M.S. Applied Molecular Biotechnology

Degree Overview & Mission

The Microbiology Department offers an accelerated professional M.S. degree program in Applied Molecular Biotechnology (AMB). AMB is a one-year program (two semesters and one summer) for full-time students with a bachelor’s degree.

AMB combines hands-on laboratory training with lecture-based courses to train students in the latest techniques and concepts of molecular biology and biochemistry, such as PCR cloning, CRISPR, RNAi, protein expression, cell culture and 3D protein structure. 

The curriculum was specifically designed with the biopharma industries in mind to provide students with a broad knowledge base and the research skills to be competitive for positions in industry or academia.

Real-World Experience

The capstone of the AMB program is the laboratory course that combines applied research with independent research projects. Research projects stem from faculty research programs in the Microbiology Department and other departments on campus. 

Students develop critical thinking skills and gain valuable research experience while working on real world problems. To prepare for employment, time is spent on the business of biotech, networking, mentoring, attending career fairs, visiting biotech companies and participating in internship programs. They are introduced to state-of-the-art research techniques and instrumentation.

AMB students have been very successful with more than 90% placement before graduation. They have gone on to Ph.D. programs, medical and professional schools. The majority are currently working at biotech companies or at research institutions in the Boston area. Jobs and internships came through contacts made through networking events and meeting with biotech mentors. Join this exciting program and let us train you for a career in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries or for advanced graduate studies.

Admission Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree
    A minimum of a Bachelor's degree in a related field from an accredited four year college or university is required for consideration into graduate programs at UMass Amherst.
  • English Proficiency
    Applicants whose native language is not English must demonstrate English proficiency.  For more details consult the International Applicants page for more information.
  • Coursework
    Candidates must also have demonstrated successful course work in:
    • Chemistry and Organic Chemistry are required
    • Calculus or Statistics, Biochemistry or Molecular Biology are preferred
    • Cell biology, Genetics or independent research are favored
    • Previous lab experience is valued when applying
  • GREs: Not Required

Program Requirements

Credit Requirement: 30 credits

Students are required to complete core courses in molecular biology, biochemistry, and genetics. The curriculum is outlined below:

Fall Semester Credits
AMB Laboratory - MICROBIO 681F 5
Advanced Topics in Biotechnology - MICROBIO 557 3
Elective course 500 or 600 level 3
Departmental Seminar - MICROBIO 791A 1
Spring Semester  
 AMB Laboratory - MICROBIO 681S 5
Advanced Topics in Biochemistry - MICROBIO 597D 3
Advanced Microbial Genetics – MICROBIO 685 3
Departmental Seminar – MICROBIO 791A 1
AMB Practicum - MICROBIO 698 6

Additional Resources

For more information about the AMB program, please contact Prof. Jeffrey Kane at jjkane@umass.edu.