design and analysis, and organizational leadership—all within the scope of the global biotechnology industry.
  • Then focus your learning within one or more specialization tracks: Quality Assurance and Compliance, Business Management, or Research and Development.
  • Finally, upon completing your capstone project, you will earn a degree from the University of Wisconsin, one of the largest and most widely respected public higher education systems in the country.

The multi-campus partnership means you’ll learn from expert faculty from across the UW System with strong connections to the industry, and the online format offers working adults like you a flexible, convenient way to pursue an advanced degree.

The M.S. in Applied Biotechnology Program is a FULLY ONLINE graduate degree program. If you are seeking the FACE-TO-FACE program, please see the M.S. in Biotechnology Program. You can also apply to both under one application fee.

Not sure which program best fits your needs? Contact us to talk more. Call 608-262-9753 or email Bryan (bthusk@wisc.edu) or Michele (michele.smith@wisc.edu).

Fall Deadline July 15
Spring Deadline December 15
Summer Deadline April 15
GRE (Graduate Record Examinations) Not required.
English Proficiency Test Every applicant whose native language is not English or whose undergraduate instruction was not in English must provide an English proficiency test score and meet the Graduate School minimum requirements (https://grad.wisc.edu/apply/requirements/#english-proficiency).
Other Test(s) (e.g., GMAT, MCAT) n/a
Letters of Recommendation Required 2


Applications are submitted online only; paper copy applications are not available. Apply to the Graduate School online and select the "Applied Biotechnology MS" program. This is the online-only degree program, see "Biotechnology, MS" program for the face-to-face degree.


The online application and $75 application fee must be submitted electronically to the Graduate School before you can be considered for admission. You are able to apply for up to three programs for the $75 application fee. 

The following materials must be uploaded to your Graduate School online application:

  • Professional resume or CV
  • Unofficial transcripts
  • Two letters of recommendation (can be initiated and processed online via the Graduate School online application)
  • A one- or two-page statement of purpose that is specific to the M.S. in Applied Biotechnology online degree (uploaded via the Graduate School online application) that provides the following: 
    • Summary of your professional and academic background
    • Concise description of your short- and long-term professional goals
    • Clear explanation of how the online M.S. in Applied Biotechnology degree will help you meet your goals. 

Additional Graduate School resources:

If you have any questions about how to apply or about the status of your application, you should contact Bryan Husk

Application Deadline

Applications are accepted year round for the online M.S. in Applied Biotechnology Program.  Students can begin in Fall, Spring or Summer term.  To guarantee consideration for a particular term, applications should be completed by July 15 for Fall, December 15 for Spring, and April 15 for Summer.

online versus face to face

The "Applied Biotechnology MS" program is a fully online program. The "Biotechnology MS" program is face to face. Not sure which Biotechnology program works best for you? Contact the program (608.262.9753) for more information. You can also apply to both for one application fee.

Graduate School Resources

Resources to help you afford graduate study might include assistantships, fellowships, traineeships, and financial aid. Further funding information is available from the Graduate School. Be sure to check with your program for individual policies and restrictions related to funding.

Program Resources

The M.S. in Applied Biotechnology Program does not offer any scholarships or financial aid. Graduate students are not permitted to accept any research, project, or teaching assistantship positions that would waive tuition or provide tuition remission. However, students may contact the Office of Student Financial Aid to discuss federal loan programs and other lending opportunities.

Minimum Graduate School Requirements

Review the Graduate School minimum academic progress and degree requirements, in addition to the program requirements listed below.

Major Requirements

 Mode of instruction

Face to Face Evening/Weekend Online Hybrid Accelerated
No No Yes No No

 curricular requirements

Minimum Credit Requirement 31 credits
Minimum Residence Credit 31 credits
Minimum Graduate Coursework Requirement At least 50% of credits applied toward the graduate degree credit requirement must be completed in graduate-level coursework; courses with the Graduate Level Coursework attribute are identified and searchable in the university's Course Guide (http://registrar.wisc.edu/course-guide/).
Overall Graduate GPA Requirement 3.00 GPA required.
Other Grade Requirements The Graduate School requires an average grade of B or better in all coursework (300 or above, not including research credits) taken as a graduate student unless conditions for probationary status require higher grades. Grades of Incomplete are considered to be unsatisfactory if they are not removed during the next enrolled semester.
Assessments and Examinations n/a
Language Requirements n/a

