Dec 02, 2023  
USC Catalogue 2021-2022 
USC Catalogue 2021-2022 [ARCHIVED CATALOGUE]

Translational Biotechnology (MS)

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Keck School of Medicine of USC
Harlyne J. Norris Cancer Research Tower
1450 Biggy St. NRT 2508
Los Angeles, CA 90089-9601

(323) 442-3237
Program Director: Carol S. Lin, PhD, MAE


Keck School of Medicine Department of Translational Genomics offers a Master of Science (MS) degree in Translational Biotechnology. This program combines a unique curriculum and distinctive practical training that exposes students to biotechnology and its applications in translating genomic and molecular insights into developing novel therapies and precision medicine. Drawing strength from the Keck School of Medicine faculty’s education, research, and practice expertise, this program educates students on approaches used in the academic research, biotechnology and medical sciences industries.

Program Summary

Students in this program will gain an understanding of:

  • the science of human diseases and their interventions
  • the role of biotechnology in developing new therapies and precision medicine
  • the scope of issues and decisions faced by collaborating basic and clinical researchers in the bench-to-bedside process
  • the regulatory framework that impacts the use of new interventions
  • the private and public capital that develop the growing biotechnology and biomedical markets.

The program is ideal for those who are passionate about biomedical sciences and would like a career in biotechnology beyond laboratory research.

  • Students with a moderate biology background have the opportunity to extend their course work in biotechnology and biological sciences and continue in these fields.
  • Professionals in management, investment, regulatory affairs or law in the biotechnology industry are able to extend their knowledge of the science behind this industry, enabling them to make better decisions regarding this rapidly developing technology.
  • Students interested in doctoral programs or professional degree programs, such as medical school and law school, will build a strong foundation in biotechnology prior to applying to their top programs of study.


Admission requirements include a minimum GPA of 3.0 and an undergraduate major in biological sciences, or at least 6 bioscience courses in the molecular, cellular, genetics and biochemistry topics.

A minimum score of 300 on the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) General Test is required. In lieu of GRE, DAT (minimum 18), MCAT (minimum 28 pre-2015 or 505 post-2015) or USMLE may be submitted. Applicants must also supply a statement of purpose and three letters of recommendation from evaluators qualified to assess their potential for graduate work. Please visit program website for additional information on admission and application procedures.


The program requires that students meet with an academic adviser of the program each semester prior to registration.

Satisfactory Academic Progress

A graduate GPA of at least 3.0 is required at all times. Any student whose graduate GPA falls below 3.0 will be placed on academic probation. Students on academic probation who do not raise their GPA to 3.0 after two semesters of written notification of academic probation will be academically disqualified.

A minimum of 28 units of graduate level course work is required for graduation.

Core Lecture Courses (Required, 12 Units)

Students with strong background in biotechnology may substitute TRGN 536  with another appropriate course, with permission of the program director.  A minimum grade point average of 3.0 on all core courses is required.

Experiential Learning (Required, 7 Units)

Experiential learning includes a total of 4 units of TRGN 539  plus two Capstone courses. This program does not require a thesis.  Instead, students are required to defend their program capstone through TRGN 540  and TRGN 541 , which include practicum conclusion, reflective narratives, and portfolio presentation.

Electives (At least 9 Units)

At least 4 units must be from TRGN.  No more than 4 units of TRGN 590  may be used to fulfill degree requirements.

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