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This 36-credit hour Master of Science program will offer students an ability to gain specialization while customizing and individualizing the education for desired skills and careers, with concentrations in Biomanufacturing, Medical Biotechnology, and Business and Management of Biotechnology.  

All this growth has led to a significant economic impact close to $1 billion and created significant workforce opportunities in biotechnology for those employees with a master’s degree. BIO, a national biotechnology industry advocacy group, reports that Pennsylvania’s concentration of bioscience employment is 9% greater than the national average, and the state is considered to have a specialized employment base in two of the five major subsectors—drugs and pharmaceuticals and research, testing, and medical labs.

Developed with extensive input from an advisory group comprised of  CEOs and senior leaders of biotechnology firms, HU’s Biotechnology master’s degree program  integrates medical science, research, manufacturing, and biotechnology-based business skills with leadership, teamwork and entrepreneurship skills that are essential for career success in the biotechnology field. If you have a B.S., this program will help you seek a higher position. If you are an experienced BTEC professional, this program will help you build on your experience and acquire additional skills to set your career in a different trajectory.

Program Goals

Graduates of the Biotechnology master’s degree program would have:

Program Concentrations

Certificates in Biotechnology

Certificate in Biomanufacturing This 12-semester hour certificate program prepares the student for a supervisory or managerial role within a biomanufacturing company or contract manufacturing organization.

Completing this certificate program provides the student with the essential skills of industrial bioprocessing, including principles underlying the recovery, purification, and formulation of biomolecules. Additional content includes the characterization of molecules’ fundamental chemical and physical properties that impact downstream processing and formulation development. This program introduces the student to the various classes of biomaterials and their applications in medical/industrial processes. The student explores critical aspects of the manufacturing processes (up-and downstream) and GMP-GLP issues. This certificate also familiarizes the student with instruments used for biotechnology applications and their principles of operation, including the significance of instrument validation and calibration. As a critical component of the program, the student conceptually designs and optimizes a biomanufacturing specific target product. The student learns the primary methodologies and principles of recombinant DNA (rDNA) in modifying, selecting, and applying recombinant prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells for industrial enzyme and protein production.  The GRAD 695 course allows the participant to customize the research proposal for their area of interest within the biomanufacturing industry. A student may complete this certificate program as a non-degree graduate student or a Master of Science degree-seeking student.

Complete all  the following courses – 12 semester hours:

  • BTEC 618 – Principles of Bioprocessing (3 semester hours)
  • BTEC 650 – Fermentation Technologies (3 semester hours)
  • BTEC 655 – Industrial Enzymes and Proteins (3 semester hours)
  • GRAD 695 – Research Methodology and Writing (3 semester hours)

Certificate in Medical Biotechnology This 12-semester hour certificate program prepares the student for a career in several fields in the healthcare industry.

A current emphasis on biotechnology that has grown exponentially is developing clinically relevant products, both pharmaceutical agents and medical devices, primarily for in vitro diagnostics. Several efforts in these areas have led to innovations in diagnostics, biomarker studies, and drug discovery. This certificate program addresses the basics of these three Medical Biotechnology fields using the available information for developing new targeted therapies for precision medicine. The certificate also exposes the student to various biomedical devices and new technologies related to designing, fabricating, and applying multi-array biochips and micro-fluidic systems. The student explores the concepts of developing and validating novel diagnostics technologies and unique biomarker discovery for personalized therapeutic targeting and companion diagnostics. The certificate also introduces the essential concepts of regenerative medicine, focusing on tissue engineering and gene and cell therapy. Additionally, the certificate program provides the student with the traditional and molecular diagnostics and fundamental principles overview. The GRAD 695 course allows the participant to customize the research proposal for their area of interest within the biomedical/healthcare industry A student may complete this certificate program as a non-degree graduate student or a Master of Science degree-seeking student.

Complete all of the following courses – 12 semester hours:

  • BTEC 615 – Biomedical Devices and Prototyping (3 semester hours)
  • BTEC 620 – Emerging Trends in Diagnostics (3 semester hours)
  • BTEC 640 – Trends in Regenerative Medicine (3 semester hours)
  • GRAD 695 – Research Methodology and Writing (3 semester hours)

Courses within this program will explore market dynamics, public policy, and technology. The student will learn the basics of tech transfer policies and IPOs, communicating scientific concepts to investors, and preparing regulatory plans. Some course activities will prepare the student to create and analyze legal documents, including tech transfer, product validation, and responding to recall procedures. The curriculum also provides an overview of key legal concepts and policies that govern the biotechnology industry’s research, development, and commercial activities. Upon completing this certificate program, the student will have creative problem-solving skills and other competencies necessary for standard approaches in managing biotech research and development as per regulatory guidelines and federal compliance protocols. The GRAD 695 course allows the participant to customize the research proposal for their area of interest within the regulatory-legal affairs area in the biotechnology industry. A student may complete this certificate program as a non-degree graduate student or a Master of Science degree-seeking student.

