M.S. Program in Applied Molecular Biotechnology

AMB Master's students are provided the opportunity to network with leading biopharma companies.

  • Networking Opportunities

    Outside of the laboratory students in the AMB Master's program attend career fairs to establish connections and discover internship opportunities in preparation for careers in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries. Read more »

  • AMB Program a Big Success

    The Department of Microbiology's Applied Molecular Biotechnology Master's program has concluded its third academic year having a high placement rate for its students into summer internships at biotechnology firms. Pictured here is the third class of AMB students ready to take on their internships and apply what they lave learned. Read more »

AMB Program Overview

The Microbiology Department offers a concentration in Applied Molecular Biotechnology (AMB) as part of our professional M.S. degree program. AMB is a one year program (2 semesters and one summer) specifically designed for students interested in careers in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries. AMB combines state-of-the-art laboratory training with lecture-based courses to train students in the latest techniques and concepts of molecular biology and biochemistry. Join this exciting new program and let us train you for a career in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries or for advanced graduate studies.

Admission Requirements

A minimum of a Bachelor's degree from an accredited four year college or university is required for consideration into graduate programs at UMass-Amherst. Candidates must have demonstrated success in several of the following areas:

  • Genetics
  • Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell biology
  • Calculus
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Statistics

Mission Of The AMB Program

The AMB program is specifically designed for full-time students with a bachelor's degree who are interested in careers in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries. This unique program combines traditional lecture-based courses with an intensive laboratory course (over 50% of the degree requirement) to train students in molecular biology and biochemistry. The curriculum was designed with the biotechnology industry in mind to provide students with a broad knowledge base and the research skills to be competitive for positions in industry, but also academia.

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. The AMB laboratory is equipped with state-of-the art research instrumentation. Students will develop critical thinking skills and gain valuable research experience while working on real world problems.

Students are required to complete core courses in molecular biology, biochemistry, and genetics (see Program Requirements). In addition, students will have the opportunity to tailor their training through elective courses and "Lab Modules" that will be offered during the summer months. The lab modules are designed to give students highly specialized, in-depth training in specific areas of biotechnology. As part of continued student training, we are collaborating with partners in industry to develop a summer internship program that will provide students with valuable job experience.

Upon successful completion of the AMB program, students will:

  • Learn molecular biology and biochemistry techniques
  • Develop applied research skills in biotechnology
  • Conduct independent research on real world problems
  • Obtain broad knowledge through courses, laboratory, and the scientific literature
  • Develop oral and written communication skills, and data record keeping
  • Tailor educational training through course electives and "Lab Modules"
  • Compete for internship opportunities at biotechnology companies
  • Work in an enthusiastic and supportive environment
  • Develop the skills to be competitive for jobs in industry and academia

Program Requirements

A total of 30 credits are required for a M.S. degree. Below is the curriculum.

Fall Semester

BIOCHEM 642 Advanced Molecular Biology (4 credits)
Elective course 600 level or higher (3 credits)
MICROBIO 681F AMB Laboratory (5 credits)

Spring Semester

MOLCBIO 690G Advanced Concepts in Genetics (3 credits)
MOLCBIO 623 Advanced Biochemistry (3 credits)
MICROBIO 681S AMB Laboratory (5 credits)


AMB Laboratory/Internship (7credits)

Contact Information

Information about the application process can be found on the Graduate Program Overview page. For more information about the AMB program, please contact us via email at microbio-dept@microbio.umass.edu or refer to the AMB Master's Program frequently asked questions page.

How to Apply

Application material can be obtained from the Graduate School. Prospective students are NOT required to take the GRE. Applications for admission must be received by the Graduate School by December 1. Applications must be sent directly to the Graduate School, not to the Department of Microbiology, and must be accompanied by payment of the application fee. The application will not be processed or forwarded to the Microbiology Department until the payment has been received by the Graduate School. Late applications will be considered, only if space is available.