The Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry (MB&B) in the School of Biological Sciences, the Paul Merage School of Business, and the Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME) in the Henry Samueli School of Engineering, have established a Master of Science Program in Biotechnology Management (MSBTM). This program combines the essential elements of our highly successful Biotechnology Master’s Program with those of several equally successful Master’s of Business Administration Programs. It also capitalizes on a defined area of campus research strength in nanotechnology, tissue engineering and biomedical devices. Finally, as designed, the program provides advanced training in both biotechnology and business management, thereby allowing graduates the flexibility to pursue careers as scientists, as managers, or as both.
The Biotech Management degree will prepare scientists for leadership roles in biotechnology, pharmaceutical, and biomedical device based companies, through a curriculum comprised of courses in biotechnology, management, and biomedical engineering. Several courses will be delivered collaboratively by faculty members in biological sciences, engineering and management.
Students will receive advanced training in biotechnology through coursework, a teaching laboratory, and two quarters of independent research in a faculty laboratory of their choosing. They will learn to think as a business manager by solving product development challenges through consulting projects, creating business plans and by exposure to current issues within the biotechnology sector. Developing quantitative and qualitative skills along with business communication skills will be emphasized. Our students will learn about business from the biotechnology perspective and biotechnology from the business perspective, and will be taught to think about their work through the lens of innovation, a crucial view for their careers. Of particular note, students will take their science courses with MS and PhD students from several different programs, and they will take MBA management-level courses with MS and MBA students currently enrolled in Merage programs.
Distinctive features of the program are:
- Advanced training in biotechnology through coursework and an 8 unit teaching laboratory
- A research component whereby students will engage in research with a faculty member in either the School of Biological Sciences or the Department of Biomedical Engineering (requests to perform research in labs outside of Biological Sciences or Biomedical Engineering will be considered on a case by case basis). This research component is considered to be important for careers in the biotechnology industry and makes this program unique worldwide.
- An Intensive (MBA 200, Management of Innovative Organizations) which presents fundamental concepts, tools, and solutions from management to initiate students into the concrete challenges that managers in high performing organizations typically confront. Students will be introduced to the pedagogical methods of case analysis, group problem solving, and group presentations as a means of developing the skills and strategies associated with effective managerial action. The course is structured as a full-time, in-residence intensive.
- An experiential learning component wherein student teams, under the guidance of Merage School and MB&B professors, act as a consulting team which works with managers of biotechnology or biological sciences based companies on innovative solutions to current problems faced by the companies.
- A business plan component wherein students from biosciences and management prepare a formal business plan for an Entrepreneurship or New Venture Management class.
- A new capstone course taught in the spring quarter of year 2 by faculty in both Biological Sciences and the Paul Merage School of Business. The cross-listed course, Biotechnology Management (MB 253/MBA 293), will integrate the program’s two year curriculum and provide a format for the required comprehensive exam. The curriculum will address a number of management issues in the biotech industry including finance, product development, pharmaceuticals, project management, regulatory affairs and ethics. Guest lecturers from the biotech industry will also be invited to talk about both the scientific and management sides of their companies.
- “Proseminar” courses in the first year that provides students with information and practical skills for success in the program and career planning.