Completing the biotechnology associate's degree prepares you to transfer to another institution and earn a bachelor's degree or enter the workforce.
The program emphasizes applied laboratory skills relevant to the biotechnology industry, beginning with introductory coursework in biotechnology, biology, chemistry, and mathematics. These background courses prepare students for more rigorous upper-level applied coursework in biotechnology, biology, and chemistry taken during the second year.
On completion of three or more biotechnology classes with a grade point average of 2.5 or better and with consent of the biotechnology coordinator, the student has the option of applying to enroll in the biotechnology practicum for off-campus training at local partner biotechnology companies. These practica often result in full-time employment opportunities.
Upon completion of this program a student will be able to:
- Independently complete basic laboratory tasks common to biotechnology such as documentation, pipetting, buffer preparation, dilutions, and gel electrophoresis.
- Define and explain the basic principles, concepts, and techniques of biotechnology.
Meet with your academic advisor regularly to discuss your academic plans and make sure you are on track to graduate and/or transfer. The program advising guide outlines the degree requirements and is meant to supplement the advising process.
We currently have biotechnology/biological sciences transfer articulation agreements with Stevenson University, Towson State University, University of Maryland Shady Grove, Hood College, University of Maryland University College, and Washington Adventist University. Learn more about transfer opportunities.
For other institutions, check with the specific institution to which you intend to transfer and see if the biotechnology courses or any other courses will be counted as transfer credits. Contact a program coordinator for assistance.
The majority of our students find work right here in Montgomery County at local biotechnology companies and research organizations such as the National Institutes of Health.
Most eligible students who successfully complete three or more biotechnology laboratory courses obtain full-time employment—usually within six months of completing their last course. Most become full-time employees before finishing the program.
Entry-level workers are involved in laboratory work such as cell culture and upstream processing; bio-manufacturing antibody production and isolation; DNA and RNA isolation and PCR; working in a regulatory environment following GXP (GLP and cGMP) requirements; toxicology or vaccine sterility testing; testing and developing diagnostic and therapeutic agents; and quality Control and quality assurance.
- Career Outlook for Life, Physical, and Social Science Occupationsnew window: Information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
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A suggested course sequence for biotechnology majors follows.
All students should review the advising guide and consult an advisor. Most courses have either assessment levels that must be met or prerequisites (courses that must be taken first). Part-time students and those who need to meet assessment levels or take prerequisite courses will take longer to complete a degree. An advisor will help make sure you are taking your courses in the right order.
All degree-seeking students must take a central group of General Education courses in English, mathematics, arts, behavioral and social sciences, humanities, and science. These courses are included in the suggested course sequence below.
Suggested Course Sequence
- BIOL 150 - Principles of Biology I 4 semester hours (NSLD)
- BIOT 110 - Introduction to Biotechnology 2 semester hours
- CHEM 131 - Principles of Chemistry I 4 semester hours (GEEL)
- ENGL 101 - Introduction to College Writing 3 semester hours OR
- ENGL 101A - Introduction to College Writing 3 semester hours
- Mathematics foundation 3 semester hours (MATF)
- BIOT 120 - Cell Culture and Cell Function 3 semester hours
- BIOT 200 - Protein Biotechnology 4 semester hours
- BIOL 210 - Microbiology 4 semester hours
- English foundation 3 semester hours (ENGF)
- BIOL 222 - Principles of Genetics 4 semester hours
- BIOT 230 - Basic Immunology and Immunological Methods 4 semester hours
- CHEM 150 - Essentials of Organic and Biochemistry 4 semester hours
- Arts or humanities distribution (ARTD or HUMD) 3 semester hours
- BIOT 240 - Nucleic Acid Methods 4 semester hours
- Behavioral and social sciences distribution 3 semester hours (BSSD)
- Program electives 8 semester hours †
‡ CHEM 2035 semester hours (5 semester hours) may be taken instead of CHEM 1504 semester hours .
Related Programs and Courses
Students who major in general studies explore personal, professional, and academic areas of interest within a flexible framework supporting transfer.
Our noncredit program offers short courses or workshops (generally less than one week) to address specific training needs in the biotechnology industry.
- BIOTrain is a sector partnership of biotechnology companies, government, nonprofits, led by Montgomery College and working together to shape a technical workforce that is ready for today and tomorrow.
- Bio-Trac® in partnership with Montgomery College is proud to offer graduate/post graduate level hands-on laboratory training workshops for research scientists at the Bioscience Education Center’s state-of-the-art facility in Germantown, Maryland.
Contact Michael Gove, Program Manager, at 240-567-2245 or Michael.Gove@montgomerycollege.edu for more information.