The non-thesis Master of Science in Molecular Biotechnology program includes core courses and practica. If completed on a full-time basis, it takes 2 years to complete the 40 credit hour program. The program is not well suited to part-time study, particularly the practicum component. However, it is possible to extend the course of study over more than 2 years by delaying the recommended schedule of courses.
The curriculum is divided between core courses and practicum. The majority of the core courses (see list below) are completed during the first year of enrollment with the three practica completed during the second year in the program.
Core Courses. The core curriculum includes biochemistry, molecular genetics, cell structure, cell signaling, research ethics, biotechnology issues, scientific writing, and radiation safety, and provides a solid foundation in the field. Practical skills are built through lecture and laboratory coursework in the theory and application of a broad range of nucleic acid- and protein-based molecular biotechnologies.
Practicum. After completing the core curriculum, students gain experience by performing three semester-long practica, with one practicum during each of the Spring, Summer, and Fall semesters of the second year. Each practicum is performed at a different site to provide a different molecular biotechnology emphasis, such as bioscience research, biotechnology industrial applications, or molecular diagnostics. These practica provide an extensive hands-on experience with a broad range of molecular biotechnologies as well as real-life experience in the bioscience sector.
During a practicum, students work with investigators, laboratory staff, and other members of the practicum site in the ongoing activities of the practicum site. In a research-oriented practicum, students initially participate in an ongoing research project that leads to independent research activities. While enrolled in a practicum, the primary academic obligation is at the practicum site, and students engage in their practicum-associated activities on a full-time basis (i.e., eight hours a day, Monday through Thursday). This dedicated effort allows students to understand the theory and application of state-of-the-art molecular techniques and technologies in depth. Additionally, studying at a single practicum site for a full semester allows students to gain an appreciation of the day-to-day opportunities, obligations, and realities of professionals working in molecular biotechnology settings.Degree completion. During the second spring semester, a final general examination is required of all degree candidates. This exam consists of a written and an oral examination. To satisfy the written component, students write a grant proposal. Successful completion of the written component is required preliminary to taking the comprehensive oral examination of general knowledge of molecular biotechnology concepts and applications.
GSMC 853 Cellular Structure (2 credit hours)
Basic principles of cellular structure and function, including lipid bilayer, membrane proteins, and cellular organelles (9AM-11AM, Mondays and Wednesdays, first half of the spring semester)
GSMC 854 Cell Communication (2 credit hours)
Basic principles of cellular communication, including G-protein-coupled signaling, cytoskeleton, cell cycle control, cell death, extracellular matrix, and cancer (9AM-11AM, Mondays and Wednesdays, second half of the spring semester)
GSMC 855 Introduction to Biomedical Research II (2 credit hours)
Research problems, methods, and literature discussion that interfaces with the lecture content of GSMC 853 and GSMC 854 (9AM-11AM, Fridays, throughout the spring semester
CLS 720 Molecular Techniques Lecture II (2 credit hours)
Theory underlying protein purification, characterization, and analysis techniques including proteomics (1PM-2PM, Tuesdays and Thursdays, throughout the fall semester)
CLS 721 Molecular Techniques Laboratory II (2 credit hours)
Advanced laboratory with practical application of selected protein and immunological techniques for research and clinical settings (2PM-4:30PM, Tuesdays and Thursdays, throughout the fall semester , many additional independent hours required in the laboratory)
CLS 751 Practicum II (5 credit hours)
Research performed in collaboration with laboratories at KUMC and other institutions in the Kansas City area (Monday – Thursday, throughout the entire fall semester)
CLS 740 Journal Club (1 credit hour)
Analysis and presentation of articles from the literature (Fridays, through the fall semester)