Jun 18, 2024  
2023-2024 University Catalog 
    
2023-2024 University Catalog

Biotechnology (MS)


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Biotechnology (MS): Program Overview


The Master of Science in Biotechnology (BTN) is a non-thesis research and laboratory training program designed to prepare the student for careers in research-related fields, education and/or graduate or professional school. This flexible degree program is designed for students with earned bachelor’s degrees that are interested in furthering their scientific education. The customized curriculum helps students meet their career and professional goals.

 

There are three tracks in the program: 1. Professional School, 2. Industry & Research and 3. Education. Students will participate in hands-on laboratory courses designed to cover the common and most important techniques and methods employed in research today. The program director, in consultation with the Graduate College dean, has oversight of the program and its faculty. The program director is responsible for the implementation of program goals and assessment of student learning outcomes.

Biotechnology (MS): Academic Policies


Academic Standing


To maintain good academic standing all Biotechnology students must have a cumulative 3.0 grade-point average at the time of program completion. Any student who falls below this academic standard will be considered to be in academic difficulty. A student in academic difficulty is not eligible for graduation. Students that receive a NP or F in a required course must petition to remain in the Program and retake the course.

Graduate College/RUSH University Academic Policies


Academic policies specific to the Graduate College are located earlier in this catalog. In addition, the Academic Resources and Policies section of this catalog contains RUSH University Academic Policies.

Biotechnology (MS): Curriculum


Degree Requirements


The program consists of three components:

  • Minimum of 34 graduate credits
  • Track components
    • 1. Professional School: Professional school preparation and experiential opportunities
    • 2. Industry & Research: Capstone independent research project, internship/practicum, and experiential opportunities
    • 3. Education: Capstone independent research project, internship/practicum (Chicago Public School teachers only)

Courses in the following subject areas are required (34 total credit hours):

  • Biomedical informatics
  • Biostatistics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology
  • Career Professional Development
  • Professional School Track: Professional school preparation, internships and experiential learning 
  • Industry & Research Track: Internship/practicum and Capstone research project
  • Education Track: Internship/practicum and Capstone research project

 

It is the student’s responsibility to register for all core courses that are offered within a given term to fulfill Program requirements. The following are courses that meet the course requirements listed above:

Required Courses for All Professional School and Industry & Research Students (24 credits)


Additional Required Courses Professional School Track (5 credits)


In addition to the required core coursework, students in the professional school track are required to take the following course offerings to fulfill Program requirements.

Additional Required Courses and Forum Industry & Research Track (5 credits)


Research Forum

Industry & Research Track students are required to identify a Research Capstone mentor that has agreed to host them in their laboratory prior to the start of the spring term. Thus, to help facilitate the identification of a Capstone mentor, an annual Research Forum is hosted by the Graduate College each fall. During the Forum, students are provided with brief descriptions of the research faculty and/or members of their laboratories that are presenting posters of their work. This informal setting allows students in the Program to have meaningful and conversations about ongoing projects in laboratories of interest.

 

In addition to the required core coursework, students in the industry & research track are required to take the following course offerings to fulfill program requirements.

Professional School and Industry & Research Track Electives (5 credits)


Students in the Professional School and Industry & Research tracks are required to complete five credits of elective coursework from available Graduate College course offerings.

Experiential Learning (Professional School and Industry & Research Tracks)


Students participate in an experiential learning opportunity in addition to their didactic and capstone projects. Students may choose to participate in an internship/practicum, a minimum of 10 weeks of participation is required for completion of this requirement and will typically be conducted in the spring term. The goal of the internship/practicum component is to provide the student hands-on exposure to research in a variety of environments.

 

The student will work with a mentor and will be actively involved in the development, execution and evaluation of a research project or an aspect of research-related activity. During the internship/practicum, the student will be exposed to research-related activities that are aligned with the career goals of the student. For example, a student in the Professional School Track may shadow physicians while those in the Industry & Research Track will conduct an independent project in a faculty mentors lab. The internship/practicum may be completed with a mentor who is actively conducting research studies within a research or hospital setting. A practicum may also be performed under the direction of a professional within a drug, device or biotechnology company, a clinical research organization (CRO) or site management organization (SMO).

Capstone Research (Industry & Research Track)


Students in the  Industry & Research Track of the Biotechnology MS Program are required to complete a capstone project that provides a culminating experience and applies the principles and methods learned in the coursework to an independent research project. Students generally identify their mentor and develop their research proposal during the second semester. The research project must involve the analysis and interpretation of data. Students are encouraged, but are not required, to conduct primary data collection. Students will present their capstone projects in a public presentation that includes their capstone mentor, Biotechnology students and faculty members, and any other interested parties.

Required Courses Education Track (26 credits)


Students in the Education Track are required to take the following courses. 

Capstone Research (Education Track)


Students in the Education Track of the Biotechnology MS Program are required to complete a capstone project that provides a culminating experience and applies the principles and methods learned in the coursework to an independent research project. These projects will be translatable to laboratory curricula appropriate for secondary education. Students will develop projects in collaboration with assigned mentors that involve the collection, analysis and interpretation of data. Students will present their capstone projects in a public presentation that includes their capstone mentor, Biotechnology students and faculty members, and any other interested parties.

Experiential Learning (Education Track)


The experiential learning component of the Education Track provides students with the opportunity to translate their biotechnology skills and knowledge into lesson plans for secondary school students. During the summer teaching practicum, students will practice teaching the laboratory curricula they developed for their capstone research projects to secondary school students invited to RUSH’s campus over the final week of the summer semester. Upon completion of the teaching practicum, Education Track students are eligible to check out laboratory equipment and reagents from the Experiment Library to use in their own classrooms during the academic year.

Additional Required Coursework Education Track (8 credits)


Students in the Education track should select an additional eight credits of course work from Graduate College course offerings to fulfill program requirements. Students select courses based on their specific career goals.

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