Master’s in Biotechnology in USA: Vital Information

ms in biotechnology in usa

Masters of Science (MS) in Biotechnology in the United States of America (USA) will help you build a rewarding career with ample research and academic opportunities. It is a two-year course that you can pursue full-time, part-time, or even online at USA universities. MS in Biotechnology in the USA is a research-driven program costing roughly $25,000 or INR 18.59 lakh annually. 

MS in Biotechnology is available for undergraduate degree holders in biotechnology, chemistry, biology, and medical technology, among other disciplines. Most colleges also require thesis papers based on research work done by students at the end of their programs. Masters programs in Biotechnology have varying names, including MS in Biotechnology, MA (Masters of Arts) in Biotechnology, PSM (Professional Science Masters) in Biotechnology, and more. 

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Reasons for studying Masters in Biotechnology in the USA

Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology are two of the most flourishing industries in the USA. Demand for qualified professionals with research and professional expertise is steadily increasing. The USA is a highly advanced nation that is known for its pioneering innovations in fields like food production, medicine, agriculture, waste management, and more. Interestingly, these are all sectors where biotechnological research is the backbone of growth and development. 

Here are some reasons for studying MS in Biotechnology in the USA: 

  • International candidates enjoy an atmosphere of research, development, and cutting-edge laboratories and other infrastructure. 
  • Candidates can remain in the USA, work as research associates, or apply for PhD programs. 
  • They can also find employment in several industries, depending on their chosen fields. 
  • The multicultural and diverse environment offers possibilities for global exposure along with world-class research and educational standards.

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Top Universities that Offer MS in Biotechnology in the USA

Here are some of the best universities for Masters in Biotechnology in the USA: 

Name of the InstitutionName of the CourseTotal Costs of the Program
John Hopkins UniversityMS Biotechnology$44,950 or INR 33.41 lakh 
University of PennsylvaniaPSM Biotechnology$44,908 or INR 33.39 lakh
University of WisconsinMS Biotechnology$42,000 or INR 31.22 lakh 
University of GeorgiaMS Biotechnology$49,448 or INR 36.76 lakh 
Northwestern UniversityMS Biotechnology, MBP (Master of Biotechnology Program)$66,112 or INR 49.15 lakh 
Columbia UniversityMA Biotechnology$1,33,280 or INR 99.08 lakh 

Many other institutions offer master’s courses to students in the USA. While choosing an institution to study MS Biotechnology in the country, students should account for the location, access to laboratories and research centers, and employment prospects at biotechnological firms and industries in the area. 

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MS in Biotechnology in USA- Costs 

International students planning to study MS in Biotechnology in the USA should take into account tuition costs and other expenses. Tuition fees at several universities depend on the type of institution, total credit hours, location, and more. Average tuition costs are $15,000-30,000 annually or INR 11.15 lakh to INR 22.30 lakh. 

Other costs include $205 or INR 15,240 as GRE charges and $170 or INR 12,638 as IELTS or TOEFL charges. The expected visa cost is $160 or INR 11,895 , while application charges go up to $1,000 or INR 74,343. $160 (INR 11,895) is the surplus application charge. Flight tickets cost around $1,000 or INR 74,343 (one-way). 

Accommodation is usually available on-campus for international students, although they may choose off-campus apartments (shared) as well. The cost of living in the USA is generally between $500 and $1,000 every month or INR 37,172-74,343. Most dormitories on campus offer amenities like water, electricity, and food. They are comparatively cheaper options for students. An average cumulative cost of MS in Biotechnology will be roughly $55,000 ( INR 40.89 lakh) for international applicants.

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Requirements for admission into MS in Biotechnology in USA

You should carefully check the guidelines on eligibility for MS in Biotechnology in the USA. Eligibility criteria may vary across universities and colleges in the country. Here are some requirements: 

  • Undergraduate degrees (ideally of four years) are necessary for students. 
  • The minimum GPA should be 3.0 or higher in the undergraduate course. 
  • TOEFL or IELTS scores are mandatory for international students from non-English speaking countries. 
  • Students have to appear for GRE tests to get admission into science-based courses in the USA. 

The application requirements include the following: 

  • Academic and educational transcripts. 
  • SOP (Statement of Purpose) or Letter of Intent- Students should mention their future goals and how the degree will benefit them. 
  • A scanned passport copy is a must, along with 2-3 LORs or Letters of Recommendations. 
  • IELTS or TOEFL scores are necessary for international students as well. The minimum scores are 6.5 and 80 for both examinations, respectively. 
  • Students should provide proof of their involvement in extra-curricular activities, as required by the university. 
  • CV or Resume is also necessary along with the GRE score. 

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Pursuing MS Biotechnology without GRE in USA: 

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is a standardized examination analyzing international applicantsā€™ quantitative, verbal, and analytical capabilities. Many universities make GRE compulsory for applicants, while some do not. Some of the institutions where you can apply without GRE include the following: 

  • Georgetown University
  • Northwestern University 
  • The University of Illinois in Chicago
  • Brown University 

Other educational institutions sometimes waive GRE criteria if candidates have excellent academic track records and have taken part in relevant research activities. Students with sizable professional experience in related industries may also apply without GRE. 

