Dr. Kyle Seifert, Academic Unit Head, Biology/Biotechnology
Phone: (540) 568-6733
Location: Biosciences Building, Room 2001
JMU Biotechnology is a 4-year interdisciplinary major leading to a bachelor of science 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 needed 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 complete 47-50 credit hours of science foundation courses,17 credit hours of biotechnology transition and core courses, and 15 credit hours of electives. Advanced courses are selected from an extensive list of Biology , Chemistry and Biochemistry , ISAT , Engineering and Mathematics and Statistics offerings. Students work with assigned academic advisers to develop individualized portfolios of upper level courses that best suit their unique interests and goals. Up to six credits of biotechnology undergraduate research or internship experiences can be applied to the upper level electives requirement.
Students are eligible to apply for the General Business Minor . Students may not receive dual credit toward the Biotechnology major for 300- and 400-level Biology courses that are also applied toward the Biology major. Biotechnology students pursuing a minor in ISAT may not substitute 100-level Biology or Chemistry courses for ISAT foundation courses. Biotechnology majors are not eligible for the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Minor .
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 . In some cases, the general chemistry sequence may be postponed when math placement scores suggest that the development of quantitative reasoning skills should come first. The work load may then be adjusted in the second semester based on the level of success in the first semester.