Graduate Certificates in Biological Sciences

Admission Criteria:

Prospective students will be required to complete a simplified application and provide their undergraduate transcript indicating that they hold a baccalaureate degree in a relevant natural science or engineering field. Applicants with degrees from institutions outside the USA are encouraged to have their credentials evaluated by one of the local evaluation companies. A minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 (4 point scale) is preferred. Close attention will be paid to grades in relevant science and engineering courses. GREs are not required.

Please note that a Graduate Certificate, while below a full Masters degree, is not a remedial graduate program. Students must demonstrate the ability to complete graduate level work to be accepted into a graduate certificate program. As such, if an applicant was denied acceptance into a graduate degree program due to academic deficiencies, then acceptance into the certificate program is unlikely.

Requirements for Completion of Certificate:

  • Students must complete all certificate requirements (core and electives).
  • The program must be completed within five years.
  • Students must have a minimum grade point average of 3.0 with not more than one course with a grade below ‘B’ (note a B- is considered below a B).
  • All other University requirements apply, including deadlines and fees.


Courses may not be applied to a certificate if already applied to another certificate and vice versa. However, credits earned towards a certificate may be applied to a Masters or Doctoral degree program in an appropriate discipline. Note that acceptance into a Graduate Degree Program is separate from acceptance into a Graduate Certificate Program.

 Biotechnology and Bioprocessing

Biological Sciences and Chemical & Nuclear Engineering departments (Interdisciplinary)

Carl Lawton, Ph.D., 978-934-3158,

The certificate is intended for students who hold a baccalaureate degree in science, engineering, health, or related disciplines. The courses emphasize biological and engineering principles, process concepts and the application of these to process design and improvement. Courses deliberately cross disciplinary boundaries and emphasize teamwork in a multidisciplinary environment as well as a result-oriented, document-driven approach to efficient project completion.

Required Courses:

  • CHEN.5350 Principles of Cell and Microbe Cultivation (3 credits)
  • CHEN.5450 Isolation and Purification of Biotech Products (3 credits)

Plus Two Electives from the following:

  • CHEN.5550 Biopharmaceutical Regulatory Compliance (3 credits)
  • CHEN.5380 Advanced Separations in Biotechnology (3 credits)
  • CHEN.5860 Biotechnology Processing Projects Laboratory (3 credits)
  • CHEN.5480 Engineering Process Analytics
  • CHEN.5500 Biomedical Applications of Nanotechnology
  • A technical elective with the approval of the Coordinator (3 credits)

Gainful Employment Disclosure Information

Completion rates, median loan debts and program costs are outlined in the Graduate Certificate Gainful Employment Disclosure Information.

 Environmental Biotechnology

Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Civil & Environmental Engineering departments (Interdisciplinary)

Rick Hochberg, Ph.D., 978-934-2885

Environmental biotechnology refers to the application of biological technologies to monitor, understand, and remediate environmental problems. This certificate combines courses that explore the ecological impact of anthropogenic environmental change with courses that provide training in current biological technologies that can be brought to bear on environmental problems. Recent advances in biotechnology are providing new avenues for investigating biologically mediated environmental processes, many of which were inaccessible using traditional approaches. New biological technologies are being developed to mitigate environmental problems. These include the biological remediation of pollutants, biological treatment of wastewater and drinking water, source tracking of microbial pathogens, and mitigation of toxic algal blooms. As environmental resources are increasingly strained and new biological technologies with the potential to improve our environment become available, the demand for professionals with training in environmental biotechnology will continue to increase.

Required Courses (choose two):

  • BIOL.5230 Biology of Global Change
  • CIVE.5780 Biological Wastewater Treatment

Elective courses (choose six to eight credits):

  • CHEM.5800 Advanced Analytical Biochemistry
  • CHEM.5140 Advanced Analytical Chemistry
  • CHEM.5260 Chromatography
  • CIVE.5670 Environmental Aquatic Chemistry
  • CIVE.5680 Environmental Fate and Transport
  • CIVE.5950 Hazardous Waste Site Remediation
  • BIOL.5670 Recombinant DNA Techniques
  • BIO.5690L Recombinant DNA Techniques Laboratory

Total: 12-14 credits

Gainful Employment Disclosure Information

Completion rates, median loan debts and program costs are outlined in the Graduate Certificate Employment Disclosure Information

Molecular & Cellular Biotechnology

Biological Sciences and Chemical Engineering departments (Interdisciplinary)

Contact: Rich Hochberg, Ph.D., 978-934-2885

The Graduate Certificate in Molecular and Cellular Biotechnology provides students with training in this growing field. Over the years, an ever-increasing demand for manipulation of DNA and analysis in cultured cells in most aspects of funded research has created a growing need in the job market.

Certificate Program: The Certificate consists of five courses, with four core courses and one related elective (14 credits total).

All students must hold a baccalaureate degree in a relevant natural science or engineering field; at least one year of college-level biology, genetics and biochemistry also is required.

Required Courses: (4 courses, 11 credits)

  • BIOL.5670 Molecular Biology Lecture (3 credits)
  • BIOL.5690L Molecular Biology Lab (2 credits)
  • BIOL.5420 Cell Biology (3 credits) OR BIOL.4600 Stem Cell Biology (3 credits)*
  • Cell Culture (BIOL.5760; 3 credits) +

* Students may take both Cell Biology and Stem cell Biology, in which case one will count towards the core and the other as the elective.
+ Either Cell Biology or Stem Cell Biology can be used to satisfy the pre-requisite for Cell Culture.

Elective courses (students choose one 3 credit course from the following list):

  • BIOL.5190 Biochemistry I*
  • BIOL.5410 Topics in Cell Biology
  • BIOL.5420 Cell Biology (if not taken as core)
  • BIOL.5600 Stem Cell Biology (if not taken as core)
  • CHEN.5350 Cell & Microbe Cultivation
  • CHEN.5450 Isolation & Purification

*Biochemistry I is a pre-requisite for Molecular Biology and Cell Biology, but still may be used to satisfy the certificate requirements.

Gainful Employment Disclosure Information

Completion rates, median loan debts and program costs are outlined in the Graduate Certificate Gainful Employment Disclosure Information.