Boston, MA, Biotechnology School Options
Boston and its surrounding cities offer several schools for students looking to study biotechnology. All schools offering such programs in the city limits are private institutions except for one 2-year community college. This article looks at three schools within 10 minutes of downtown Boston. It also contains a table that offers a quick way to compare various aspects of the schools, such as school type, size and costs. Also included at the end of the article is a little information on a few more schools with biotechnology programs in the Boston area.
- The largest of the private institutions is Boston University, where students can enroll in a dual bachelor's/master's program to learn about biotechnology. Boston University is about two miles from downtown.
- Another private school, Northeastern University, also two miles from the city center, has a professional master's program in biotechnology with three concentration options.
- Individuals who want to earn a degree while avoiding the higher tuition rates of private universities may consider the 2-year associate's program at Bunker Hill Community College. Bunker Hill is about 1.5 miles from downtown Boston.
Comparison of Schools
There are many factors to consider when choosing a school. The following table offers a side-by-side look at the three schools featured in this article, making it easy for students to compare them.
|Boston University||Northeastern University||Bunker Hill Community College|
|School Type||Private, non-profit, 4-year university||Private, non-profit, 4-year university||Public, 2-year community college|
|Total Enrollment (2017)||33,355*||21,489*||11,881*|
|Campus Setting||Large city||Large city||Large city|
|Undergraduate Tuition and Fees (2017-2018)||$52,082*||$49,497*||$4,224 in-state; $9,168 out-of-state*|
|% of First-Year Students Receiving Any Form of Aid (2016-2017)||55%*||75%*||66%*|
|Acceptance Rate (2017)||25%*||27%*||N/A - Open admissions*|
|Retention Rate (2016-2017)||93% full-time students*||97% full-time students*||64% full-time students; 50% part-time students*|
|Undergraduate Graduation Rate||87% (students who began in Fall 2011)*||87% (students who began in Fall 2011)*||14% (23% transfer-out rate) (students who began in Fall 2014)*|
Source: *NCES College Navigator
BU offers more than 300 programs across 20 schools and colleges. The College of Arts and Sciences contains 24 departments. Faculty from the biology, chemistry and physics departments work together to offer the interdisciplinary dual-degree program.
Bachelor of Arts in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology/Master of Arts in Biotechnology
In the bachelor's program, students gain a foundation in various sciences like molecular biology, physics, biochemistry and biology. Students must also complete calculus and computer science courses and participate in laboratory research. During the junior year of the bachelor's program, students can apply to the Master of Arts in Biotechnology program. An additional six classes are required in the master's program as well as two semesters of guided graduate-level research and a research report. It typically takes five years to complete both degree programs. The M.A. in Biotechnology is not offered separately.
The College of Science contains this school's biotechnology programs as well as programs in fields like biology, biochemistry, linguistics, math and physics. The professional master's program integrates business concepts into the science-based curriculum. A thesis isn't typically required in a professional master's program.
Professional Master of Science in Biotechnology
Students can only enter this program during the fall semester. Admission requirements include having a bachelor's degree in a relevant science or engineering field and undergraduate coursework in calculus, organic chemistry, biochemistry and either molecular biology, genetics or physiology. Students can choose from seven concentrations: molecular biotechnology, process sciences, biopharmaceutical analytical sciences, pharmaceutical technologies, scientific information management, regulatory science or biotechnology enterprise. All tracks have common courses that include biotechnology basics, molecular cell biology, biotechnology ventures and biotechnology lab.
Bunker Hill Community College (BHCC)
BHCC awards Associate of Arts, Associate of Science and certificate programs. The biotechnology program is one of more than 100 programs offered at BHCC.
Associate in Science in Biotechnology
In addition to course lectures, students in this program complete several labs. Some of the required courses include biology, chemistry, genetics, cell biology and molecular biotechnology. Students also choose an option elective from among courses in microbiology, statistics, calculus and organic biochemistry.
Other School Options
Less than three miles outside of downtown Boston in Roxbury Crossing, Roxbury Community College has a certificate program in biotechnology/biomanufacturing and an associate's degree in biotechnology. Tufts University, about five miles away in Medford, has post-baccalaureate and graduate programs in biotechnology. Lastly, an associate's degree program in biotechnology and compliance is offered 13 miles outside of Boston at Quincy College.