About the MMB Program

The Master of Microbial Biotechnology program presents a unique blend of science and business, mixed with real-world bioscience industry projects and internships, to give you the experiences you need to become the biotechnology professional that you want to be!    

The MMB degree is a two-year, non-thesis, Professional Science Master's degree. The curriculum is different than a traditional graduate program; listed below are some advantages of an MMB degree: 

  • Provides students with interdisciplinary academia training including MBA-level coursework
  • Establishes development of professional skills highly valued by industry companies
  • Prompts students to apply scientific methods to solve business problems 
  • Eases the transition into multiple bioscience industry areas
  • Prepares students to work effectively in project teams
  • Promotes flexibility & ambiguity management
  • Develops comfort with big data management


Purpose and History 

Bioscience industry companies need individuals with science backgrounds who can also view industry-related problems from a business perspective. Unfortunately, business and professional training strongly desired by companies is not typically embedded in the curricula of traditional science programs. The NC State University Master of Microbial Biotechnology (MMB) degree program emerged to fill this training gap.



The Professional Science Master's (PSM) program in Microbial Biotechnology at North Carolina State University represents one of the first PSM programs at N.C. State and one of the oldest in the country. The program stands as one of the many outstanding PSM programs in the UNC system. The Microbial Biotechnology program was launched by faculty of the former Department of Microbiology (currently, the Department of Plant and Microbial Biology) in August of 2003, and was funded in part by a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The Program and Department of Plant and Microbial Biology exist as units within the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. The original program concept emerged in response to the demand for employees with a strong technical aptitude in science along with an understanding of business issues and professional skills pertinent to the biotechnology industry. Members of the Microbiology faculty collaborated with educators, scientists, managers, and entrepreneurs to develop a curriculum unique to graduate science education. The program's foundation was built upon established academic coursework in the Department of Microbiology, the Biotechnology Program, and the College of Management. Thus, the program was branded the Master of Microbial Biotechnology (MMB). The MMB program originally sought to offer students training in three important areas: (1) the theoretical aspects of the role of microorganisms as the workhorses of biotechnology; (2) intensive laboratory training in the molecular techniques involved in microbial biotechnology; (3) a comprehensive MBA-level introduction into the management of money, people, processes, and information. That original, intensive curriculum was anchored by an innovative and "identity-building" practicum course and was further supplemented with an internship program involving local biotechnology companies.

Today, the MMB curriculum offers training and experiences in several areas of biotechnology, including the following:

  Agriculture    & Environment


Biomedical Devices


Contract Research


The current curriculum also allows students to choose coursework that will allow them to specialize in areas that align with their career interests. These areas include, but are not limited to, the following:


Industrial Biotechnology

Plant & Agricultural Biotechnology

Business Administration


Clinical Development