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Biotechnology Master’s Degree Program

Gain insight into the latest biotechnology discoveries and trends.

  • Online Courses

    11 out of 12 total courses

  • On-Campus Experience

    1 week course in January

  • Tuition

    $3,220 per course

Program Overview

Through the master’s degree in the field of biotechnology you:

  • Develop an understanding of biotechnology theory and research, including human physiology and genetics, cancer, proteomics, genomics, and epigenetics.
  • Build knowledge of current industry practices, including biotechnology innovation and molecular biology techniques.
  • Gain experience in experimental or case study design, scientific data analysis, writing and communication, ethical practices, and effective collaboration.

Program Benefits

  • Teacher speaking to class.

    A faculty of biotech professionals and life science instructors from Harvard University

  • Two people talking at a table.

    Personalized academic and career advising

  • Checklist in front of computer monitor.

    Option to produce a capstone project focused on biotechnology innovation

  • Texbook.

    Internship track to explore a topic in bioinformatics, biotech management, or project management

  • Lightbulb in a hand.

    Entrepreneurial opportunities through the Harvard Innovation Labs

  • Graduation cap and diploma.

    Harvard Alumni Association membership upon graduation

Customizable Course Curriculum

Our curriculum is flexible in pace and customizable by design. You’ll experience the convenience of online learning and the immersive benefits of learning in person. You can study part time, choosing courses that fit your schedule and align with your professional goals.

As you work through the 12-course program, you’ll have the opportunity to examine topics like evolutionary genetics in epidemiology, biomedical product development, neurobiology, and biomedical imaging. You’ll choose between two tracks — a capstone or an internship — and visit Cambridge for an immersive in-person experience.

11 Online Courses

  • Fall, spring, January, and summer options
  • Asynchronous and synchronous formats

Capstone or Internship Track

Create a capstone project focused on innovation in biotech, or complete an internship to explore a topic in bioinformatics, biotech management, or project management.

On-Campus Experience

Come to campus for 1 week in January to attend Genetown, a course where you engage with the vibrant biotech community in Cambridge.


The path to your degree begins before you apply to the program.

First, you’ll register for and complete 3 required courses, earning at least a B in each. These foundational courses are investments in your studies and count toward your degree, helping ensure success in the program.

Getting Started

We invite you to explore degree requirements, confirm your initial eligibility, and learn more about our unique “earn your way in” admissions process.

Earning a Stackable Certificate

As you work your way toward your master’s degree, you can take courses that also count — or “stack” — toward a certificate. It’s a cost-effective, time-saving opportunity to build specialized skills and earn a professional credential along the way to your degree.

A Faculty of Biotechnology Experts

You’ll learn from Harvard faculty and industry leaders who will help you gain real-world perspectives. Our instructors are renowned experts in the field of biotechnology and bring a genuine passion for teaching, with students giving our faculty an average rating of 4.6 out of 5.

Our Community at a Glance

Students in the biotechnology degree program are accomplished professionals who are pursuing the degree to continue their career advancement. They work in fields like biotech, academic research, pharmaceuticals.

Download: Biotechnology Master's Degree Fact Sheet

  • 30

    Average Age

  • 1

    Average Courses Taken Each Semester

  • 80%

    Work Full Time

  • 97%

    Would Recommend the Program

  • 88%

    Professional Experience in the Field

science student looking into microscope

Career Opportunities & Alumni Outcomes

Our biotechnology graduates have gone on to PhD programs in the fields of AI and machine learning, cell and systems biology, proteomics, pharmacy, genetics, and neurogenetics at national universities. They are employed in the field of biotechnology and related industries such as pharmaceuticals, hospital and health care, and medical devices.

Roles held by recent graduates include: 

  • Antibody Engineer
  • Biotechnology Engineer
  • Computational Biologist
  • Data Scientist
  • Field Application Specialist
  • Senior R&D Manager

Alumni work at a variety of organizations, including:

  • Boston Children’s Hospital
  • Broad Institute
  • Novartis
  • New England BioLabs
  • Pfizer
  • Wyss Institute

Career Advising and Mentorship

Whatever your career goals, we’re here to support you. Harvard’s Mignone Center for Career Success offers career advising, employment opportunities, Harvard alumni mentor connections, and career fairs like the annual Harvard Biotech, Pharma, & Healthcare Expo on campus at Harvard.

Your Harvard University Degree

Upon successful completion of the required curriculum, you will receive your Harvard University degree — a Master of Liberal Arts (ALM) in Extension Studies, Field: Biotechnology.

Expand Your Connections: The Harvard Alumni Network

As a graduate, you’ll become a member of the worldwide Harvard Alumni Association (400,000+ members) and Harvard Extension Alumni Association (29,000+ members).

Ana Calina Man
I leave not only with a master’s degree and certificate, but also a business plan and the knowledge, experiences, and resources that allow me to take this idea I had and turn it into something that can help others.
Ana-Calina Man
Master of Liberal Arts in the field of Biotechnology '21; Graduate Certificate in Biotechnology Management

Tuition & Financial Aid

Affordability is core to our mission. When compared to our continuing education peers, it’s a fraction of the cost.

Our Tuition (2023–24 rate) $3,220 per course
Average Tuition of Peer Institutions $5,476 per course
Average Total Cost $38,640

After admission, you may qualify for financial aid. Typically, eligible students receive grant funds to cover a portion of tuition costs each term, in addition to federal financial aid options.

Biotechnology Master’s FAQs

How long does it take to complete a master’s degree in biotechnology?

The time it takes to complete a master’s degree in biotechnology depends on the program you select. Most Harvard Extension School students also work full time while working on their master’s degree, and they take an average of two to four years to complete depending on course load. Extension students are required to complete their degree courses in five years.

Will earning a master’s in biotechnology help me advance my career?

Many students currently working toward a master’s in biotechnology are doing so to advance their career. Pursuing a master’s degree in a specific field demonstrates to your employer that you care about continuing to learn in your field. Earning an advanced degree can also help you differentiate yourself to prospective employers and gain expertise in specific areas of the field.