Biotechnology is the science of the twenty-first century—a journey into undiscovered and constantly evolving territory. The Master of Liberal Arts, Biotechnology degree ensures that your knowledge is as broad as the problems and puzzles you face.

Online and on-campus biotechnology courses

  • Balance your career and your studies through evening and online biotechnology courses.
  • Choose from four concentrations, all involving nine courses and a thesis.
    • Life sciences: designed for scientists who wish to continue working in the research arena.
    • Management principles: supplementary business skills in areas like marketing, project management, and finance.
    • Bioinformatics: focuses on developing vital computer and programming skills.
    • Bioengineering and nanotechnologies: focuses on nanoscale innovations and applications and the engineering of biological materials.
  • Courses run in fall or spring terms (about 15 weeks each), a three-week January session, or a seven-week Harvard Summer School term.
  • You have five years to complete the degree.

See the degree requirements and browse degree courses.

A look inside the lab

In the following video, a faculty member discusses tissue engineering and advises a biotechnology degree candidate on his research.


Start off with just one course: every student takes three courses before applying—an ideal way to ensure the program is the right fit for you.

Admission is based in large part on your ability to earn a B or higher in three graduate-credit Harvard courses. There are no standardized test requirements. See all the admission criteria.

Once you have been admitted, a number of resources open up to you. See Degree Candidate Privileges.

Tuition and financial aid

Graduate-credit tuition is about $2,000 per course. In total, tuition is roughly $20,000. After you are admitted, a variety of financial aid options may be available, including grants, scholarships, and loans. See the financial aid options for admitted degree candidates.

Harvard faculty, Harvard degree

Instructors include Harvard faculty and affiliates, faculty from Boston-area universities, and business professionals. Browse the biological sciences courses, biotechnology courses, engineering sciences courses to see who teaches our classes. The program administrators include:

The degree is awarded by Harvard University. It is the Master of Liberal Arts in Extension Studies, field of biotechnology with a concentration in life sciences, management principles, bioinformatics, or bioengineering and nanotechnologies.

A Harvard credential. See what employers and alumni have to say about the value of the Harvard Extension degree experience on Your Degree, Your Career.

Student body profile

  • Total degree candidates: 115
  • Average age: 32
  • Gender: 50% female, 50% male
  • Percent of students working full time: 90%
  • Percent of students working in the biotechnology field: 78%
  • Degree completion: five years
  • Retention rate: 89%