Biotechnology

Requirements & Courses

  • The science of biotechnology combines content and techniques from multiple disciplines in pursuit of a common goal; the solution of problems in medical science and health care, pharmaceutical science, agriculture and environmental science. Curricular components of distinction are extensive laboratory work that includes a summer research fellowship/internship, immersion in critical analysis of current research literature, and integration of coursework from the humanities and social sciences. The curriculum has been developed to prepare students for graduate work in biomedical sciences as well as employment in academic and commercial research laboratories, the underlying philosophy including an emphasis on experiential learning as well as placement of biotechnology into the appropriate social and ethical context.

  • Major Requirements
    1. Core: 54 credits. Each student must take 20 credits of CHM 115, 223, 224, 230 and BCM 321; 8 credits of BIO 121 and 204; 8 credits of PHY 112 or 121, and 113 or 122; 8 credits of Computation including 4 credits of MTH at 112 or higher, and Biostatistics; 4 credits of BTC Techniques; 6 credits of Journal Club BTC 101, 201, and 301.
    2. Successful completion of the capstone experience, BTC 401 (2 credits).
    3. Electives: 12 credits. Each student must take at least 4 additional credits from BTC offerings and 8 credits from BIO 207 or IPH 226; BIO 308, 330; BCM 430; IPH 340; PSY 201.
    4. Successful qualification for and completion of an intensive summer research experience in an academic or industrial setting.
    5. Integrative Electives: 12 credits. Students will take at least 12 biotechnology-related credits outside the natural sciences, which must be approved by the program (See item 6 under Program Considerations).
  • Program Considerations
    1. Students with AP Biology test scores of 5 may elect to receive four credits of BIO 121, thus fulfilling this requirement.
    2. Yearly enrollment in a Journal Club offering is the expectation. These are currently provided in the Winter Term.
    3. In order to ensure academic options within a four year plan, CHM 115/223 and BIO 121 are desirable first year courses.
    4. For maximum benefit, consider enrolling in BTC 180 Molecular Techniques in the first available Spring Term.
    5. An off-campus summer research experience is viewed as most valuable.
    6. Students are invited to petition the Biotechnology Steering Committee in writing if they encounter new or distinctive offerings that are relevant to the major.
  • BTC
    101/*201
    .
    Biotechnology Journal Club
    2 credits each (8 credits maximum)
    Gain familiarity with, and conversancy of current literature and developments in the biotechnology sector. Primary research literature articles of various thematic topics are discussed and presented in a student-directed format. Graduating seniors must enroll in BTC 401 and will receive advanced assignments consistent with a capstone experience.
  • BTC
    125
    .
    Molecular Techniques
    4 credits
    Receive hands-on experience to prepare for future work in research fellowships and/or graduate programs in the molecular sciences. Techniques vary slightly from year to year, but will include DNA and protein electrophoresis, restriction enzyme analysis, reverse transcription and PCR, eukaryotic cell culture, expressions of recombinant proteins, Western blotting and more.
  • BTC
    *
    280
    .
    Biostatistics
    4 credits
    Introduction to the analytical methods commonly used in biotechnology and biomedical sciences. Emphasis on the basic concepts of experimental design, quantitative analysis of data and hypothesis testing. Provides a foundation to evaluate information critically to support research objectives and a better understanding of statistical design of experimental trials for biological products/devices.
  • BTC
    *
    299-*499
    .
    Research in Biotechnology
    1-4 credits
    Permission
    Independent research in biotechnology.
  • BTC
    *
    301/*401
    .
    Biotechnology Journal Club
    2 credits each (8 credits maximum)
    Gain familiarity with, and conversancy of current literature and developments in the biotechnology sector. Primary research literature articles of various thematic topics are discussed and presented in a student-directed format. Graduating seniors must enroll in BTC 401 and will receive advanced assignments consistent with a capstone experience.
  • BTC
    *
    320
    .
    Medical Botany
    4 credits
    $30
    Study of the contribution of plants to modern medicine. Topics include the botany, anthropology, chemistry and pharmacology of plant derived drugs. (Cross listed with BIO 320.)
  • BTC
    *
    430
    .
    Molecular Genetics
    4 credits
    $50
    BCM 321 and BIO 204
    Advanced-level literature-based study and training in nucleic acid structures, genetic engineering, regulation, transgenics, genomics, molecular medicine, and biotechnology applications. Investigational laboratory.
  • BTC
    *
    500
    .
    Senior Thesis
    4 credits
    Permission
    Independent laboratory research of an original problem resulting in a thesis and public presentation. Required for departmental honors.
  • BCM
    *
    321
    .
    Biochemistry
    4 credits
    $50
    BIO 121, CHM 224 and CHM 230
