Texas Tech University
TTU HomeCenter for Biotechnology & Genomics Master's in Biotechnology

Master of Science in Biotechnology

The master's program is a two-year program, jointly administered by the General Academic Campus and the Health Sciences Center of Texas Tech University. Students may pursue either the Applied Sciences track or the Bio-Medical track. To learn more about the Applied Sciences track, please continue on this page. Follow this link to learn more about the Bio-Medical track.

Applied Sciences Overview

The Applied Sciences track, administered by the TTU General Academic Campus, is designed to prepare students for a career in biotechnology. Students devote their first year to course work, which is comprised of a mixture of required core courses (lectures, seminars and laboratory) and selection from a broad spectrum of electives. These electives allow students to gain expertise in molecular biology, biochemistry, cell biology, animal science and plant science. 

There are three options for the second year of the program. For the first two options, the second year of the program involves intense (hands-on) practical training, with students choosing between an internship or thesis for the training experience. There are limited numbers of internships and research assistantships available and the number varies from year to year. These are highly competitive options with many factors determining availability of and eligibility for these positions.  

Option 1 involves a one-year thesis-based research experience in a laboratory at Texas Tech (or, in some cases, at the Texas Tech Health Sciences Center), where a Texas Tech faculty member with scientific expertise in a field of particular interest to the student supervises the research training. This option may take longer than one year to complete, as it depends on the completion of a research project, an oral defense of the research to a committee of 3 faculty members, and submission of a written thesis.

Option 2, which does not involve a written thesis, is a one-year internship. Internships are available in private-sector biotechnology companies, in non-profit research foundation laboratories, in state and federal government research labs, or in selected university labs (including some at Texas Tech). Our faculty assists students in finding internships that are interesting and challenging. Students can apply for, and choose any company in the U.S. Current and former students have enjoyed internships in California, Missouri, Tennessee, and Texas. Students must register for internship credit and successful completion is evaluated by a written description and a comprehensive oral examination (including all coursework and experience gained during the internship) by a committee of 3 faculty members.

The third option (Option 3) for the second year of the Master's Program involves neither an internship nor a research-based thesis, but instead involves additional, advanced coursework during the second year, chosen in an academic area of concentration like informatics/computer science, engineering, microbiology, biochemistry or business. For example, for students interested in eventually moving into management positions in the Biotechnology industry, a variety of business courses in management and related areas are available. Planning the class schedule for this option should be carefully discussed with the Director of the Center as early as possible to ensure as many classes will be available for registration as possible. Success in this track will be determined by class grades and an in-depth written paper on an appropriate topic in a capstone course. As is the case for all non-thesis M.S. degrees at Texas Tech, along with a comprehensive final oral presentation of this scholarly research, an examination is required.

Program Description

The Applied Sciences track is a 21 month curriculum consisting of 22 credits in the first year, and
18-24 credits during the summer sessions and the second year. Students have the flexibility to do either a thesis or non-thesis degree plan (i.e., internship or non-thesis capstone experience).

Applied Sciences Course curriculum and most recent electives.

Admission Requirements

Students applying for this program should have a Bachelor's degree in some science field (Chemistry, Biology, Zoology, Animal Science), with at least two semesters of Organic Chemistry. A good undergraduate background in molecular biology and biochemistry is essential for students to be well-prepared for the first-year course work.     

Students with a GPA above 3.0 and a GRE score above 1100 (Verbal + Quantitative) will be given top consideration into our program.  However, Texas Tech is committed to a holistic evaluation of applicants to its graduate programs and students who do not meet these criteria will not be automatically excluded.  Prospective students should include three reference letters with the application to the graduate school. A separate application for the Center for Biotechnology & Genomics is also required.

To Apply

Students may apply for either track using the following application forms: 

- Applied Sciences track (2 applications):
  1. TTU Graduate School Application or call (806)742-2787.
  2. Center for Biotechnology & Genomics (Online Graduate Application).

Students are only accepted in the fall and NOT in the spring semester. The deadline for fall enrollment for international students is March 1st.

- Bio-Medical track:  Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Health Sciences Center or call (800)528-5391. 

- For further information about the Applied Sciences track, please contact J.N Tripathy at Jatindra.N.Tripathy@ttu.edu or call (806) 834-1837; OR Professor David Knaff at David.Knaff@ttu.edu or call (806) 834-6892. For the Bio-Medical track, please contact Professor Jon Weidanz at jon.weidanz@ttuhsc.edu or call (325) 676-7948.