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Best Programs in Biotechnology

In the modern world, when new challenging issues emerge, such as climate change and new diseases, biotechnology is crucial in developing innovative solutions.

From precision medicine to synthetic biology, biotechnology comprises a large and diverse spectrum of applications.

The term ‘biotechnology’ is defined as ‘the application of scientific and technological discoveries in life science for the development of commercial products’. Usually, within biotechnology, biological sciences (genetics, biochemistry, molecular biology, microbiology, and cell biology) are combined with other sciences such as chemistry, engineering, information technology, robotics, etc.

Universities all over the world offer master’s and sometimes bachelor’s programs in biotechnology. Some of them secure placements and internships for their students in biotech companies. In the United States, biotechnology programs are often provided in conjunction with MBA or business courses for those who plan to lead biotech companies and want to learn about specifics of the industry.

Many top universities offer programs in bioengineering. Even though these are overlapping disciplines, bioengineering deals more with human health and the clinical industry, while biotechnology is more associated with life sciences.

Let’s take a look at some excellent programs in biotechnology provided by top schools around the world.

ETN Zurich, Switzerland

ETN Zurich boasts eminent alumni such as Albert Einstein and high quality of education in science and technology with a strong focus on research. Its research projects provide familiarity with scientific working procedures and in-depth insights into current study issues. Covagen and InSphero are two successful biotech spin-offs from ETH Zurich, which is noted for having a strong tech transfer office. The university’s master's degree program in biotechnology has a focus on systems biology and synthetic biology and is completed by an eight-month master's thesis on a current research topic.

Master Biotechnology

Tuition fee: CHF 730 (around USD 843) per semester

Technical University of Denmark, Denmark

The school provides a master's program in biotechnology that offers four study lines - BioSystems Engineering, Cell Factory Engineering, Protein Engineering, and Fermentation-Based BioManufacturing. There is an opportunity to tailor your personal profile as MSc Eng in Biotechnology with no study line designation by combining courses from the four study lines. DTU Biosustain, a university center managed in collaboration with Novo Nordisk, encourages the formation of biotech spin-outs and startups like CysBio.

MS Biotechnology

Tuition fee: EUR 7,500 (around USD 8,586) per semester

University of Cambridge, UK

This school provides a master's degree in biotechnology with a strong research focus. Students are equipped with the knowledge necessary to pursue a career in the pharmaceutical, healthcare, agritech, or bioenergy sectors, as well as in any other areas where bioprocesses are important. There are several entrepreneurship programs aimed at assisting the formation of biotech start-ups. Companies like PredictImmune and Morphogen-IX are among them.

MPhil in Biotechnology

Tuition fee: GBR 47,651 (around USD 64,509) for the program

Heidelberg University, Germany

The university offers molecular biotechnology undergraduate and graduate studies with a focus on medicinal applications. The Institute of Pharmacy and Molecular Biotechnology oversees the programs, which are primarily focused on academic research but also include several corporate collaborations as part of the BioRN life science and industry cluster. The Faculty for Chemistry and Physics also participates in providing education for those studying in biotechnology, along with numerous other renowned research institutes, including German Cancer Research Center, and Heidelberg University Biochemistry Center.

Bachelor’s in Molecular Biotechnology

Tuition fee: EUR 171.80 (around USD 196) per semester

Master’s in Molecular Biotechnology

Tuition fee: EUR 171.80 (around USD 196) per semester

University of Edinburgh, UK

The University offers a master's level course in biotechnology for students to gain research and development skills. Students investigate the economic basis for current biotechnology structures and areas of future demand, including the global pharmaceutical industry and carbon sequestration. Industrial placement includes working with employers in the thriving Scottish biotechnology sector in areas such as multiple sclerosis research (Aquila BioMedical), vaccines research (BigDNA), or biorecovery and bioregeneration (Recyclatec).

Biotechnology MSc, PgDip

Tuition fee: GBR 35,900 (around USD 48,600) for the program

National University of Singapore, Singapore

Being the leading university in Asia, the National University of Singapore is praised for its global approach to education and research, with a focus on Asian perspectives and expertise. Its highly ranked biotechnology program offers opportunities for those interested in Genomic Data Science, Emerging Infectious Disease, Genome Editing, Urban Farming Biotechnology, Bioimage, Structural Biology, or other areas of biotechnology.

MSc Biotechnology

Tuition fee: SGD 45,000 (around USD 33,438) for the program

Harvard University, USA

Those who are interested in business models to bring biotechnological discoveries to patients should look into the MS/MBA Biotechnology: Life Sciences program that has been developed in collaboration with Harvard Business School and the Harvard Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology.

The program aims to create business leaders who have a deep  understanding of biotechnology, life sciences, and can lead organizations that will advance new drug discoveries and therapeutics. The master of science degree is only available as part of this joint program.

MS/MBA Biotechnology: Life Sciences

Tuition fee: USD 84,455 per year

University of Toronto, Canada

The university offers programs at both undergraduate and graduate levels. The bachelor’s program combines biological sciences (genetics, biochemistry, molecular biology, microbiology, cell biology) with other science disciplines (chemistry, engineering, information technology, robotics, etc.).

The Master of Biotechnology (MBiotech) is an interdisciplinary professional program that offers courses in both biopharmaceutical and digital health technologies, as well as science and business courses with 8 to 12 months of paid work experience in the industry.

Bachelor of Science Biotechnology

Tuition fee: CAD 58,160 (around USD 45,593) per year

Master of Biotechnology (MBiotech)

Tuition fee: CAD 58,160 (around USD 45,593) per year

University of California, San Francisco, USA

The university offers a 4+1 BS/PSM program which is a combined Biology BS major/Biotechnology PSM Master’s degree to complete in 5 years. It also has a separate Professional Science Master’s (PSM) of Biotechnology one-year graduate program. It is a perfect option for those who would like to bring science and business together. Students take core classes in both biotech science-related curricula and bio-entrepreneurship curricula.

Professional Science Master’s (PSM) of Biotechnology

Tuition fee: USD 52,920 per year

Biotechnology (4+1), BS/PSM

Tuition fee: USD 25,670 per year

John Hopkins University, USA

Known as one of the best institutions for medical research, John Hopkins University offers several options for those who wish to study biotechnology. The list of programs includes not only regular science degrees but also integrated science and business courses. Students are free to tailor their degrees according to their career aspirations in a range of industries.

MS in Biotechnology

Tuition fee: USD 5,008 per course, 10 courses required

MS in Biotechnology and MBA Dual Degree

Tuition fee: USD 5,008 per course for the MS in Biotechnology portion of the degree, 10 courses required. Tuition rates for the MBA are available on the Carey Business School website.

Master of Biotechnology Enterprise and Entrepreneurship (online)

Tuition fee: USD 5,008 per course, 10 courses required

Summing up, universities all around the globe provide vast opportunities for those pursuing a career in biotechnology. And it cannot be stressed too strongly that these programs are worthy of the closest attention when looking for study abroad destinations.

Biotechnology specialists, whether employed at a large biotech company or starting small businesses as bio-entrepreneurs, have a bright future in this rapidly growing billion-dollar industry.