Most universities in the U.S. offer M.S. or master’s degree programs in biotechnology, while some offer professional science master’s (PSM) in biotechnology. Do you want to know which program is right for you?
Master’s in Biotechnology
MS in biotechnology is offered by most universities in the U.S. Most of these graduate programs will require students to complete around 10 to 12 courses to earn the M.S. Sometimes, a program will include projects or thesis.
Once you have completed all the requirements, an M.S. in biotechnology or master’s in biotechnology degree will be awarded to you.
However, it’s common that most students don’t bother checking what courses are offered and the degree requirements before applying for any admission.
PSM in Biotechnology
Biotechnology companies help in formulating the curriculum of PSM programs. A PSM program typically consists of 70% biotechnology and 30% business related course work.
For instance, if you are required to take 10 courses to get a PSM degree, 7 will be biotechnology-based and 3 will be business-based courses.
It should be noted that you will be required to complete a 3 month internship program as part of the degree requirements.
MS or PSM – Biotechnology?
If you don’t have any work experience yet, then go for PSM. It’s not because you can study a few management courses, but you get to work as intern for at least 3 months.
Having some internship experience will help you find a job after graduation. If you have 1+ years work experience, then taking either PSM or MS will make not any big difference.
You can still apply to the same job with a PSM or an MS degree.
Comment from NK
I have got admits from three universities in USA for MS program [biotechnology].
Which among the following universities is the best:
1) Illinois Institute of Technology [for PSM]
2) California State University – Fresno [for MS]
3) University of Houston – Clear Lake [for MS]
I have been offered PSM as well, so which is a better course, PSM or MS?
Here are few pointers to consider:
- You should have known even some substantial info about the courses and schools before applying for PSM and MS. Making the actual decisions only after getting admissions shows that you haven’t done much work about degree requirements and job prospects.
However, it’s good that you are taking initiative to find some important answers.
- There are advantages and disadvantages in all the 3 schools.
- IIT @ Chicago – PSM reasons stated above will hold if you don’t have work experience; it’s also quite a cold place to live in.
- CSU – Fresno – Close to biotech companies in Silicon Valley; but expensive.
- UH – Clear Lake – Cheap, good college, but you have to search for internship; it’s a nice and warm place.
- You have to decide how much money you can afford, especially if you don’t get any aid.
- My Choice will be UHCL – It’s cheap compared to the other choices. You can put 110% effort to search for internship.
I think you might want to read further about the subject. Please check this post, Biotechnology Job Search, which discusses the experiences of a recent M.S. biotechnology graduate.