Masters of Science in Automated Science: Biological Experimentation Carnegie Mellon University - School of Computer Science
The Computational Biology Department’s Masters of Science in Automated Science: Biological Experimentation (MSAS) program trains practitioners in the design, implementation, and application of laboratory automation and artificial intelligence in scientific research. Students train with world-class faculty, including those from the top-ranked School of Computer Science.
Graduates become leaders in the emerging paradigm of Automated Science – the combination of robotic scientific instruments, Machine Learning, and Artificial Intelligence for iteratively building predictive models from experimental data and selecting new experiments to improve them. Students have opportunities to do research projects with Carnegie Mellon Faculty, to do summer internships with relevant companies, and to do collaborative projects with industrial sponsors.
Our graduates are prepared for rewarding jobs in industry or to pursue their doctoral degrees at top universities.
Scholarships and Funding
A limited number of fellowships are available for U.S. citizens or permanent residents of underprivileged socioeconomic backgrounds. To be considered for one of these fellowships, please complete the fellowship application form by December 12, 2022 (11:59 am. EST).
The MSAS program will offer concentrations in different scientific fields. The initial concentration will be in Biological Experimentation. Additional concentrations will be offered in future years.
The curriculum for the Biological Experimentation concentration is as follows:
|Background||Modeling & Analysis||Automated Science||Career Development|
|Applied Cell and Molecular Biology|
Programming for Scientists
Essential Mathematics and Statistics for Scientists
Machine Learning for Scientists
Computational Methods for Biological Modeling and Simulation
Computational Methods for Proteogenomics and Metabolomics
Fundamentals of Bioinformatics
|Laboratory Methods for Automated Biology I|
Automation of Scientific Research
MSAS Capstone and/or M.S. Research
|Professional Issues in Automated Science|
Automated Science Internship (optional)
Professional and Research Options
During the second year, students will take either two semesters of MSAS Capstone or two semesters of MS research, depending on their career goals. Students who want to enter the workforce as soon as possible should take two semesters of MSAS Capstone; this is called the ‘professional option’. Those who wish to pursue a Ph.D. after completing their M.S. should take two semesters of MS Research; this is called the ‘research option’. Students who elect to the Research option must find a research mentor and then enroll in two semesters of M.S. Research. Typically, students contact faculty directly to learn about available research opportunities.
The program’s academic advisor will consult with each student prior to the start of the second year to determine his or her best option. Note that all MSAS students are required to take 02-661 (MSAS Capstone 1), to demonstrate mastery of the techniques of Automated Science.
- At least 174 units of coursework, which include the specific courses listed above.
- An average grade of B or above (GPA = 3.0) in those 174 or more units counted toward degree certification. No grade lower than a C (GPA = 2.0) can be counted toward degree certification.
- Full-time course registration (at least 36 units) for each semester in the program.
- Courses counted for undergraduate degree certification cannot count for the M.S. degree.
Students often secure internships in industry or academia during the summer between the first and second years, and less often during the academic year. With the approval of the MSAS academic advisor, students may enroll in 02-802, Automated Science Internship, to receive three units of credit for completing an internship. Approval will only be given if the internship is directly relevant to Automated Science.
We have worked closely with the members of our External Advisory Board to ensure that the MSAS program provides the training sought by industry and non-profit research institutions. MSAS graduates are prepared for a range of rewarding jobs, or to pursue a Ph.D. in fields such as Biology, Chemistry, Computational Biology, or Biomedical Engineering. To facilitate this, the program provides an Early Admission path into participating Ph.D. programs
Scientific Automation is widely used in the pharmaceutical, biotech, and agricultural industries. MSAS graduates are qualified to select, configure, customize, and operate the hardware and software necessary to automate essential tasks in scientific research and engineering. These skills are relevant to positions with titles such as: Automation Engineer; Platform Engineer; Scientific Computing Engineer; Laboratory Automation Specialist; Lab Manager; Analytical Automation and Informatics Scientist. Salary estimates for positions like these are in the range of $80K to $150K per year, depending on location and experience.