First Steps

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Step 2: Explore Majors, Minors & Certificates

College of Arts and Sciences


The Biotechnology Program offers two degree options: A BS degree in Biotechnology and a BA degree in Biotechnology.  The Biotechnology majors are designed to give students a background in the sciences with a focus on the Biology and Chemistry necessary for a career in pharmaceutical or biotechnological industries.  The BS is a rigorous degree that provides an excellent preparation for medical school, dental school and graduate school, as well as jobs in the life sciences.  The BA curriculum is designed for students who will receive rigorous training to pursue aspects of biotechnology such as pharmaceutical sales, marketing, technical writing or data specialists.

The best preparation for the major is rigorous coursework in science and math at the high school level.  In Biotechnology, students will learn about cells, proteins, genes, and other topics critical to careers in scientific fields.  They will attend at least one seminar to develop their interview skills and hear presentations by experts in the field.  In the BS degree, the coursework will emphasize chemistry, cellular and molecular biology, virology, and bacteriology.  Other Biotechnology courses include ethics and social issues, and an Intensive Writing course on scientific writing.

Through our courses, students also learn about the latest technologies, regulations and regulatory agencies, develop skills with notebooks and documentation, and master communication skills—both oral and written.  Biotechnology majors are able to move into careers at the lab bench and beyond.  Graduates from our program have successfully pursued graduate work at the master’s and doctoral level, as well as in medical school, business school, and law school.  Our graduates have worked for companies such as Dow Agrosciences, Eli Lilly, Baxter, Takara Pharmaceuticals, GeneDx, Roche Diagnostics, and Genoptix.  We encourage students to work in labs while they are pursuing their undergraduate career, and to participate in summer internships.  Our students have been interned at a number of companies, such as Cook Medical, Cook Pharmica, Eli Lilly, Sigma Aldrich, and Proctor and Gamble.

For more information about the Biotechnology degree, check out our undergraduate program page on the Biotechnology program website, or the College of Arts and Sciences Bulletin.

Recommended First Courses

  • CHEM-C 117/C 127 Principles of Chemistry and Biochemistry I/Lab
    --This is the entry course into the chemistry sequence, an important component of the Biotechnology BS and a prerequisite for coursework in the BA.  If you are interested in the Biotechnology major, you should plan to take a chemistry course during your first year, and you should take IUB’s Chemistry Placement Exam (CPE) online prior to June 1. The results of the CPE will determine your placement level for IUB chemistry courses.  For more details on the CPE, contact the Department of Chemistry at (812) 855-2700.  Depending in part on the results of this exam, students may wish to begin their study of chemistry with CHEM-C 103, a preparatory course for CHEM-C 117.
  • BIOL-L 112 Foundations of Biology: Biological Mechanisms
    --This is the first course in the series of biology courses required for the BS, and a prerequisite for BA coursework.  In particular, it is required prior to BIOL-L 211 Molecular Biology, which is an essential component of the Biotechnology curriculum.
  • MATH
    --In addition to the chemistry and biology courses listed above, math through one semester of calculus (MATH-M 211 or MATH-M 119/M 120) is required for the BS and should be taken early.  BA students are required to take one course from MATH-M 118, MATH-M 119, MATH-M 211, MATH-M 212, or MATH-M 213.

View the degree map for Biotechnology BA

View the degree map for Biotechnology BS