Bruce Bunnell, PhD, Graduate Advisor
Office: CBH-365 | Phone: 817-735-2064 | E-mail: Bruce.Bunnell@unthsc.edu
The Biotechnology program at UNT Health Science Center (UNTHSC) is a specialized master’s program designed to train individuals for careers in industry and research by providing the tools and experience needed for highly technical positions offered in emerging biotechnology companies, life science organizations, and research institutions. The program is usually completed in two years. The program is completed online with the exception of a six-month internship practicum experience. It is ideal for students balancing career and family responsibilities with enrollment.
Campus resources are available from financial aid to the library, including the Center for Career Services and the Center for Academic Performance, without traveling to our physical location.
The master’s degree in biotechnology provides a strong foundation upon which to build a career or increase career options. The rigorous curriculum focuses on providing students a broad-based view of the biomedical sciences, as well as in-depth knowledge of lab management and industry practice, ethical issues, and laboratory skills necessary to prepare for a career in the biotechnology and life science industry. With three starting points each year, students in this program can begin classes at the time most convenient for them. The average time to complete the degree is two years with full-time enrollment.
Opportunities for Graduates in Biotechnology
Biotechnology in the United States is a dynamic industry and there are many opportunities for employment. When considering a career in biotechnology, most people think of a scientist in a laboratory developing drugs to improve the quality of life. However, biotechnology has a wide variety of career opportunities including sales and marketing, research and development, manufacturing and quality control, and assurance. The biotechnology industry continues to flourish nationwide and the number of biotechnology companies increases annually. Employment in the biotechnology field continues to grow proportionately.
There are many career options for someone with a graduate degree in biotechnology. Examples of potential careers include a biotechnical scientist working as part of a team of scientists under the direction of a group leader on a given product; a consultant providing advice and support in product development, process implementation, forensic analysis, manufacturing, and management recruitment and training; and an industry researcher helping to define the range and scope of new areas of research that may lead to new products.
Each student is responsible for the completion of the requirements for the program according to the procedures that follow. Each item must be completed in the sequence and time period indicated. Forms are subject to revision at any time and should be obtained from the GSBS Forms and Guidelines website.
- The admissions committee will review all applicants for acceptance into the MS in Biotechnology Program. A student must have a bachelor’s degree and must meet the general admission requirements as described in the catalog in effect at the time of application. All applications must be completed and received in accordance with the deadlines published in the academic calendar. A student admitted into the Master of Science program in biotechnology must take a minimum of 9 semester credit hours (SCH) per long semester and 6 SCH during the summer (24 SCH/year).
- Students must be in good academic standing prior to beginning the Internship Practicum. Exceptions to this rule can only be granted by the dean or his designee.
- The student will be assigned a major professor and an advisory committee consisting of the major professor and two other graduate faculty members. The names of these individuals must be filed in the GSBS Office of Student Services prior to starting the internship or no later than one week after starting. In addition, a degree plan must also be filed with the GSBS Office of Student Services at this time.
- After the online course work has been completed, the student will enroll in Internship Practicum (BMSC 5697; 9 SCH). The internship will be at a site previously approved by the advisory committee. During this time, the student will gain experience in tasks associated with the application of biotechnology in an industrial setting.
- A formal research proposal describing how the practicum is to be spent must be approved by the advisory committee and submitted to the GSBS Office of Student Services six to eight weeks after starting the internship.
- At the conclusion of the practicum, the student will present his/her work as both oral and written reports. The oral presentation will be open to the public and will then be followed by a private defense with the advisory committee. The student must submit a first draft of the practicum report and internship daily journal to the major professor for review prior to the public seminar. The major professor must approve the internship practicum report before it is distributed to the committee members by the student. The final written report should be given to the committee no later than two weeks before the formal defense. Students should coordinate the reservation of a seminar room with the Graduate School office at least one month prior to the defense. At this time the committee will either approve/or not approve the work of the internship and the report. If not approved, the student may have a chance to revise the report or repeat the practicum one time at the discretion of the committee. The major professor, together with the other members of the committee, will assign a letter grade to the practicum. The report must be submitted in accordance with the instructions for completing graduation requirements within the deadlines for graduation published in the academic calendar. A more detailed description of the internship practicum and report requirements may be found in the Internship Practicum Guidelines available on the GSBS Graduation website.
- It is strongly suggested that the student and major professor, as well as the major professor and the on-site mentor, communicate on a regular basis to review the student’s progress during the practicum.
Internship Practicum (BMSC 5697)
Internship Practicum (BMSC 5697) provides a hands-on training experience for the biotechnology student. The program director will identify approved, on-sight and off-campus internship opportunities in north Texas and will work to place students at suitable sites. From time to time, opportunities may exist in other parts of the state or country. It is also possible that occasional opportunities will exist on the campus. The internship takes approximately 2 semesters (32 weeks, 40 hrs/week) during which the student will be working under the direct supervision of an internship mentor at the internship location. UNTHSC does not offer any remuneration to the student when he/she is enrolled in BMSC 5697 and the student should not expect to be paid as an intern. The student is responsible for transportation to and from the site, whether it is on-campus or off-campus. The student is expected to keep a laboratory notebook/daily journal during this experience. At the end of the practicum, the student will write a report detailing the activities of the internship. The student’s advisory committee must approve this report together with the laboratory notebook. The student must make a formal presentation to the advisory committee and defend the work at this time. A copy of the report must be submitted within the appropriate deadlines for graduation as published in the GSBS Academic Calendar.