Math & Sciences Majors


Biotechnology is defined as: “Any technique that uses living organisms or substances from those organisms, to make or modify a product, to improve plants or animals, or to develop microorganisms for specific uses.”

The Biotechnology major is designed to respond to this rapidly growing field in which employers are seeking baccalaureate prepared graduates.  This degree also prepares students who seek further education at the graduate level.

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Courses and Requirements

Departmental Courses in the Core:

  • General Biology I
  • General Biology II

Prerequisite Courses:

  • General Chemistry I
  • General Chemistry II
  • College Algebra

Courses Required of All Majors:

  • General Biology I
  • General Biology II
  • Plant Biology
  • Genetics
  • Cell Biology
  • Biotechnology
  • Methods in Biotechnology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Senior Seminar
  • Organic Chemistry I
  • Applied Statistics

Choose two of the following:

  • Plant Physiology
  • Mammalian Physiology
  • Internship AS NEEDED

For detailed course descriptions, please go to the current catalog HERE.

What is biotechnology?

Biotechnology is used to produce foods such as bread, yogurt, soy sauce, cheeses, beer and wine, usually by fermentation. Many fruits and vegetables that we know today were produced by crossing two different species; for example, a nectarine is a cross between a plum and a peach.

Biotechnology is also being used to improve traditional foods called functional foods. Examples include golden rice with vitamin A, soybean oils with less saturated fats and more omega 3, plants with more active vitamin E, potatoes with higher protein content, antioxidants in berries, peanuts without the allergenic protein, naturally decaffeinated coffee and edible vaccines.

Many medicines are produced using biotechnology techniques such as Insulin, Codeine, and cancer therapy drugs.

Biotechnology is important for the environment including advances such as crops resistant to insects and pests allowing for less use of pesticides, using bacteria to clean up oil spills and other contaminants, making ethanol from corn (allowing less use of fossil fuels), as well as producing biodegradable plastics in bacteria.

Biotechnology techniques are used to produce gene therapies and to improve upon techniques of forensics.

Career Options

Students who major in Biotechnology can be employed in both the traditional laboratory setting and a less traditional setting in the field.  The expansion of Biotechnology into a large variety of sectors allows students to work in vaccine development, plant and crop development, food enhancement, renewable fuels, and numerous other areas.  Varied employers include those in private and government research laboratories and manufacturing and pharmaceutical companies.

Reference Documents

2015-16 Requirements

Biotechnology Major

2014-15 Requirements

Biotechnology Major

2013-14 Requirements

Biotechnology Major

2012-13 Requirements

Biotechnology Major

2010-12 Requirements

Biotechnology Major

2010-12 Requirements

Biotechnology Major