Skip to Navigation

BioMed: Biotechnology

The Division of Biology and Medicine at Brown University offers the Sc.M. degree. The graduate program is offered by the Department of Molecular Pharmacology, Physiology, and Biotechnology, and is designed for students interested in a range of topics related to the field of biotechnology including drug and gene delivery, prosthetic devices, cancer therapeutics, vascular grafts, tissue engineering, disease diagnostic assays, and bioartificial organs.

The educational objective of the program is to promote an understanding of the designs and materials used in novel cell and drug delivery systems; the cellular, molecular, and structural aspects of tissue material interfaces; the potential of bioderived, biomimetic, and biomolecular materials; the function of tissues regenerated on bioresorbable scaffolds or surviving within immunoprotective synthetic membranes; and the surgical techniques required for successful implants. Active areas of research include; vascular grafts, bioadhesive drug delivery systems, nerve guidance channels, brain implants, bone and cartilage remodeling systems, endocrine organs, artificial skin, blood oxygenators, microscale genomic and proteomic diagnostics,  and cell encapsulation strategies.

Entering students are expected to have undergraduate qualifications in the life and physical sciences, typically evidenced by a B.S. or B.A. degree in biology, biophysics, chemistry, physics or materials science. The Biotechnology Graduate Program accepts applicants for an Sc.M degree as part of a 5 year Integrated Program open only to Brown students or as an independent program open to non-Brown students.

The educational objectives of the Biotechnology program include:

  1. To prepare students for careers of constructive service to society in academia, government, industry and health related fields.
  2. To engage committed students in areas not experienced in their previous academic lives and to bring them to a baseline that will allow them to conduct translational research, from conceptual design through in vivo testing with an eye towards clinical implementation.
  3. To provide interdisciplinary research and educational opportunities to solve problems that will improve the quality of life for those suffering from health-related diseases and disorders.

The program's primary emphasis is on the fundamentals of polymer chemistry, drug delivery, regenerative medicine, and micro-devices.  It also allows students to personalize their curriculum. This exciting program prepares students for careers in biomedicine, pharmacy, and biotechnology, as well as careers in diverse areas such as medicine, law, business, government and health care delivery. Biotechnology students learn to apply the principles of biology, medicine and science, along with problem solving skills and critical thinking to a broad spectrum of problems in biotechnology and medicine. 

Biotechnology Areas of Research

  • Cancer therapeutics
  • Nanomedicine
  • Neurotechnology
  • Functional imaging
  • Cardiovascular research
  • Stem cell technology
  • Biomaterials for cell and tissue growth
  • Nanotechnology
  • Drug and gene delivery
  • Pharmaceutical technology

Learn more about the research facilities for the Biotechnology program.

The Graduate Program in Biotechnology offers advanced training appropriate for careers in academia, government or industry in the field of biotechnology.  Students may be admitted for the Sc.M. degree only and may enter as Brown students into the 5-Year Masters Program or as outside students into the Masters Program. In both pathways, students may elect to fulfill the requirements of a thesis or a non-thesis degree. Students who elect to fulfill the requirements of a non-thesis degree receive the A.M. degree. The following lists are overviews of the requirements of both pathways. For more specific details, please refer to the Biotechnology Graduate Program Guidelines.

Master's Program

Admission Information:

  • Open to students with appropriate backgrounds in biology, biochemistry, physics, engineering, or chemistry.
  • Do not have to take GREs. Proficiency in English is expected.
  • Must fill out graduate school application, 3 letters of recommendation and indicate interest in Biotechnology Masters Program.

Completion Requirements:

  • A minimum of 8 tuition units are required.
  • Must receive a grade of B or better, courses must be taken for a grade rather than credit/no credit.
  • A maximum of one post-graduate course may be transferable, but approval of Program Director is required.
  • Program Director endorses the student’s proposed curriculum.

For students doing research and thesis

  • At least five of the required eight courses must be structured advanced level courses in biology and science.
  • No more than three of the required eight courses are to be used for thesis research.
  • Must identify Brown faculty member willing to host student in lab.
  • Student and faculty mentor select Thesis Committee.
  • Submit final thesis, present work as a seminar and pass final oral examination by Thesis Committee.

For students not doing research, non thesis option

  • Must complete an approved program of study consisting of at least eight structured advanced-level courses in biology or the sciences.
  • Students who elect to fulfill the requirements of a non-thesis degree receive the A.M. degree.

5-Year Master's Program

    Admission Information:

    • 5th Year Masters Program open only to Brown students.
    • Must meet requirements for undergraduate concentration at Brown.
    • Do not have to take GREs.
    • Must apply to program before completion of undergraduate studies.
    • Must choose a Brown faculty member to be advisor before start of the program.

    Completion Requirements:

    • A minimum of 8 tuition units are required.
    • Must receive a grade of B or better, courses must be taken for a grade rather than credit/no credit.
    • A maximum of 2 advanced level courses taken during senior year can be applied towards degree as long as they are not used towards fulfillment of undergraduate concentration. Approval of Program Director required.
    • Program Director endorses the student’s proposed curriculum.

      For students doing research and thesis:

      1. At least five of the required eight courses must be structured advanced level courses in biology and science
      2. No more than three of the required eight courses are to be used for thesis research or seminar
      3. Must identify Brown faculty member willing to host student in lab
      4. Student and faculty mentor select Thesis Committee
      5. Submit final thesis, present work as a seminar and pass final oral examination by Thesis Committee.

      For students not doing research, non thesis option:

      1. At least five of the required eight courses must be structured advanced level courses in biology and science.
      2. No more than three of the required eight courses are to be used for thesis research or seminar.

      Admission Information
      Students may be admitted for the Master's degree only and may enter as Brown students into the 5-Year Integrated Baccalaureate/Master's Program or as outside students into the Masters Program. In both pathways, students may elect to fulfill the requirements of a thesis or a non-thesis degree.  For more specific details, please refer to the Biotechnology Graduate Program Guidelines.

      GRE General: Not required
      GRE Subject: Not required
      Application deadline: November 15 (spring), April 15 (fall)