Biotechnology, A.A.S.

Associate of Applied Science
Campuses: Offered through MA

This program is designed to prepare graduates for employment in entry-level positions at biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies as laboratory, research, or manufacturing technicians. Coursework will develop an understanding of basic scientific principles in biology and chemistry, and will emphasize laboratory techniques and procedures such as solution and media preparation, DNA purification and analysis, electrophoresis, chromatography, maintenance of cells in culture, and quality control techniques.

Application Process: Individuals wishing to enroll in the A.A.S. in Biotechnology should follow these steps for admission, starting at least one semester prior to when they wish to enroll in the program:

  • Attend an information session or schedule an advising appointment with a Biotechnology academic advisor.
  • This can be completed prior to or after steps 2-4. Students are encouraged to seek information very early in the process.
  • Apply to NOVA.
  • Students may choose to enroll in the A.S. in General Studies prior to their acceptance into the program.
  • Take the College placement test for English and Mathematics in one of the College's Testing Centers (located on each campus).
  • Complete pre-admission requirements for the program. Students applying to the A.A.S. program must have documentation of the following:
  • placement into college-level English (ENG 111),
  • placement into MTH 161 or higher, and
  • completion of BIO 101 with a 'C' or better. Students who are currently enrolled in BIO 101 may apply to the program and be admitted on a provisional basis after meeting with and if recommended by a biotechnology faculty advisor until their final grade is submitted. If a student has taken BIO 101 or any of the course requirements at another institution, he/she must submit official transcripts and if applicable, foreign transcripts, and submit a formal evaluation of the courses/degree, along with a Request for Evaluation of Transcripts Form (125-049), for each institution.
  • Apply to the program. Applicants need to complete an application online. This will automatically be e-mailed to the Biotechnology Program coordinator. S/he will review the applicant's application, test scores, and transcripts to confirm he/she is eligible for admission. An advising session will be scheduled if not already completed. Applicants will be notified within 2-4 weeks as to whether they have been accepted. Once a student is accepted a counselor or faculty advisor will program place the student in the program.
  • Receive the Biotechnology Program Handbook and register for core biotechnology classes, BIO 250 and BIO 253.
  • Transfer Information

    Transfer is not the primary purpose of an A.A.S. program, but NOVA has articulation agreements that facilitate the transfer of this and other career-oriented programs to selected senior institutions. Many of the courses within the program are accepted for transfer to almost any senior institution. Students interested in transfer should contact their academic advisor early in their program.

    Course Curriculum

    Below is a table that shows the courses needed to satisfy this program. Please speak with an advisor to ensure you meet your program requirements.

    Two Years Credits
    1st Semester
    1BIO 101 General Biology I 4
    ENG 111 College Composition I 3
    MTH 161 PreCalculus I 3
    Choose One
    SDV 100 College Success Skills 1
    SDV 101 Orientation to (a Specific Discipline)
    2 Social/Behavioral Science Elective 3
    Total 14
    2nd Semester
    3 Biotechnology/Science Elective 4
    CHM 111 General Chemistry I 4
    ENG 112 College Composition II 3
    4 Humanities/Fine Arts Elective 3
    Total 14
    3rd Semester
    CHM 112 General Chemistry II 4
    5CST Elective 3
    Total 7
    4th Semester
    BIO 147 Basic Laboratory Calculations for Biotechnology 1
    BIO 165 Principles in Regulatory and Quality Environments for Biotechnology 2
    BIO 205 General Microbiology 4
    BIO 250 Biotechnology Research Methods and Skills 3
    BIO 253 Biotechnology Concepts 3
    Total 13
    5th Semester
    BIO 180 Introduction to Careers in Biotechnology 1
    BIO 206 Cell Biology 4
    Choose One
    BIO 251 Protein Applications in Biotechnology 4
    BIO 252 Nucleic Acid Methods
    BIO 254 Capstone Seminar in Biotechnology 2
    BIO 255 Bioinformatics and Computer Applications in Biotechnology 2
    Total 13
    6th Semester
    6BIO 296 On-site training in Biotechnology 3
    Total 13
    Total credits for the Associate of Applied Science = 64
    Two Years Credits
    1st Semester
    1BIO
    101
    4
    ENG
    111
    3
    MTH
    161
    3
    Choose One
    SDV
    100
    1
    Orientation to (a Specific Discipline)
    SDV
    101
    Social/Behavioral Science Elective
    2
    3
    Total 14
    2nd Semester
    Biotechnology/Science Elective
    3
    4
    General Chemistry I
    CHM
    111
    4
    ENG
    112
    3
    4
    3
    Total 14
    3rd Semester
    General Chemistry II
    CHM
    112
    4
    Elective
    5CST
    3
    Total 7
    4th Semester
    Basic Laboratory Calculations for Biotechnology
    BIO
    147
    1
    BIO
    165
    2
    BIO
    205
    4
    BIO
    250
    3
    BIO
    253
    3
    Total 13
    5th Semester
    BIO
    180
    1
    BIO
    206
    4
    Choose One
    BIO
    251
    4
    BIO
    252
    BIO
    254
    2
    BIO
    255
    2
    Total 13
    6th Semester
    On-site training in Biotechnology
    6BIO
    296
    3
    Total 13
    Total credits for the Associate of Applied Science = 64

    1 Must complete with a 'C' or better.

    2 See social/behavioral science courses listed under General Education Electives.

    3 Biotechnology elective in the science category may be selected from the following 4-credit courses: BIO 102, BIO 251, BIO 252, and BIO 256. Consult with your advisor for transfer options.

    4 See humanities/fine arts courses listed under General Education Electives. For ART 101, please check with your advisor for transferability.

    5 Select from the following: CST 100, CST 110, CST 126, or CST 229.

    6 Students must be approved by the Biotechnology program coordinator(s) for an internship. Criteria for approval include successful completion of biotechnology courses (including a demonstrated proficiency of basic lab skills), a professional work ethic, and an ability to work well with others. Please see a Biotechnology academic advisor for assistance in determining and placement or for approval of a topic for a Project or Supervised Study.