department menu

Biotechnology

Offerings: Bachelor | Master

Course Description

The Biotechnology major is housed in the Biological Sciences Department. Biotechnology refers to the long practiced skill of applying our knowledge of the molecular basis of life processes for the benefit of society. While classic examples of biotechnology include using bacteria and enzymes to produce cheeses and using yeast to make bread and beer, modern applications exploit DNA based technologies such as immunology, biochemistry, and microbiology to make new products or provide services to improve health care, agriculture, food, and the environment.

Over the past 30 years, biotechnology has caused a profound revolution in science and has had significant technological and social implications. Today, pharmaceuticals and vaccines are being designed through biotechnology to treat various cancers, heart disease, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimers, AIDS, obesity, and other conditions. Biotechnology is responsible for hundreds of medical diagnostic tests that keep the blood supply safe from the AIDS virus and detect other conditions early enough to be successfully treated. Home pregnancy tests are also biotechnology diagnostic products. Food and agriculture biotechnology has resulted in the development of crops that are naturally resistant to pests and viruses; more tolerant of environmental stresses such as drought, salinity, and extreme cold; and more nutritious and longer lasting than their conventional counterparts. Environmental biotechnology products make it possible to more efficiently clean up hazardous waste without the use of caustic chemicals. Bioremediation products use living cells or byproducts of living materials to clean up oil spills and other environmental problems. DNA fingerprinting is a biotech process that has dramatically improved criminal investigation and forensic medicine, and has afforded significant advances in anthropology and wildlife management. Biotechnology is a promising young field that is expected to be one of the pivotal forces in the 21st century, helping us to lead longer, healthier lives, provide more plentiful and nutritious food, and keep our environment cleaner.

The Biotechnology curriculum is comprised of courses selected from the curricula of the departments of Biological Sciences, Chemistry & Biochemistry, Mathematics, Physics, and the College of Business Administration. The core curriculum provides students with a solid foundation in molecular biosciences and biochemistry. It also introduces students to the applied technologies of fields such as molecular genetics/recombinant DNA technology, immunology/ cell culture-hybridoma technology, biochemistry/protein purification methods, and DNA sequencing/computational biology. Students are also exposed to fundamental business management and marketing theory as part of the core, and will develop skills and aptitudes important for success in the business arena. These include written and oral communication, problem solving, teamwork, leadership, flexibility, negotiation, and regulatory documentation. Since biotechnology-related industries are varied, the degree provides technical background and experience that can be applied across the diverse disciplines within the field, enabling students to adapt to their employment situation as it evolves or to move between the various biotechnology-related industries. The curriculum is meant to provide graduates with the knowledge and training needed to earn entry-level positions not only in research and development, but also in areas such as technical services, sales, marketing, management, operations, regulatory affairs, technical writing, quality control, and quality assurance.

Students in the Biotechnology degree program will have access to modern well-equipped laboratories and will gain experience using state-of-the-art instrumentation. The academic environment is enriched by a close faculty/student interaction and by the possibility of internship positions with biotechnology companies and federal agencies. Internship employment with a biotechnology company provides a valuable, real world, career-sampling experience. Student and faculty research opportunities are also available in faculty laboratories and provide valuable training that will enable students to gain rewarding employment thereafter.

Master - The Master of Biotechnology is a professional science degree program designed to meet the needs of the biotechnology industry and associated organizations. The program combines advanced study of related science, professional preparation, business, and real-world experience for biotechnology-oriented students. The purpose of the degree is to prepare students for careers in technology-related organizations with a breadth of workplace knowledge. Throughout the program, students will be exposed to real-world problems/applications, teamwork/communication skills, leading-edge technologies, managerial/interpersonal skills, informatics, ethics, industrial knowledge, and problem solving skills. The rigorous program is taught in the evenings and on weekends to accommodate the working student. The program design is a cohort model that requires students to go through the program together over a five-semester period with a predetermined course sequence. It is a non-thesis degree program requiring a rigorous Internship or Semester-In-Residence project. Each student will be guided and evaluated by an Advisory Committee that will be made up of university faculty, program instructors, and industry mentors, as well as program advisors.


College of Science & Mathematics (CSM)

Careers

  • Bioproduction operator
  • Biotechnical scientist
  • Hr
  • Human resources
  • Lab tech
  • Lab technician
  • Phamascist
  • Project managment
  • Quality control
  • Recruitment
  • Scientist

Industry

  • Bioinformatic
  • Biomed
  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology

Key-Terms

Cells, Clinical, Dna, Fda, Genetics, Healthcare, Organisms, Pharmacology, Plants, Proteins