Major: Biotechnology

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Some people like to tinker with gadgets. They take apart and repair watches or spend all day in the garage working on cars.

Biotechnologists tinker with living organisms. They use biochemistry and genetics to create new products for the agricultural, industrial, and environmental industries. These products include vaccines, medicines, growth hormones for plants, and food additives.

Biotechnology majors study engineering and the life sciences, learning how to engineer new products.

“The study of biotechnology has greatly expanded with the sequencing of the human genome … In fact, all of life’s processes are now open to study.”Robert Greene, Professor, Department of Biology, Niagara University

Are You Ready To...?

  • Assist professors with their research projects
  • Take both lectures and lab courses
  • Work in several disciplines, such as biochemistry, molecular biology, immunology, and engineering
  • Explore new fields on the cutting-edge of science

It Helps To Be...

Someone who likes to take theories and put them to practical use. If you like science, business, technology, and working with people, you might enjoy this major.

College Checklist

  • How big are classes?
  • Are professors readily available to meet with students outside of class?
  • How much independent research will you be able to do as an undergraduate?
  • Will you have access to up-to-date lab equipment?
  • Will the program help you find an internship?
  • What are recent grads doing now?

Did You Know?

Biotechnology usually requires working with things that are so small (for example, DNA) that you’ll need instruments, such as electron microscopes, to see them.

Course Spotlight

In microbiology, you’ll study microbes, single-celled organisms that come in two main varieties. The first, bacteria, do not have nuclei. The second, eukaryotes, do have nuclei that enclose their DNA. You will also look at viruses, which contain genetic material but must infect cells in order to reproduce. You’ll study the makeup of these various organisms and their behavior as well as their interactions with other living things.