Course Schedules

The MBP curriculum includes 13.5 units* of coursework and 7.5 units of research (1000 hours partitioned over four quarters). Students have the option of completing the 21 units required for graduation in 15 months. Alternatively, after finishing their first three quarters, they may enroll in a 3 or 6 month industrial or academic internship, which extends the duration of the program to 17 - 21 months. 

*"Northwestern University credit for undergraduate and graduate programs is awarded in units, rather than credit hours. Courses are most often assigned 1.0 unit of credit. Quarter-long classes typically meet three hours per week on average (three 50-minute sessions per week or two 80-minute sessions) over a 10-week term. Students are generally expected to spend at least two hours outside of class preparing for each hour in class. Courses that meet for more or less time may bear proportionally more or less credit. For example, graduate courses that meet for three hours every week for five weeks rather than ten receive 0.5 units of credit." (For more information on units, click here.)

Yellow highlight demonstrates research-focus across the curriculum

Fall (4.5 units)

Experimental Techniques in Molecular Biotechnology 1 unit
Technology Commercialization Fundamentals 1 unit
Balances and Kinetics for Bioprocessing or elective 1 unit
Molecular Biology or elective 1 unit
Topics in Professional Development 0 units
MBP Research Seminar 0.5 units

Winter (4.5 units)

Critical Thinking and Communication 1 unit
Fluids and Mass Transfer for Bioprocessing or elective 1 unit
Advanced Cell Biology or elective 1 unit
Topics in Professional Development 0 units
Biotechnology Research 1.5 units

Spring (4.5 units)

Technology Commercialization Practicum or Regulatory Sciences in
1 unit
Bioprocess Engineering I 1 unit
Bioprocess Engineering Laboratory 1 unit
Topics in Professional Development 0 units
Biotechnology Research 1.5 units


After the first three quarters, students may opt to enroll in an internship in the summer of their first year (June), in the fall of their second year (September), or in the winter of their second year (December). Their schedule will be individually adjusted to include the courses shown below. These courses may be taken during different quarters, depending on the start date and duration of the student's internship.

If students opt not to enroll in an internship, their schedule will proceed as follows.

Summer (3.5 units)

Biotechnology Research 3.5 units

Fall (4 units)

Bioprocess Engineering II 1 unit
Biochemistry or elective 1 unit
Elective 1 unit
Biotechnology Research 1 unit