msmba_biotech_curriculum_schedule_190916.pdfmsmba_biotech_curriculum_schedule_190916.pdfStudents complete degree requirements over two academic years, augmented by coursework during August at the beginning of the program and during both January terms. Students have the summer free between Year 1 and Year 2 to pursue an internship, most likely in the life sciences or biotech space.

 

First Year

 

August

Harvard Business School Online CORe

Harvard Business School
As with all MBA candidates, MS/MBA students take a short test to determine whether they are required to complete Harvard Business School Online CORe prior to matriculating in August of Year 1. CORe, an online program requiring about 150 hours of work over roughly ten weeks, covers basic business analytics, microeconomics for managers, and financial accounting.

Lab Essentials

Harvard Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology
Lab Essentials, an intense hands-on lab-based exposure to some of the most important modern technologies, including DNA sequencing, CRISPR, and stem cells, all done by a “case method” around an important biomedical problem.
 

Fall Term

Interpersonal Skills Development Lab

Harvard Business School
Interpersonal Skills Development Lab engages small teams in interactive workshops—held in flexible classrooms called "hives"—that reshape how students think, act, and see themselves. Through team feedback and self-reflection, participants deepen their emotional intelligence and develop a growing awareness of their own leadership styles.

Finance 1

Harvard Business School
This course examines the role of finance in supporting the functional areas of a firm and fosters an understanding of how financial decisions themselves can create value. Topics covered include: Basic analytical skills and principles of corporate finance; functions of modern capital markets and financial institutions; and standard techniques of analysis, including capital budgeting, discounted cash flow valuation, and risk analysis.

Financial Reporting and Control

Harvard Business School
Recognizing that accounting is the primary channel for communicating information about the economics of a business, this course provides a broad view of how accounting contributes to an organization..

Leadership & Organizational Behavior

Harvard Business School
This course focuses on how managers become effective leaders by addressing the human side of enterprise. It examines teams, individuals, and networks; looks at successful leaders in action; and introduces a model for strategic career management.

Marketing

Harvard Business School
The objectives of this course are to demonstrate the role of marketing in the company; to explore the relationship of marketing to other functions; and to show how effective marketing builds on a thorough understanding of buyer behavior to create value for customers.

Technology & Operations Management

Harvard Business School
This course enables students to develop the skills and concepts needed to ensure the ongoing contribution of a firm's operations to its competitive position. It helps them to understand the complex processes underlying the development and manufacture of products as well as the creation and delivery of services.

NextGen Biotechnology

In this course, students discuss classical and contemporary papers fundamental to the current biotechnology revolution (such as those underpinning the use of monoclonal antibodies, stem-cell transplantation, neural stimulation and regeneration, and gene therapy).

More on the MBA Required Curriculum

 

January

Data Analytics and Technology

Joint Course
This course begins with a module on Data Analytics. During the second half of the course, students will participate in the HBS-led module of Technology Venture Immersion. Modeled on the HBS Startup Bootcamp, the Technology Venture Immersion employs a learning-by-doing approach, with students working in teams on their own startup concepts and on problems provided by instructors to build skills with human-centered design and lean experimentation methods.
 

Spring Term

Interpersonal Skills Development Lab

Harvard Business School
Interpersonal Skills Development Lab engages small teams in interactive workshops—held in flexible classrooms called "hives"—that reshape how students think, act, and see themselves. Through team feedback and self-reflection, participants deepen their emotional intelligence and develop a growing awareness of their own leadership styles.

Business, Government, and the International Economy (BGIE)

Harvard Business School
This course introduces tools for studying the economic environment of business to help managers understand the implications for their companies.

The Entrepreneurial Manager

Harvard Business School
This course addresses the issues faced by managers who wish to turn opportunity into viable organizations that create value, and empowers students to develop their own approaches, guidelines, and skills for being entrepreneurial managers.

Field Global Immersions

Harvard Business School
Field Global Immersion requires student teams to develop a new product or service concept for global partner organizations around the world. Students travel to their global partner organizations at the end of Term 2.

