Prepare for the front lines of homeland biodefense and bioterrorism response with a master's degree in biotechnology with a specialization in biosecurity and biodefense.

The potential dangers of biowarfare have created a new demand for professionals who can use technology to detect, analyze, and respond to biosecurity threats. A specialization in biosecurity and biodefense within the graduate program in biotechnology can help prepare you to meet that demand head-on.

You'll study the microbiology and epidemiology of biological agents that are potential threats, identify and propose countermeasures, and develop expertise in response and recovery strategies as well as policies related to biodefense and biosecurity.

These program requirements are for students who enroll in the 2019–2020 academic year. For prior year academic requirements, visit the catalog archive in the Current Students section.

About the Biotechnology Master's Degree with Biosecurity and Biodefense Specialization

The biosecurity and biodefense curriculum is case-based and hands-on to help you build a strong foundation in the science of biotechnology and expertise in current issues and strategies in bioterrorism response.

What You'll Learn

Through your coursework, you will learn how to

  • Develop preparedness and response strategies for bioterrorism simulations
  • Analyze cases of real epidemics, biowarfare, and bioethical research problems
  • Communicate current trends in biodefense policies, laws, and best practices for global interagency responses
  • Develop advanced project management skills to lead teams
  • Perform risk assessments and potential impact analyses and select treatments to handle adverse events

Coursework Examples

In past projects, students have had the opportunity to

  • Gain real-world experience through interactions with actual biodefense agencies and industries
  • Work on a team for a sponsoring agency or organization to tackle a real project for that organization
  • Participate in a simulation of a bioterrorist attack and prepare detection, response, and recovery plans
  • Write a brief for policymakers on a current epidemic

Biotechnology Master's Degree with Biosecurity and Biodefense Specialization Requirements

Our curriculum is designed with input from employers, industry experts, and scholars. You'll learn theories combined with real-world applications and practical skills you can apply on the job right away.

Master's - specialization Courses

Introductory Course

  • UCSP 615
    (to be taken within the first 6 credits of study)

Core Courses

  • BIOT 640
  • BIOT 630
  • BIOT 645
  • BIOT 643
  • PMAN 634

Core Rules & Recommendations

  • BIOT 640 must be taken as the first course.
  • All BIOT courses must be completed in the order listed before taking specialization courses.
  • If you need to take BIOT 601, you can take it at the same time as BIOT 640.

Specialization Courses

  • BSBD 640
  • BSBD 641
  • HSMN 630
  • BSBD 642
  • BSBD 643

Specialization Rules & Recommendations

  • Courses should be taken in the order listed.

Capstone Course

  • BIOT 670

Capstone Rules & Recommendations

  • This course must be taken after you have completed 30 credits.
  • Please check the Schedule of Classes to confirm course availability.
  • Currently, BIOT 670 is not available during the summer term.

Other Requirements

  • You must maintain a GPA of 3.0 or higher at all times.
  • All degree requirements must be fulfilled within five consecutive years.
  • Any transfer credits must have been earned within the five-year time frame to be applied toward a graduate degree.

Career Preparation

This program is designed to help you prepare for work applying policy and using technology against biosecurity threats. Potential employers are in the government, public, and private sectors.

Experience Recommended for Success in the Program

If you would like to improve your graduate writing skills, you should take UCSP 605.

Program Admission Requirements

A molecular biology background is required for progression within this program. Upon submission of an official transcript, you can be accepted into the degree program without a molecular biology background, but must either take a college-level molecular biology course or BIOT 601 prior to the required program core.

Special Designations

PSM LogoThis program has received a special designation as a Professional Science Master's Degree by the Council of Graduate Schools.