Master of Science in Bioscience and Health Policy (MSBHP) Degree

Program Learning Outcomes for the MSBHP Degree

Upon completing the MSBHP degree, students will:

  1. Be knowledgeable in current advanced bioscience and health policy topics affecting society 
  2. Be able to integrate science knowledge into better policies and practices.
  3. Demonstrate written, oral, and visual communication strategies required to work effectively across science, business, and government. 

Requirements for the MSBHP Degree

The MSBHP degree is a non-thesis master's degree. For general university requirements, please see Non-Thesis Master’s Degrees. Students pursuing the MSBHP degree must complete:

  • A minimum of 39 credit hours to satisfy degree requirements. Additional credit hours may be required depending on course selection. 
  • A 3-6 month internship.  At the conclusion of their internship, students must present a summary of their internship project in both oral and written form as part of the professional master’s seminar.
  • A minimum of 30 credit hours at the 500-level or above.

Part-time students who already work in their area of study may request approval to fulfill the internship requirements by working on project with their current employer. 

Note: Some of the listed courses are not offered every year, and some may also have prerequisites or require instructor permission. Students cannot take more than two (2) 300 or 400-level courses as part of the degree program without permission of advising faculty.

The courses listed below satisfy the requirements for this degree program. In certain instances, courses not on this official list may be substituted upon approval of the PSM (Professional Science Masters) program director and the MSBHP advisor (or official certifier). Students and their academic advisors should identify and clearly document the courses to be completed in advance of registration. 

Summary

Total Credit Hours Required for the MSBHP DegreeMinimum of 39

Degree Requirements

Core Requirements
Science Core Courses
Select 4 from the following:12
MICROBIOLOGY & BIOTECHNOLOGY 2
PLANT MOLECULAR GENETICS AND DEVELOPMENT
METABOLIC ENGINEERING
ADVANCED CONCEPTS AND CRITICAL ANALYSIS IN MODERN DEVELOPMENTAL BIOLOGY
ADVANCED MOLECULAR BIOLOGY AND GENETICS
EXPERIMENTAL BIOLOGY AND THE FUTURE OF MEDICINE
VIRUSES AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES
COMPUTATIONAL SYNTHETIC BIOLOGY
CANCER BIOLOGY
COMPUTATION WITH BIOLOGICAL DATA
IMMUNOLOGY
PROTEIN ENGINEERING
FUNDAMENTALS OF CELLULAR AND MOLECULAR NEUROSCIENCE
CONSERVATION BIOLOGY
CONSERVATION BIOLOGY LAB
ECOLOGY
GLOBAL BIOGEOCHEMICAL CYCLES
Cohort Courses
NSCI 501PROFESSIONAL MASTER'S SEMINAR (first semester)1
NSCI 501PROFESSIONAL MASTER'S SEMINAR (second semester)1
NSCI 511SCIENCE POLICY, AND ETHICS3
NSCI 512PROFESSIONAL MASTER'S PROJECT1
NSCI 610 / ENGI 610MANAGEMENT FOR SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING3
Analytical Competency Requirement
A. Statistics or Data Analytics - Select 1 from the following:3-4
INTRO COMPUTATIONAL SYSTEMS BIOLOGY: MODELING & DESIGN PRINCIPLES OF BIOCHEM NETWORKS
GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SCIENCE
INTRODUCTION TO STATISTICS FOR BIOSCIENCES
METHODS OF DATA ANALYSIS AND SYSTEM OPTIMIZATION
BIOSTATISTICS
R FOR DATA SCIENCE
ENVIRONMENTAL RISK ASSESSMENT & HUMAN HEALTH
B. Finance or Economics - Select a minimum of 3 credit hours from the following: 1,23
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
HEALTH INSURANCE IN THE U.S.: THE ESSENTIALS
COST ANALYSIS IN HEALTHCARE
U.S. HEALTH CARE MANAGEMENT
COST AND QUALITY IN HEALTH CARE
STRATEGIC CONSIDERATIONS IN HEALTH INFORMATICS
ECONOMICS OF HEALTH CARE SECTORS
C. Policy Courses - Select a minimum of 6 credit hours from the following:6
MEDICAL ANTHROPOLOGY
ANTHROPOLOGY OF RACE, ETHNICITY AND HEALTH
DISPARITIES IN HEALTH IN AMERICA
HEALTH INSURANCE IN THE U.S.: THE ESSENTIALS
HEALTHCARE STRATEGY
BREAKTHROUGH NEGOTIATIONS IN A HEALTH CARE CONTEXT
INTERPERSONAL COMMUNICATION IN HEALTHCARE
THE SHAPING OF HEALTH POLICY
POPULATION HEALTH SEMINAR
Three to Six Month Internship
Practical experience is offered via a 3 to 6 month work immersion. 3
Elective Requirements
Select a minimum of 6 credit hours from the following:6
ENGINEERING PROJECT MANAGEMENT AND ECONOMICS
LEADING TEAMS AND INNOVATION
ETHICS AND ENGINEERING LEADERSHIP
LEARNING HOW TO INNOVATE?
LEADERSHIP COACHING FOR ENGINEERS
EPIDEMIOLOGY
PLANNING AND EVALUATION OF HEALTH PROMOTION AND EDUCATION
HEALTH AND HUMANITIES MASTER CLASS
COMMERCIALIZATION IN PHARMA/BIOTECH
LIFE SCIENCE ENTREPRENEURSHIP & ROLES OF FOUNDERS & VENTURE CAPITAL IN HIGH-TECH STARTUPS
PROCESS MANAGEMENT AND QUALITY IMPROVEMENT
CUSTOMER FOCUS IN HEALTH CARE AND SERVICE INDUSTRIES: A STRATEGIC APPROACH
BUSINESS LAW
Total Credit HoursMinimum of 39

