Orlando Biotechnology Colleges
There are two colleges within a 30-minute drive of Orlando, FL, that offer degree programs in biotechnology at the associate's, bachelor's and master's levels. This article looks at those schools and their programs. It also includes a table that allows for easy comparison of the schools.
- Students seeking bachelor's or master's degree programs in biotechnology from a public university can apply to the University of Central Florida, which has three relevant programs. Its campus is about ten miles from downtown Orlando.
- Individuals who would prefer to begin their studies at a school with lower tuition rates may find Seminole State College of Florida the best option. They can earn an associate degree there. This school is 15 miles outside of Orlando in Sanford, FL.
Comparison of Schools
Students must consider many factors when choosing a school, including school type, tuition costs, acceptance rates and graduation percentage. The following table offers an easy-to-use comparison of these schools.
|University of Central Florida||Seminole State College of Florida|
|School Type||Public, 4-year university||Public, 4-year college (primarily associate's)|
|Total Enrollment (2017)||66,059*||17,550*|
|Campus Setting||Large suburb||Small city|
|Annual Tuition and Fees (2017-2018)||$6,368 in-state, $22,467 out-of-state*||$3,131 in-state, $11,456 out-of-state*|
|% of First-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Aid (2016-2017)||87%*||79%*|
|Acceptance Rate (2017)||50%*||Open admissions*|
|Retention Rate (2016-2017)||90% full-time, 80% part-time*||N/A|
|Graduation Rate (students who began in Fall 2011)||70% (7% transfer-out rate)*||37% (12% transfer-out rate)*|
Source: *NCES College Navigator
University of Central Florida
UCF's College of Medicine was founded in 2006. It's made up of three academic departments and schools: the Department of Clinical Sciences, the Department of Medical Education and the Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences, which houses the biotechnology programs. The Burnett School has a prominent transgenic animal facility and Biosafety Level Three laboratories, and it partners with UCF's College of Optics and Photonics and the Nanoscience Technology Center to provide interdisciplinary studies.
Bachelor of Science in Biotechnology
Graduates of this program are prepared to obtain entry-level jobs in the industrial biotechnology field as well as pursue professional medical degree programs. Students work with faculty members on research pertaining to cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, infectious diseases and cardiovascular diseases. Some prerequisite classes must be completed before students can begin coursework for the major; prerequisite classes may include biology, chemistry, organic chemistry and physics. Some of the upper-level classes include microbiology, molecular biology, biotechnology processes and bio-imaging.
Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Science
This program also prepares students to work in the biotechnology field as well as enter graduate programs. Additionally, students in this program can assist faculty members with relevant research projects. One of the main differences between this program and the biotechnology program is that this program allows for more flexibility in the curriculum. While the biotechnology program requires students to complete 52 credit hours of upper-level life science courses and six credits (two to three classes) of electives, this program requires students to complete 25 credit hours of upper-level life science classes and seven elective classes. Some of the required courses include immunology, molecular biology, biochemistry and microbiology, and some of the electives may include molecular biotechnology and biotechnology processes. Students can pursue one of two tracks: molecular microbiology or molecular cell biology, or a pre-professional concentration.
Master of Science in Biotechnology
This 30-credit degree program includes a thesis component that involves conducting research in molecular biotechnology. Additionally, students complete 21 credits of required courses in topics such as genetic engineering, biomedical science and molecular biology. They also complete two credit hours of seminars and one elective course. At the program's end, an oral comprehensive exam is given that requires students to defend their theses.
Seminole State College of Florida
This 4-year college is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. In addition to Seminole State's Sanford campus, there are three other campuses in Altamonte Springs, Heathrow and Oviedo, which are located in the greater-Orlando area. Students can choose from nearly 200 programs as well as classes offered during the day, evening or online.
Associate of Arts in Biotechnology
This 2-year program is meant as a jumping off point for students who want to transfer to 4-year state colleges and universities. Students complete foundational courses, such as biology, chemistry, organic chemistry, statistics and calculus.