Get the training you need for an exciting career.
The interdisciplinary Biotechnology Major integrates key knowledge and skills from both the biological and chemical sciences to meet the need for skilled laboratory associates in the experimental laboratory and in manufacturing facilities of the biotechnology industry. Through coursework in biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, and writing, you will develop critical-thinking, problem-solving, and hands-on laboratory skills that will prepare you for graduate school and a wide range of career opportunities.
You will be trained in tissue culture, molecular biology, protein purification, analytical chemistry, and regulatory affairs. An internship will give you additional practical experience.
You can choose areas of specialization with upper elective course options and by engaging in research projects mentored by faculty members. You can also take advantage of the expedited 4+1 program that enables you to complete both your BS and MS degrees in just 5 years.
What you will do:
- Develop a solid understanding of the principles of biological and chemical processes and the application of cells and organism for industrial purposes
- Use scientific methodology to solve problems and design experiments
- Apply analytical and laboratory skills and effectively communicate scientific information
- Participate in faculty-led research in areas like biochemistry, cancer biology, tissue culture, chemical synthesis, and microbiology or intern at a local biotechnology company such as Bristol-Myers Squibb or Curia
- Discover the global impact of biotechnology on the environment and society
Graduates are qualified for careers in research and development, quality assurance, quality control, and manufacturing as well as for further (graduate) education.
The biotechnology major is sponsored jointly by the Departments of Biology and Chemistry. Biotechnology majors are not eligible for a chemistry minor.
The 5-year combined 4+1 BS/MS Program in Biotechnology is open to eligible students and includes 3 courses (10 credits) that count toward both the undergraduate and graduate degrees. You should apply for this program in the fall semester of your junior year. The first 3 years are the same as the biotechnology BS program. You will begin a research project in the spring semester of your fourth (senior) year. Application requirements include a minimum of 3.0 GPA, 2 letters of recommendation, and the GRE.
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 coursework 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 graduate study or a professional career.
This interdisciplinary concentration will prepare you 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.
The concentration ensures that you have the best possible academic preparation and advising as you prepare for post-graduate programs in medical school, dental school, or veterinary school. The Pre-Medical Concentration requirements include courses that are not part of the Biotechnology Major but are designated as core prerequisites for these professional schools, as well as some additional courses that are not part of the core prerequisites but are strongly recommended. The concentration curriculum also includes a 1-credit seminar to be taken during your sophomore or junior year that is designed to familiarize you with the requirements for admission to medical, dental, and veterinary schools. The seminar will help you develop personal plans for fulfilling these requirements so that you have the best possible chance of admission to post-graduate study. A first-year seminar targeted at pre-medical students is offered, but not required, for completion of the concentration.
With 9 credits, you will meet the prerequisites for the Accelerated Pharmacy Program with Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Science University. The 3 required courses are Introduction to Organismal Biology, Organic Chemistry II, and Organic Chemistry Laboratory II.