May 26, 2024  
2023-2024 University Catalog 
2023-2024 University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Biotechnology, B.S.: 120 units

Offered by: College of Science, Biological Sciences Department

Biotechnology utilizes living systems or knowledge gained through studying biology to solve problems and develop products to improve the quality of life. Students undergo cross-disciplinary training, gaining strong foundations and hands-on skills in molecular biology, cell biology, microbiology, and biochemistry. Biotechnology has many applications ranging from medicine to agriculture and environment, and is widely used in the life science industry, hospitals, and research laboratories. Students can select their upper division electives from five emphases: (1) Cellular, Molecular, and Microbial Biology; (2) Physiology; (3) Biochemistry and Molecular Separation Techniques; (4) Food, Agriculture and Environment; (5) Policy and Business. An important feature of this major is an internship in a biotechnology laboratory for practical experience in the field. This program also satisfies the admission requirements for various graduate and preprofessional schools. Students interested in bioengineering or bioinformatics are encouraged to take a minor in Biophysics, Computer Sciences, or any engineering minor programs. This major requires admission to the Biological Sciences Department and completion of the units indicated below.

Major Required: 73-74 units


* If you take CHM 3270 - Biochemistry I , you will also be taking its 1 unit corequisite CHM 3270L , which may count towards your Major Electives units.

** Any General Education A2: Writing Communication credit is an acceptable substitution for ENG 1101  or ENG 1103 .

*** Any General Education A3: Critical Thinking credit is an acceptable substitution for ENG 2105  or PHL 2020 .

Major Electives: 16-17 units

Any combination of courses from the FIVE emphases of electives would satisfy this requirement. Emphases are listed to provide guidance for selecting courses that best fit to your career goals. There is no requirement to declare a specific emphasis. In addition, up to 3 units combined from BIO 4000 , BIO 4410 , BIO 4610 , and BIO 4620  may count towards major electives. Students who take MAT 1200  will need 17 units of Major Electives. Students who take MAT 1140  will need 16 units of Major Electives.

*Some courses may require 1000- or 2000-level prerequisites. These prerequisites cannot count toward degree.

Upper Division Course Emphases

Unrestricted Electives: 0-6 units

Select a sufficient number of courses so that the total from “Major Required”, “Major Electives”, “GE”, and “Unrestricted Electives” is at least 120 units.

General Education Requirements: 48 units

Students should view their Degree Progress Report (DPR) for information regarding their General Education requirements. Unless specific GE courses are required for their major, please refer to the list of approved courses in the General Education Program in the University Catalog, When viewing the catalog, students should select the catalog year associated with the GE requirements listed in their Degree Progress Report.

Area A. English Language Communication and Critical Thinking (9 units)

At least 3 units from each sub-area
1. Oral Communication
2. Written Communication
3. Critical Thinking

Area B. Scientific Inquiry and Quantitative Reasoning (12 units)

At least 3 units from each sub-area
1. Physical Sciences
2. Life Sciences
3. Laboratory Activity
4. Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning
5. Science and Technology Synthesis

Area C. Arts and Humanities (12 units)

At least 3 units from each sub-area and 3 additional units from sub-areas 1 and/or 2
1. Visual and Performing Arts
2. Literature, Modern Languages, Philosophy and Civilization
3. Arts and Humanities Synthesis

Area D. Social Sciences (9 units)

At least 3 units from each sub-area
1. U.S. History and American Ideals
2. U.S. Constitution and California Government
4. Social Science Synthesis

Area E. Lifelong Learning and Self-Development (3 units)

Area F. Ethnic Studies (3 units)


For an alternative and interdisciplinary way to complete some of their GE requirements, students may choose the Interdisciplinary General Education program, see below. 

Interdisciplinary General Education: 18 units

An alternate pattern for partial fulfillment of GE Areas A, C, and D available for students is the Interdisciplinary General Education (IGE) program.  Students should see an advisor for specific GE coursework required by their major.  Please refer to the University Catalog General Education Program section for additional information.

How IGE fulfills General Education Requirements:

Year Completion of IGE Courses Satisfies GE Requirements
First IGE 1100 IGE 1200   A2 and C2
Second/Third  IGE 2150 IGE 2250   D1 and C2
Second/Third IGE 2350  C1
Third IGE 3100  C3 or D4

American Institutions: 6 units

Courses that satisfy this requirement may also satisfy GE Areas D1 and D2.

Graduation Writing Test

The Graduation Writing Test (GWT) is suspended until Fall 2025. Students entering Cal Poly Pomona before Fall 2025 are not required to take the Graduation Writing Test.