Santa Clara University sits not just in the heart of Silicon Valley, but at the southern end of Biotech Bay. The Biotechnology industry began on the edge of the San Francisco Bay some 25 years ago, and our region continues to be a leading force in what is now a multifaceted, global industry. There are more jobs than ever in this industry, with the workforce growing at a rate of 10% or more each year by some accounts.
Salaries are attractive, especially for skilled workers with strong scientific backgrounds and/or technical training. But just as importantly, many people simply want to be involved in an endeavor that has potential to change the world of the 21st century in so many ways, from improving healthcare and agricultural productivity, to remediating the effects of humanity on the environment.
The SCU Biotechnology Program is designed to help prepare undergraduate students for an advanced degree in biotechnology or biomedical research, or to directly enter the workforce. Students majoring in Biology, Combined Sciences, or Chemistry will be most easily able to complete the necessary courses, but entry into the program is not limited to students pursuing these majors.
"Not only did I learn many techniques that I might be able to apply in a biotechnology related field, but I have also learned to think in a different way, in a more academic and investigative way."
Patty Garcia, Class of 2004
The program curriculum emphasizes:
- Courses in molecular and cellular biology that reflect the scientific underpinnings of biotechnology;
- Practical training in relevant laboratory techniques, procedures, and instrumentation, through both courses and internships and discussion of contemporary scientific, social, and ethical issues related to biotechnology.
Students who are interested in the Biotechnology Program should begin the curriculum by sophomore year at the latest. (Biology, Combined Science, and Chemistry majors who are already doing coursework for their major may be able to enter the Biotech Program during their junior year and still complete requirements within four years.)