Finance II

Harvard Business School
This course builds on the foundation developed in Finance I, focusing on three sets of managerial decisions: how to evaluate complex investments; how to set and execute financial policies within a firm; and how to integrate the many financial decisions faced by firms. The Finance II course is divided into four blocks of material: tools of financial analysis, financial policy choices of firms, financial market imperfections, and deals and transactions.

Leadership and Corporate Accountability

Harvard Business School
In this course, students learn about the complex responsibilities facing business leaders today. Through cases about difficult managerial decisions, the course examines the legal, ethical, and economic responsibilities of corporate leaders. It also teaches students about management and governance systems leaders can use to promote responsible conduct by companies and their employees and shows how personal values can play a critical role in effective leadership.

Strategy

Harvard Business School
The objective of this course is to help students develop the skills for formulating strategy. Particular attention is paid to competitive positioning; understanding comparative costs; and addressing issues such as cannibalization, network externalities, and globalization.

Ethical Dilemmas in Biotechnology

Monthly seminars designed to challenge students to consider unmet medical need from a diverse perspective. For example, what are the implications of enhancements that increase heath-span but are counter-balanced by an increased lifespan in a debilitated condition? What is the correct approach for modifying the human genome, including germline modifications? What are ways companies can tackle orphan diseases that affect a small number of patients?

More on the MBA Required Curriculum

 

Summer

Students are free to pursue an internship of their choosing during the summer between years of the programs. Internships could be in a variety of fields related to biotechnology and life sciences including pharmaceutical companies, start-up biotechnology and life science companies, consulting with a focus on biotech/life sciences, policy/ government, or investing focused on biotechnology and life sciences.

 

Second Year

 

Fall Term

Frontiers in Therapeutics (SCRB 197)

This course offers a deep dive into the most important unsolved medical issues and how fundamental and clinical sciences are brought to bear (for example, therapeutic modulation, safety and pharmacokinetics, immune-oncology, autoimmunity, depression, and molecular dynamics).

Science Elective

Harvard Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology

This is a sampling of science electives. Specific course offerings will vary each year. Students will select their courses in the second year with the advice of their academic advisor. The MS/MBA Program requires a total of three graduate-level courses that form a coherent area of expertise.

Principles and Practice of Drug Development

Critical assessment of the major issues and stages of developing a pharmaceutical or biopharmaceutical. Drug discovery, preclinical development, clinical investigation, manufacturing and regulatory issues considered for small and large molecules. Economic considerations of the drug development process.

Chemical Biology Towards Precision Medicine

Chemical Biology Towards Precision Medicine teaches students principles of modern organic synthesis, chemical biology and human biology relevant to the discovery of safe and effective small-molecule therapeutics in the future. The course will explore patient-based experiments of nature that illuminate disease, including cancer, diabetes, infectious disease and psychiatric disease, among others. Students will then use their knowledge of chemistry and chemical biology to propose research yielding novel small molecules that affect biological systems by mechanisms suggested by the experiments of nature. Aims to prepare students for the next decade where academic research tests hypotheses emerging from human biology in humans using novel small-molecule probes.

Small Molecules and Biological Processes

Small molecules are extraordinarily useful tools to investigate biological processes, perturb cell states and treat human diseases. They are complementary to many biological techniques (e.g. expression of mutant proteins, RNAi, genome editing and antibodies) in that they are fastacting, typically cell permeable, easily reversible, and they can engage multiple targets simultaneously. In this course, we will discuss how these useful small molecules are discovered, how they have revealed deep insights into biological processes, and how they are employed as therapeutics.

Chemical Biology

Applying chemical approaches to problems in biology. Topics include: protein engineering and directed evolution; genomics, proteomics, and metabolomics; genome editing; gene regulation; modern drug discovery; chemical genetics; glycobiology; cancer chemical biology; synthetic biology.

Principles of Human Disease: Physiology and Pathology

This course covers the normal physiology and pathophysiology of selected organs, through lectures, readings, tutorials based on clinical cases, and patient presentations. Human biology is emphasized, with some examples also drawn from model organisms. Recent therapeutic approaches, including RNAi, gene therapy, and genome editing will be covered.