    Overview of the major topics of biochemistry including the chemistry, structure, function, biological activity and molecular mechanisms of the major biological macromolecules. Introduction to bioenergetics and central metabolic pathways. Laboratory.
  • BCM
    *
    430
    .
    Molecular Genetics
    4 credits
    $50
    BCM 321 and BIO 204
    Advanced-level literature-based study and training in nucleic acid structures, genetic engineering, regulation, transgenics, genomics, molecular medicine, and biotechnology applications. Investigational laboratory. (Cross listed with BIO 430.)
  • BIO
    121
    .
    General Cell Biology
    4 credits
    $30
    Study of basic biological processes, mostly at the cellular level, including the chemical basis of life, cellular structure and function, heredity, reproduction and the genetic basis of evolution. Laboratory.
  • BIO
    *
    204
    .
    Genetics
    4 credits
    $30
    BIO 121 and Sophomore Standing
    The mechanics of inheritance at the molecular and cellular levels and the relationship of this phenomenon to gene action, organismal development, population changes and evolution. Laboratory.
  • BIO
    *
    308
    .
    Microbiology
    4 credits
    $40
    BIO 290 or Permission
    Survey of the bacteria, viruses and other protists emphasizing their structure, physiology, systematics, ecology and genetics. Focuses on microbes important to humans including disease and the immune response. Laboratory.
  • BIO
    *
    330
    .
    Immunology
    4 credits
    $20
    BIO 204
    Examination of the immune system and its role in disease. Emphasizes current research articles and experimental procedures. Laboratory.
  • CHM
    115
    .
    Introductory Chemistry: Chemical Analysis
    4 credits
    $20
    MTH 112 concurrently or Proficiency
    Introduction to the basic principles of chemistry in a context of chemical analysis. Intended for students in the sciences. Includes the periodic table, elements, ionic and covalent compounds, stoichiometry, atomic and molecular structure, spectroscopy, gases, pH and acid-base and oxidation-reduction reactions. DR and academic credit will only be awarded to one of CHM 101, CHM 103 or CHM 115. Laboratory.
  • CHM
    *
    223-*224
    .
    Organic Chemistry
    4 credits each
    $20 each
    CHM 115
    Study of the chemistry of carbon-containing compounds, emphasizing the various functional groups and their transformations, reaction mechanisms and stereochemistry, and the development of synthetic schemes. Laboratory.
  • CHM
    *
    230
    .
    Intermediate Inorganic Chemistry
    4 credits
    $20
    CHM 224 or Permission
    Study of the chemistry of the metals and non-metals emphasizing periodic behavior, elementary thermodynamics, ionic and covalent structures, oxidation and reduction reactions, acid-base chemistry, equilibria, transition metal complexes and reaction kinetics. Laboratory.
  • IPH
    *
    225-*226
    .
    Human Physiology
    4 credits each
    $20 each
    BIO 121; IPH 225 before 226
    Study of physiological functions of the human body and the relationship of systems to the maintenance of homeostatic balance. Includes applications of physiological principles to practical issues in medicine and physical performance. Laboratory. (IPH 226 is cross listed with BIO 226.)
  • IPH
    *
    340
    .
    Pharmacology
    4 credits
    IPH 226 or BIO 207
    Overview of the major concepts of pharmaceutical sciences. Includes the study of basic pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic principles as related to the major classes of drugs used in the clinical setting today.
  • PHY
    112
    .
    General Physics I
    4 credits
    $7
    MTH 112, 113, or 121; or Permission
    First half of an introductory survey of physics with emphasis on problem-solving. Uses algebra and trigonometry, but not calculus. Appropriate for students who plan no further study in physics. Topics include motion, forces, rotation, conservation laws and thermal physics. Laboratory.
  • PHY
    113
    .
    General Physics II
    4 credits
    $7
    PHY 112
    Second half of the introductory survey of physics started in PHY 112. Uses algebra and trigonometry, but not calculus. Topics include vibrations and waves, sound, electricity and magnetism, optics and modern topics. Laboratory.
  • PHY
    121
    .
    Introduction to Physics I
    4 credits
    $7
    MTH 121 concurrently or Permission
    First half of an introductory survey of physics with emphasis on problem solving. Uses calculus. Appropriate for students who plan to major in physics, chemistry or mathematics, and pre-engineering and pre-medical students who have had calculus. Includes mechanics, dynamics and rotation. Laboratory. Permission will be immediately granted to students who have credit for MTH 113 or 121.
  • PHY
    122
    .
    Introduction to Physics II
    4 credits
    $7
    PHY 121; MTH 122 recommended
    Second half of the introductory survey of physics started in PHY 121. Uses calculus. Includes oscillations, waves, gravity, sound, fluids and thermal physics. Laboratory.
  • PSY
    *
    201
    .
    Physiological Psychology
    4 credits
    $35
    PSY 121
    Study of physiological processes and structures underlying behavior and development. Laboratory techniques for investigation of electrical and chemical brain activity.