major is an interdisciplinary program offered jointly by the College
of Science & Mathematics and the College of Integrated Science & Technology.
Admission and Progression Standards for this major:
Click on the link to learn more about the admission and progression standards of this major: http://www.jmu.edu/advising/snapshots/SSBIOT.shtml
Description of Major:
In cooperation with the Department of Integrated Science and Technology and the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, the Biology department offers a B.S. degree program for a major in biotechnology. Biotechnology majors must complete 47-53 credit hours of science foundation courses, 17 credit hours of biotechnology transition and core courses, and 15 credit hours of elective courses. Students are highly encouraged to include academic credit for research, up to 8 credits of which may be applied to the concentration requirement.
Tell me more about this field
Biotechnology is the practice of using plants, animals and micro-organisms such as bacteria, as well as biological processes - to some benefit. For example, in industry, medicine and agriculture, biotechnology is used to produce foods, develop medicines, test for diseases and remove waste. Thus, it is used to solve practical problems and to answer fundamental research questions. Over time, biotechnology has enabled us to learn about people and diseases, and has underpinned the development of medical treatments.
Tell me more about specializations
in this major.
Students majoring in biotechnology will be prepared to enter the biotechnology workforce, or to pursue graduate education in a wide array of fields including medical, agricultural or industrial biotechnology. Fields of research in biotechnology include applied molecular biology, bioinformatics, and genomics.
What common major or minor
combinations from other departments complement this
Complimentary majors and minors include: Chemistry, Environmental Management, Geology, Geographic Sciences, Health Sciences, Integrated Science and Technology, Justice Studies, Mathematics, Physics, Pre Medicine, Pre-Veterinary Medicine, Psychology, Pre-Forensic Studies, Pre-Pharmacy, or Writing, Rhetoric and Technical Communication.
CHARACTERISTICS OF SUCCESSFUL
Those students who show good motivation to learn in regular classes, who talk with their advisor and choose appropriate course work to develop a meaningful program of study, those who show ability in doing precision work, who work well under pressure, who are naturally curious, and those who devote a portion of their curriculum to serious research. In addition, flexibility appears to be a key trait for anyone entering the job market in the future. While the educational requirements for biotechnology tend toward specialization, the actual jobs developing for the 21st century place a premium on adapting to change, moving into new settings, and combining diverse areas. For instance, a typical research project in the pharmaceutical industry lasts only a few years, after which a scientist might be asked to tackle an entirely different project.
Many graduates choose typical career paths associated
with this major. However, some graduates choose nontraditional career paths that utilize skills and experiences developed
during their years in college. Keep in mind, that some
fields will require graduate study or further training.
The listing below offers examples of possible career
paths and is not meant to be comprehensive.