2020-2021 Graduate Catalog 
    Jun 14, 2021  
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog

Biotechnology MS

College: Medicine Degree: MS
Department: Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences Option: Thesis
Program Websites: https://med.ucf.edu/biomed/graduate-programs/
Graduate Program Handbook

Program Description

The Master of Science in Biotechnology program in the College of Medicine will prepare students to function in the industrial biotechnology environment. This program is designed to give students broad knowledge and training in the scientific and practical aspects of biotechnology.

It involves innovative, hands-on and multidisciplinary learning approaches to educate and train students in scientific aspects of biotechnology. The courses and research training required of all students in this program are designed to develop independent thinking, teamwork and communication skills, which are highly desirable in the biotechnology industry. Students will be provided an industrial perspective and an understanding of product development at the same time as they are trained in the biotechnology techniques required for such development.


The Master of Science in Biotechnology program consists of a minimum of 30 semester credit hours of graduate courses offered by the Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences in the College of Medicine that includes 21 credit hours minimum of required courses, 3 credits of restricted electives, and 6 credit hours of thesis research as detailed below.

Total Credit Hours Required: 30 Credit Hours Minimum beyond the Bachelor’s Degree

What makes this program unique is the focus on practical training offered to graduate students through master’s thesis research in molecular biotechnology to perform jobs in a laboratory environment that require scientific talent.

Required Courses—21 Credit Hours

Core—19 Credit Hours Minimum

Students must take the following courses plus at least two credit hours of graduate seminar.

Graduate Seminars—2 Credit Hours

Students will participate in at least two graduate seminar courses that will prepare them for making professional presentations with an emphasis in biotechnology. The courses will involve the participation of speakers from the biotechnology industry with emphasis on an industrial perspective on biotechnology applications and product development.

Elective Courses—3 Credit Hours

Students will select three credit hours of restricted electives from the list below.

Thesis—6 Credit Hours

Students will take a minimum of six credits of thesis research (MCB 6971) to complete their research and submit their thesis specializing in biotechnology research. Students are expected to have an in-depth discussion with at least three faculty members before choosing a laboratory for thesis research. The student and the Thesis Adviser/Major Professor will jointly recommend an advisory committee comprised of at least three members. The committee composition must reflect expertise relevant to the student’s thesis research and must be approved by the Graduate Committee. Students switching to change the composition of the Thesis Advisory Committee must also obtain approval from the Graduate Committee.

Thesis Proposal

The thesis proposal defense requirement should be met and passed successfully no later than the end of the summer of the first year in the program. Students will not be allowed to register for courses for the Fall semester of their second year until this requirement is fulfilled. The Thesis Proposal requirement includes: a written 5-page thesis proposal, a thesis proposal defense in front of the thesis committee, and questions by the thesis committee to test the student’s understanding of the basic concepts in the field and relevant applications. The student will be evaluated on performance in all three sections. Should the student fail, a second opportunity will be provided within 2 weeks of the first attempt. A second failure will result in dismissal from the program.

An oral thesis defense is required. The defense will be in the format of:

  • A 50-minute presentation of the thesis work, including a 5-minute introduction
  • A 10-minute free period for the general audience to ask questions
  • A 1-hour closed-door examination by the Thesis Advisory Committee and the program faculty present

The thesis should be of significant scope and depth such that the work has made advances in the area of biotechnology. The MS thesis research must generate sufficient quantity and quality data to support the submission of a minimum of one manuscript. Approval of the final thesis will require consent from the majority of the Program Faculty who choose to review the thesis, inclusive of the Thesis Advisory Committee. Faculty members with dissenting vote on the thesis must provide written justification. Scientific journal review criteria will be used as guidelines by the faculty to evaluate the final thesis for its appropriateness for publication in the target journal.

Students will be evaluated on the progress in thesis research by the thesis advisory committee for fall and spring. Two consecutive unsatisfactory evaluations will result in dismissal from the program.

Comprehensive Examination

Students must pass a comprehensive exam to qualify for the Master of Science degree.

Students must successfully pass an oral comprehensive examination to test the understanding of the basic concepts in the field and relevant applications. The Comprehensive Examination will be conducted during the thesis proposal defense. The exam will be administered by the thesis committee. Should the student fail this exam, a second opportunity will be provided within 2 weeks of the first attempt. A second failure will result in dismissal from the program.

Independent Learning

The required thesis allows the student to engage in independent learning.

Application Requirements

For information on general UCF graduate admissions requirements that apply to all prospective students, please visit the Admissions  section of the Graduate Catalog. Applicants must apply online. All requested materials must be submitted by the established deadline.

In addition to the general UCF graduate application requirements , applicants to this program must provide:

  • One official transcript (in a sealed envelope) from each college/university attended.
  • A bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences or related area.
  • Official, competitive GRE score (taken within the last five years).
  • Three letters of recommendation.
  • A written statement of research experience, area of interest, and immediate and long-range goals.
  • Resume or CV 

Personal interviews are helpful but not required. Applicants who do not have a competitive GPA or GRE may occasionally be accepted if there is other convincing evidence of potential for high achievement and success.

Applicants who hold a BS degree in unrelated fields are expected to have the equivalent of 16 semester hours in biological sciences including a course in general microbiology, biochemistry or molecular biology or cell biology, plus one year of organic chemistry, one year of physics, basic university mathematics and statistics, and laboratory skills equivalent to the minimum required of our own undergraduates. Minor deficiencies may be remedied after acceptance by enrollment at the first opportunity in an appropriate course.

Application Deadlines

Biotechnology MS *Fall Priority Fall Spring Summer
Domestic Applicants Jan 1 Jan 1    
International Applicants Jan 1 Jan 1    

The Fall 2021 Application Deadline Has Been Extended to Feburary 1, 2021.

*Applicants who plan to enroll full time in a degree program and who wish to be considered for university fellowships or assistantships should apply by the Fall Priority date.


Graduate students may receive financial assistance through fellowships, assistantships, tuition support, or loans. For more information, see the College of Graduate Studies Funding website, which describes the types of financial assistance available at UCF and provides general guidance in planning your graduate finances. The Financial Information  section of the Graduate Catalog is another key resource.

All students receiving assistantships must enroll full time.


Fellowships are awarded based on academic merit to highly qualified students. They are paid to students through the Office of Student Financial Assistance, based on instructions provided by the College of Graduate Studies. Fellowships are given to support a student’s graduate study and do not have a work obligation. For more information, see UCF Graduate Fellowships, which includes descriptions of university fellowships and what you should do to be considered for a fellowship.

Contact Info

Graduate Program

Saleh Naser PhD
Telephone: 407-823-0955
UCF College of Medicine

Graduate Admissions

Telephone: 407-823-2766
Millican Hall 230  
Online Application
Graduate Admissions

Mailing Address

UCF College of Graduate Studies
Millican Hall 230
PO Box 160112
Orlando, FL  32816-0112

Institution Codes
GRE: 5233
TOEFL: 5233
ETS PPI: 5233

Graduate Fellowships

Grad Fellowships
Telephone: 407-823-0127

Graduate Financial Aid

UCF Student Financial Assistance
Millican Hall 120
Telephone: 407-823-2827
Appointment Line: 407-823-5285
Fax: 407-823-5241