Individuals who want to study biotechnology in Virginia only have about 6 schools to choose from. These are both 2- and 4-year schools, and programs are offered at the undergraduate and graduate levels. In some cases, credits can transfer to a higher-level degree program. Some biotechnology degree programs require students to already have a degree to gain entry.
Students gain hands-on experience in some programs through lab work or internships. Following are overviews of the programs offered at these 6 schools, and the chart provides a quick comparison of each school.
Eastern Virginia Medical School
Norfolk's Eastern Virginia Medical School offers a master's degree program in biotechnology that can be completed in less than 2 years. Admission requirements include a bachelor's or master's degree with a grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.0, an acceptable score on the Graduate Record Exam and the completion of postsecondary-level courses in chemistry, biology, math and physics. The curriculum covers subjects like research design, cell structure and function, animal biomedical research, flow cytometry and biostatistics. Students in this program must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0, and a 6-month internship is required.
George Washington University
George Washington University offers a bachelor's degree completion program with a biotechnology track at its campus in Arlington. The curriculum includes courses in biotechnology principles, bioinformatics, biomedical instrumentation, computational modeling and molecular biology. Admission to this program requires an associate's degree or 60 credits of coursework that can be applied toward the bachelor's degree. Students must earn another 60 credits at George Washington University to receive the bachelor's degree, and the coursework can be completed in 2 years.
James Madison University
The biotechnology bachelor's program at James Madison University in Harrisonburg is an interdisciplinary program that incorporates coursework from the integrated science and technology, biology and chemistry departments. The program prepares students to enter graduate programs or obtain employment in research settings. Students complete foundational courses in biology, chemistry, physics, calculus and statistics. Additional required courses include biochemistry, molecular biology and biotechnology ethics. The required 15 credits of electives allow students to tailor their course of study in areas of biotechnology that interest them most, like bioinformatics, genomics or agriculture.
Northern Virginia Community College
Students attending Annandale's Northern Virginia Community College can choose a certificate program or an associate's degree program in biotechnology. The associate's program is designed for students who want to enter the biotechnology field immediately upon graduation; however, the program can also transfer to a 4-year degree program. Students can usually complete the program in 2 years. Classes include biology, microbiology, cell structure, research methods and chemistry, as well as environmental regulations and a capstone seminar.
The certificate program is designed to help individuals enhance their current professional abilities and knowledge. An applicant must either already have an associate's or bachelor's degree, be enrolled in a science-related associate's program or receive permission from the program director. Additionally, applicants must have completed an introductory biology course. The program typically takes about 1 year to complete and includes an internship. The curriculum covers biotechnology careers, microbiology and research methods.
Piedmont Virginia Community College
This Charlottesville-based college offers an associate's program in the biotechnology field that is designed to transfer to a 4-year school. Students must earn 61 credits to complete the program. The curriculum includes lectures and laboratory classes. Coursework covers biology, cell structure, genetics, chemistry and biotechnology ethics.
A certificate program is also offered for students who already have associate's degrees and have completed prerequisite courses. In this 19-credit program, students take classes such as biotechnology procedures, genetics, biotechnology ethics and statistics.
Southside Virginia Community College
Students in Alberta can complete a 60-credit associate's degree program with a biotechnology specialization or a 28-credit biotechnology certificate program at Southside Virginia Community College. The certificate curriculum covers biology, biotechnology procedures, microbiology, chemistry and biotechnology professions. Students in the associate's degree program must complete more math courses in addition to general education courses that aren't required in the certificate program.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||Biotechnology Programs Offered||Tuition and Fees (2018-2019)*|
|Eastern Virginia Medical School||4-year; public; midsize city||Biotechnology Master's Program|| Graduate: $20,460 in-state;
|George Washington University||4-year; private not-for-profit; large city||Bachelor's Degree in Integrated Information, Science, and Technology with Biotechnology Track||Undergraduate: $55,230|
|James Madison University||4-year; public; small city||Bachelor of Science in Biotechnology|| Undergraduate: $12,016 in-state;
|Northern Virginia Community College||2-year; public; large suburb|| Associate in Applied Science in Biotechnology,
Biotechnology Lab Technician Career Studies Certificate
| Undergraduate: $5,610 in-state;
|Piedmont Virginia Community College||2-year; public; small suburb|| Associate of Science in Physical and Natural Sciences with Biotechnology Specialization,
Biotechnology Career Studies Certificate
| Undergraduate: $4,790 in-state;
|Southside Virginia Community College||2-year; public; distant rural|| Biotechnology Career Studies Certificate,
Associate in Arts and Science with Biotechnology Specialization
| Undergraduate: $4,695 in-state;
Source: *NCES College Navigator.