Houston Colleges with Biotechnology Programs
Biotechnology is the study of how living organisms can be used to advance developments in the fields of medicine, technology and engineering. A graduate degree is generally required to become a scientist in biotechnology, but students can become entry-level technicians with an associate's degree. This article looks at two schools within 25 miles of downtown Houston that cover a range of degree levels. There's also a table that contains information prospective students can use to assess the schools and make an educated decision about their training.
- The University of Houston is about two miles from downtown and has a bachelor's degree program in biotechnology. Most of the courses in this program, however, are held at the Sugar Land campus, located about 25 miles from Houston, with free shuttle service offered.
- Approximately 20 miles from the city center, the University of Houston - Clear Lake offers a bachelor's degree, master's degree and a post-baccalaureate certificate program in the field.
Comparison of Schools
Students should consider many factors when choosing a college. This table offers a quick way to compare important aspects of these schools.
|University of Houston||University of Houston - Clear Lake|
|School Type||4-year; public||4-year; public|
|Total Enrollment (2017)||45,364*||8,542*|
|Campus Setting||Large city||Large suburb|
|Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2017-2018)|| $9,706, in-state;
| $6,718, in-state;
|% of First-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2017)||85%*||65%*|
|Acceptance Rate (2017)||61%*||72%|
|Retention Rate (2016-2017)|| 85% for full-time students;
61% for part-time students*
| 74% for full-time students;
51% for part-time students*
|Graduation Rate (students who began in 2011)||54% (14% transfer-out rate)*||N/A|
Source: *NCES College Navigator.
University of Houston
The University of Houston (UH) offers a bachelor's degree in biotechnology that combines coursework from the College of Technology and the College of Natural Science and Math. According to the school's website in 2018, most of the courses for this degree now take place at the Sugar Land campus, which is about 25 miles from Houston. A free shuttle service runs from the main campus to the campus in Sugar Land.
Bachelor of Science in Biotechnology
This Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree program highlights environmental biotechnology and prepares students to work in areas such as manufacturing and production, clinical research, quality control and scientific research. Some of the required courses cover regulatory environments, genetics, genomics and C++ programming. The B.S. program includes tracks in bioprocessing (or biomanufacturing) and bioinformatics. The bioprocessing specialization involves classes in quality control, bioprocessing and microbial genetics, while some of the bioinformatics track curriculum includes database management, nucleic acid, immunology, cell biology and environmental safety.
University of Houston - Clear Lake
The University of Houston - Clear Lake (UHCL) is a public university within the UH system. Located in Houston, the school offers bachelor's, master's and certificate programs in biotechnology within its School of Science and Computer Engineering.
Bachelor of Science in Biological Science (Cell, Molecular and Biotechnology)
The B.S. degree program in biological science at UHCL offers five specializations, including a track in cell, molecular and biotechnology. Some of the major courses required are biochemistry, genetics, ecology and computational statistics. Those who select the cell, molecular and biotechnology option also must complete classes in cellular physiology, developmental biology and molecular biology and can choose from specialization electives.
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Biotechnology
Students who are working toward or who already have a bachelor's degree in biology, chemistry or environmental science might consider earning a post-baccalaureate certificate in biotechnology. This 7-course program can prepare students to become health, environmental and lab technicians. The required curriculum includes laboratory classes in molecular biology, biotechnology and eukaryotic gene expression. Students must also select four additional classes from independent study in biology, tissue culture or biological sciences.
Master of Science in Biotechnology
The master's degree program in biotechnology at UHCL provides students with the educational background and training necessary to work in biotechnology academics, private industry or scientific research. The 36-credit interdisciplinary program combines subjects such as bioinformatics, bioethics, biochemistry, human physiology and environmental biotechnology. Students may complete a thesis or choose to take additional elective courses. Learners can also pursue a concentration from three tracks: bioinformatics and computational biology, biotechnology management and marketing or molecular biotechnology.
Other School Options
Another member of the UH system, University of Houston - Downtown, offers a B.S. degree program in biotechnology. In addition to coursework in the program, students can opt to pursue an internship or work on a biotechnology research project.