First Steps

Students walking on steps at Wells Library

Step 2: Explore Majors, Minors & Certificates

College of Arts and Sciences


The Biotechnology majors are 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. The BS a rigorous degree that provides an excellent preparation for medical school and graduate school as well as jobs in the life sciences. The BA curriculum is designed for students that do not want a career as a wet bench scientist but instead plan to pursue other aspects of biotechnology such as pharmaceutical sales or marketing.

The best preparation for the majors are rigorous coursework in science and math at the high school level. In Biotechnology, students will learn about cells, proteins, genes, and other topics critical to careers in scientific fields. In the BS degree, chemistry courses include organic chemistry and analytical chemistry. Coursework in cellular and molecular biology, virology, and bacteriology rounds out the curriculum. In the BS degree, 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 the BS often complete a minor in chemistry as well.

For more information about the Biotechnology degree, 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 BS and a prerequisite for coursework in a BA. If you are interested in the Biotechnology major, you should plan to take a chemistry course during your first year 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 wish 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 BS, and a prerequisite for BA coursework. In particular, it is required prior to BIOL-L 211 Molecular Biology. which is an essential component of the Biotechnology curriculum.
  • MATH
    --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 for the BS and should be taken early. BA students are required to take one course from MATH-M 118, MATH-M 119, MATH-M 211, MATH-M 212, or MATH-M 213.