Online Master's Programs in Biotechnology Entrepreneurship and Bioenterprise

The field of biotechnology (biotech) is vast, multifaceted, and in constant flux. Biotechnologists can work on all sorts of projects from biological discovery and drug design to the defense of people and planet. The field offers interdisciplinary and collaborative work experience for professional scientists and engineers seeking to make a difference. Graduates with a master’s in biotechnology are researchers, managers, and leaders who apply their scientific expertise and business acumen to the health, safety, and protection of human beings and the environment.

Master’s programs in biotechnology provide students with a foundational understanding of molecular biology and biochemistry as well as bio-production lab techniques and business management skills. Coursework builds upon this foundation with a focus on experimental design, bioinformatics, and scientific data management. A specialization in bioenterprise or biotechnology entrpreneurship provides additional business administration skills such as leadership, entrepreneurship, and innovation in the science of biotechnology. Graduates may be equipped with financial decision-making and marketing skills; the ability to manage groups; and a deep understanding of interpersonal dynamics of biotech industry professionals.

Other specializations in biotechnology include bioinformatics, biosecurity and biodefense, biotech regulatory affairs, pharmaceuticals, and stem cell technology. Bioinformatics experts use computer science to analyze biological data so that they can make critical biological discoveries. Biosecurity and biodefense professionals identify the epidemiology of potential threats, propose countermeasures, plan for response and recovery, and conduct interagency cooperation in times of biowarfare and bioterrorism.

As governing bodies such like the FDA ensure product safety and authenticity through its Current Good Manufacturing Practice (CGMP) regulations, biotech professionals who are well-versed in regulatory protocols are needed at all phases of experimentation, design, and creation of biotech products. Consumers and patients choosing preventative, diagnostic, and treatment options for diseases are mainly concerned with the efficacy and validity of their choices. The FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER) regulates explicitly biologic products for human use in compliance with the Public Health Service and Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Acts.

Master’s degrees in biotechnology entrepreneurship and bioenterprise are available entirely online. However, onsite lab “intensives” and co-operative work experience are often features of these programs. Read on to discover the institutions offering an online master’s degree in this field and four distinguished professors.

Professors to Know from Schools with Master’s in Biotechnology Entrepreneurship & Bioenterprise Programs

Dr. Marja Bakermans is committed to education and uses an inquiry-based approach to foster critical thinking and problem-solving. Students in her classes benefit from experiential field projects and service learning as they apply concepts learned to real-life situations. Professor Bakermans’ research focuses on conservation of biodiversity in wildlife populations and the anthropogenic disturbances that threaten them. Dr. Bakermans was the 2016 Ecological Society of America Education Scholar. She has a bachelor’s degree from Bucknell University and a master’s and doctorate from Ohio State University.

Dr. Kamal Rashid has worked in research and biotechnology educational program development for over 35 years, both domestically and abroad. He currently directs the Biomanufacturing Education and Training Center at WPI and is a research professor in the department of biology and biotechnology. His areas of expertise include in vitro toxicology, genomics, bioprocessing, fermentation, protein purification and molecular biology, among others. Dr. Rashid was named International Professor of the Year in 2011 by Utah State University. He has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Baghdad in Iraq, and a master’s and doctorate from Penn State University.

Dr. Roza Selimyan has held positions at Johns Hopkins University, the Center for Biotechnology Education, and the National Institutes of Health. She is currently the program chair of the biotechnology management specialization at UMGC. Her research interests and expertise lie in the areas of genetics and epigenetics, molecular biology and the biology of cancer, immunology, inflammation, obesity, and aging. Dr. Selimyan is dedicated to healing, recovery, and prevention of disease. She is a three-time cancer survivor, a researcher, educator, and speaker. Dr. Selimyan has a doctorate in molecular biology from Rostock University in Germany and master’s in genetics from Yerevan State University in Armenia.

Dr. Karen Wells is a senior lecturer in the Center for Biotechnology Education at Johns Hopkins. Her areas of professional interest include cell biology, protein biochemistry, molecular physiology and disease, and neuroscience. Over her 30-year career in higher education, she has taught biotechnology at four institutions of higher learning. Online education has been her focus for the last 15 years; she is a VoiceThread Certified Educator, trained in using this collaborative, multimedia tool in online learning communities. Professor Wells is the recipient of the Excellence in Teaching Award from the Advanced Academic Program in Biotechnology at Johns Hopkins. She holds a doctorate in physiology and pharmacology from Emory University.

Featured Master’s in Biotechnology & Bioenterprise Programs

Johns Hopkins University

The master’s in biotechnology at Johns Hopkins is a 40-credit, interdisciplinary program that combines basic, applied, and lab sciences. Students may opt for the general degree in biotechnology or specialize in biotechnology enterprise, biodefense, bioinformatics, regenerative and stem cell technologies, regulatory affairs, or drug discovery. The bioenterprise concentration is designed for students interested in biotech leadership, including the entrepreneurial, legal, financial, ethical, and regulatory aspects of this industry. Students learn about biochemistry, molecular biology, cell biology, genomics, and proteomics and gain the skills to conduct research, direct lab teams, and lead management and marketing decision-making processes.

