Glass vials and book on a chemistry lab table

Applied laboratory-based training

Our Mission: We are a diverse community addressing complex and evolving challenges through rigorous inquiry, responsible design, and sustainable production of biological systems.

Biotechnology at JMU is a 4-year interdisciplinary major leading to a B.S. degree.  The program is shared among the Departments of Biology, Chemistry and Biochemistry, and Integrated Science and Technology (ISAT). 

The 47-53 credit hours of science foundation courses, 17 credit hours of biotechnology transition and core classes, and 15 credit hours of elective courses prepare students for diverse paths in industry, government, and graduate or professional studies. 

Each student works with an assigned academic advisor to develop an individualized portfolio of upper-level coursework to best meet her/his unique interests and needs. 

Advanced courses are selected from an extensive list of Biology, Chemistry and Biochemistry, ISAT, Engineering, and Mathematics and Statistics offerings.  

Biotechnology students are also invited to pursue a minor in General Business.

The information below is intended as a general guide, for official information on the Biotechnology Major, please see the course catalog.

Year 1 Curriculum

Acclimate to college life; build a strong foundation in basic math and science 

Fall Semester:

  • Foundations of Biology I (w/ lab)
  • General Chemistry I
  • General Chemistry I Lab

 Spring Semester:

  • Foundations of Biology II (w/ lab)
  • General Chemistry II
  • General Chemistry II Lab
  • Elementary Statistics
Year 2 Curriculum

Add depth to your math and science content knowledge; begin your biotechnology-specific coursework

Fall Semester:

  • Genetics (w/lab)
  • Organic Chemistry I
  • Calculus I
  • Biotechnology Seminar
  • Biotechnology Lab

Spring Semester

  • Microbiology (w/ lab) or Ecology & Evolution (w/ lab)
  • Organic Chemistry II
  • Organic Chemistry Lab
  • Calculus II
Year 3 Curriculum

Apply and integrate foundational knowledge; gain expertise in the way in which organisms function at a variety of scales 

Fall Semester:

  • Biochemistry I
  • Advanced Molecular Biology
  • College Physics I
  • College Physics I Lab

Spring Semester:

  • Biochemistry Lab
  • Biotechnology in Industry and Agriculture
  • College Physics II
  • College Physics II Lab
Year 4 Curriculum

Choose from over 50 upper-level elective courses to best meet your professional goals 

Fall Semester:

  • Biotechnology electives
  • Bioethics

Spring Semester:

  • Biotechnology electives

Round out your degree by engaging in a variety of general education courses throughout your JMU career.

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