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College of Letters and Science Applied Biotechnology, M.S. Degree

Graduate Degree


Every day, biotechnology is working to solve some of the world’s most pressing problems and moving forward with revolutionary solutions. Whether your experience is based in healthcare, agriculture, or industry—the online Master of Science in Applied Biotechnology is an ideal choice for busy adults who are seeking advanced education and need the flexibility an online program offers.

You’ll graduate from the program with an understanding of the principles and techniques of biotechnology, including ethical, safety, and privacy concerns; funding; intellectual property and patents; professional and technical communication; experimental design and analysis; and organizational leadership—all within the scope of the global biotechnology industry.


With a broad range of exciting careers, the bioscience industry employment has grown by around 7 percent since 2016. Wage growth consistently exceeds other occupations.


Learn everything you need to do to submit your application.
How to Apply


Our UW Extended Campus instructors are leading professionals in their fields.
Meet our Instructors


The M.S. Applied Biotechnology program is flexible and affordable. View available financial resources to assist your studies.
Financial Aid

Which Degree Track is Right For You?

100% online UW Master of Science in Applied Biotechnology offers three specialization tracks to personalize your learning—quality assurance and compliance, business management, and research and development. Pursue what interests you by choosing one or multiple tracks as you advance through the degree

Course Design

11 Courses. 31. Credits. 100% Online. Access course content from your desktop, laptop, tablet, or smartphone. You will have the freedom and flexiblility to work fully online around your schedule.

Modern-day Biotechnology

Biotechnology is an expansive field, founded on human curiosity and ingenuity. Growth in biotechnology owes a lot to the scientists who explored disease pathogens and genetic engineering in the centuries leading up to our own. Following a string of discoveries during the early 19th and 20th centuries, the pioneering work of startup companies in the 1970s and 1980s, such as Genentech, Amgen, Biogen, and others, led to novel products that promised to help improve our lives.

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Coursework in the Master of Science in Applied Biotechnology focuses on developing a foundation in biotechnology principles and techniques through the core curriculum, then, you will choose one or more specialization tracks. There are no electives.

Students are required to complete, at minimum, eleven courses (31 credits) to earn their degree.

  • 6 required core courses (3 credits each)
  • Specialization track consisting of three courses (3 credits each)
  • Capstone prep (1 credit)
  • Capstone project course (3 credits) The capstone project course is an opportunity to gain valuable, practical knowledge through a project-based experience. Students may be able to complete the project at their current place of employment, or another professional organization. You’ll design your project to align with your interests and career goals.
“Make those connections and have discussions, especially if you’re looking to change careers—you never know where those connections are going to lead you. And pull every nugget you can from each course, because they will all come into play eventually.”
Shelley NevinsM.S. Applied Biotechnology Graduate


Whether online or on campus, University of Wisconsin programs have a reputation for delivering world-class education and student support. Accreditation is your assurance that you will graduate with skills that are relevant to your field and valued by employers. The Master of Science in Applied Biotechnology is approved by the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents and is fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Applying to the M.S. Applied Biotechnology online degree program

Program Admission Requirements*:

Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree and cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0. Candidates will submit a resume and two letters of recommendation (professional or academic), along with a 1,000-word statement of personal intent describing your decision to pursue the degree. Application materials must be completed two weeks prior to the semester start to be considered for admission. No GRE or GMAT required.

Prerequisite Coursework:
Two semesters of college-level lab coursework in biology and/or chemistry. To satisfy the prerequisite, you must have completed either two semesters of biology, two semesters of chemistry, or one semester each of biology and chemistry, and all coursework must have a lab component.
*Campuses may waive some of these requirements as part of the comprehensive application process.

International Guidelines
This program welcomes online students from around the world. Online students do not qualify for an F-1 Student Visa to travel to the U.S. but instead can participate in our online courses remotely. If your native language is not English and/or you attended school outside of the U.S., you will likely need to provide proof of English language proficiency and an official translation or evaluation of academic transcripts.

Important Dates

Semester-based degree programs and certificates offer three start dates: fall, spring and summer semester.


Summer 2024 Start Date


Final Day of Summer Semester


Course Preview Week Start


Fall 2024 Start Date


Spring 2025 Registration Opens


Final Day of Fall Semester


Course Preview Week Start


Spring 2025 Start Date


Final Day of Spring Semester

As a graduate in M.S. Applied Biotechnology you will:

  • Demonstrate professional and scientific communication
  • Demonstrate comprehensive understanding of organizational processes and product development pipelines
  • Distinguish among diverse methods and technologies and their applications in biotechnology
  • Demonstrate strategic leadership and decision-making skills necessary in biotechnology


Tuition for the UW Master of Science in Applied Biotechnology is a flat fee per credit whether you live in Wisconsin or out of state. Cost per credit is $850. Being an online program, there are no additional course or program fees such as segregated or technology fees. If software or special technology is required in one of your courses, it will be provided to you and is included in your tuition.

Financial aid may be available to you and is awarded by your home campus.

Two semesters of college-level lab coursework in biology and/or chemistry. To satisfy the prerequisite, you must have completed either two semesters of biology, two semesters of chemistry, or one semester each of biology and chemistry, and all coursework must have a lab component. Please contact an enrollment adviser with questions, 1-608-262-2011.

As a student in our program, you will use and gain experience with a wide range of software. But you won’t need a brawny computer and you’ll never set foot in a computer lab. Our online, cloud-based Virtual Lab brings the computer lab to you! Learn more.

Many students are surprised to find that they get to know their instructors and classmates better online than in a traditional classroom. You will receive personal attention from your instructors as they deliver lessons, direct you through activities, and answer your questions. You will feel connected and supported as you engage with other students through email, chat, video conferencing, discussion boards, and more.

Course availability for the Master of Science in Applied Biotechnology varies each fall, spring, and summer. Course offerings are subject to change due to fluctuating enrollment. If you are a current student, please consult with your campus adviser prior to registration.

Courses in the Master of Science in Applied Biotechnology are offered all three semesters in rotation. Completion time depends on how many courses a student takes during a semester and whether they attend all three semesters. Students in the program take, on average, 1-2 courses per semester. The program offers students the flexibility to formulate a completion plan with their academic advisor that takes into account personal time constraints such as work and family obligations.

Benefits are available to qualifying veterans and those currently serving. Contact your home campus veteran services office for details.

Meet the students of UW Extended Campus degree programs