Complete all of the following courses – 12 semester hours:

  • BTEC 560 – Design of Experiment (3 semester hours)
  • BTEC 612 – Regulatory Affairs in Life Science Industries (3 semester hours)
  • BTEC 672 – Legal Affairs and Policies for Life Science Industry (3 semester hours)
  • GRAD 695 – Research Methodology and Writing (3 semester hours)

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Student in the lab

The Capital Area Biotechnology Partnership (CABP)

Harrisburg University of Science and Technology plays a leadership role in the Capital Area Biotechnology Partnership (CABP). Working with educators and other leaders from Central Pennsylvania’s area biotech firms, government agencies, industry, local community colleges, and area school districts, CABP delivers a quality education to high school and college students, and science career-seekers.

Student Thank You Notes

Dear Dr. Pattarkine,
In the last semester, you have truly added value to my learning experience at HU. You taught me intangibles and gave me great insight to research. Working with you equipped me for the challenging road ahead. Thank You for sacrificing your time and making sure I grasp every concept and attain objectives we had in mind. Thank You!!!

Christian V. Njatcha

Dr. Pattarkine,
Just wanted to say thanks for everything. Thanks for advising me and pushing me harder than the rest & most of all, thanks for a great experience here at HU! I really appreciate all that you’ve done for me!

Ashley Clouser
International Admissions

Information for International Students

The University is home to more than 5,000 international students representing 110 countries.

Program Lead

 Mrunalini (Leena) Pattarkine, Ph.D.

Mrunalini (Leena) Pattarkine, Ph.D. Professor of Biotechnology

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Program Courses

This program requires a total of 36 semester hours: 18 semester hours from the core courses listed below, 6 semester hours of experiential courses, and 12 semester hours of Biotechnology Business and Management courses. The semester hour value of each course appears in parentheses ( ).

BTEC 502 - Biomaterials (3 credits)

There is a constant need for new biomaterials in life sciences to support novel technologies. This course is designed to introduce the student to the various classes of biomaterials currently in use and their application in selected subspecialties of medicine/industrial processes. The student will learn about the concepts behind developing materials for use in medical or industrial biotechnology field. The student will gain an understanding of material properties, various biological responses to materials, and the clinical context of their use. Aspects of manufacturing processes, cost, sterilization, packaging, and regulatory issues will be addressed.

BTEC 508 - Omics for Life Sciences (3 credits)

Studies on cataloging and characterization of genome and proteome are on the forefront of research. Recently, there has been a considerable amount of work happening with genome and proteome data for selective manipulation of metabolic pathways, the metabolomics. All three fields are aggressively used in several areas for innovation in diagnostics, biomanufacturing, biomarker studies, and drug discovery to name a few. This course covers the basics of these three “omics” fields from the standpoint of using the information for developing new biotechnologies, especially in personalized medicine. The significance of next generation sequencing will be covered.

BTEC 522 - Graduate Biotechnology Seminar (3 credits)

Description:This course introduces the student to fundamental topics in innovation, regulatory practices and ethics for various biotechnology industries and communities. The intention is to allow the student to learn about these diverse but inter-related areas that coalesce science and business disciplines. With the help of industry experts, case studies, and current literature, the student explores the interrelationship of these areas for creating productive collaborations within biotechnology industry with respect to compliance, innovation, and ethical decision-making.

BTEC 540 - Biostatistics (3 credits)

This course introduces statistical concepts and analytical methods as applied to data encountered in biotechnology and biomedical sciences. It emphasizes the basic concepts of experimental design, quantitative analysis of data, and statistical inferences. Topics include probability theory and distributions, population parameters and their sample estimates, descriptive statistics for central tendency and dispersion, hypothesis testing and confidence intervals for means, variances, and proportions, the chi-square statistic, categorical data analysis, linear correlation and regression model, and analysis of variance. The course provides the student a foundation to evaluate information critically to support research objectives and product claims and to gain better understanding of statistical design of experimental trials for biological products/devices.

BTEC 550 - Instrumentation in Biotech Industry (3 credits)

Instrumentation and application of various equipment is central to research and commercial production in the biotechnology industry. This course will familiarize the student with which instruments are used for which biotechnology applications and their principles of operation and limitations. Different biomolecules require different and customized protocols for isolation, purification, and characterization. The course offers an overview of instruments such sonicator, ultracentrifuges, spectrophotometers, etc. The course also covers the significance of instrument validation and calibration.

BTEC 560 - Design of Experiment (3 credits)

Description:This course allows the student to design an experiment and learn methodology for data analysis. Components such as major characteristics of a scientific experiment, running statistical analyses to perform various tests to check validity of the data would be covered. In a case-based manner, the student works on design of an experimental protocol for an assigned conceptual research project. Trouble-shooting strategies and analyzing data sets would be covered.

GRAD 695 - Research Methodology & Writing (3 credits)

This course guides the student to develop and finalize a selected research problem and to construct a proposal that effectively establishes the basis for either writing a thesis or launching an experiential capstone project. The course provides an overview of strategies for effective problem investigation and solution proposal. Research methodology is studies and applied as part of suggesting a solution to a problem. Writing and formatting techniques are also explored and applied as a communication tool for cataloging the investigation and recommending the solution.

BTEC 699 - Applied Project in Biotechnology (3 credits)

This course allows the student to pursue an area of interest that is within the broad scope of Biotechnology. A faculty member will supervise this study.

GRAD 699 - Graduate Thesis (3 credits)

In consultation with the advisor, the student conducts research designed in GRAD 695 to address a problem as identified in the solution proposal.

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