Understanding Aging: Degeneration, Regeneration, and the Scientific Search for the Fountain of Youth

This lecture and discussion course will explore the fundamental molecular and cellular mechanisms that govern organismal aging and contemporary strategies to delay or reverse this process.

The Translational Science of Stem Cells

Through a series of lectures and assigned papers, students will be introduced to a broad view of the ways in which stem cells can be used for translational research. This will include human disease modeling, identifying drugs that target endogenous stem cells, or otherwise promote tissue repair, and regenerative medicine (cell-based therapies).

Behavioral Pharmacology

Introduction to behavioral pharmacology of CNS drugs (e.g., psychomotor stimulants, antischizophrenics, opioid analgesics, antianxiety agents); seminar format with emphasis on behavioral methodology (i.e., model and assay development) and pharmacological analysis (i.e., receptor selectivity and efficacy); attention to tolerance, drug dependence/addiction/treatment, and basic behavioral processes.

Cellular Metabolism and Human Disease

Cellular and organismal metabolism, with focus on interrelationships between key metabolic pathways and human disease states. Genetic and acquired metabolic diseases and functional consequences. Interactive lectures and critical reading conferences are integrated with clinical encounters.

Modern Drug Discovery: From Principles to Patients

This course will familiarize students with central concepts in drug action and therapeutics: specifically we will cover concepts surrounding Pharmacokinetics (PK) and the intersection of PK and medicinal chemistry in both lectures and cases based discussions. These concepts are central to modern drug development and evaluation. In the course we will cover drug-target interactions, Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics. This course will have a focus on modern approaches to therapeutic development for small molecules, protein based therapeutics, nucleic acid based drugs and antibacterial compounds as well new frontiers in therapeutic discovery.

Genetics in Medicine – From Bench to Bedside

Focus on translational medicine: the application of basic genetic discoveries to human disease. Each three-hour class will focus on a specific genetic disorder and the approaches currently used to speed the transfer of knowledge from the laboratory to the clinic. Each class will include a clinical discussion, a patient presentation if appropriate, followed by lectures, a detailed discussion of recent laboratory findings and a student led journal club. Lecturers will highlight current molecular, technological, bioinformatic and statistical approaches that are being used to advance the study of human disease.

Pathology of Human Disease

This course provides a comprehensive overview of human pathology with emphasis on mechanisms of disease and modern diagnostic technologies. Topics include (1) general mechanisms of disease (inflammation, infection, immune injury, host response to foreign materials, transplantation, genetic disorders and neoplasia), (2) pathology of major organ systems, and (3) review of diagnostic tools from invasive surgical pathology to non-invasive techniques such as diagnostic imaging and molecular pathology. The objectives of this course are achieved through a set of integrated lectures and laboratories, as well as a student-driven term project leading to a formal presentation on a medical, socioeconomic, or technological issue in human pathology.

Stem Cell Therapeutics: Exploring the Science and the Patient Experience

Stem cells are the basis for tissue maintenance and repair, thus, are essential elements of normal organ and tissue physiology. Stem cells are also targets for disease processes and through transplantation are important therapeutic agents. This course will allow advanced undergraduates to explore how stem cells and tissue regeneration impact human disease pathogenesis and how stem cells might be exploited to advance new therapies for disease.

(2) HBS Electives

Harvard Business School

This is a sampling of MBA program electives that will help prepare aspiring leaders of biotechnology or life sciences organizations. Specific course offerings will vary each year. Students will select their second-year electives with the advice of their academic advisor.

  • Becoming a General Manager
  • Building & Sustaining a Successful Enterprise
  • Business Analysis and Valuation Using Financial Statements
  • Business at the Base of the Pyramid
  • Creating Shared Value: Competitive Advantage through Social Impact
  • Developing Mindsets for Innovative Problem Solving
  • Entrepreneurial Finance
  • Entrepreneurial/Intrapreneurial IQ
  • Field Course: Lab to Market
  • Field Course: Transforming Health Care Delivery
  • Financial Management of Smaller Firms
  • From Data to Decisions: The Role of Experiments Globalization and Emerging Markets
  • Good Strategies in Flawed Markets
  • Leadership Execution and Action Planning
  • Making Markets
  • Managing Human Capital
  • Managing International Trade and Investment
  • Managing with Data Science
  • Managing, Organizing, & Motivating for Value
  • Mastering Strategy Execution
  • Negotiation
  • People Analytics: Leading in a Data-Driven World
  • Strategic IQ
  • Supply Chain Management
  • U.S. Healthcare Strategy

