Develop innovations in the agricultural, pharmaceutical, and biomedical fields with an online bachelor's degree in biotechnology.

Professionals in biotechnology come up with answers to a host of humanity's problems—from Ebola to failing crops. With a Bachelor of Science or a Bachelor of Technical and Professional Studies in biotechnology from University of Maryland University College, you can become a part of the solution.

For this program, you are required to have already gained technical and scientific knowledge of biotechnology through transferred credit and direct experience in the field.

The major combines laboratory skills and applied coursework, with a biotechnology internship experience and upper-level study.

These program requirements are for students who enroll in the 2017–2018 academic year. For prior year academic requirements, visit the catalog archive in the Current Students section.

About the Biotechnology Bachelor's Degree

In your courses, you'll study biological and chemical sciences, bio-techniques, bio-instrumentation, bioinformatics, microbiology, molecular biology, and cell biology.

What You'll Learn

Through your coursework, you will learn how to

  • Practice ethical standards of integrity, honesty, and fairness in scientific practices and professional conduct
  • Communicate orally and in writing in a clear, well-organized manner that effectively informs and clarifies scientific principles and lab techniques
  • Offer technical support, customer assistance, and cost-benefit analyses regarding bio-technical approaches to the development of products and services
  • Use scientific procedures and current and emerging technologies to conduct safe and hygienic laboratory experiments and collect validated and documented data
  • Comply with and adhere to national, state, and local standards, policies, protocols, and regulations for laboratory and manufacturing activity
  • Apply scientific knowledge and principles, quantitative methods, and technology to think critically and solve complex problems in biotechnology

Coursework Examples

In past projects, students have had the opportunity to

  • Design a manual to provide new lab members with rules and regulations for the lab
  • Use scientific reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and knowledge of biological principles to interpret results, make inferences, and draw conclusions about research findings
  • Explore vaccine development from historic, scientific, clinical, and practical perspectives
  • Explore genome analysis, evolutionary relationships, structure-function identification, protein pattern recognition, protein-protein interaction, and algorithms

Biotechnology Bachelor's Degree Requirements

Our curriculum is designed with input from employers, industry experts, and scholars. You'll learn theories combined with real-world applications and practical skills you can apply on the job right away.

Courses in the Major

  • BIOL 325
  • BIOL 350
  • BIOL 357
  • NSCI 301
  • BIOL 486B or two BIOL 486A courses
  • BIOL 495
  • Lower-level courses in transfer (15 credits); see Program Admission Requirements for more information

Electives

The bachelor's degree in biotechnology requires 43 credits of minor and/or elective coursework. 

Related requirement for the major: 

Additional lower-level coursework (10 credits) in biotechnology, biochemistry, cell biology, chemistry, genetics, immunology, microbiology, molecular biology, physics, or virology courses, completed as part of the associate degree program; see Program Admission Requirements for more information

General Education Requirements

Research Course

  • LIBS 150
    (to be taken in first 6 credits)

Writing and Communication Courses

  • WRTG 101
  • WRTG 293 or other writing course
  • COMM 202 or other communication, writing, or speech course
  • WRTG 393 or other advanced upper-level writing course

Arts and Humanities Courses

  • HIST 125 or other arts and humanities course
  • HUMN 100 or other arts and humanities course

Behavioral and Social Sciences Courses

  • ECON 103 or other behavioral and social sciences course
  • BEHS 103 or other behavioral and social sciences course

Biological and Physical Sciences Courses

  • 7 credits of lower-level coursework in biotechnology, biochemistry, cell biology, chemistry, genetics, immunology, microbiology, molecular biology, physics, and virology, completed as part of the associate’s degree program

Math Course

  • MATH 106 or other 3-credit approved math or statistics course

Computing Courses

  • IFSM 201 or CMST 301
  • CMIS 111 or another computing course appropriate to the academic major

Since some recommended courses fulfill more than one requirement, substituting courses for those listed may require you to take additional courses to meet degree requirements. Consult an advisor whenever taking advantage of other options. Please also see more information on alternate courses (where allowable) to fulfill general education requirements.

Overall Bachelor's Degree Requirements

In addition to the general education requirements and the major, minor, and elective requirements, the overall requirements listed below apply to all bachelor's degrees.

  • You must complete a minimum of 120 credits
  • You must maintain a minimum grade point average of 2.0 overall and a minimum grade of C for any class applied to the academic major or minor
  • Within the 120 credits required, the following coursework must be taken through UMUC:
    • 30 credits (normally the final 30)
    • Half of the required number of credits within both the major and the minor
    • 15 credits at the upper level (earned in classes numbered 300 to 499), preferably within the major or minor
  • At least 45 credits must be upper level and include
    • At least half of the credits required for the major
    • 3 credits in advanced writing
  • The remaining upper-level credits can be earned in any part of the curriculum
  • At least half the required number of credits for any academic major or minor must be earned through graded coursework. Credit earned by examination, portfolio assessment, or noncollegiate training does not count as graded coursework

Double majors: You can earn a dual major upon completion of all requirements for both majors, including the required minimum number of credits for each major and all related requirements for both majors. The same class cannot be used to fulfill requirements for more than one major. Certain restrictions (including use of credit and acceptable combinations of majors) apply for double majors. You cannot major in two programs with excessive overlap of required coursework. Contact an admissions counselor before selecting a double major.

Second bachelor's degree: To earn a second bachelor's degree, you must complete at least 30 credits through UMUC after completing the first degree. The combined credit in both degrees must add up to at least 150 credits. You must complete all requirements for the major. All prerequisites apply. If any of these requirements were satisfied in the previous degree, the remainder necessary to complete the minimum 30 credits of new classes should be satisfied with classes related to your major. You may not earn a second bachelor's degree in general studies and may not obtain a second associate's degree within the second bachelor's degree. Contact an admissions counselor before pursuing a second bachelor's degree.

Electives: Electives can be taken in any academic discipline. No more than 21 credits can consist of vocational or technical credit. Pass/fail credit, up to a maximum of 18 credits, can be applied toward electives only.

Career Preparation

This program is designed to help you prepare to enter the pharmaceutical, agricultural, or biomedical research industries and organizations in the areas of laboratory technology, quality control, assay analysis, chemical technology, and bioinformatics.

Experience Recommended for Success in the Program

We recommend a strong background in biology, chemistry, and math; an understanding of molecular biological techniques; and strong written and verbal communication skills.

Program Admission Requirements

Lower-level coursework must be taken as part of an appropriate degree program at an approved community college or other institution. Coursework does not have to be completed prior to admission, but it must be completed prior to graduation. Transfer coursework must include general microbiology with a lab (4 credits), general genetics with a lab (4 credits), and biotechnology applications and techniques with a lab (7 credits). Additional required related science coursework (10 credits) may be applied anywhere in the bachelor's degree.

The Bachelor of Technical and Professional Studies is only available to students who have completed the required lower-level coursework for the major, either within an Associate of Applied Science degree at a community college with which UMUC has an articulation agreement or within another appropriate transfer program. Students should consult an admissions counselor before selecting the BTPS.