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Biotechnology and Chemical Science, MS


The Master of Science program in Biotechnology and Chemical Science (BTCS) prepares students for work in a variety of professional settings, including the food science, cosmetics, biopharmaceutical, and biotechnology industries, or for further research and graduate study. It is an interdisciplinary program in which a student may concentrate in biotechnology, biotechnology management, or chemical science. The program is appropriate for students holding a baccalaureate degree in biology, biochemistry, chemistry, or related sciences, or for those who have taken the prerequisite undergraduate courses. Applicants who are preparing for medical, dental or veterinary schools are encouraged to apply for the MA in Biomedical Science or the MS in Biology at Roosevelt University.

The objectives of the MS BTCS degree program are to provide practical laboratory skills and a strong conceptual foundation in the crossover disciplines of chemistry and biology, and to prepare students for the application of these skills in the workplace. Students in the program receive:

  • Theoretical and practical training through a rigorous, flexible and broad-based graduate curriculum including chemistry, biology, biochemistry, and management coursework.
  • Direct experience with laboratory techniques and research methods used in the commercial and academic research settings.
  • Advising and mentoring from experienced faculty from across the university.
  • Academic, volunteer, research and/or internship opportunities that enhance students’ skills and prepare them to advance in their chosen field.

Course work for this program is regularly offered during evening hours and on Saturdays, affording an opportunity to those employed full-time to extend their professional training. The program is primarily course-based but students who are interested in research opportunities may pursue a master’s thesis under the sponsorship of faculty members in the department of Biological, Chemical, and Physical Sciences. Co-sponsorship arrangements with faculty of the College of Pharmacy are also available to students at the Schaumburg campus.


Applicants should consult the general requirements for admission to graduate programs in the College of Arts and Sciences covered on the Roosevelt University web site. Other admissions requirements for international applicants are defined by the Office of International Programs. Graduate faculty members will evaluate each applicant’s individual record of academic achievement, professional experience and self-assessment. Weakness in one or a few areas of preparation will not preclude a positive admission decision.

Application materials

  • Graduate application: Application to the College of Arts & Sciences at Roosevelt University.
  • Official transcript(s): Official transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate institutions attended.
  • Resume/Curriculum vitae: Students should provide a detailed account of their academic and extracurricular experiences. Include employment, teaching, leadership and research experiences as appropriate.
  • Personal statement: This brief (one-page) personal statement conveys the student's motivation for his/her chosen career. If the student has a personal statement from a central admissions service, they may submit this statement.
  • Two letters of recommendation: Two letters of recommendation appropriate for a professional school application. Referees may include professors, academic advisors, employment supervisors, or others familiar with the students' preparation for graduate study.
  • Official GRE score (recommended): Official score in the Graduate Record Exam or another of the graduate admissions tests that is no more than three years old.


New students must consult with the graduate program director upon admission to the graduate program. Each graduate student is required to meet with a graduate advisor at least once each semester to select appropriate courses for the following semester. Students who have completed at least one semester of graduate study (or 6 semester hours), or who have a strong background and interest in research careers, should consult with their advisor to discuss research and independent study opportunities.


Applicants to the MS BTCS program must hold a baccalaureate degree with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 (4.0 scale) and must have completed the academic requirements described below.

  • All students: One year of general chemistry, one year of organic chemistry, and one year of physics.
  • Biotechnology concentration : Introductory cellular and molecular biology.
  • Biotechnology Management concentration : Introductory cellular and molecular biology (required), economics and/or business statistics (recommended). Cellular and Molecular Biology (BIOL 301) or equivalent. Inorganic and Organic Chemistry. Physics. Calculus (1 or 2 semesters, including business Calculus, calculus for health sciences).
  • Chemical Science concentration: Mathematics through integral calculus, physics with calculus, quantitative chemistry.

Students lacking these prerequisites may be admitted provisionally until they have been completed satisfactorily (grade of B- or better). None of the prerequisite courses may be used toward fulfilling the requirements for the master's degree.

Graduate transfer credit toward the degree must be approved by the graduate program director and is limited to nine semester hours.


The MS in Biotechnology and Chemical Science requires a minimum of 36 semester hours, at least 27 of which must be completed at Roosevelt University. Students may choose concentrations in Biotechnology, Biotechnology Management, or Chemical Science.

See below for recommended courses in each concentration.

