Keck Graduate Institute

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Keck Graduate Institute
Keck Graduate Institute logo
Type Private
Established 1997
Endowment $36.9 million[1]
President Sheldon Schuster
Students 406 [2]
Location Claremont, CA, U.S.
Campus Suburban
Colors Teal and White         
Affiliations Claremont Colleges

The Keck Graduate Institute (abbreviated KGI) is a private, research graduate school in Claremont, California. Founded in 1997, it is the 7th and newest member of the Claremont Consortium. It offers 7 academic programs in a range of disciplines with foci both in the life sciences industry and in applied life science research.

Academic programs at KGI are organized into two schools, the School of Applied Life Science (SALS) and the School of Pharmacy (SoP). In addition, KGI offers a selective four-year undergraduate program, the Minerva Schools at KGI, in partnership with the Minerva Project.


The Claremont Colleges were formally established in 1925 under the direction of James Blaisdell, then President of Pomona College. In their constitution was a commitment to “found and develop new colleges and educational institutions or programs” as needs were identified and resources were made available. Seventy-two years later, Henry E. Riggs, then President of Harvey Mudd College, identified the need upon which the Keck Graduate Institute would be founded: the need for "scientists and engineers who can help translate basic scientific discoveries into practical applications that will improve the health of people."

In 1997, through a $50 million grant from the W.M. Keck Foundation, the Keck Graduate Institute was established. Henry Riggs became KGI’s founding President. KGI represents The Claremont Colleges’ first entry into graduate-level applied science research and education.

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.[verification needed][3][4]

Academic programs[edit]

Master of Bioscience (MBS)

The two year MBS program integrates scientific, engineering and business curriculum, culminating in a year-long Team Masters Project (TMP) sponsored by one of KGI’s industry partners. Students are required to participate in a paid internship at a bioscience company between their first and second years of student. MBS students choose from the following five career-oriented majors: Bioprocessing, Business of Bioscience, Clinical and Regulatory Affairs, Medical Devices and Diagnostics, Pharmaceutical Discovery and Development.

Master of Engineering (MEng) in Biopharmaceutical Processing

This program is designed for high potential individuals seeking a career in the niche area of biopharmaceutical processing and biomanufacturing. The degree program consists of two years of technical, professional and industry-focused lectures, hands-on coaching and mentoring by senior academic and industry experts, and teamwork assignments, to provide scientists and engineers with the skills necessary to develop the next-generation biomanufacturing platforms.

Postdoctoral Professional Masters (PPM)

The nine-month program is structured to provide post-doctoral fellows with backgrounds in science and engineering with business and management skills. PPM students participate in KGI’s capstone Team Masters Project in addition to completing coursework.

Post Baccalaureate Premedical Certificate (PPC)

The one-year program is designed for students who are applying to medical school. The curriculum provides students will the opportunity to learn about business practices important as a medical professional. Students also have the opportunity to continue a second year and complete the Master of Bioscience degree.

PhD in Applied Life Sciences

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.

Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD)

The four year PharmD degree prepares students for careers in traditional retail and institutional pharmacy roles. The program also seeks to place students in regulatory and other positions with biopharmaceutical manufacturers. Students will be required to complete a concentration in one of four required certificate programs: Clinical Trials/Regulatory Affairs, Health Information Technology, Health Operations Management or Medication Therapy Outcomes.

Certificate in Bioscience Management

For PhD students and post-doctoral fellows from other institutions who have backgrounds in science but wish to acquire business and management skills in the applied life sciences. The goal of this certificate program is to offer supplemental education to scientists interested in pursuing careers in the applied life sciences industry or who are interested in learning about the process for commercial development of new therapies.

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 possess strong industrial experience in addition to their academic research expertise.[according to whom?]


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. The School of Pharmacy has been granted Precandidate status by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE).

Research centers[edit]

KGI maintains four research centers:

  • The Center for Rare Disease Therapies
  • The Center for Biomarker Research
  • The Amgen Bioprocessing Center
  • The Center for Network Students

Spin-off companies[edit]

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.

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 Graduate Institute". Campus Discovery. Retrieved 1 April 2015. 
  3. ^ "Keck foes persist in fight". Los Angeles Times (Claremont supplement). November 23, 2000. 
  4. ^ Keck Graduate Institute To Celebrate 10th Year At Weekend Commencement Archived September 27, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.

External links[edit]