Biochemistry and Biotechnology MS

The Biochemistry and Biotechnology Program offers three types of Master of Science degrees.


One is a 30-credit-hour non-thesis option suitable for those with laboratory research experience or for others, such as educators, who do not require research experience.


The second option includes laboratory-based research under the supervision of one of the program faculty members, leading to a written thesis. All students admitted to the graduate program are considered to be in the non-thesis program. They may transfer into the thesis program after they have been accepted as a thesis student by one of the faculty.

Professional Science

The third is a 32-credit-hour Professional Science emphasis area that includes a strong business component for students who are interested in learning more about the business aspects of companies. This track may not be appropriate for students who are interested in pursuing a PhD or working primarily as laboratory scientists. For more information go to the Professional Science program page.

Admission Requirements

Applicants to the M.S. program must submit a completed application and personal data forms, and transcripts of all previous postsecondary academic work. Submission of Graduate Record Examination scores and letters of recommendation, although not required, will be considered. Admission as a regular graduate student requires graduation from an accredited college with a minimum grade point overall and in biology and chemistry courses of 3.0 (where A=4.0). Students will generally be expected to have completed a major in biology, chemistry, biochemistry or biotechnology. In addition to the Graduate School admission requirements, applicants should have completed undergraduate courses in biochemistry, organic chemistry, cell biology, and genetics. Applicants may be asked to make up any deficiencies in these areas as a condition of enrollment.

All international applicants, except those from countries where English is the primary language, must show English proficiency by submitting according to UMSL's International Student and Scholar Services requirements. 

Degree Requirements

Both the thesis and non-thesis options require a total of 30 graduate credit hours, of which at least half must be at the 5000-level or above. A maximum of 12 credit hours of Graduate Research (BIOL 6905 or CHEM 6905) may be applied toward the thesis option and a maximum of 5 credit hours toward the non-thesis option. Students must have a 3.0 GPA in non-research courses.

Required Courses
CHEM 5722Advanced Graduate Biochemistry3
CHEM 5774Bioinformatics3
or BIOL 5436 Advanced Applied Bioinformatics
BIOL 6615Advanced Biotechnology Laboratory II4
BIOL 6602Advanced Molecular Biology3
or BIOL 6608 Advanced Synthetic Biology
or BIOL 6632 Advanced Nucleic Acid Structure and Function
or BIOL 6642 Advanced Plant Biology and Biotechnology
BIOL 6889Graduate Seminar2
Elective Courses 15
Biochemistry Laboratory
Foundations of Physical Chemistry
Advanced Physical Biochemistry
Special Topics in Organic Chemistry (when relevant)
Special Topics in Biochemistry
Problem Seminar in Biochemistry 1
Graduate Research in Chemistry
Advanced Genetics
Topics in Cellular and Molecular Biology 1
Biology Colloquium 1
Advanced Applied Bioinformatics
Advanced Synthetic Biology
Advanced Developmental Biology
Advanced Bacterial Pathogenesis
Advanced Molecular Biology
Advanced Cellular Basis of Disease
Advanced Nucleic Acid Structure and Function
Advanced Plant Biology and Biotechnology
Advanced Virology
Graduate Internship in Biotechnology
Graduate Seminar (when relevant)
Graduate Research in Biology
Advanced Topics in Biology (when relevant)
Total Hours30

Maximum of 3 credit hours between BIOL 5069, BIOL 5099, and CHEM 6787.