Interdisciplinary and required coursework

  • Biotechnology: At least 20 semester hours in biology and eight semester hours in chemical science. A maximum of 6 semester hours or two courses in biochemistry will be accepted toward this requirement. BIOL 480, Applications of Biotechnology, and research experience are required.
  • Biotechnology management: Specific requirements in biology, biotechnology and business are described in the concentration course listing. Contact the graduate program director for up-to-date curriculum plans for this concentration.
  • Chemical science: At least 20 semester hours in chemical science and eight semester hours in biological science. A maximum of 6 semester hours or two courses in biochemistry will be accepted toward this requirement. CHEM 493, Chemistry Seminar, and research experience are required.

Research and independent study opportunities

All students in the Biotechnology and Chemical Science concentrations must complete three semester hours of research training by enrolling in either Research in Biology, Chemistry, or Biochemistry under the sponsorship of a faculty member (BIOL/BCHM/CHEM 492) or in the scheduled Research Methods course (BIOL 468). It is recommended that BIOL/BCHM/CHEM 492 be taken for 3 semester hours in a single term, but it may be taken in increments to total 3 semester hours.

Qualified students may pursue advanced study toward a master’s thesis by enrolling in 3 to 6 additional semester hours of Thesis (BIOL/BCHM/CHEM 485).

Independent study in literature research and course by arrangement options are also available to all students. These options are included in the total graduate semester hours but do not substitute for research requirements. No more than 10 total semester hours may result from independent study or research, unless approved by the graduate program director.

Recommended courses

The remaining coursework may be chosen from the appropriate list below or from other scheduled courses in Biology, Biochemistry, or Chemistry at the 400-level. Select cross-listed courses at the advanced undergraduate level may be taken with instructor and advisor approval. No more than 10 semester hours of cross-listed coursework will be included in the 36 semester hour minimum.

Biotechnology Concentration

  BCHM 449 Introduction to Bionanotechnology .....3
  BCHM 454 Experimental Methods in Biochemistry and Biotechnology .....2
  BCHM 457 Advanced Biochemistry .....3
  BIOL 451 Genetics .....5
  BIOL 453 Molecular Biology .....5
  BIOL 458 Cell Biology .....5
  BIOL 460 Microbiology .....5
  BIOL 461 Information Technology for the Sciences .....3
  BIOL 463 Introduction to Genome Analysis .....3
  BIOL 467 Immunology .....5
  BIOL 468 Research Methods .....3
  BIOL 480 Applications of Biotechnology .....3
  BIOL 482 Biotechnology Industry Practice .....3
  BIOL 492 Research in Biology .....3

Biotechnology Management Concentration

Core industry (6 sh) - required for all students

  BIOL 480 Applications of Biotechnology .....3
  BIOL 482 Biotechnology Industry Practice .....3

Core management (13 sh) - required for all students

  ACCT 405 Accounting for Executives .....3
  BADM 401 Graduate Business Orientation .....1
  FIN 408 Finance for Decision Makers .....3
  MGMT 407 Executive Leadership .....3
  MKTG 406 Marketing Strategies: Theory and Practice .....3

Core science (13 sh) - required for all students

  BIOL 453 Molecular Biology .....5
  BIOL 458 Cell Biology .....5
  BIOL 460 Microbiology .....5
  BIOL 461 Information Technology for the Sciences .....3

Elective science (3-5 sh) - to be chosen with graduate advisor

  Other BIOL and CHEM 4XX options .....
  BCHM 455 Biochemistry .....3
  BIOL 467 Immunology .....5
  CHEM 437 Instrumental Analysis .....5
  CHEM 444 Bioinorganic Chemistry .....3

Students must complete the capstone (3 sh). Capstone should be chosen with graduate advisor.

  BIOL 4XX Biotechnology Management Project .....3

Chemical Sciences Concentration

  BCHM 454 Experimental Methods in Biochemistry and Biotechnology .....2
  BCHM 457 Advanced Biochemistry .....3
  CHEM 413 Advanced Organic Chemistry Laboratory .....5
  CHEM 418 Synthetic Organic Chemistry .....3
  CHEM 419 Organometallic Chemistry .....3
  CHEM 423 Physical Chemistry - Atomic and Molecular Spectroscopy .....3-5
  CHEM 437 Instrumental Analysis .....5
  CHEM 444 Bioinorganic Chemistry .....3
  CHEM 447 Advanced Inorganic Chemistry Laboratory .....5
  CHEM 473 Environmental Chemistry .....3
  CHEM 481 Polymer Chemistry .....3
  CHEM 492 Research in Chemistry .....3