Welcome to the Master of Biotechnology Program (MBP)

Biotechnology is a young, vibrant and diverse discipline, whose tenet is to use microorganisms for the manufacturing of biological therapeutics, foods, chemicals, and other products benefitting people. It includes agrobiotechnology, biopharmaceuticals, diagnostics, and bioremediation. The future of biotechnology lies in advances in healthcare, industrial biotechnology, biofuels, and cleantech.

Graduates of the Master of Biotechnology program at Northwestern University possess:

  • A strong foundation in bioprocess engineering theory and practice
  • Hands-on research experience gained through an extended independent research project
  • Learning and innovation skills
  • Strategic biotechnology business competencies

Read a message from the director
Learn more about the curriculum
Meet the faculty

Quick Facts

Degree Name

Master of Science in Biotechnology


15 months, full-time, without internship
21 months, full-time, with internship

Start Date

September 2016

Program Structure

  • 13.5 units of coursework
  • 7.5 units (1,000 hours) of research
  • A final research report modeled after a technical journal article is presented in lieu of a thesis

Program Features

  • 35-40 person cohort
  • Research-based and industry-focused curriculum
  • Comprehensive bioprocess engineering
  • Professional development oppportunities
  • Opportunities to develop and practice technical and 4Cs* skills (* creativity, collaboration, critical thinking, and communication)


Evanston campus


$14,292 tuition fee per quarter, plus cost of living, textbooks, and other miscellaneous fees

Scholarships of up to $10,000 available to domestic students

Tuition and funding information

Application opens

September 1

Application deadlines

  • Early decision: December 1
  • Winter decision: February 1
  • Spring decision: April 1
  • Late Spring decision: May 31

Student Profile

The majority of MBP students are recent graduates seeking careers in biotechnology and associated professions, as well as the competitive advantage a higher degree provides. At least half are typically biology majors; the rest are engineers, biotechnologists, and other science majors. The expected class size is 35–40 students per year.

Learn more about our student body

Why Northwestern University?

Northwestern's program is distinguished from other MS in biotechnology programs by the integration of biology and engineering combined with extensive hands-on research in Northwestern University faculty laboratories.

In addition to research experience, students benefit from:

The program also offers multiple certificate and minor options for students seeking to complement their technical skills.

Career Opportunities

Our interdisciplinary approach provides students with the flexibility and knowledge to pursue a number of biotechnology professions. In addition to becoming research and process development specialists, MBP graduates have taken up roles as consultants, regulatory affairs associates, and analysts. 

Our program can also prepare students to meet the demands of doctoral programs. MBP graduates have pursued PhDs in Chemical Engineering and the Biological Sciences while others have gone on to work towards their MD or JD.

Learn more about career opportunities