Biotechnology is a branch of science that pairs living organisms with technology and engineering processes. Programs specializing in the field of biotechnical engineering at the undergraduate level are rare, but do exist in the form of a Bachelor of Science in Biotechnical Engineering program. Degree programs in the field of biotechnology engineering are more common at the master's and doctoral levels. In addition to core coursework in genetic engineering, molecular biology and engineering mathematics, such programs might feature laboratory components and dissertation requirements. Specific career outcomes include but are not limited to food scientists, biomedical engineers and geneticists.
Bachelor of Science in Biotechnical Engineering
Many bachelor's degree programs in biotechnical engineering are offered as a concentration or specialization option within a 4-year degree program in biological systems engineering or a related field. They are designed for students who are interested in exploring the principles and processes of biotechnology as they apply to plants, animals, plant materials and food products.
Students complete foundational courses in engineering, genetics, microbiology, biochemistry and molecular biology. They also learn how to work in state-of-the-art laboratories and stay on top of developments in the field. Many degree programs in the field teach students how to apply the principles of biotechnical engineering towards specific uses, such as modifying food products, developing biochemical pesticides or genetically altering breeds of plants.
Before declaring a major in biotechnical engineering, students must first gain admittance to a 4-year college or university. Enrollment requirements typically include grade transcripts from a high school or secondary school, standardized test scores and a personal essay.
In addition to completing core courses in engineering and chemistry, as well as developing laboratory skills, students must complete upper-level classes in genetics and biotechnical processes. Classes may include:
- Gene expression
- Function of biomolecules
- Biotechnical systems engineering
- Food engineering
- Plant modification
- Engineering laboratory
- Engineering analysis
Popular Career Options
Individuals who hold a degree in biotechnical engineering have the education and training necessary to work in the fields of agriculture and food science. They may take jobs as:
- Agricultural scientist
- Food scientist
- Food technologist
- Plant scientist
- Crop scientist