Footnotes and Additional Information 

Policies for the MSBHP Degree 

Bioscience and Health Policy Graduate Program Handbook

The General Announcements (GA) is the official Rice curriculum. As an additional resource for students, Bioscience and Health Policy publishes a graduate program handbook, which can be found here: 
http://gradhandbooks.rice.edu/2017_18/Professional_Science_Masters_Handbook.pdf

Admission

Admission to graduate study in Bioscience and Health Policy is open to qualified students holding a bachelor’s degree in biology or a related field that includes completed course work in biology, chemistry, calculus and statistics. Scores from the general Graduate Record Examination (GRE), good critical thinking and communication skills, and completed course work in introductory economics is preferred. Department faculty evaluate the previous academic record and credentials of each applicant individually and make admission decisions.

The Bioscience and Health Policy Professional Master’s Program has distinct focus areas for students with primary interests in policy careers, biomedical and health care related positions, or additional post-graduate training or education after degree conferral.  

Transfer Credit 

For Rice University’s policy regarding transfer credit, see Transfer Credit. Some departments and programs have additional restrictions on transfer credit. Students are encouraged to meet with their academic program’s advisor when considering transfer credit possibilities.

For additional information, please see the Bioscience and Health Policy website: https://profms.rice.edu/

Opportunities for the MSBHP Degree

Fifth-Year MSBHP Degree Option for Rice Undergraduate Students

Rice undergraduate students have an option to pursue the MSBHP degree by adding an additional fifth year to their four undergraduate years of science studies. Advanced Rice students in good academic standing may apply to the graduate program during their junior year. Upon acceptance, depending on course load, financial aid status, and other variables, they may then start taking required core courses of the Bioscience and Health Policy program during their senior year. A plan of study based on their particular focus area will need to be approved by the PSM (Professional Science Masters) program director and the MSBHP advisor.  

As part of this option and opportunity, Rice undergraduate students:

  • must complete the requirements for their bachelor's degree and the MSBHP degree independently of each other (i.e., no course may be counted toward the fulfillment of both degrees).
  • should be aware that there could be financial aid implications, if the conversion of undergraduate coursework to that of graduate-level reduces their earned undergraduate credit for any semester below that of full-time (12 credit hours) status.

For additional information, please see the Bioscience and Health Policy website: https://profms.rice.edu/