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Nashville Biotechnology Universities with Degree Program Summaries

Jan 21, 2019

Located within 25 miles of the city's center, several schools near Nashville have biotechnology or related programs available. To find out which one is right for you, read an overview of two of these colleges' admission and program requirements.

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Biotechnology Schools in Nashville

Biotechnology programs are not abundant in the Nashville area, but there a few undergraduate and graduation options. This article focuses on the required coursework and practical experiences for programs at a couple of institutions, and it also includes a table of facts and figures that will allow you to compare the schools.

  • Students can pursue a doctoral program in biological sciences or a bachelor's degree in agricultural sciences with a biotechnology concentration at Tennessee State University (TSU), which is located about five miles from downtown Nashville.
  • Volunteer State Community College is located in Gallatin, about 25 miles from central Nashville. The school offers an associate's program in biotechnology designed for students who are interested in transferring their credits to a bachelor's program.

Comparison of Schools

Take a look at the table below to learn more about each institution. Information on tuition costs, campus environments, graduation rates and more could influence your decision about where to study biotechnology.

Tennessee State University Volunteer State Community College
School Type 4-year; public 2-year; public
Total Enrollment (2017) 8,177* 8,838*
Campus Setting Large city Large suburb
Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2017-2018) $7,776 in-state,
$21,132 out-of-state*
$4,133 in-state,
$16,109 out-of-state*
% of First-Year Students Receiving Any Financial Aid (2016-2017) 95%* 94%*
Acceptance Rate (2017) N/A - Open admissions* N/A - Open admissions*
Retention Rate (2016-2017) 58% for full-time students* 52% for full-time students*
Graduation Rate 29% (students began in Fall 2011)* 23% (students began in Fall 2014)*

Source: *NCES College Navigator

Tennessee State University

Tennessee State University offers 38 undergraduate and over 30 graduate programs. Areas of study include business, education, engineering, agriculture, public service and liberal arts. Students can earn the B.S. in Agricultural Sciences with a concentration in agricultural biotechnology or the Ph.D. in Biological Sciences through the Department of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Sciences with a Concentration in Biotechnology

Students of this 4-year program take courses in agribusiness, cell biology, bacteriology, genetics, organic chemistry and bioinformatics. Other courses in this concentration include plant science, lab instrumentation, biotechnology and soil science. Some courses have a lab component.

Ph.D. in Biological Sciences with a Concentration in Agricultural Biotechnology

This doctoral program in biological sciences is aimed at students who have at least a bachelor's degree from an accredited university or college. Students must show proof of the required GPA and GRE scores prior to admittance. The Ph.D. program requires students to complete approved coursework, a graduate seminar and dissertation. If students already have a master's degree, they might be able to transfer some of their credit hours into the Ph.D. program.

Topics of study in the doctoral program can include cell biology, molecular biology, biochemistry and statistical methods. Students must complete 24 credit hours of coursework and 52 credit hours of electives and dissertation work for graduation.

Volunteer State Community College

Volunteer State Community College features academic divisions in health sciences, business, humanities, mathematics and science, and social science and education. In addition to career training, students at Volunteer State can pursue university parallel majors that prepare students to transfer to a 4-year university. University parallel programs include psychology, sociology, mass communication, history and philosophy.

Associate of Science in Biology

The Associate of Arts in Biology program provides students with two years of education that can be applied to a bachelor's degree program. Students are required to complete general education classes and area of emphasis requirements. Courses cover topics in chemistry, biology, organic chemistry, statistics and public speaking. The community college has articulation agreements with 4-year Tennessee colleges to ensure a seamless transition for graduates.

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