Earn an M.S. in Biotechnology in just 15 months

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Course Descriptions

A comprehensive education in modern biology and engineering

Our interdisplinary curriculum integrates a core education in bioprocess engineering theory and laboratory practice with research projects and practioner-led seminars. All MBP students are required to successfully complete the core MBP courses. The six required courses (marked with an asterisk) may be substituted with electives if equivalent courses were successfully completed during previous studies. Overloads are possible at no additional cost, but their numbers will be decided on a case-by-case basis depending on students’ needs and performance.


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Engineering Courses

Balances and Kinetics for Bioprocessing*

Fluids and Mass Transfer for Bioprocessing*

Kinetics, Energetics and Bioreactor Design

Properties and Separation of Biologically
Produced Molecules

Bioprocess Engineering Laboratory


Biology Courses

Biotechnology Laboratory


Cell Biology*

Molecular Biology*


Technological Commercialization

   Technology Commercialization Fundamentals

  Technology Commercialization Practicum

Topics in Professional Development in Biotechnology

Critical Thinking and Communication




      *Required may be substituted with electives if equivalent courses were successfully completed during        previous studies.



Students select from more than 70 electives in the fields of biological sciences, biomedical engineering, chemical and biological engineering, genetics, genomics, material sciences, regulatory affairs, statistics, tissue engineering, and 20+ electives offered by the Kellogg School of Management. View some of the electives offered at Northwestern University. Students may take elective courses other than those on the list with consent from the MBP faculty.



MBP students complete at least 1000 hours in a single Northwestern University faculty laboratory--selecting from more than 80 faculty preceptors--planning and executing experiments, analyzing data, and drawing conclusions.


Students select a research project in life sciences, biological engineering, biotechnology, biomedical engineering, biomaterial sciences, or clinical research after attending research presentations by faculty preceptors and one-on-one meetings with research preceptors. Students are evaluated via quarterly written progress reports and peer-reviewed oral presentations similar to those conducted in industry. A final report modeled after a technical journal article is presented in lieu of a thesis.



The MBP offers two certificate options for students enrolled in the MS in Biotechnology degree. These are Sustainability and Global Health Biotechnologies (SGHB) and Nanobiotechnology.


Both certificates require:


1. 3 certificate-specific courses (which can be taken as normal program electives or overload)

2. 1000 hours in a certificate-specific research lab (which fulfills the MBP research requirement)

3. 3-month certificate-specific internship (paid or unpaid) in industry, non-profit, government lab, or academia. The SGHB internship must be completed in a developing country or disadvantaged area of the U.S.


The SGHB certificate program will train engineers in the unique skillset for biotech development and deployment in and for low- and middle- income countries. As healthcare and other biotechnology businesses rapidly expand into these new markets, there is an imminent demand for scientists and engineers who are adept at developing products and manufacturing processes that are appropriate for deployment in low-resource settings.


The Nanobiotechnology certificate program takes its fundamentals from nanotechnology and applies them to biological systems to produce nanoscale materials and devices designed to perform tasks not possible for macroscopic products. Nanobiotechnology also focuses on the imaging of biological molecules, membranes and tissues, as well as the tools used for imaging, which has led to tremendous advances in our understanding of cellular molecular machinery.



No additional tuition is charged for these certificates.