Mar 22, 2023  
2018-2019 Undergraduate Catalog 
2018-2019 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Biotechnology, B.S.

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Dr. Stephanie Stockwell, Director
Phone: (540) 568-8980
Location: ISAT-CISAT Building, Room 320


Biotechnology at JMU is a 4-year interdisciplinary major leading to a B.S. degree.  The program is shared among the Departments of Biology , Chemistry and Biochemistry , and Integrated Science and Technology (ISAT) .  Students undertake a rigorous curriculum rich with hands-on laboratory experiences, critical analyses of both the “how” and the “why” of biotechnological solutions, and the development of transferable skills to keep up in a rapidly changing field. The combination of both scientific/technical depth and cross-disciplinary breadth allow graduates to pursue diverse career paths in industry, government and advanced studies.

Biotechnology majors must complete 47-50 credit hours of science foundation courses, 17 credit hours of biotechnology transition and core courses, and 15 credit hours of elective courses.  Each student works with an assigned academic adviser to develop an individualized portfolio of upper level course work to best meet her/his unique interests and goals.  Advanced courses are selected from an extensive list of Biology , Chemistry and Biochemistry , ISAT , Engineering , and Mathematics and Statistics  offerings. Up to six credits of undergraduate research or internship experiences can be applied to the upper level electives requirement. 

Students are eligible for a General Business Minor .  Students may not receive dual credit toward the Biotechnology major for 300- and 400-level Biology  courses that are applied toward the Biology  major. Biotechnology majors are not eligible for the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Minor .

Degree and Major Requirements

Degree Requirements

  • General Education: The Human Community  41 Credit Hours 1
  • Quantitative requirement 3 Credit Hours 2
  • Scientific Literacy requirement 3-4 Credit Hours 2
  • Major requirements (listed below) and electives 79 Credit Hours

Total: 126 Credit Hours


1 The General Education  program contains a set of requirements that each student must fulfill. The number of credit hours necessary to fulfill these requirements may vary.
2 In addition to General Education .

Major Requirements

Choose one of the following sets of courses:

Choose one of the following sets of courses:

Choose one of the following courses:

Total: 47-50 Credit Hours

Total: 17 Credit Hours

Biotechnology Elective Courses

Select 15 credit hours:

Additional Information

Additional 300- and 400-level courses may meet the requirement, with permission from the program director.

Students are highly encouraged to include academic credit for research or internships, up to 6 credits of which may be applied to the elective requirement.

Recommended Schedule for Majors

First semester, first year biotechnology majors are encouraged to start with a 14-15 hour course load. This will generally include a biology course (four credit hours), CHEM 131  and CHEM 131L , and/or a math course, plus General Education . The work load may then be adjusted in the second semester based on the level of success in the first semester.

Total: 29-31 Credit Hours


1 Fulfills General Education : Cluster Three.

Total: 30-31 Credit Hours

Third Year

Total: 32 Credit Hours

Fourth Year

Total: 29 Credit Hours

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