M.S. in Biotechnology & Pharmaceutical Engineering

Biotechnology harnesses biological processes to develop technologies and products that help improve our lives. The use of biotechnology in the health care sector has led to the production of medicines and vaccines that prevent or cure disease and has produced a growing interest in the industry for individuals with advanced training in pharmaceutical and biotechnology areas.

The M.S. in Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Engineering (MS-BTPE) program at Carnegie Mellon University combines the strengths of our Biological Sciences and Chemical Engineering departments to offer advanced training appropriate for careers in academia, government, or industry in the field of biotechnology and pharmaceutical engineering.

Industry-relevant curriculum

Our program combines theory with hands-on instruction from faculty who are experts in their field and the biomedical industry. Students gain advanced training in the sciences with instruction in commercial research, bioinformatic integration, regulatory compliance, medicinal chemistry and drug development.

Students work with Professor James Schneider in a lab and CMU

The coursework and lab work has been developed in close consultation with industry leaders and with the many CMU faculty engaged in research on biomanufacturing and therapeutics. Informed by these industry collaborations, the program responds to a need expressed by both major pharmaceutical and start-up companies for employees who can take what biologists do in producing customized cells and proteins at a small scale and make these engineering products available for diagnostic and treatment purposes.

The M.S. in biotechnology and pharmaceutical engineering program can be completed either full-time or part-time and requires 108-117 units to graduate.
Full-time students typically complete the degree program in 1.5 years. 

Background courses (0-18* units)
Core courses (39 units)
Biology elective courses (24 units)
Chemical Engineering elective courses (24 units)
Additional elective courses (12-21*units)

Get more information about the program’s curriculum.

Admissions and application deadlines

Students interested in joining the M.S. in Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Engineering program at Carnegie Mellon University should have a background in biology, chemistry, biomedical engineering or chemical engineering and must have graduated from a recognized four-year college, university or institute of technology, or have earned equivalent credentials.

Spring 2023 admission
Mid June through August

Fall 2023 admission:
Mid September through Mid December

Program faculty

Students in the MS-BTPE program will have the opportunity to work with CMU's world-class faculty.

Carnegie Mellon University

US News and World Report ranking graphic - College of Engineering #4

Located in the heart of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon is a private, global research university, that stands among the world's most renowned educational institutions.

With cutting-edge brain science, path-breaking performances, innovative start-ups, driverless cars, big data, big ambitions, Nobel and Turing prizes, hands-on learning, and a whole lot of robots, CMU doesn't imagine the future, we create it. 

One of the nation’s premier programs, CMU’s College of Engineering ranks 4th on U.S. News and World Report’s list of best graduate programs.


Student experience

Cristiana Lara ('19) photo and quote - The CMU ChemE department is a special place. The diverse research interest of the department is a unique factor that helps prepare well-rounded scientists who can discuss outside of their niche field."