Bachelor of Science/Master of Science in Biotechnology

For a field whose roots stretch back centuries, biotechnology has exploded in recent decades. Today's biotechnologists merge biological processes with advanced technologies to attack some of the world's biggest challenges -- and often build exciting and dynamic careers along the way.

Why choose this B.S./M.S. in biotechnology?

The University's accelerated five-year B.S./M.S. biotechnology program includes a four-year Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree, along with a one-year professional Master of Science (M.S.) degree. This additional graduate year allows students to further explore their scientific potential and become better informed about potential career choices within the field.

This program is designed to open doors for students who wish to pursue careers in the clinical, pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. It offers all of the following:

  • Coursework and lab work that offer a solid foundation in biochemistry, molecular biology, immunology and good lab practices (GLP)
  • Small class sizes and access to specialized training and instrumentation (e.g., CRISPR genome editing, flow cytometry, Hamilton robotics)
  • A minimum of two years research experience in an academic and/or industrial internship, which allows students to strengthen their understanding of experimental design, troubleshooting and data interpretation
  • A graduate portion that teaches students how to delve into scientific literature and learn more about the latest advances in the biological sciences
  • Courses that include industry guest speakers and company tours in Reno/Sparks, Sacramento and the Bay Area
  • "Soft-skill" training in communication, job placement and professionalism
  • Small graduating classes (15-20 students) that can help foster lifelong friendships between students

The Bachelor of Science/Master of Science in biotechnology places a strong emphasis on career planning and preparation. According to the 2015 Department of Biochemistry self-study, 96 percent of the students from the 2009 through 2014 graduating classes were employed or working on advanced degrees.

How do I apply?

Students are welcome to apply by contacting Dr. Christie Howard at Enrollment is open until the maximum class size of 20 people is reached.

This degree is a combined B.S./M.S. program. If you are interested in only a bachelor's degree, consider pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. For a master's, speak with the Biotechnology Department about pursuing an M.S. degree separately.

Students can apply as incoming freshmen. All students are required to see their adviser every semester, follow the designated science-related path of study, maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0 and begin research no later than the beginning of their senior year. Students are encouraged to begin their research experience early in the program to build a strong resume and earn competitive credentials for the job market.

This is a non-thesis, professional master's program, which means it does not require a GRE score for entrance. However, students are required to be in good standing with a 3.0 GPA maintained throughout their last three semesters and at least two semesters of experience in a laboratory conducting research at the cellular level.  A recommendation from a university professor is also required to confirm that you have approval to conduct graduate research in their lab. Students can begin the graduate portion of this program in either fall or spring.

For students who enter the program with a degree elsewhere in the sciences, a minimum of 60 credits (two years) is required to obtain a B.S./M.S. biotechnology degree. Students entering the program with a degree outside the sciences are likely to take longer to complete the required courses.

These are the undergraduate minimum requirements for students seeking an additional degree from the B.S./M.S. Biotechnology program:

Calculus I & Statistics

General Biology (2 semesters)

General Chemistry & lab (2 semesters)

Genetics (1 semester)

Organic Chemistry & lab (1-2 semesters)

Cell Biology (upper division preferred)

General Biochemistry (lecture & lab)

Molecular Biology (lecture and lab, upper-division)

Physics & lab (2 semesters)

College-level English (2 semesters)

Upper-division research (2 semesters) 

Upper-division seminars (2 semesters)

University Silver Core Requirements (see University catalog)

This program also lends itself well to a dual degree in conjunction with subjects such as chemistry, molecular microbiology, neurobiology, agricultural science, veterinary science, environmental science, nutritional science or engineering. The only exceptions to this are biochemistry and biology. Students in these fields can transfer into the biotechnology program, but they cannot obtain an additional degree in biology or biochemistry.   

Contact College of Agriculture, Biotechnology & Natural Resources

Phone (775) 784-1660
(775) 784-6237
Fax (775) 784-4227
Location Fleischmann Agriculture