MS in Applied Molecular Biology

Female student in dark blue "UMBC" sweatshirt holds pipette and looks at camera.The M.S. program in Applied Molecular Biology (APMB) is an intensive, two semester graduate program that combines state-of-the-art training in the laboratory methods of molecular biology with a set of four lecture courses that provide the theoretical background for the field. Founded in 1981, the program was the first of its kind in the U.S.   Applied Molecular Biology Program Laboratory Course Descriptions.

Admissions requirements:

To be admitted to graduate study in the Department of Biological Sciences, students must meet the following pre-requisites:

  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited four-year college or university
  • Calculus (one semester)
  • Organic Chemistry (two semesters with laboratory)
  • Physics (two semesters)
  • Genetics (one semester)
  • Cell Biology (one semester)
  • Research Experience (preferred but not required)

An AMB Open House for all students interested in this 9-month Master’s Degree program is held during February during which current APMB students present the results of their research project. Information about enrolling in the program are also provided.

The program has been designed specifically for full-time students who have an interest in careers in the biotechnology industry and have completed their bachelor’s degrees. Because of the intensive nature of the program, students planning on completing the degree in two semesters are generally unable to hold outside employment. Some students choose to complete the APMB in four semesters, taking the lecture courses in the first year and the laboratory courses in the second year. This enables them to hold outside employment.

In addition to the free-standing M.S. program, UMBC undergraduates have the opportunity to participate in a five-year, combined B.S.-M.S. program in which up to 12 credits can be applied to both degrees. This combined program provides significant financial benefits to students in that they pay for fewer graduate credits.

In the APMB program, students will:

  • Learn the methods of molecular and computational biology required for employment in the biotechnology industry
  • Achieve mastery of the various laboratory techniques by conducting research on a real-world problem
  • Become knowledgeable in the theoretical basis of molecular biology through the study of original scientific literature
  • Develop skills in oral and poster presentations of scientific research as well as accurate recording of laboratory data
  • Work and learn in a supportive environment

Degree requirements

  • BIOL 430 Biological Chemistry
  • BIOL 612 Microbial Systems and Synthetic Biology
  • BIOL 626 Approaches to Molecular Biology
  • BIOL 635L Advanced Molecular Biology Laboratory I
  • BIOL 614 Eukaryotic Genetics & Molecular Biology
  • BIOL 636L Advanced Molecular Biology Laboratory II
  • APMB 798 Research in Applied Molecular Biology

The requirement for BIOL 430 may be waived for students who have already taken a comparable course in biochemistry and received a grade of B or better. Since all M.S. degrees awarded by the Graduate School require a minimum of 30 credits, three replacement credits may be earned by conducting additional research (APMB 695) during the January winter session or by substituting an elective course approved by the Graduate Program Director.

**GRE scores are waived for UMBC alumni applicants.

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