The field of biotechnology blends chemistry, biology, science, medicine and mathematics for industrial use or academic research. Biotechnology is an evolving area of study, and there are now several online graduate certificate programs available. Majors may include biotechnology and biotechnology project management. Applicants for these programs need a bachelor's degree in a related science field.
Distance learning biotechnology certificates in biotechnology are mostly offered by traditional four-year universities. While the majority of these programs emphasize project management, there are a small number of graduate-level options in biotechnology specialties, such as biotechnology enterprise, bioterrorism defense or threat agents. In some cases, students may be able to transfer certificate credits to related master's degree programs if desired.
Prerequisites for admission include a bachelor's degree, which often needs to be in a relevant major such as biotechnology, biochemistry, engineering or other sciences. For programs focused on project management, some schools require applicants to have at least two years of experience directly related to biotechnology. Once admitted, students can usually earn a certificate in less than a year.
Biotechnology project management programs are designed to provide further management and technical skills to biotechnology professionals involved in scientific research, clinical studies, quality assurance or product development. Online biotechnology certificate programs follow the same curriculum as their on-campus counterparts and are typically taught by the same faculty.
Distance learners usually focus on managerial methods for contemporary research projects in the medical devices, pharmaceuticals and biopharmaceutical industries. Students learn general leadership, teamwork and project management practices as well as techniques for creating biotech products within a budget, managing discoveries and conducting research in highly regulated scientific environments. Common online courses may cover the following topics:
- Quality assurance
- Biotechnology commercialization
- Gene manipulation
- Regulatory affairs
- Genetic engineering
Distance learning graduate certificates in biotechnology can often be pursued totally online. Students log onto their school's online course management system, which offers a virtual classroom environment containing lectures, assignments and other class materials. Schools may record on-campus lectures and then upload them online for distance learners. Web conferencing, message boards and chat rooms are common methods of class interaction.
Online graduate certificate programs in biotechnology are available to students interested in developing their research, technology, science and management skills. These programs are available to students completely online, and require a bachelor's degree and occasionally some work experience.