BA in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology/MA in Biotechnology

Combining the BA in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology (BMB) with the MA in Biotechnology constitutes an efficient way to acquire master’s-level expertise in this exciting multidisciplinary field. The dual degree program provides a broad preparation for employment in diverse areas of biotechnology as well as for further graduate study in biochemistry, molecular biology, and related fields.

The MA in Biotechnology is only open to CAS students who are pursuing the BA in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology. Thus, it is available only as part of a BA/MA dual degree program in conjunction with the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences (GRS). Applicants to the BA/MA program should consult the BA/MA and BA/MS Programs section of this Bulletin as well as the GRS BA/MA and BA/MS Program Application website.

Learning Outcomes

  • Demonstrate mastery of both fundamental and advanced concepts in Biology and Chemistry, with a strong focus on the molecular biological and biochemical components of these disciplines.
  • Demonstrate expertise in the scientific method, specifically the ability to apply the scientific method—which includes the critical assessment of the scientific literature, analysis of data, and use of modeling and simulation in their understanding and communication of the BMB discipline.
  • Attain the technical and/or analytical skills required for employment or postgraduate education in BMB or BMB-related careers, including professional careers and science education.


All BU undergraduate students, including both entering first-year and transfer students, will pursue coursework in the BU Hub, the University’s general education program that is integrated into the entire undergraduate experience. BU Hub requirements can be satisfied in a number of ways, including coursework in and beyond the major as well as through cocurricular activities. Students majoring in the BA in BMB/MA in Biotechnology will ordinarily, through coursework in the major, satisfy BU Hub requirements in Scientific Inquiry and Quantitative Reasoning, as well as some of the requirements in the Intellectual Toolkit Capacity. In addition, the Historical Consciousness Hub Unit is earned through the required CAS BI 216/206 course. Remaining BU Hub requirements will be satisfied by selecting from a wide range of available courses outside the major or, in some cases, cocurricular experiences.

The BA/MA program requires a total of 152 credits to be completed. At least 32 of these credits (eight BMB/Biotechnology courses) must be completed at the graduate level (500 or higher) with a grade of B– or better and a GPA of 3.0 in these graduate courses. The BA and MA are awarded together after completion of all requirements for both degrees.

Course titles and full descriptions are located in the Courses portion of this Bulletin. Unless otherwise noted, all required courses are 4 credit hours.

BA Portion

Students must complete the 128 credits required for the BA in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology.

MA Portion

For the MA in Biotechnology, students must complete the six courses listed below in addition to the required courses for the BA in BMB:

  • CAS BB 522
  • CAS BB 591*
  • CAS BB 592*
  • CAS BI 311
  • CAS BI 513
  • CAS BI 553

*Two semesters of 4-credit graduate research are required for the MA degree and are conducted in a BMB faculty or outside lab. No more than 8 credits of graduate research may be applied to the MA degree. CAS BB 592 requires a 10–15 page written research proposal submitted to the program director at the beginning of the second semester of graduate research. In addition, CAS BB 592 students are required to participate in the BMB Undergraduate Research Symposium held at the end of each spring semester.

Note: Courses taken to complete the MA requirements cannot be counted as BMB electives for the BA, but may be taken before the final year of the program. Because CAS BI 513 and CAS BB 522 are MA requirements and cannot fulfill the Advanced Lab Elective, a third BMB elective must be taken for the BA degree (this does not have to be a laboratory course).