Molecular & Cellular Biotechnology (M.S.)

Molecular & Cellular Biotechnology (M.S.)

A panel of three different students working in labs

Interested in a career in the biotechnology, pharmaceutical, or biomanufacturing industries? Now you can earn BOTH a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in molecular and cellular biotechnology in just five years.

PLEASE NOTE:  The GRE REQUIREMENT is being WAIVED for all FALL 2021 applications.

The Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Biomedical Sciences (MCBS) in the College of Life Sciences and Agriculture (COLSA) offers the professional M.S. in Molecular and Cellular Biotechnology (MCBT). This non-thesis degree program addresses the growing workforce and educational needs of the bioscience industries (including biotechnology, pharmaceutical, biomanufacturing, and medical device companies). The M.S. in MCBT provides continuing and accessible graduate-level education for individuals from broad socioeconomic backgrounds currently in the workforce, as well as for UNH undergraduate students seeking to enroll in an accelerated Master’s program, and to gain enhanced knowledge and specialized skills prior to entering the workforce.

Distinctive Features of the Program

The program is founded on the existing academic rigor of the thesis-based graduate programs offered in MCBS and on the substantial innovative experiential learning opportunities enabled by existing biotechnology-relevant Centers: the University Instrumentation Center (UIC), the Center of Integrated Biomedical and Bioengineering Research (CIBBR), the NH Center for Multiscale Modeling and Manufacturing of Biomaterials (NH BioMade), and the Biomanufacturing Innovation Center (BIC). These resources will enable offering instrumentation training workshops in the following areas: genetic engineering of cells; recombinant protein production and purification; biological mass spectroscopy; nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy; cell imaging and phenotyping; visualization of macromolecules.

Why get a professional Master’s of Science in Molecular and Cellular Biotechnology?

Our professional M.S. in biotechnology equips you with the knowledge, skills, abilities, and industry contacts required to take your chosen career in the biotechnology, pharmaceutical, or biomanufacturing industries to the next level. Unlike a thesis-based M.S. program, students in the MCBT Program take core and elective courses in biochemistry, molecular and cellular biology of immediate relevance to working professionals. Our mission is to efficiently provide our students the specialized knowledge and skills needed to successfully enter or advance their careers in a range of bioscience industries. This M.S. program concludes with a training experience in a research lab or industrial setting that will help launch you onto the next stage of your career journey in the biotechnology and associated industries.

Why choose UNH’s professional M.S. in MCBT?

As a Carnegie research-intensive (R1) institution, UNH offers outstanding opportunities to engage with world-class researchers, develop your analytical skills with state-of-the-art instrumentation, and be centrally located in the northeast biotech corridor that ranges from Boston to Portland. Whether you complete the M.S. in MCBT on a part-time or full-time schedule, you’ll graduate with the skills, knowledge, and connections to propel your career forward in the rapidly growing fields of biotechnology, pharmaceutical science, or biomanufacturing.

Admission Requirements

A distinguishing feature of the M.S. in MCBT curriculum is its flexibility to accommodate students of diverse backgrounds, and to provide a customized curriculum to meet the career goals that attracted them to this program. For admission, program applicants will be expected to meet the following prerequisites:
• GPA > 3.0 in prior academic programs, and/or excellent relevant work experience; GREs not required.
• Demonstration of English proficiency for non-native, English-speaking applicants (i.e., TOEFL score).
• Three letters of recommendation
• Personal statement specifying the applicant’s professional development and career plan.
• Required prerequisite courses: introductory biology (two semesters), genetics, organic chemistry.
• Strongly recommended prerequisite courses: microbiology, cell biology, math/statistics, biochemistry.

Accelerated Master’s Program Requirements for UNH Seniors

The accelerated master's program is designed for highly motivated and qualified students seeking additional training to further their career goals as a researcher in the life sciences.  This program is an optimal way for qualified UNH undergraduate students to begin earning graduate credit during their senior year. Students in most programs are able to take up to 12 credits that will count for both undergraduate and graduate credit, allowing them to maximize their time on campus and the return on their educational investment, as they seek to increase their marketability after graduation.

Admission to the Accelerated Master's program is highly competitive. Students wishing to pursue this option must have a grade point average greater than 3.2 at the time of application. A faculty advisor must be identified during the junior year and the approval of the advisor must be obtained. Prior to the first semester of the senior year, the student must formally apply to the Graduate School and receive admission to the Accelerated Master's MCBT Graduate Program.


Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Biomedical Sciences
Rudman Hall
46 College Road
Durham, NH 03824

Curriculum & Requirements

Completion of the M.S in MCBT requires at least 30 graduate credits in approved courses, including Core Curriculum courses, Elective courses, Workshops, and the custom-designed Capstone experience.

Required courses

Students are required to complete the Core Curriculum courses (chosen based on EAB market analysis commissioned by MCBS and additional industry input) to establish graduate-level skill competencies in the areas of protein biochemistry, molecular biology, and cell biology. Core requirements may be waived in those instances where the Admissions Committee ascertains that the student already possesses the knowledge and skills provided through these Core Curriculum courses.

The required core curriculum courses consist of Cell Culture (lecture/lab), Protein Biochemistry (lecture/lab), and Molecular Biology (lecture/lab). Typically, students will complete the core curriculum courses prior to enrolling in the more advanced offerings. 

