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Curriculum

Students completing the Master of Science in Molecular Biotechnology program on a full-time basis generally take two years to complete the 40-credit-hour program.

Because of the practicum component of the program, we do not recommend part-time study. By delaying the recommended schedule, you can extend the course of study more than two years.

Year 1: Core courses

Year 2: Practica (3 semesters)

Core Courses

To provide a solid foundation, the core curriculum includes biochemistry, molecular genetics, cell structure, cell signaling, research ethics, biotechnology issues, and scientific writing. You'll build practical skills through lecture and laboratory coursework in the theory and application of a broad range of nucleic acid- and protein-based molecular biotechnologies.

Practicum

Next you'll gain hands-on experience through three semester-long practica during the spring, summer and fall semesters of the second year. Each practicum provides a different molecular biotechnology emphasis (bioscience research, biotechnology industrial applications or molecular diagnostics) and is performed at a different site.

During an eight-hours-a-day, Monday-Thursday practicum, you'll work with investigators, laboratory staff and other members to understand the theory and application of state-of-the-art molecular techniques and technologies in depth. Studying at a single practicum site for a full semester allows students to appreciate the day-to-day opportunities, obligations and realities of professionals working in molecular biotechnology settings.

Degree Completion

A final general examination (written and oral) is required of all degree candidates during the second spring semester. The written component consists of writing a grant proposal and its successful completion is required before taking the comprehensive oral examination of general knowledge of molecular biotechnology concepts and applications.

Year One Courses

Fall Semester

GSMC 850 Proteins and Metabolism (2 credit hours)
Basic principles of metabolism, protein structure and an introduction to nucleic acids
(9-11 a.m., Mondays and Wednesdays, first half of the fall semester)

GSMC 851 Molecular Genetics
(2 credit hours)
Basic principles of molecular genetics, DNA replication, DNA repair, transcription and translation (9-11 a.m., Mondays and Wednesdays, second half of the fall semester)

GSMC 852 Introduction to Biomedical Research I
(2 credit hours)
Research problems, methods and literature discussion that interfaces with the lecture content of GSMC 850 and GSMC 851 (9-11 a.m., Fridays, throughout the fall semester)

GSMC 856 Introduction to Research Ethics
(1 credit hour)
Discussion of research ethics, including scientific fraud, plagiarism and misrepresentation, conflicts of interest, and confidentiality (9-11 a.m., Thursdays, first half of the fall semester)

CLS 710 Molecular Techniques Lecture I
(2 credit hours)
Theory underlying molecular techniques involving recombinant DNA, genetic engineering and genomics (1-2 p.m., Mondays and Thursdays, throughout the fall semester)

CLS 711 Molecular Techniques Laboratory I
(2 credit hours)
Advanced laboratory with practical application of selected nucleic acid and cell culture techniques for research and clinical settings (2-4:30 p.m., Mondays and Thursdays, throughout the fall semester, many additional independent hours required in the laboratory)

CLS 730 Current Issues in Biotechnology
(1 credit hour)
Research and lecture seminar series by academic and industry speakers on scientific, business, legal, social and ethical issues in biotechnology (2-3:30 p.m., Fridays, throughout the fall semester)

Spring Semester

GSMC 853 Cellular Structure (2 credit hours)
Basic principles of cellular structure and function, including lipid bilayer, membrane proteins and cellular organelles (9-11 a.m., 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 (9-11 a.m., 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 (9-11 a.m., Fridays, throughout the spring semester)

CLS 720 Molecular Techniques Lecture II
(2 credit hours)
Theory underlying protein expression, purification, characterization and analysis techniques including proteomics (1-2 p.m., 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 (2-4:30 p.m., Tuesdays and Thursdays, throughout the fall semester, many additional independent hours required in the laboratory)

Summer Semester

BIOL 702 Laboratory Practice: Radiation Safety Procedures (0.75 credit hours)
An introduction to the basic properties of radioisotopes, and the fundamental safety practices needed for the safe use of low levels of radioactive materials. (Monday–Friday, first week of the summer semester)

BIOL 703 Radioisotopes and Radiation Safety in Research
(1.25 credit hours)
An introduction to the properties of radioactive materials, radiations, and their interaction with matter, methods of radiation detection and measurement, protective measures, applicable state and federal regulations, design and implementation of safety management systems in the research laboratory, design of tracer experiments, and the risks associated with radiation exposure. (Monday–Friday, second week of the summer semester)

CLS 750 Practicum I
(4 credit hours)
Molecular biotechnology practicum performed in collaboration with laboratories in the Kansas City area (Monday–Friday, final six weeks of the summer semester)

Year Two Courses

Fall Semester

CLS 751 Practicum II (5 credit hours)
Research performed in collaboration with laboratories at KU Medical Center 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)

Spring Semester

CLS 752 Practicum III (5 credit hours)
Research performed in collaboration with molecular biotechnology-oriented industries in the Kansas City area (Monday–Thursday, throughout the entire spring semester)

CLS 742 Scientific Writing
(1 credit hour)
Development of scientific writing skills. This course will also serve to guide students and monitor progress in completing the written component of the final general examination required of all students (Fridays, through the spring semester)

Advising and Questions

Eric Elsinghorst, Ph.D., MPH, MLS(ASCP)CMMBCM
Program Director and Graduate Director
clsed@kumc.edu

Advising and campus visits are available Monday-Friday by appointment. Please email healthprofessions@kumc.edu for information.

KU School of Health Professions

University of Kansas Medical Center
Clinical Laboratory Science
3901 Rainbow Boulevard
Mailstop 4048
Kansas City, KS 66160
913-588-5220 • 711 TTY