Biotechnology graduate certificate programs may be attractive to individuals who want to gain special skills in genetics and biomedical research, or in preparation for application to a competitive master's program in the field. Although biotechnology graduate certificate programs require less time to acquire than a master's degree, students enrolled in these programs can expect a rigorous program of study that generally requires between 12 and 30 credit hours.
Biotechnology Graduate Certificate Programs
Content covered in biotechnology graduate certificate programs includes biochemistry, genetics, and immunology. Depending on the institution, courses may be offered in the biology or chemical engineering department. The following are examples of courses students might take in biotechnology graduate certificate programs.
This type of course covers the biology and chemistry of various cellular components, including carbohydrates, lipids, and protein. Topics addressed include chemical reactions in cells and metabolic pathways. Participants take an in-depth look at human disease processes at the cellular level.
Students can expect to learn about developmental biology topics from several perspectives, including cellular, molecular, and supracellular. The courses examine embryonic and post-embryonic development. Organ formation and regeneration are other topics relative to the subject. Participants also look at how the environment impacts developmental processes.
Introduction to Biotechnology
Foundational biotechnology courses help students gain a basic understanding of genetic engineering and how it relates to the biotechnology industry. The development of products using biotechnology processes is addressed in the course. Stem cell research, cloning and other ethical issues are explored. At some schools, this type of class may be offered under chemical engineering.
Recombinant DNA Techniques
Students might look at the results of combining genetic material from different species in this type of course. Genetic engineering, cloning, DNA sequencing, DNA isolation, and enzyme mapping are all topics of interest. Students could gain hands-on practice using recombinant processes in the lab.
Students enrolled in this sort of course might focus on the underlying principles of immunology. Topics associated with immunology could include immune responses, antigens, antibodies, inflammation, and transplantation. Participants often review current literature and engage in in-depth discussions of immunology issues, including those that are controversial and challenging.
Students might explore the molecular and biochemical aspects of gene expression in cells. Prokaryotic and eukaryotic cell structure and function may be examined. DNA and RNA synthesis, gene regulation, and DNA research are often covered in this type of course.
Admission to biotechnology graduate certificate programs can be competitive because of the rigor of the courses. Applicants without a science background should expect to complete the appropriate prerequisite courses. Typical admission requirements are as follows: 3.0 or higher GPA, a bachelor's degree in biology, chemistry or a related field, GRE scores, transcripts from all post-secondary institutions, resume, letters of recommendation, and a statement of purpose. International students also need to meet Visa requirements and demonstrate English language proficiency.
Biotechnology graduate certificate programs prepare individuals to be pioneers in a field where there is a growing demand for researchers and practitioners. Because the requirements for completing biotechnology graduate certificates vary by institution, individuals interested in developing in-depth understanding and advanced skills might consider a program that requires a broad range of courses for completion.