All students take four core science courses: biochemistry, molecular biology, and advanced cellular biology I and II. In addition to these, the concentration in bioenterprise requires two science electives and four enterprise courses in topics such as ethics, legality, and regulation in biotech; social entrepreneurship; funding a new venture; managing and leading biotechnology professionals; and bioscience communication, as well as marketing, finance, and project management. The program is offered entirely online and may also be completed onsite and in blended learning formats.

  • Location: Baltimore, Maryland
  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Format: Online or blended
  • Tuition: $4,322 per course
  • Program length: 12 to 36 months, part-time

University of Maryland Global Campus

UMGC’s 36-credit biotechnology master’s degree combines scientific and technological expertise with the business skills vital to career advancement. Students complete a hands-on project at a biotech company and attend a symposium by industry leaders. Specializations are available in biotechnology management, bioinformatics, biosecurity and biodefense, and biotechnology regulatory affairs. In the biotechnology management concentration, students take courses such as commercializing biotechnology in early-stage ventures; the selection and evaluation of biotechnology projects; information systems management and integration; and financial decision making for managers, among others.

Faculty members are both accomplished academics and experienced biotech professionals and include a patent holder for cancer therapy; a director of biodefense programs; and chief scientific officers at institutions such as the National Institutes of Health and the Center for Innovative Technology.

  • Location: Largo, Maryland and other satellite campuses
  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education, Council of Graduate Schools
  • Format: Online with some hybrid options
  • Tuition: $458 per credit for in-state students, $659 for out-of-state students
  • Program length: Two years or more

Husson University

Husson University offers a 36-credit-hour online MBA program in biotechnology and innovation. This program imparts the fundamentals of business specifically as they relate to biotechnology management and entrepreneurship. The university stresses the need for business-savvy professionals in biotech who have knowledge of marketing, product development, sales, and executive leadership, all of which are covered in their program.

The MBA requires 24 hours of core courses in areas such as research methods, managerial economics, global strategic management, financial management, and marketing. Students must also complete four elective courses in subjects including new venture planning and management; technology and innovation; biotechnology (the business of genetics), groupthink; and biotechnology and innovation (intellectual property), among others.

  • Location: Bangor, Maine
  • Accreditation:  New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC); International Assembly for College Business Education (IACBE)
  • Format: Online
  • Tuition: $480 per credit-hour
  • Program length: 12 to 24 months

Worcester Polytechnic Institute (Hybrid; Related Program)

Graduates of WPI’s online MS degree in biotechnology gain technical knowledge and lab training that integrates the fundamentals of molecular biology and biochemistry with their application to professional scientific and engineering settings. While not specifically in bioenterprise or management, students hone their expertise in laboratory techniques specifically in bio-production and leadership.

The blended program consists of online coursework and on-site lab work. Students take 30 credit-hours: 15 credits in biology and biotechnology, nine credits in skills-based courses, and six credits of elective courses. Admission requirements include a bachelor’s degree in life sciences from an institution recognized by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). Applicants with degrees in engineering or other fields that have a strong base in life sciences or demonstrated knowledge of biochemistry may be considered as well.

  • Location: Worcester, MA
  • Accreditation: New England Association of Schools and Colleges
  • Format: Online and on-campus
  • Tuition: $1,457 per credit
  • Program length: Three to five years part-time

Northeastern University (Related Program)

Northeastern offers an advanced, interdisciplinary master’s in biotechnology that provides graduates with expertise in biotechnology, biology, chemistry, pharmaceutical sciences and business. Again, while this program is not specifically in bioenterprise, there is some overlap in coursework and instruction in management. Core courses in the 34-credit master’s program include biology, biostatistics, business, chemical engineering, and chemistry. Seven concentrations are available to students in this program: molecular biotechnology, process sciences, biopharmaceutical analytical sciences, pharmaceutical technologies, scientific information management, regulatory science, and biotechnology enterprise.

Graduates of the biotechnology enterprise specialization are trained as “scientist-managers” acquiring the skills of business development, management, and teamwork as they relate to the business of biotechnology today. A graduate certificate can also be obtained in biotechnology enterprise and other specializations with the completion of four to five additional courses. The online program requires two intensive lab courses taken on-site at either the Boston or Silicon Valley campuses, as well as co-operative work experience.

  • Location: Boston, Massachusetts
  • Accreditation: New England Association of Schools and Colleges
  • Format: Online with two intensive lab courses
  • Tuition: $1,445 per credit
  • Program length: 24 to 36 months