The Master of Science (M.S.) in Biotechnology is designed for working professionals and provides students with an overarching view of modern biotechnology operations, addressing fundamental scientific and legal matters, innovative technologies and complex business issues. Students thrive in a face-to-face environment rich in academic and industrial collaboration, leaving the program prepared to assume leadership roles in the biotechnology industry. Practical and results oriented, this two-year program provides the foundation necessary for succeeding and advancing in one of the fastest growing and most complex industries in the world. Top-rated UW–Madison faculty and talented business partners in Wisconsin combine their expertise to provide hands-on, problem-solving experiences while offering flexible schedules for students, including convenient weekend and evening courses.

The M.S. in Biotechnology Program is a face-to-face graduate degree where students meet every other week over seven sessions each semester. The meeting times are every other Thursday night, all day Friday, and Saturday mornings.

If you are seeking the fully online program, please see the M.S. in Applied Biotechnology Program at UW–Madison.

Fall Deadline May 1
Spring Deadline The program does not admit in the spring.
Summer Deadline The program does not admit in the summer.
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 (
Other Test(s) (e.g., GMAT, MCAT) n/a
Letters of Recommendation Required 3

Apply to the Graduate School

Applications are submitted online only; paper copy applications are not available. Apply to the Graduate School online and select the "Biotechnology MS" program option:

The Graduate School's Online Application

The online application and application fee must be submitted electronically to the Graduate School before your application can be considered for admission.

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

  • Your professional resume
  • Unofficial transcript(s) for your undergraduate degree institution(s) and unofficial transcripts from any post-undergraduate degrees (if applicable)
  • Three Letters of Recommendation (initiated and processed online via the Graduate School online application)
  • A one- or two-page Statement of Purpose (uploaded via the Graduate School online application) that provides the following: 
    A brief summary of your professional and academic background, a clear explanation of your short- and long-term professional goals, and a clear explanation of how the M.S. in Biotechnology degree will help you meet your career goals. (Please be specific to the M.S. in Biotechnology degree and its curriculum.)

Additional Graduate School resources:

If you have any questions about applying to the M.S. in Biotechnology Program or about the status of your application, you should contact Bryan Husk.

Application Deadline

Applications for Fall semester are accepted until a full cohort of up to 28 students has committed to attend. Spaces are sometimes available for strong applicants until as late as June or July for domestic applicants, however, the cutoff date for international applicants is May 1st each year. There is no admission for Spring or Summer terms.

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 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


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

Mode of Instruction Definitions


Minimum Credit Requirement 32 credits
Minimum Residence Credit Requirement 32 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 (
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 None.
Language Requirements None.

Required Courses

Year 1, Fall Semester
CRB 802 Business of Biotechnology: Fundamentals of Product Development2
CRB 800 Intellectual Property, Patents and Licensing2
CRB 804 Biotechnology Regulation and Ethics2
CRB 803 Molecular Technologies I2
Year 1, Spring Semester
CRB 824 Molecular Technologies II3
CRB 820 Biotechnology Operations5
CRB 843 Project Management and Leadership2
Year 2, Fall Semester
CRB 841 Business of Biotechnology: Contemporary Challenges and Applications2
CRB 830 Early Drug Discovery4
CRB 834 Molecular Technologies III2
Year 2, Spring Semester
CRB 842 Business of Biotechnology: Sustaining Growth2
CRB 844 Advanced Biotechnology: Global Perspectives4
Total Credits32

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

No prior coursework taken as a UW–Madison University Special student may be applied toward program requirements.


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.


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.

An advisor generally serves as the thesis advisor. In many cases, an advisor is assigned to incoming students. Students can be suspended from the Graduate School if they do not have an advisor. An advisor is a faculty member, or sometimes a committee, from the major department responsible for providing advice regarding graduate studies.


15 credits

Time Constraints

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 Biotechnology Program does not offer any financial aid, and graduate students are not permitted to accept any research, project, or teaching assistantship positions that would waive tuition. Students with two or more years work experience after receiving their bachelor's degree are preferred for admission.

Graduate School Resources

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

  1. Apply core scientific and business principles to distinguish the difference between scientific and commercial success, and gain insight in to the challenge of balancing product usefulness with positive return on investment.
  2. Understand how regulation is developed and how it interacts with business and finance to influence the formation and growth of technology companies.
  3. Understand and apply modern biotechnology methods and practice, as well as effective written and oral scientific communication, through hands-on participation in the laboratory.
  4. Apply knowledge of seven functional specialties (regulatory affairs, quality assurance, biomanufacturing, quality control, non-clinical development, clinical development and project management) to the coordinated process of product development.
  5. Understand the processes, technologies, scientific principles and major challenges of the early drug discovery process as it continues to evolve.
  6. Evaluate the potential of a product or technology based on the organizational resources required for full commercialization.
  7. Understand firm-level strategic development, and apply strategic business principles in day-to-day operations.
  8. Demonstrate an ability to identify a global problem, and how biotechnology may offer a novel solution(s).
  9. Integrate the technical, sociological and leadership skills that are necessary to design, use and defend a global project management plan.
  10. Integrate topics in science, policy, law and business in order to lead the development and commercialization of new and promising technologies.
  11. Recognize and apply principles of ethical and professional conduct develop long-term networks and relationships with industry partners.
  12. Understand the ethical and safety issues that help shape public policies on biotechnology and its applications.

The program's instructional faculty are a blend of world-renowned scholars from across UW–Madison and dynamic leaders from the region's private biotechnology industries. All the program's faculty and staff are committed to your education and career success. 

Faculty and Staff Directory