All HBS Elective Courses

NextGen Biotechnology

In this course, students discuss classical and contemporary papers fundamental to the current biotechnology revolution (such as those underpinning the use of monoclonal antibodies, stem-cell transplantation, neural stimulation and regeneration, and gene therapy).
 

January

Thesis Seminar 1

Students will be required to submit a thesis at the end of the spring semester of year two that challenges them to perform an in-depth structured scientific and business analysis of a new biotechnology opportunity.

 

Spring

Thesis Seminar and Capstone Project

The thesis will serve as a capstone project for all coursework. Students will receive guidance on their work from faculty mentors and present their work to their classmates and joint-degree program faculty at the conclusion of the course, as well as one of the external faculty who have participated in NextGen Biotechnology and Biotechnology Case Studies.

(2) HBS Electives

Harvard Business School

This is a sampling of MBA program electives that will help prepare aspiring leaders of biotechnology or life sciences organizations. Specific course offerings will vary each year. Students will select their second-year electives with the advice of their academic advisor.

  • Becoming a General Manager
  • Building & Sustaining a Successful Enterprise
  • Business Analysis and Valuation Using Financial Statements
  • Business at the Base of the Pyramid
  • Creating Shared Value: Competitive Advantage through Social Impact
  • Developing Mindsets for Innovative Problem Solving
  • Entrepreneurial Finance
  • Entrepreneurial/Intrapreneurial IQ
  • Field Course: Lab to Market
  • Field Course: Transforming Health Care Delivery
  • Financial Management of Smaller Firms
  • From Data to Decisions: The Role of Experiments Globalization and Emerging Markets
  • Good Strategies in Flawed Markets
  • Leadership Execution and Action Planning
  • Making Markets
  • Managing Human Capital
  • Managing International Trade and Investment
  • Managing with Data Science
  • Managing, Organizing, & Motivating for Value
  • Mastering Strategy Execution
  • Negotiation
  • People Analytics: Leading in a Data-Driven World
  • Strategic IQ
  • Supply Chain Management
  • U.S. Healthcare Strategy

All HBS Elective Courses

(2) Science Electives

Harvard Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology

This is a sampling of science electives. Specific course offerings will vary each year. Students will select their courses in the second year with the advice of their academic advisor. The MS/MBA Program requires a total of three graduate-level courses that form a coherent area of expertise.

Principles and Practice of Drug Development

Critical assessment of the major issues and stages of developing a pharmaceutical or biopharmaceutical. Drug discovery, preclinical development, clinical investigation, manufacturing and regulatory issues considered for small and large molecules. Economic considerations of the drug development process.

Chemical Biology Towards Precision Medicine

Chemical Biology Towards Precision Medicine teaches students principles of modern organic synthesis, chemical biology and human biology relevant to the discovery of safe and effective small-molecule therapeutics in the future. The course will explore patient-based experiments of nature that illuminate disease, including cancer, diabetes, infectious disease and psychiatric disease, among others. Students will then use their knowledge of chemistry and chemical biology to propose research yielding novel small molecules that affect biological systems by mechanisms suggested by the experiments of nature. Aims to prepare students for the next decade where academic research tests hypotheses emerging from human biology in humans using novel small-molecule probes.

Small Molecules and Biological Processes

Small molecules are extraordinarily useful tools to investigate biological processes, perturb cell states and treat human diseases. They are complementary to many biological techniques (e.g. expression of mutant proteins, RNAi, genome editing and antibodies) in that they are fastacting, typically cell permeable, easily reversible, and they can engage multiple targets simultaneously. In this course, we will discuss how these useful small molecules are discovered, how they have revealed deep insights into biological processes, and how they are employed as therapeutics.

