AMB Master's Program Frequently Asked Questions

Q.  What are the admissions requirements for AMB?
A.  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.

Q. How do I apply for AMB?
A. Application material can be obtained from the Graduate School.  Applications must be sent directly to the Graduate School, not the Department of Microbiology, and must be accompanied by payment of the application fee.  Applications must be received by DECEMBER 1.  

Q. Is the GRE required?
A.  No.  Students are not required to take the GRE.  However, if students have taken the GRE and performed well on the examination, they are encouraged to submit GRE scores during the application process.

Q. Is prior research experience required for AMB?
A.  No.  Prior research experience is not required.  The AMB program is specifically designed to train students with little or no prior research experience.

Q.  What are the fees for the AMB program?
A. The fees for graduate studies are available on the Bursar's office web site under "Graduate" and vary according to state residency.

Q. Does the Microbiology Department offer financial aid?
A. No.  Unfortunately, the Microbiology Department does not offer financial aid for M.S. students, including the AMB concentration.  Students are encouraged to contact Financial Aid Services for assistance.

Q. How many credits are required for a M.S. degree?
A. A total of 30 graduate credits are required for a M.S. degree at UMass.
Q. What is the AMB curriculum?
A. The AMB curriculum is comprised of lecture courses and AMB laboratory during the Fall and Spring semesters.  During the summer session, students will participate in an Internship at a biotechnology or pharmaceutical company. Alternatively, students will stay on campus during the summer and complete their research project and participate in “Lab Modules”.         

Fall Semester

MICROBIO 681F AMB Laboratory (5 credits)
MICROBIO 557 Advanced Topics in Biotechnology (3 credits)
Elective course 500 or 600 level (3 credits)
MICROBIO 791A Departmental Seminar (1 credit)

Spring Semester

MICROBIO 681S AMB Laboratory (5 credits)
MICROBIO 597D Advanced Topics in Biochemistry (3 credits)
MICROBIO 685 Concepts in Molecular Genetics (3 credits)
MICROBIO 791A Departmental Seminar (1 credit)


MICROBIO 698 AMB Practicum (7 credits)

Q.  I have taken graduate courses at UMass-Amherst and another university.  Will these courses count toward a degree in AMB?
A. In general, graduate courses taken at other universities will not be considered for AMB course requirements.  However, considerations will be made on an individual basis.   

Q. Do I need to find a PI to work with for the AMB Laboratory?
A. No. Student projects will be conducted in the AMB laboratory.  Projects will stem from faculty research programs at UMass and surrounding colleges, but all research will be conducted in the AMB laboratory under the direct supervision of the AMB laboratory instructor.

Q. Is a summer internship mandatory?
A. Students are encouraged to apply for and participate in an internship during the summer.  However, internships are competitive and not everyone will be awarded one.  Those students that do not receive and internship will stay on campus, complete their research project.

Q. How do I find a summer internship?
A.  The AMB laboratory instructor will help students assemble a resume, cover letter, and apply for summer internships as part of the AMB (MICROBIO 681) curriculum.

Q. Do graduates get jobs?
A. Yes, more than 90% are placed upon completion of coursework.