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Scope after Masters in Biotechnology in the USA

After MS in Biotechnology in the USA, average salaries usually stand at $73,000 or INR 54.27 lakh for skilled graduates. Graduates can take up positions like biotechnology research associates, research scientists, senior research associates, molecular biology research associates, and associate research scientists.

Salaries may start from $50,000 (INR 37.17 lakh) and go up to $73,000 (INR 54.27 lakh) and more. There are numerous research and development (R & R&D) opportunities for biotechnology students in the USA, while they can also choose to pursue doctoral programs. 

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Visa Procedure for International Applicants

F-1 Visas are usually required for full-time candidates. They may work for up to 20 hours each week, while being eligible for optional practical training (OPT) for 12 months. This gives them a chance to work for twelve months after graduating. Here are some of the other requirements for the visa: 

  • Valid passport extending to at least six months after the end of your course. 
  • Form DS-160. 
  • Payment receipt application. 
  • Form I-20 while applying for a student visa, with non-immigrant student status. 
  • Original provisional certificate or mark sheet. 
  • Score sheets for TOEFL, IELTS, GRE, GMAT, and other standardized examinations. 
  • Proof of funds in the applicantā€™s bank account. Bank statements have to be submitted, and details of scholarship program or sponsors, if applicable. 
  • Proof of candidates departing from the USA after completing their educational programs. One way could be to furnish a return ticket for India as evidence. 

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Candidates will go through an interview at their nearest USA Consulate or Embassy. Once the screening procedure is done, they will be notified about the next steps. Here are some pointers on the application procedure: 

  • Fill up the application form, attach your photograph and bring a print-out to the interview. 
  • Schedule your interview at the Consulate or Embassy while paying $160 (INR 11,895).
  • Furnish all compulsory documents for the interview. 
  • Appear for the interview and wait for the decision of the authorities. 
  • Upon approval of your visa, you will be paying the issuance fee and planning your travel itinerary likewise. 

Students will have to provide proof of funds equivalent to the total course fees and living costs for a year. Proof of scholarships (if any) must be given along with completing the SEVIS-1901 form and registering at the global database of visitors. The SEVIS charge is $220 (J visa) or $350 (F visa), which works out to INR 16,355 or INR 26,020. Visa appointments may be scheduled online, while students can complete their DS-160 forms digitally. 

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Scholarships for MS in Biotechnology In USA: International Students

Here is a list of some scholarships that MS Biotechnology aspirants may check out: 

  • California State University, Channel Islands- MS in Biotechnology Scholarship Program, sponsored by the institution. It is open to students from any global region. 
  • Washington State University- The Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, Washington State University, offers the H.E. Goldsworthy Scholarship where graduate students breeding wheat or taking up vital projects for the Pacific Northwest are considered eligible. The Tracy Vincent-Sharp Memorial Scholarship is for food production students only. 
  • Oregon State University- Oregon State Universityā€™s College of Agricultural Sciences offers the Don Burlingham Scholarship for backing senior and junior students in soil and crop sciences, along with bio-resource research. 
  • Montgomery College- The Biotechnology Program at Montgomery College emphasizes on training workers as part of the Paul Peck Biomanufacturing Scholarship. This supports those eligible to study in the USA and pursue a certificate in Biomanufacturing. It offers up to $500 or INR 37,172 for each semester. Students should furnish their FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) and the Montgomery College Foundation application form. 
  • Community College of Allegheny County- This program trains aspirants in its program named the Biotechnology Workforce Collaborative Scholarship. It uses grants from the Government to offer scholarships that cover all educational costs like fees, books, tuition costs, and laboratory equipment. 

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Is Biotechnology High in demand in the USA?

Biotechnology is highly in demand across the USA, contributing immensely to higher employment and trained graduatesā€™ opportunities. Those from Biology or related fields can pursue Biotechnology, especially if they do not wish to foray into avenues like MBBS. With the pandemic, demand has only increased for Biotech engineers. They are needed in major sectors like medicine and healthcare, waste treatment, agriculture, and food production.

Is GRE Required for MS in Biotechnology in the USA?

GRE is not mandatory for pursuing MS in Biotechnology at many universities in the USA. A majority of institutions do insist on GRE scores for applicants, although there are some which do not. However, due to the pandemic, the requirement for GRE scores has been completely waived off for specific periods. These include Spring, Summer, and Fall for 2021, along with the Spring of 2022. Students may keep submitting their official GRE scores, although it is not mandatory anymore.

Is the USA Good for Biotechnology?

The USA is one of the best global destinations for studying biotechnology. It is an automatic selection for those interested in research and innovation. It is one of the dominant international forces in biotechnology, biomedicine, and other related fields. There are 3,000+ institutions in the USA, offering high-quality education and top-notch research facilities. Students can also expect proximity to major biotechnology hubs and laboratories while studying in the USA. The country is also home to some of the top global firms, who hire skilled graduates in large numbers. The multicultural environment is another positive aspect for international students.

How Can I do a Masters in Biotechnology in the USA?

Students with undergraduate degrees in biology, medical technology or chemistry are eligible to apply for masters programs in biotechnology in the USA. They will require the minimum percentage of marks in their UG courses, as specified by universities. They also need GRE scores (in some cases) and English language proficiency test scores (TOEFL or IELTS). You have to apply online at leading universitiesā€™ websites while submitting all necessary documents, including the LOR and SOP. Thereafter, once you get the acceptance letter from your institution, you can start the visa formalities.

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