Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers to common questions about the online UW Master of Science in Applied Biotechnology.

By earning your master’s degree in applied biotechnology, you’re opening doors to opportunity and a rewarding career. As a graduate, you’ll be qualified for a wide range of job opportunities that will allow you to advance your career in this rapidly growing field. According to the Biotechnology Innovation Organization, since 2001 U.S. bioscience companies have increased employment by 19 percent and wage growth for the industry consistently exceeds other occupations.

The UW Master of Science in Applied Biotechnology program is intended for students who have professional experience in biotechnology or related settings, but limited training in management; or those with a science background who are interested in entering the field. Students may have a bachelor’s degree in areas including (but not limited to) biological sciences, chemistry, biochemistry, molecular biology, wildlife ecology, agricultural science, biomedical engineering, environmental science, physics, or geosciences. Working parents, professionals, and veterans will find the flexibility of online courses especially convenient.

Prerequisite coursework consisting of two semesters college-level lab coursework in biology and/or chemistry is required. To satisfy the prerequisite you must have completed either two semesters of biology, two semesters of chemistry, or one semester each of biology and chemistry, and all coursework must have a lab component. If you need to complete a prerequisite course before applying or are not sure whether you meet these requirements,  please contact an enrollment adviser by phone, 1-877-895-3276, or email

For information on how to apply to the program, view our Application and Admission page. An enrollment adviser would be happy to help you through the process. Call 1-877-895-3276 or email

The UW Master of Science in Applied Biotechnology is offered by seven UW System campuses: UW-Green Bay, UW-Madison, UW-Oshkosh, UW-Parkside, UW-Platteville, UW-Stevens Point, and UW-Whitewater.

Although you will take courses taught by faculty from all seven partner campuses and complete your program online, you will be asked to choose a “home” campus from one of the program’s degree-granting institutions: UW-Green Bay, UW-Madison, UW-Oshkosh, UW-Parkside, UW-Platteville, UW-Stevens Point, and UW-Whitewater. Your home campus is the institution from which you will receive advising, career services, and your diploma.

Yes, this degree is offered online. Although there are no on-campus meetings or requirements, students may need to meet with their preceptor to complete their final capstone project. Details of the capstone will start to take shape during the 1-credit Pre-Capstone course taken prior to enrolling in the Capstone course. Students are encouraged to start discussing capstone requirements with their academic advisor as they plan their academic calendars. Books and materials are handled through an online bookstore. Learn more about online learning.

You may enter the program at the beginning of any term: fall, spring, or summer. Fall semester begins in early September, spring semester in late January, and summer semester in early June. For semester schedules and a list of courses, view the Course Schedule.

Check out our About Online Learning page and call an enrollment adviser at 1-877-895-3276 to discuss whether the online Master of Science in Applied Biotechnology is a good fit for your learning style and career goals.

Courses in the UW Master of Science in Applied Biotechnology program are taught by faculty from the seven participating University of Wisconsin campuses. Online courses have the same rigor and requirements as on-campus classes and are taught by the same expert faculty. Meet the faculty.

Prerequisites for admission to the program require a lab component. The curriculum includes courses that focus on the applied aspects of biotechnology that don’t require hands-on work, such as data analysis, experiment design, data interpretation, and knowledge you will need to be successful in any one of the chosen specialization tracks. Depending on the focus of your capstone project, hands-on lab work may be a component of your research experience. Additionally, laboratory skills and techniques are often included in on-the-job training.

It depends on whether you choose to study full or part-time, and how many specialization tracks you choose to complete. Students are required to complete, at minimum, all 11 courses in the curriculum (31 total credits), which includes 6 core courses (3 credits each), 3 track courses (3 credits each), the capstone prep course (1 credit), and the final capstone project course (3 credits). Students choosing to complete more than one track will have additional required courses per track.

Courses are offered during all three semesters on a rotation. Completion time depends on how many courses a student takes during a semester and whether they attend all three semesters. Students should work with their advisor to formulate a completion plan that takes into account personal time constraints such as work and family obligations. Many students take two courses per semester and some take more. Some of our graduates achieved their degree by taking one course per semester. There is not one approach that works for all students. Our offerings will help you customize to best fit your personal situation.

View sample academic plans of study based on semester start date.

Individual campuses have different completion requirements. Please check with your home campus for the actual policy. In some cases, there is the option to petition for more time when needed.

There is no traditional internship requirement. However, the capstone course, ABT 790 Capstone, requires students to complete a field experience project with the goal of gaining valuable, hands-on experience. Students may be able to complete the project at their current place of employment, or arrange for online project work with an external organization.

A variety of financial aid opportunities are available for returning adult students. Contact the Financial Aid Office at your home campus for more information.

Yes. Eligible veterans, their spouses, their children, and current members of the military may be eligible to receive state and federal military benefits. For more information, contact the Veterans Coordinator at your home campus.

Call 1-877-895-3276 or email