First Steps

Students walking on steps at Wells Library

Step 2: Explore Majors, Minors & Certificates

College of Arts and Sciences


The Biotechnology major is designed to give students a background in the sciences with a focus on the Biology and Chemistry necessary for a career in pharmaceutical or biotechnological industries. It is a rigorous major that provides an excellent preparation for medical school and graduate school as well as jobs in the life sciences.

The best preparation for the major is rigorous coursework in science and math at the high school level. Students learn about cells, proteins, genes, and other topics critical to careers in scientific fields. In addition, chemistry courses include analytical chemistry and biochemistry. Coursework in cellular and molecular biology, virology, and bacteriology rounds out the curriculum. In addition, courses include ethics and social issues, a career seminar class, as well as an Intensive Writing course on scientific writing.

Through our courses, students also learn about latest technologies, regulations and regulatory agencies, notebooks and documentation, as well as communication skills—both oral and written. They are able to move into careers at the lab bench and beyond. Our graduates have gone to various graduate schools for either PhDs or MS, medical school, business school, and law school. In addition, we have a variety of graduates out working for companies such as Dow Agrosciences, Eli Lilly, Baxter, Takara Pharmaceuticals, GeneDx, Roche Diagnostics, and Genoptix. We encourage students to work in labs while they are students and to participate in summer internships. Our students have been offered internships at Cook Medical, Cook Pharmica, Sigma Aldrich, and Proctor and Gamble.

Students who pursue this major often complete a minor in chemistry as well.

For more information about the Biotechnology B.S., check out our undergraduate program page on the Biotechnology program website, or the College of Arts and Sciences Bulletin.

Recommended First Courses

  • CHEM-C 117/C 127 Principles of Chemistry and Biochemistry I/Lab
    --This is the entry course into the Chemistry sequence, which is a major component of the Biotechnology curriculum. If you are interested in the Biotechnology major, you should plan to take a chemistry course during your first semester and you should take IUB’s Chemistry Placement Exam (CPE) online prior to June 1. The results of the CPE will determine your placement level for IUB chemistry courses. For more details on the CPE, contact the Department of Chemistry at (812) 855-2700.Depending in part on the results of this exam, students may be required to begin their study of Chemistry with CHEM-C 103, a preparatory course for CHEM-C 117.
  • BIOL-L 112 Foundations of Biology: Biological Mechanisms
    --This is the first course in the series of Biology courses required for the major. It is required prior to BIOL-L 211 Molecular Biology. Molecular Biology is an essential component of the Biotechnology curriculum.
  • In addition to the chemistry and biology courses listed above, math through a semester of calculus (MATH-M 211 or MATH-M 119/M 120) is required and should be taken early.