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1. List course requirements
The PSM in Biotechnology requires 42 credits of graduate level course work consisting of:
- 12 credits of graduate level course work in the biological sciences comprised of at least one course in each of three of the five following areas: Molecular Biology, Genetics, Cell Biology, Physiology and Microbiology (see list below).
- 9 credits of graduate level courses in fields related to biotechnology including bioinformatics, engineering, chemistry, agriculture, food safety, health sciences and statistics (see approved list below). One class must be from the category “statistics” unless the student has prior coursework in statistics. This determination is made by the program director.
- 15 credits of business/management courses, one from each of the following five categories: ethics; intellectual property/legal regulatory affairs; survey of business or introductory accounting; leadership and organizations; and project management/decision making (see below).
- 6 credits of BISC 872 , internship. The experiential portion of this class will in most cases be completed during a 7 month long, full-time internship at a biotechnology company and be supervised jointly by a representative of the host company and a University of Delaware faculty member. The student is required to identify and begin an internship prior to the end of the second semester. If the student has not satisfied the internship requirement by the end of the third semester, they will be required to pursue a full-time internship in the fourth semester.
Students pursuing the PSM degree who have significant prior bench experience will be encouraged to focus their capstone on improving a company’s business/management plan or moving a newly developed product to market. Such projects could include; an analysis of how to bring a product to market, how to improve team interactions between company groups or how to scale up a research project to commercial scale. Students pursuing the PSM degree without prior experience working at the bench will be encouraged to focus their capstone on a specific scientific research question. Such projects could include: testing methods to increase production of recombinant proteins, testing the specificity of antibodies being developed or direct research product development. The capstone is assessed by the quality of the work performed at the internship and two written reports. The first is due within one month of the start of the internship and includes a comprehensive description of the work environment including corporate history, corporate organizational structure including a description of the corporate focus, and a detailed description of the organization of the internship environment emphasizing its value to the company as a whole. This document should also include a plan of work outlining the background of the project, the learning objectives for the internship and goals to be accomplished developed in consultation with and approved by both the faculty and internship mentors. The second, a paper is due at the completion of the internship and should outline the objectives of internship, the value of these objectives to the company, what was accomplished on each objective, and recommendations for future work. This document should also discuss what skills the student learned/refined during the internship, what aspects of the PSM curricula were helpful for success in the internship and what additional knowledge would have been useful. Internships may be full-time or part-time depending on the schedule/needs of the student and employer. Internships may be paid or unpaid with the final grade based on the written reports and mentor evaluation. Students who are employed in the field of biotechnology are encouraged to develop their capstone projects at their place of employment as part of a professional development plan, however the expectation is that the “capstone” will be different than the student’s normal job responsibilities.
The program will make every effort to assist students with identifying internship opportunities and negotiating internship plans. However, students bear significant responsibility in this process as well and failure to either identify an internship and/or formulate an acceptable internship plan by the end of the student’s third semester of full time study (or completion of 33 credits of course work) is considered failure to make satisfactory progress towards degree.
Biological Sciences Core
(at least 12 credits, four classes; must include classes from at least three of the five following categories)
Biotechnology-related science courses
(three courses from the following list adding up to at least 9 credits, one must be from the category “statistics” unless the student has documented prior exposure to statistical analysis of data)
Advanced Laboratory Techniques
PSM Business/Management component
PSM students will take at least 15 credits of business/management coursework in addition to their science core distributed among the categories listed below
Leadership and Organizations
Project Management, Operations or Entrepreneurship
(select 1, 3 credits)
All students will develop a plan of study in consultation with their advisor upon matriculation into the program.
3. Give procedure for petitions for variance in degree requirements
(e.g., course substitution policies, completion deadlines, etc.)
All petitions for course substitutions and variances in the completion deadlines must be made to the Graduate Affairs Committee, Department of Biological Sciences.
4. Define any grade minimums in courses that are different from University policy.
Only graduate courses completed with a grade of B or higher fulfill the biological sciences core and the biotechnology-related course requirements including the internship for the PSM in Biotechnology. Students receiving a B- or lower in a required core course are subject to dismissal from the program. However, they may file an appeal to the Department of Biological Sciences Graduate Affairs Committee for approval to retake the course and remain in the program. If the appeal is not approved, the Graduate Affairs Committee will recommend to the Office of Graduate Studies that the student be dismissed from the program.