Chemical Biology

Applying chemical approaches to problems in biology. Topics include: protein engineering and directed evolution; genomics, proteomics, and metabolomics; genome editing; gene regulation; modern drug discovery; chemical genetics; glycobiology; cancer chemical biology; synthetic biology.

Principles of Human Disease: Physiology and Pathology

This course covers the normal physiology and pathophysiology of selected organs, through lectures, readings, tutorials based on clinical cases, and patient presentations. Human biology is emphasized, with some examples also drawn from model organisms. Recent therapeutic approaches, including RNAi, gene therapy, and genome editing will be covered.

Understanding Aging: Degeneration, Regeneration, and the Scientific Search for the Fountain of Youth

This lecture and discussion course will explore the fundamental molecular and cellular mechanisms that govern organismal aging and contemporary strategies to delay or reverse this process.

The Translational Science of Stem Cells

Through a series of lectures and assigned papers, students will be introduced to a broad view of the ways in which stem cells can be used for translational research. This will include human disease modeling, identifying drugs that target endogenous stem cells, or otherwise promote tissue repair, and regenerative medicine (cell-based therapies).

Behavioral Pharmacology

Introduction to behavioral pharmacology of CNS drugs (e.g., psychomotor stimulants, antischizophrenics, opioid analgesics, antianxiety agents); seminar format with emphasis on behavioral methodology (i.e., model and assay development) and pharmacological analysis (i.e., receptor selectivity and efficacy); attention to tolerance, drug dependence/addiction/treatment, and basic behavioral processes.

Cellular Metabolism and Human Disease

Cellular and organismal metabolism, with focus on interrelationships between key metabolic pathways and human disease states. Genetic and acquired metabolic diseases and functional consequences. Interactive lectures and critical reading conferences are integrated with clinical encounters.

Modern Drug Discovery: From Principles to Patients

This course will familiarize students with central concepts in drug action and therapeutics: specifically we will cover concepts surrounding Pharmacokinetics (PK) and the intersection of PK and medicinal chemistry in both lectures and cases based discussions. These concepts are central to modern drug development and evaluation. In the course we will cover drug-target interactions, Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics. This course will have a focus on modern approaches to therapeutic development for small molecules, protein based therapeutics, nucleic acid based drugs and antibacterial compounds as well new frontiers in therapeutic discovery.

Genetics in Medicine – From Bench to Bedside

Focus on translational medicine: the application of basic genetic discoveries to human disease. Each three-hour class will focus on a specific genetic disorder and the approaches currently used to speed the transfer of knowledge from the laboratory to the clinic. Each class will include a clinical discussion, a patient presentation if appropriate, followed by lectures, a detailed discussion of recent laboratory findings and a student led journal club. Lecturers will highlight current molecular, technological, bioinformatic and statistical approaches that are being used to advance the study of human disease.

Pathology of Human Disease

This course provides a comprehensive overview of human pathology with emphasis on mechanisms of disease and modern diagnostic technologies. Topics include (1) general mechanisms of disease (inflammation, infection, immune injury, host response to foreign materials, transplantation, genetic disorders and neoplasia), (2) pathology of major organ systems, and (3) review of diagnostic tools from invasive surgical pathology to non-invasive techniques such as diagnostic imaging and molecular pathology. The objectives of this course are achieved through a set of integrated lectures and laboratories, as well as a student-driven term project leading to a formal presentation on a medical, socioeconomic, or technological issue in human pathology.

Stem Cell Therapeutics: Exploring the Science and the Patient Experience

Stem cells are the basis for tissue maintenance and repair, thus, are essential elements of normal organ and tissue physiology. Stem cells are also targets for disease processes and through transplantation are important therapeutic agents. This course will allow advanced undergraduates to explore how stem cells and tissue regeneration impact human disease pathogenesis and how stem cells might be exploited to advance new therapies for disease.

Ethical Dilemmas in Biotechnology

Monthly seminars designed to challenge students to consider unmet medical need from a diverse perspective. For example, what are the implications of enhancements that increase heath-span but are counter-balanced by an increased lifespan in a debilitated condition? What is the correct approach for modifying the human genome, including germline modifications? What are ways companies can tackle orphan diseases that affect a small number of patients?