NJIT Announces Launch of New Professional Biotechnology Program

Written by: Jesse Jenkins,

In fall 2018, NJIT's College of Science and Liberal Arts will launch its new Professional Biotechnology Option, offered as part of the Department of Chemistry and Environmental Science’s pharmaceutical chemistry master's program.

The 30-credit option — comprised of project management, communications and biotechnology-based coursework  — is designed to "prepare graduate students for leadership and management roles in the rapidly expanding biotechnology industry," and meet unmet employment demand among one of the greatest concentration of biotechnology and pharmaceutical activities in the world.

“This program complements NJIT’s programs in pharmaceutical chemistry and pharmaceutical engineering and was deliberately developed in partnership with biopharmaceutical companies to address unmet workforce needs,” said Kevin Belfield, dean of NJIT’s College of Science and Liberal Arts. “We anticipate our graduates will be in high demand in the state’s biopharmaceutical industry.”

Currently, more than 400 private and public biopharmaceutical companies operate in the greater New Jersey area. Since 2011, New Jersey has seen a 10 percent increase in drug and pharmaceutical establishments according to New Jersey's 2018 Department of Labor and Workforce Development report. 

NJIT neighbors internationally recognized biotechnology companies including Celgene, Amicus Therapeutics, Chromocell, Soligenix, Vicus, Genzyme, Roka Biosciences and PTC Therapeutics.

“We’ve received significant input from biopharmaceutical experts at Celgene, Novartis, Merck and the New Jersey Innovation Institute,” said Belfield. “This program represents the opportunity for true innovation and partnership in education and workforce development with the rapidly evolving and extraordinarily important field of biological therapeutics.”

Recognized by the Professional Science Master’s National Office, the biotechnology option will train scientists and engineers with background in the chemical sciences with advanced knowledge and experience in important biological sciences fields, biopharmaceutical processing, professional and technical communication, and project management. Specifically, the courses will address cutting-edge research and current trends in the industry, from small molecule drugs and biologically derived materials, to proteins, antibodies and specifically engineered whole cells.

The program will also require a one-semester internship in the biopharmaceutical or biotechnology field, reinforcing and connecting knowledge acquired in the classroom and applying to real-world problems.

“The program is forward-thinking, facilitating the transition of segments of the current pharmaceutical workforce into the bold new era of biopharmaceuticals,” said Belfield.

For further program information and course details, visit: https://chemistry.njit.edu/sites/chemistry/files/biotechnology.pdf