Keck Graduate Institute of Applied Life Sciences

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Keck Graduate Institute
Established 1997
Type Private
Endowment $36.9 million[1]
President Sheldon Schuster
Location Claremont, CA, U.S.

Keck Graduate Institute of Applied Life Sciences (short KGI) is a specialized graduate school in Claremont, California. It was founded in 1997 through a startup grant of $50 million from the W. M. Keck Foundation. KGI is the newest and 7th member of The Claremont Consortium.

KGI offers a portfolio of programs including two Professional Science Masters degrees: the Master of Bioscience (MBS) and the Postdoctoral Professional Masters in Bioscience Management (PPM). In addition, KGI offers a PhD in Applied Life Sciences which is built upon the MBS degree, a separate PhD in Computational and Systems Biology, and a Postbaccalaureate Premedical Certificate (PPC) Program.

Academic Programs[edit]

Master of Bioscience (MBS)[edit]

The two year MBS program is KGI’s flagship program and integrates scientific, engineering, and business curriculum, culminating in a year-long Team Masters Project (TMP) sponsored by one of KGI’s many industry partners. MB students learn to:

  • Catalyze development of basic life sciences research into useful new products, processes and services
  • Address the business and ethical leadership challenges confronting the applied life sciences
  • Build professional skills essential to the industry workplace including public speaking, team leadership and dynamics, and project management
  • Understand how the bioscience industry operates-considering the scientific, intellectual property and regulatory issues that dominate the industry
  • Entrepreneurial activities that promote the translation of basic science and engineering knowledge into beneficial products are actively encouraged throughout the program.

Career Focus Tracks[edit]

To allow for more in depth learning in specific functional areas, MBS students choose from the following five focus tracks –

  • Medical Devices and Diagnostics
  • Bio/Pharmaceutical Discovery and Development
  • Bioprocessing
  • Business of Bioscience
  • Clinical and Regulatory Affairs

Each specialized focus track allows for interaction with industry leaders and exposure to curriculum designed for a specific industry career path.

Team Masters Project[edit]

The Team Masters Project is the capstone of the MBS program in which teams of three to five students work with sponsoring companies to solve real problems. This project replaces the Masters thesis work required in traditional programs.

Students form interdisciplinary teams and work with faculty and industrial advisors to perform contract research. Student teams create budgets, develop timelines, and describe deliverables. At the end of the academic year, they present confidential and non-confidential reports of their work.


Between the first and second years, students participate in a required, paid internship in a bioscience company.

Postdoctoral Professional Masters (PPM)[edit]

A professional masters program for postdoctoral fellows with backgrounds in science and engineering, PPM aims to instill the business and management skills needed to pursue senior management positions within the life sciences industry or embark on entrepreneurial ventures that are intended to commercialize technologies developed in laboratories.

The PPM curriculum focuses on the unique environment of the life science industry and includes competitive strategy, marketing, accounting, finance, and organizational behavior. PPM students interested in starting their own business may also take advantage of the specialized courses in entrepreneurship. PPM students also participate in KGI's capstone Team Masters Project in addition to the coursework of the nine-month program.

Postbaccalaureate Premedical Certificate (PPC)[edit]

The latest addition to KGI academic programs, the Postbaccalaureate Premedical Certificate program is designed for students who are applying to medical school and want to improve their chances of getting into the school of their choice. The curriculum provides the opportunity for students to learn about the business practices that are important as a medical professional. The one-year program is designed so that if PPC students so choose, they may continue on for a second year and complete the Master of Bioscience degree.

PhD in Applied Life Sciences[edit]

Designed to educate technically competent, broadly trained, highly original scientists, the PhD in Applied Life Sciences program prepares students for research and development positions in a variety of bioscience industrial or academic environments. Before entering the PhD program, students must first complete the MBS degree at KGI; they will therefore be able to draw upon the unique interdisciplinary and applied educational foundation supplied by the MBS curriculum as they continue their studies.

PhD in Computational and Systems Biology[edit]

This is a joint PhD in Computational and Systems Biology offered by the Claremont Graduate University School of Mathematical Sciences and Keck Graduate Institute of Applied Life Sciences.


KGI MBS graduates have been hired by companies including Allergan, Amgen, Baxter, Bayer Healthcare, Boehringer Ingelheim, Campbell Alliance, City of Hope, Deloitte Consulting, Genentech, Gilead, Illumina, IMS Health, L.E.K. Consulting, Life Technologies, MedImmune, Novartis, Percepta Associates, PricewaterhouseCoopers Consulting and Scientia Advisors. KGI’s academic programs prepare students for the following career paths: Bioinformatics, Business Development/Strategic Planning, Clinical Research Associate, Consulting, Financial Analyst, Internal Sales, Market Research Analyst/Competitor Evaluation/Technical Evaluation, Process Development, Bioprocess Engineering, Product Development, Project Management, Research Associate (Pre-clinical), Sales Representative, and Technology Transfer.
For a list of employment opportunities KGI alumni have obtained, please visit

Faculty Members[edit]

KGI brings together faculty members with expertise spanning across bioengineering, computational biology, applied molecular and cellular biology and bioscience business under one administration. Faculty members at KGI boast strong industrial experience in addition to their academic research expertise.

Ionian Technologies was founded in 2000, and was the first spin-off company to commercialize technology developed at KGI. Ionian focuses on molecular diagnostics for emerging and infectious diseases, and in 2004 was awarded a contract to develop a handheld biothreat detector using isothermal amplification of DNA. Other KGI startups include Zuyder Pharmaceuticals and Claremont BioSolutions.


Keck Graduate Institute of Applied Life Sciences is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

Past Opposition[edit]

The decision to establish Keck Graduate Institute as a seventh Claremont College met with some opposition, particularly from faculty of the other Claremont Colleges who objected to its lack of tenure, and environmentalists who opposed its plans to build a campus next to the Bernard Field Station, an area of undeveloped scrubland. The environmental issue was largely settled when KGI decided to establish its campus at a different location, and other opposition gradually faded.[2][3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ As of June 30, 2009. "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2009 Endowment Market Value and Percentage Change in Endowment Market Value from FY 2008 to FY 2009" (PDF). 2009 NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments. National Association of College and University Business Officers. Retrieved February 17, 2010. 
  2. ^ "Keck foes persist in fight". Los Angeles Times (Claremont supplement). November 23, 2000. 
  3. ^ Keck Graduate Institute To Celebrate 10th Year At Weekend Commencement

External links[edit]