Concentration in Biomedical Science Policy & Advocacy | MS in Microbiology & Immunology

Connect with experts and institutions in the nation’s capital
Capstone gives experience in drafting and promoting policy
Complete your studies in 3 full‑time semesters

Discover our Concentration in Biomedical Science Policy & Advocacy, a gateway to the critical world of science policy in Washington, D.C., and beyond. Students in this program gain invaluable insights and skills by learning from seasoned policy experts who are actively shaping the field.

Our esteemed faculty boast affiliations with prestigious institutions, government bodies, and other organizations, including but not limited to: the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of State, Department of Defense, Library of Congress, National Academy of Sciences, National Institutes of Health, Pasteur Institute, United Nations, World Health Organization, White House, and more. This rich network ensures students receive top-tier mentorship and guidance.

By integrating rigorous scientific training with an in-depth understanding of policy dynamics, our concentration uniquely prepares students to navigate the complex intersection of science and governance. Graduates emerge equipped to tackle the multifaceted challenges of scientific, technological and medical (STM) policy, and are positioned for impactful roles across government agencies, think tanks, and the private sector.

How to Apply

Apply for the MS in Microbiology & Immunology: Biomedical Science Policy & Advocacy Concentration via our master’s admissions page. You will designate the concentration option as part of your application.


In addition to the core courses of the standard Microbiology & Immunology program, concentration students take three courses that provide practical, in-depth exposure to science policy:

This course is an introduction to how science and technology affect foreign affairs and how international affairs influence science and technology. It is suitable both for the policy generalist and for students with backgrounds in science. The course uses examples drawn from environment, security, nuclear policy, information, communications, energy, homeland defense, health, and manufacturing technology, and explores issues of sustainability, scientific risk and uncertainty, the links of science and technology with economics and geopolitics, scientific advice to governments, and government support to research and innovation. It explores the role of technological innovation in increasing productivity and competitiveness, and in solving critical social problems.

Science and health diplomacies use scientific, technological, and medical (STM) knowledge for collaborations, negotiations, and other activities among countries. These types of diplomacy aim to 1) address common international problems on STM and 2) build effective international partnerships and policies for STM. With greater globalization in business and other activities, the rapid spread of infectious diseases has become eminent, as shown in COVID-19. Thus, implementing comprehensive public health management globally, cross-border STM collaborations, and understanding cultural and national differences are crucial requirements for the world’s leaders.

The course is hands-on, and the course director will work closely with each student, from selecting topics to research methods and presentations in front of vital policy experts. The Project provides an opportunity for students to engage in high-level inquiry focusing on an area of specialization within their professional goals. Capstone projects will be inquiry and practice-centered and draw upon areas of interest to the student from the program, such as environmental health, national security, and regulatory science. All capstones aim to bridge theory and practice and are desired to impact the future professional life of students upon graduation. Through this course, students will develop a solid foundation of “science policy-making” step by step, including critical tools (literature search, use of, interview techniques with STM experts) and methods (standards for creating science policy proposals) that need to create a comprehensive bill proposal. The Capstone Project will demonstrate the depth and extent of knowledge of students. Students who take this course learn every step of drafting a bill, from identifying its importance for the nations, including national security, public health, and regulations of emerging technologies to toxic substances based on environmental health and more. They will be matched with a mentor who is an expert in a specific topic a student chooses to pursue in their capstone project. They are expected to complete a substantial bill proposal with detailed references and arguments to support their bill proposal. At the end of the project, students are allowed to publish their work in a peer-reviewed journal. The course would prepare students to be policy advisors at government agencies or private think tank.

Career Advancement

Our students benefit from the services of the Biomedical Graduate Education career office, including one-on-one advising, skills workshops, leadership programs and more to help them take the next step in their professions.

Degree Plan

View an example course schedule for the concentration on the MS Degree Plans page.


View prerequisites and available financial assistance, and begin your application.

Degree Plans

View example course schedules for full-time students.
Degree Plans


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