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 Master of Science in biotechnology with a specialization in biosecurity and biodefense from University of Maryland Global Campus 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 requirements are for students who enroll in the 2020–2021 academic year. For prior year academic requirements, visit our catalog archive.

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

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

Initial Requirement

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

Core Courses

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

Specialization Courses

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

Capstone Course

  • BIOT 670

Course Rules and Program Progression

  • BIOT 601, if required, may be taken concurrently with BIOT 640.
  • BIOT 640 must be taken as the first program course.
  • You must complete all core courses with the BIOT designator in the order listed before starting any specialization coursework.
  • BIOT 670 must be taken after you complete 30 credits of program coursework toward the M.S. in Biotechnology. The course is not offered in summer. Check the Schedule of Classes to learn more about the availability of the capstone course.

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.

Please review our overview of overall master's degree requirements for additional considerations.

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

You are expected to have completed undergraduate coursework in molecular biology. This background may be acquired through preparatory coursework, listed below.

  • If you lack previous coursework in molecular biology, you must take BIOT 601, which may be taken concurrently with BIOT 640.
  • UCSP 605 is recommended to help improve writing skills.

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 you must either take a college-level molecular biology course or BIOT 601 prior to the required program core. BIOT 601 may be taken concurrently with BIOT 640.

Special Designations

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

Additional Information

If you are certified as a Project Management Professional by the Project Management Institute and begin study for the master's degree within five years of earning certification, you may receive credit for PMAN 634. Advisors can provide more information.