The biotechnology concentration at Shippensburg University is geared toward students who are interested in pursuing careers in biomedical research, pharmaceutical research and development, as well as related fields including forensic science. In addition to a broad background in biology, chemistry, and physics, you will take a series of courses specifically related to biotechnology, including:
- Cell biology
- Molecular biology
- Analytical chemistry
- Biotechnology laboratory course
This concentration is designed to prepare the graduate for entry-level positions in biotech and/or pharmaceutical companies as well as acceptance into competitive post-graduate training programs in biomedical research or forensic science.
Studying biotechnology at Shippensburg University allows you to become involved in research projects under the supervision of a biology faculty member. Our students frequently present their research at state and regional scientific conferences. Research projects cover a wide range of topics, including:
- Tick-transmitted diseases
- Characterization of plant pathogens
- Analysis of genes expressed in brain tumor cells
- Genetic basis of behavior in fruit flies
- Pathogenic enteric bacteria
Our facilities and equipment for student research include:
- Fluorescence-based DNA sequencer
- Chromatography system for purifying and analyzing proteins and nucleic acids
- Imaging system for analysis of DNA and protein separations
- Thermal cyclers for PCR, equipment for electrophoretic analysis of DNA, RNA and proteins
- Tissue culture facilities
- Scanning electron microscope
- Animal care facility
Student internships are highly recommended. Internships are available through medical facilities, government laboratories, and private industry. Select students have received internships at Fort Detrick (USAMRIID). And, Shippensburg University is affiliated with the Cumberland County District Attorney's Office, which provides internships in the Cumberland County Forensic Laboratory.
A concentration in biotechnology will allow you to work in a variety of jobs in industrial, governmental, and academic settings. These jobs can be in research, product development, production, quality control, technical writing, sales, education, or administration.
Biotechnologists are involved in solving problems ranging from medical to ecological. Career areas include:
- Medicine: discovering new drugs, creating new vaccines, testing for diseases, gene therapy
- Agriculture: creating biological alternatives to chemical pesticides, developing disease- and insect-resistant plants
- Environment: bioremediation of wastes, analysis of endangered species populations
- Forensics: identification and analysis of physical evidence collected from crime scenes
- Food Science: production of food products and dietary supplements, nutrient analysis of foods, detection of pathogenic organisms
- Animal Science: genetic improvement of livestock, creation of improved disease treatments
Our graduates have obtained positions at National Cancer Institute, NIH, Glaxo-Smith Kline, USAMRIID, Johns Hopkins, and Philadelphia Crime Lab, and have gained entry into graduate programs at the University of Kentucky School of Medicine, Johns Hopkins, University of Iowa, Pennsylvania State University School of Medicine, and Arcadia University School of Forensic Science.
In order to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology with a concentration in biotechnology, you must complete a minimum of 75 credits in addition to undergraduate general education courses:
- Biology Core Courses (27 credits)
- Upper Division Electives (6-7 credits)
- Additional Biology Electives (4-5 credits)
- Allied Fields: Mathematics and Chemistry (38-39 credits)
If you're interested in declaring the Pre-Forensic Science option, you will need to complete and additional 15 credits in Criminal Justice courses. See the Undergraduate Catalog for specific course requirements.