Charlotte Biotechnology Colleges
For those looking for undergraduate training in biotechnology, the three colleges spotlighted here are all within a 50-minute drive of central Charlotte. None of these schools are actually in the city, but they are the closest institutions that offer complete biotechnology programs that lead to a credential.
- Gaston College is located in Dallas, NC, offers a certificate and associate's degree program. The campus is about 20 miles from downtown Charlotte.
- Located in Salisbury, NC, Rowan - Cabarrus Community College is around 40 miles from central Charlotte and offers a biotechnology associate's degree program.
- Cleveland Community College can be found in Shelby, NC, and is approximately 40 miles from the Charlotte downtown area. It offers four relevant programs including certificates, a diploma and an associate's degree.
Comparison of Schools
Factors like tuition costs and graduation rates can play a major role in deciding whether to attend a particular school. Get more information about enrollment figures, retention rates and more for each of the discussed colleges in the table below.
|Gaston College||Rowan - Cabarrus Community College||Cleveland Community College|
|School Type||2-year, public||2-year, public||2-year, public|
|Total Enrollment (2017)||5,172*||5,819*||2,700*|
|Campus Setting||Midsize suburb||Midsize suburb||Fringe town|
|Tuition and Fees (2017-18)|| $2,704 in-state
| $2,626 in-state
| $2,526 in-state
|% of First-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2016-17)||67%*||72%*||77%*|
|Acceptance Rate (2017)||Open admissions||Open admissions||Open admissions|
|Retention Rate (2016-17)||69% for full-time students*||56% for full-time students*||66% for full-time students*|
|Undergraduate Graduation Rate (Students began in 2014)||30%*||18%*||21%*|
Source: *College Navigator, National Center for Education Statistics.
The Arts and Sciences Division of Gaston College offers both a certificate program as well as a diploma program. These programs prepare students for jobs in biotech research and development, manufacturing, sales and customer service.
Basic Biotechnology Certificate
Gaston College's 16-credit certificate program includes courses in general biology, microbiology and statistical methods or genetics. Students learn about DNA extraction, chromatography and culture methods.
Students learn about microbiology, genetics, chemistry and statistical methods. The program takes 45 credit hours to complete. Students will also study ethics and basic laboratory procedures.
Rowan - Cabarrus Community College
Students can find this 2-year degree program in biotechnology at the North Carolina Research Campus in Kannapolis. The program is housed in the Department of Science, Biotechnology, Mathematics and Information Technologies and is designed to prepare students to directly enter the workforce.
Associate in Applied Science in Biotechnology
Full-time students can complete this degree within five semesters. However, the school also offers part-time options and evening courses. This degree program requires general education courses along with the chemistry, biology and math courses central to the field. In the final term, co-op work experience is also required. This degree program requires 66 credit hours to complete.
Cleveland Community College
Cleveland Community College offers several biotechnology program options, including an allied health diploma, two certificates and an associate degree. The college has a small 11-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio.
This 12-credit certificate program trains students in the basics of bioprotection. Courses include general biology and microbiology as well as lab techniques. Credits may be applied toward the Associate in Applied Science in Biotechnology program at Cleveland Community College.
With a focus on training participants in the basics of biotechnology, this 15-credit certificate program includes many of the same courses as the Bioprotection Certificate with an additional course in general biology. The credits from this certificate program may also be applied toward the Associate in Applied Science in Biotechnology program.
Biotechnology - Allied Health Diploma
The curriculum in this diploma program, encompassing 37 credit hours, prepares students for work in research and development or careers in hospital or industrial laboratories. The major courses are in biology, biotechnology and chemistry.
Associate in Applied Science in Biotechnology
Students are required to take courses in writing and research, communications, computers, science and math. Students can also expect to study organic chemistry, genetics, bioethics and recombinant DNA. The program typically take two full years (fall and spring semesters, plus one summer term), culminating with biotech lab experience. Graduation requires 67 credit hours.
Students interested in a bachelor's degree program in biotechnology can find the closest program at Winston-Salem State University, which is located about 78 miles from downtown Charlotte. The University of North Carolina - Charlotte also offers a biotechnology minor for students in its biology program.