Courses and Curriculum

2 students in a Biotechnology class

The two-year PSM program in Biotechnology at Brandeis aims to prepare students in the best possible way for careers in biotechnology, pharmaceuticals and medical research.

Key Elements of the Program

  1. Hands-on laboratory experience with state-of-the-art bioscience technologies.
  2. Integrated coursework in molecular and cell biology, with opportunities to pursue individual interests in courses taught by world-class faculty in biology and biochemistry.
  3. Courses that aid understanding of the biosciences industry, including a biotechnology industry overview, business fundamentals, managing technology, and ethics.
  4. Development of professional skills through writing, oral presentations, research practice, data analysis and team projects.
  5. A summer workforce or research internship.
  6. Individual advising and mentoring at each stage.

The program consists of three courses per semester, one with a business focus. An additional course in ethics is required in the spring of the first year. Electives in a wide variety of fields can be chosen in consultation with the directors.

Example of Typical Curriculum

Fall Year One
  • BIOL 101 (Molecular Biotechnology)
  • BIOL 256 (Biotechnology Project Laboratory)
  • BIOL 205 (Masters Proseminar)
Spring Year One
  • BCHM 100 (Biochemistry) or BIOL 100 (Advanced Cell Biology) or BIOL 103 (Mechanisms of Cell Function) or take a science elective this semester and BIOL 102** in the fall
  • BIOL 251a (Project Laboratory in Protein Biochemistry)
  • BIOT 203 (Management for Biotechnology)
  • CONT 300b (Responsible Conduct of Science) or the comparable Division of Science Responsible Conduct of Research workshop
BIOT 212 Summer Internship
Fall Year Two
  • BIOL 102 (Structural Molecular Biology) ** or take a Science elective* this semester and BCHM 100, BIOL 100 or BIOL 103 in Spring Year One
  • Business elective*
  • Additional elective‡, BIOT 293 (Research), or Project Laboratory
Spring Year Two
  • BIOT 201 (Business of Biotechnology)
  • Science elective*
  • Additional elective‡, BIOT 293 (Research), or Project Laboratory

* Elective courses include Autism and Human Developmental Disorders, Biostatistics, Chemical Biology: Medicinal Enzymology, Enzyme Mechanisms, Quantitative Approaches to Biochemistry, Growth Control and Cancer, Human Genetics, Human Reproductive and Development Biology, Microbiology, Molecular Biology, Molecular Genetics, Molecular Pharmacology, Neurobiology of Human Disease, Neurobiology, Protein Structure and Disease, Stem Cells (not all electives are offered every year).‡ Additional electives may be biology, biochemistry, or chemistry courses, or relevant business, computer science, economics, Heller School for Social Policy and Management, or sociology courses.

** Offered every other year.