A master’s degree that will provide focused training in emerging biotechnology fields will be offered at Colorado State University starting this fall.

The Professional Science Master’s in Biomanufacturing and Biotechnology, housed in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, will be the first Professional Science Master’s Degree offered by the Walter Scott, Jr. College of Engineering. Students who enroll in the two-year program will specialize in one of three areas: cell and tissue engineering; biofuels; or protein engineering, also known as synthetic biology.

The technical career-oriented degree program will fill gaps in professional- and master’s-level training that’s related to chemical engineering but not fully covered by an undergraduate degree, explained Matt Kipper, professor in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering and the program’s faculty lead.

“These students will have the opportunity to make an impact in an evolving, rapidly growing industry worldwide, but particularly in Colorado,” Kipper said.

The program will be accessible to students from a wide range of backgrounds, including chemistry, biochemistry, microbiology, and other engineering disciplines, Kipper said. Degree requirements will include credits in business, biosciences and engineering, as well as an internship in a government laboratory or biotech company. The program does not require the writing of a thesis.

Response to evolving fields

Offering such a degree is a response to growth in fields that interface with traditional chemical engineering but are evolving. These include food, pharmaceuticals, agriculture, cell engineering and microbiome engineering.

In Colorado alone, the bioscience industry, which includes more than 720 companies employing 30,000 people, experienced a 5.3 percent direct employment increase from approximately 2014-2016, according to the Colorado Bioscience Association.

The degree program also will give students or practicing professionals a lower barrier to entry to biomanufacturing and biotechnology careers. Potential participants include engineering and life sciences graduates who want additional training to prepare for biotech careers.

The Professional Science Master’s will complement other graduate-level degrees in chemical engineering: the  coursework-only master’s of engineering; the master’s of science in chemical engineering; and the Ph.D. in chemical engineering.


More information is available at the program’s website. Interested applicants should contact matthew.kipper@colostate.edu