BCHM 825Cell Phenotyping and Tissue Engineering Laboratory4
BCHM 853Cell Culture5
BCHM 854Molecular Biology Research Methods5

Elective courses

In addition to the Core requirements, each student will develop a curriculum plan with the Admissions Committee and their Faculty Advisor that includes elective courses and workshops. Students will be encouraged to select elective courses and a capstone experience that encourage specialization (e.g., protein biochemistry, genetic engineering, cell imaging and phenotyping). Each curriculum plan will be customized to meet the career goals of the student. In addition
to approved elective courses, other courses may be incorporated into the curriculum plan to provide breath of training. These courses offered by other academic programs include: bioengineering, biomanufacturing, entrepreneurship and business management, and bioregulatory science (including administrative law, intellectual property, and licensing).

General Electives
ANFS 933Design, Analysis, and Interpretation of Experiments4
BCHM 802Endocrinology4
BCHM 851Principles of Biochemistry I4
BCHM 852Principles of Biochemistry II4
BIOL 811Experimental Design & Analysis4
BIOL 950Scientific Communication2
CHE 814Chemical Sensors4
CHE 861Biochemical Engineering4
CHE 862Biomedical Engineering4
CHE 866Biomaterials4
GRAD 930Ethics in Research and Scholarship2 or 3
GRAD 932Graduate Outreach Communication2
LGP 971BioInnovation Research Collaboration and the Law2
MCBS 895Special Topics1-4
MCBS 997Seminar1
Cell Biology Electives
BCHM 863Biochemistry of Cancer4
BIOL 805Molecular and Cellular Neurobiology4
MICR 805Immunology3
Molecular Biology Electives
GEN 804Genetics of Prokaryotic Microbes5
GEN 811Genomics and Bioinformatics4
GEN 812Programming for Bioinformatics5
GEN 817Molecular Microbiology5
GEN 874Techniques in Plant Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology4
MCBS 913Applied Bioinformatics3
Protein Biochemistry Electives
BCHM 850Physical Biochemistry3
BCHM #860Pharmacology4
BCHM 894Protein Structure and Function4
MS 910Macromolecular Characterization3


Workshops will be offered during the summer, J-term, and—in selected cases—during the academic year. For five prioritized areas, these workshops build from strong in-place MCBT faculty and staff expertise (and infrastructure) that are directly relevant to the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry: (1) Cell Imaging and Phenotyping; (2) Cellular Engineering and Analysis of Recombinant Proteins; (3) Mass Spectrometry (4) Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) Spectroscopy;
and (5) Macromolecular Visualization. These workshops will also feature invited participation from regional expert biotech and biopharma colleagues as well as technical specialists from the instrument manufacturer, and will typically be developed as one-credit, five-day laboratory immersion experiences
on the UNH campus. 

Capstone experience (including co-op and internship experiences) 

In consultation with the Faculty Advisor and with the approval of the Graduate Program Coordinator, students will design a Capstone experience (up to 10 cr.) that is consistent with their career development plans. The Capstone will typically consist of one of the following: (a) a research project in a UNH faculty member’s research laboratory (usually the Faculty Advisor); (b) an internship/co-op experience in an industry setting (including the student’s current workplace if applicable); or (c) an intentionally designed set of applied training workshops, as described above. The preferred scenario for the internship is a partnership between
the student’s off-site internship supervisor and the UNH Faculty Advisor in which the experiential learning experience has some components performed in the workplace and others on-campus. 


Applications must be completed by the following deadlines in order to be reviewed for admission:

  • Fall: March 1
  • Spring: N/A
  • Summer: N/A
  • Special: N/A

Application fee: $65

Campus: Durham

New England Regional: No

Accelerated Masters: Yes (for more details see the accelerated masters information page)

New Hampshire Residents

Students claiming in-state residency must also submit a Proof of Residence form. This form is not required to complete your application, but you will need to submit it after you are offered admission or you will not be able to register for classes.


If you attended UNH after September 1, 1991, and have indicated so on your online application, we will retrieve your transcript internally; this includes UNH-Durham, UNH-Manchester and UNH Non-Degree work. 

If you did not attend UNH, or attended prior to September 1, 1991, then you must request one official transcript be sent directly to our office from the Registrar's Office of each college/university attended. International transcripts must be translated into English. We accept transcripts both electronically and in hard copy:

  • Electronic Transcripts: Please have your institution send the transcript directly to Please note that we can only accept copies sent directly from the institution.
  • Paper Transcripts: Please send hard copies of transcripts to: UNH Graduate School, Thompson Hall- 105 Main Street, Durham, NH 03824. You may request transcripts be sent to us directly from the institution or you may send them yourself as long as they remain sealed in the original university envelope.

Letters of recommendation: 3 required

Recommendation letters submitted by relatives or friends, as well as letters older than one year, will not be accepted.

Personal Statement/Essay Questions

Prepare a brief but careful statement regarding:

  1. Reasons you wish to do graduate work in this field, including your immediate and long-range objectives.
  2. Your specific research or professional interest and experiences in this field.


A current resume is required with your submitted application.

Important Notes

All applicants are encouraged to contact programs directly to discuss program specific application questions.

International Applicants

The University of New Hampshire recommends that international applicants who are living outside of the United States, and are planning on pursuing a research based degree, submit a preapplication form before submitting a full application. Your preapplication request will be carefully reviewed and a decision usually provided within 3 weeks. If your preapplication is approved then it is recommended you then submit a full application. If you are currently living in the United States (on a H1B visa, etc.), or you plan on pursuing a professional master’s degree, then you do not need to submit a preapplication.

Prospective international students are required to submit TOEFL, IELTS, or equivalent examination scores. English Language Exams may be waived if English is your first language. If you wish to request a waiver, then please visit our Test Scores webpage for more information.

Explore Program Details

take the next step

Undergraduate Student


A view of T-Hall on the UNH campus.


A female student at UNH gets help on her resume