The general education, writing, foreign language and diversity requirements for a degree in the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences apply. Biotechnology involves the utilization of biological processes and living organisms for human benefit. A rapidly growing part of the U.S. and global economies, biotechnology represents one of the main career paths for life scientists who do not wish to go into academic or clinical careers. The present is a “golden age” in the history of biotechnology due to many relatively recent transformative innovations. These technologies collectively provide a platform for using living systems to solve many of the core problems that plague society, including cancer, inherited and infectious diseases, food scarcity and environmental issues.
Students will learn skills necessary for professional jobs in the biotechnology industry. Because biotechnology is composed of a number of subsectors (e.g., synthetic biology, genome editing, clinical diagnostics, cell therapies, plant-based meats), the goal is to provide students with broad training in applied life science and business skills. Students will benefit from core courses that provide essential conceptual knowledge in both biology and business. They will then specialize through upper-division electives focused on life science applications involving biological macromolecules, cells or organisms; business skills needed in the biotechnology industry; and/or experiential learning through hands-on course work, directed research and/or internships. The highly interdisciplinary nature of this emphasis will give students a broad foundation needed to succeed in the modern biotechnology industry or to pursue graduate education.