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Programs News Jessica Jernigan January 04, 2022

Discoveries in biotechnology have significantly improved our world in many ways—with the development of novel vaccines to curb pandemics, immunotherapies for cancer, environmental solutions, and other modern breakthroughs. Achieving these discoveries within the biotechnology industry depends on the growing pool of highly skilled workers who possess the passion and drive to positively impact people's lives. The UAB School of Health Professions Master of Science in Biotechnology program prepares students to do just that by offering the tools needed to develop and launch new products and technology.

An entirely online program, students will have the flexibility to complete their degree while working full time in just one year. The program's innovative curriculum and training provide students not only with the technical skills to succeed but the knowledge and applications to commercialize new ideas. Classes are divided into categories—principles of biotechnology, applications of biotechnology, and bench to commercialization. Professional development is integrated throughout the coursework to train students in the necessary soft skills to excel in the business and lead advances in healthcare, biotechnology, and other disciplines in science.CDS BMD lab 26775 v1 EDITStudents can complete their degree 100% online. Careers include biotechnologist, biophysicist, microbiologist and biochemist.

Tino Unlap, Ph.D., professor and program director, Department of Clinical and Diagnostic Sciences, noted that biotechnology is complex and can apply to many industries within the life sciences field, making career and educational opportunities almost limitless. Many students of the master's program begin doing lab work immediately after graduation or apply for terminal degrees such as medical, dental, or Ph.D.

"Our goal with this program is to help make innovative ideas a reality," said Unlap. "One of the unique aspects of this degree is that many of our students work in biotechnology or life science companies developing real-world solutions."

By partnering with various internship sites at UAB and beyond, students help develop new businesses and have the opportunity to gain experience in cancer research, biomedical engineering, genetics, clinical immunology, dentistry, healthcare, patient outcome analytics, and more.

"My favorite aspect of the program is the lab experience and skills I am able to utilize and expand upon," said Jaleesa DeJesus, current biotechnology student. "We've been encouraged to apply the material learned in lecture to real-life situations, such as the COVID-19 pandemic."

DeJesus has learned the business aspects of running a successful company while conducting research efficiently. She currently works for Orgenesus, a leading regenerative medicine company that provides quality assurance for products through inspections and record keeping.

"The online program at UAB allows me to work full time while also advancing my knowledge and career on my own time outside of work hours."


The demand for qualified biotechnology workers is higher than ever, with the desire for new advancements in medicine, pharmaceuticals, and genetics. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a seven percent growth for employees within biotechnology, displaying a growing need in the workplace for employees specifically trained in this area. MS BiotechnologyEarly applications are accepted until February 28. Deadline to apply is August 1. As a reflection of this booming industry, ninety-five percent of students graduate from the master's program at UAB with a job.

Austin Rosser, class of 2020, currently serves as a sales manager for Core Diagnostic Laboratories, a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) specialty lab.

"PCR is becoming the golden standard in clinical diagnostics," said Rosser. "The biotechnology program gave me the advantage of starting my career as an expert in the field."

Rosser added that his time in the program gave him the confidence to speak to C-level professionals, physicians, and other specialists about the science behind clinical diagnostic testing products.

The master's degree in biotechnology's flexible design is ideal for students working toward their unique professional goals, taking research from bench to bedside. By providing a business, research, and laboratory-based curriculum, graduates are positioned at the forefront of biotechnology and life science research.

To learn more about a master's in biotechnology, visit the program's website.

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