ACADEMICS

  • Biotechnology 

    Worcester State University offers a program in biotechnology to meet the need for skilled laboratory associates in the experimental laboratory and in manufacturing facilities of the biotechnology industry. Biotechnology graduates are trained in tissue culture, molecular biology, protein purification, analytical chemistry, and regulatory affairs, and are eligible for internships. Graduates are qualified for careers in research and development, quality assurance, quality control, and manufacturing as well as for graduate studies. The Biotechnology major is sponsored jointly by the departments of Biology and Chemistry.

    Requirements for a Major in Biotechnology

    • BI 141 Introduction to Cell and Molecular Biology (4)
    • BI 204 Microbiology (4)
    • BT 375 Tissue Culture (4)
    • BT 376 Biotechnology (4)
    • BT 410 Biotechnology Seminar (1)
    • CH 120 General Chemistry I (4)
    • CH 121 General Chemistry II (4)
    • CH 201 Organic Chemistry I, plus Lab (5)
    • CH 203 Organic Chemistry II, plus Lab (5)
    • CH 210 Chemical Analysis (4)
    • CH 410 Biochemistry I (4)
      Plus two major electives that include:

    Major Electives

    • BI 372 Immunology (4)
    • BI 371 Molecular Biology (4)
    • BI 252 Radiation Biology (4)
    • BI 375 Virology (4)
    • CH 350 Medicinal Chemistry (3)
    • CH 202 Organic Chemistry II (3)
    • CH 204 Organic Chemistry II Lab (2)
    • PY 310 Modern Physics (3)
    • CH 411 Biochemistry II (4)
    • BI 341 Mycology (4)
    • BT 377 Fermentation Technology (4)
    • BT 378 Bioinformatics (4)
      And certain other BI 300, CH 300 and PY 300 level courses with departmental approval.

    In addition, majors are expected to complete the following ancillary courses:
    MA 190 Precalculus (may be waived), MA 200 Calculus I, MA 201 Calculus II or BI 203 Genetics, MA 150 Statistics, PY 221 & PY 222 General Physics I & II, or PY 241 and 242, Physics I and II, CS 120 Microcomputer Applications, EN 252 Technical Writing or EN 253 Business Communications.

    Requirements for a Major in Biotechnology and to meet the prerequisites for the Accelerated Pharmacy Program with MCPHS University
    All of the courses listed for a major in biotechnology plus:

    • BI 140 Introduction to Organismal Biology
    • BI 141 Introduction to Cellular and Molecular Biology
    • CH 202 Organic Chemistry II
    • CH 204 Organic Chemistry Laboratory II

    Major in Biotechnology, Concentration in Bioinformatics
    The purpose of this interdisciplinary concentration is to prepare students to enter the computer-intensive fields of bioinformatics, computational biology, computational chemistry, and molecular modeling including genomics and proteomics. With the ever increasing number of fully sequenced genomes, including the human genome, databases such as GenBank and EMBL have grown at such a rate that storing, organizing, indexing, and ultimately mining the data have become key to answering biological questions. Questions of gene expression have led to computational biology, the process of analyzing genomic sequences and to the field of proteomics, the understanding of protein structure and function. The information obtained by computational biology and computational chemistry is used in the design of new drugs to treat a variety of diseases. Major drug and biotechnology companies are seeking people trained in bioinformatics.

    In addition to the requirements for the Major in Biotechnology:

    • BT 378 Bioinformatics* (4)
    • CS 101 Basics of Computer Science (3)
    • CS 140 Introduction to Programming (4)
    • CS 242 Data Structures (3)
    • CS 282 UNIX Systems Programming (3)
    • CS 265 Database Applications (3)

    Major in Biotechnology, Concentration in Nuclear Medicine Technology
    Visit the Nuclear Medicine Technology page for program requirements.

    Learning Outcomes
    Students who major in biotechnology will acquire the following: 

    • A broad knowledge of the sciences as they apply to biotechnology, including biology, chemistry, mathematics, and physics
    • The ability to think critically and apply analytical skills
    • The skills to perform laboratory techniques and practices used in the field, including calculations, instrumentation, and safety procedures
    • The ability to effectively communicate scientific information to lay and scientific audiences using written and oral forms of communication
    • An awareness of the social implications of biotechnology, including how it shaped human development and the ethics of biotechnology

    Honors Program in Biotechnology
    The Honors Program in Biotechnology is designated as a distinction bestowed on those outstanding undergraduate Biotechnology majors who have demonstrated distinct competence in overall biotechnology course work and who have completed an independent research project of substantial merit. This program offers motivated students the opportunity to develop research and communication skills in preparation for a graduate or professional career. Biotechnology majors interested in joining the program must meet the following requirements:

    • Submit a written thesis describing the student's original research 
    • Have a GPA in science courses of at least 3.5 
    • Successfully complete BI 205, Research Techniques and Experimental Design
    • Enroll in a minimum of one semester of independent study credit (BI 402 Independent Study) totaling at least 4 credits

    Combined BS/MS Program in Biotechnology
    The 5-Year Combined B.S./M.S. in Biotechnology is open to eligible students and consists of 3 graduate courses (10 credits) that count toward both degrees. These 3 courses are Biotechnology and DNA (BI 921), Tissue Culture (BI 927), and a graduate elective. Also, students begin a research project in the spring semester of the fourth (senior) year. Application requirements include a minimum of 3.0 GPA, two letters of recommendation, and the GRE.