Course Requirements

The following core courses are required:
ABT 700 Principles of Biotechnology3
ABT 705 Ethics, Safety, and Regulatory Environments in Biotechnology3
ABT 710 Professional and Technical Communication in Biotechnology3
ABT 715 Techniques in Biotechnology3
ABT 720 Experimental Design and Analysis in Biotechnology3
ABT 725 Leadership in Organizations3
ABT 789 Pre-Capstone1
ABT 790 Capstone3
Select a minimum of three classes (9 credits) from one or more of the following elective areas:9
Area 1: Quality Control and Validation
Quality Control and Validation
Regulatory Practice and Compliance
Industrial Applications in Regulatory Affairs
Area 2: Business and Management
Biotechnology Marketing and Entrepreneurship
Global Operations and Supply Chain Management
Quality and Project Management
Area 3: Research and Development
Assessing Innovation in Biotechnology
Product Development
Tools for Data Analysis
Total Credits31

Graduate School Policies

The Graduate School’s Academic Policies and Procedures provide essential information regarding general university policies. Program authority to set degree policies beyond the minimum required by the Graduate School lies with the degree program faculty. Policies set by the academic degree program can be found below.

Major-Specific Policies

prior coursework

Graduate Work from Other Institutions

No prior coursework from other institutions may be applied toward program requirements.

UW–Madison Undergraduate

No prior coursework from UW–Madison undergraduate career may be applied toward program requirements.

UW–Madison University Special

The M.S. in Applied Biotechnology Program may approve UW-Madison University Special students to enroll in specific M.S. in Applied Biotechnology courses. Only coursework specific to the M.S. in Applied Biotechnology Program may be applied toward program requirements. Special students must meet Graduate School requirements if they wish to apply to the M.S. in Applied Biotechnology Program and understand that all credits taken as a special student may be subject to a graduate tuition rate increase upon transfer into the graduate school and used toward degree completion.


The Graduate School regularly reviews the record of any student who earned grades of BC, C, D, F, or Incomplete in a graduate course (300 or above), or grade of U in research credits. This review could result in academic probation with a hold on future enrollment or in being suspended from the Graduate School.

Any incomplete work is expected to be completed and submitted within the next term even if the student is not taking additional classes for that term.


Every graduate student is required to have an advisor. To ensure that students are making satisfactory progress toward a degree, the Graduate School expects them to meet with their advisor on a regular basis.

Students will be advised by M.S. in Applied Biotechnology Program staff. 


15 credits


Master’s degree students who have been absent for five or more consecutive years lose all credits that they have earned before their absence. Individual programs may count the coursework students completed prior to their absence for meeting program requirements; that coursework may not count toward Graduate School credit requirements.

Grievances and appeals

These resources may be helpful in addressing your concerns:

Students should contact the program director with questions about grievances.


The M.S. in Applied Biotechnology Program does not offer any scholarships or financial aid. Graduate students are not permitted to accept any research, project, or teaching assistantship positions that would waive tuition or provide tuition remission. However, students may contact the Office of Student Financial Aid to discuss federal loan programs and other lending opportunities.

Graduate School Resources

Take advantage of the Graduate School's professional development resources to build skills, thrive academically, and launch your career. 

  1. Demonstrate professional and scientific communication appropriate for biotechnology settings
  2. Demonstrate comprehensive understanding of organizational processes and product development pipelines
  3. Distinguish among diverse methods and technologies and their applications in biotechnology
  4. Demonstrate strategic leadership and decision-making skills necessary in biotechnology
  5. Appraise the current regulatory, quality control, and legal frameworks that impact biotechnology
  6. Demonstrate professional and ethical behaviors that foster positive and productive interactions in diverse biotechnology settings

The UW Applied Biotechnology curriculum is designed and taught in collaboration by faculty from seven University of Wisconsin campuses: UW–Green Bay, UW–Madison, UW–Oshkosh, UW–Parkside, UW–Platteville, UW–Stevens Point, and UW–Whitewater. However, by selecting UW–Madison as your campus, your degree will come from UW–Madison.

James Keck, Ph.D.

  • Associate Dean for Basic Sciences
  • Professor, School of Medicine and Public Health

Natalie Betz, Ph.D.

  • Academic director for the UW–Madison Applied Biotechnology program
  • Associate Director for the M.S. in Biotechnology Program
  • Faculty Instructor, School of Medicine and Public Health

Bryan Husk, M.A.

  • Assistant Directory of the M.S. in Biotechnology and Applied Biotechnology programs
  • Academic Staff, School of Medicine and Public Health
  • bthusk@wisc.edu
  • 608-265-0773 office • 608-577-9182 cell

Michele Smith, M.S., SCT(ASCP)

  • Program Manager for the M.S. in Biotechnology and Applied Biotechnology programs
  • Academic Staff, School of Medicine and Public Health
  • michele.smith@wisc.edu
  • 608-262-9753 office • 608-658-5311 cell