Students must also earn a minimum index of 3.0 in all “plus” component courses attempted to earn the PSM in Biotechnology, and no course with a grade below a C- may be counted toward the degree.
5. Identify any courses, which may not be used towards the degree.
Only courses listed in the curriculum may count towards the degree unless a variance is granted by the Graduate Affairs Committee, Department of Biological Sciences.
6. Identify expectations of facility of expression in English (oral and written) as part of the degree requirement.
Aside from the TOFEL admission requirement for foreign applicants, there are no specific requirements. However, successful completion of the degree will require fluency in both written and spoken English.
B. Committees for exams, thesis, or dissertations
This degree has no thesis or dissertation requirements. The director of the program will compile a list of University of Delaware faculty members who are willing serve as academic advisors for PSM Biotechnology students. Students will select advisors from this list who have expertise most appropriate for their career interests within the first two weeks after matriculation. The academic advisor in consultation with the program director will provide guidance on course selection and the academic advisor will also be responsible helping the student formulate the expectations for their internship experience and for evaluating the student’s capstone internship report.
It is highly encouraged that part-time students working in biotechnology-related fields work with both their UD academic advisor and employer prior to matriculation to develop a comprehensive professional development plan that coordinates PSM Biotechnology degree requirements with work responsibilities.
C. Timetable and definition of satisfactory progress towards the degree
1. Academic load
Full-time students will enroll in at least 9 credits of classes per semester (fall and spring), however, in order to complete the degree in two years, the student will need to enroll in 12 credits of classes at least two semesters. Part-time students are expected to enroll in at least one class per regular academic semester to remain matriculated in the program and are expected to complete their degree within five years.
Time line for degree:
Semester 1- enroll in 9 credits of coursework
Semester 2- enroll in 12 credits of coursework
Semester 3- enroll in 12 credits of coursework
Winter after semester 3- begin internship
Semester 4- enroll in BISC 872 internship and single remaining didactic course (Plus course taken during evening hours, 9 credits)
Summer after semester 3- sustaining status, complete internship and final report, graduate
Normal progress towards degree is reviewed for all students in the program at the end of every academic semester and is assessed based on grades, participation in program activities and performance in the internship.
2. Grade requirements (general and specific).
Only graduate courses completed with a grade of B or higher fulfill the biological sciences core and the biotechnology-related course requirements for the PSM in Biotechnology. Students must also complete BISC 872, internship with a grade of at least B. Students receiving a B- or lower in a required core course are subject to dismissal from the program. However, they may file an appeal to the Department of Biological Sciences Graduate Affairs Committee for approval to retake the course and remain in the program. If the appeal is not approved, the Graduate Affairs Committee will recommend to the Chair of the Department of Biological Sciences that the student be dismissed from the program.
Students must also earn a minimum index of 3.0 in all “plus” component courses attempted to earn the PSM in Biotechnology.
All graduate courses successfully completed with a B or higher that were applied towards earned graduate certificates, but not graduate degrees, at the University of Delaware will be directly applicable to the PSM in Biotechnology.
3. Thesis/dissertation progress timetable guidelines.
4. Thesis/dissertation defense guidelines.
5. Forms required.
The application for advanced degree must be filed with the Office of Graduate studies prior to the beginning of the last semester in the program
6. Identify consequence for failure to make satisfactory progress.
Students failing to make satisfactory progress towards degree will be identified by the Graduate Affairs Committee, Department of Biological Sciences, in consultation with the student’s academic advisor/program director. Recommendations for dismissal are made by the Department Chair of Biological Sciences to the University of Delaware Office of Graduate studies.
Students who feel that they have been graded inappropriately or receive what they perceive as an unfair evaluation by a faculty member may file grievances in accordance with University of Delaware policies. Students are encouraged to contact the Department’s Graduate Program Director prior to filing a formal grievance in an effort to resolve the situation informally.
Last Revised 2016-2017 Academic Year
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