Biotechnology

Biotechnology is the application of the biological sciences for the development of new and enhanced products for other industries.  The Bachelor of Science degree in Biotechnology at Texas A&M University-Texarkana is focused on the medical and healthcare aspects of biotechnology with courses in immunology, histology, and cytotechnology.  A degree in Biotechnology  prepares students for careers in research and development, quality assurance and quality control, production, sales and marketing, administration, and technical support.

Degree Requirements

Students should refer to their DegreeWorks degree audit in their Web for Students account for more information regarding their degree requirements.

Major Requirements
General Education Requirements42
BIOL 1414Introduction to Biotechnology I 14
BIOL 1415Introduction to Biotechnology II 14
BIOL 311General Microbiology4
BIOL 402Cell and Molecular Biology4
BIOL 466Evolutionary Biology3
BTEC 1340Quality Assurance and Quality Control in Biotechnology3
BTEC 310Biotechnology Research Methods and Applications4
BTEC 311Microbial Biotechnology4
BTEC 482Biotechnology Capstone Experience I4
BTEC 483Biotechnology Capstone Experience II4
BTEC 490
Interdisciplinary Course(s):
CHEM 1111General Chemistry I (Lab)1
CHEM 1112General Chemistry II (Lab)1
CHEM 1311General Chemistry I3
CHEM 1312General Chemistry II3
CHEM 2423Organic Chemistry I4
CHEM 2425Organic Chemistry II4
CHEM 410Biochemistry I4
CHEM 411Biochemistry II4
MATH 1342Elementary Statistical Methods 13
PHIL 1350Philosophy and Ethics of Science and Technology 13
Electives
Choose one of the following:
BTEC 2431
BTEC 2441
Choose 18 SCH of the following courses
BIOL 310Genetics4
BIOL 370
BIOL 449Vertebrate Histology4
BIOL 472Introduction to Forensic Science3
BTEC 411Protein Purification and Analysis4
BTEC 440Advanced Bioinformatics4
BTEC 472Fundamentals of DNA Forensics4
BTEC 499Independent Research6
Minimum Hours for Degree120
1

 Satisfies Core Curriculum (General Education) Requirements

 Note: A minimum of 54 upper division hours (300 and 400 level courses) are required for this degree. Resident credit totaling 25% of the hours is required for the degree.  A minimum GPA of 2.0 is required in three areas for graduation:  Overall GPA, Institutional GPA, and Major GPA. 

Biotechnology Minor Requirements

BIOL 1414Introduction to Biotechnology I4
BIOL 1415Introduction to Biotechnology II4
BTEC 310Biotechnology Research Methods and Applications4
BTEC 4904
Choose 1 course from the following:3-4
Protein Purification and Analysis
Advanced Bioinformatics
Fundamentals of DNA Forensics
Total Hours19-20

Undergraduate Courses for Biotechnology

BTEC 1340. Quality Assurance and Quality Control in Biotechnology. 3 Hours.

This course focuses on the different approaches required for quality control techniques in biotechnological projects. Special emphasis is placed on assurance issues. Methods for project management, budget responsibilities, and proper use of biological controls, as well as statistical analysis of false positives and false negatives, are discussed.

BTEC 310. Biotechnology Research Methods and Applications. 4 Hours.

This course provides students with advanced laboratory skills needed for employment in the biotechnology industry. The course focuses on the use of basic and specialized lab equipment techniques. Topics will include solution chemistry and buffers, DNA extraction and analysis, mRNA techniques, and protein extraction and analysis. Emphasis will be placed on lab safety, proper documentation, quality control, and quality assurance.

BTEC 311. Microbial Biotechnology. 4 Hours.

This course is intended as an advanced undergraduate level overview of selected aspects of microbial biotechnology. This course discusses the microbial mechanisms for production of components of food and consumer products, biologics, and biomaterials using DNA. An introduction to the kinetics of microbial growth is included, in addition to the presentation of production and regulation of genetically modified microorganisms (GMOs). Using B. thuringiensis as a model organism, multiple approaches to develop genetically modified products will be demonstrated. Extensive discussions will be dedicated to select effective schemes for choosing microbial hosts and vector expression systems for the production of heterologous peptides, proteins, or post translational-modified proteins. Methods for production of industrial enzymes and selected applications of enzyme technology for the pharmaceutical, chemical industries, and for environmental remediation are also discussed. Prerequisite: BTEC 310, BIOL 310, and BIOL 311.

BTEC 411. Protein Purification and Analysis. 4 Hours.

This course focuses on the theory and application of many biochemical techniques involved in protein purification and characterization. Techniques include types of chromatography, electrophoresis, and blotting. Students will think critically about methodology, design a purification scheme, and troubleshoot an existing purification scheme.

BTEC 440. Advanced Bioinformatics. 4 Hours.

Two bacterial species, E. Coli and B. thuringiensis will be used to demonstrate multiple approaches to develop genetically modified strains expressing functional applications to biotechnology outcomes. This course relies on rational manipulation of genetic elements in the bacteria to generate useful products. Prerequisite: MATH 2342, BIOL 310, and BTEC 310.

BTEC 450. Proteomics. 4 Hours.

This course is designed to acquire the knowledge related to the concepts of proteomics and their applications to characterize and analyze the human proteome and the applications of this knowledge to personalized medicine.

BTEC 472. Fundamentals of DNA Forensics. 4 Hours.

Fundamentals of DNA Forensics explores the current methods of DNA typing. It encompasses current forensic DNA analysis methods, as well as biology, technology, and genetic interpretation. The course will follow the path of DNA evidence starting with sample collection and the processes of DNA extraction, quantitation, amplification, and statistical interpretation. By the end of the course, students will explore the important role of DNA evidence for law enforcement.

BTEC 482. Biotechnology Capstone Experience I. 4 Hours.

The Biotechnology Capstone Experience I is intended to bring the students closer to a real working environment that should prepare them for facing daily challenges found around other people who have more experience in the field and are more familiar with the difficulties and limitations outside academic settings. The capstone may have two possible options depending upon resources, industrial openings, and student interest. It is suggested that if a student selects one of the two possible lines for the capstone experience in course BTEC 482, s/he should select the same type of experience for the continuation course, BTEC 483. These two possibilities are i) industrial/laboratory experience and ii) basic and/or applied research. Prerequisite: MATH 2342, CHEM 410, BTEC 310, and BTEC 440.

BTEC 483. Biotechnology Capstone Experience II. 4 Hours.

The Biotechnology Capstone Experience II is intended to bring the students closer to a real working environment that should prepare them for facing daily challenges found around other people who have more experience in the field and are more familiar with the difficulties and limitations outside academic settings. The capstone may have two possible options depending upon resources, industrial openings, and student interest. These two possibilities are i) industrial/laboratory experience and ii) basic and/or applied research. Prerequisite: MATH 2342, CHEM 410, BTEC 310, BTEC 440, and BTEC 482.

BTEC 499. Independent Research. 6 Hours.

Research in Biotechnology is conducted under faculty guidelines. The research topic is to be agreed upon by the instructor and the student by the start of the course. The research project should result in a detailed report based on the project. If appropriate (if the obtained results are publishable), the project may result in a conference paper or a paper that can be submitted for consideration to a peer-reviewed journal. A 45-minute presentation based on the research project results shall also be prepared and delivered in front of an audience. A detailed Power Point presentation (about 30 slides) shall also be prepared. Prerequisite: Junior and Senior standing for BTEC students only. Approval by the Dean based on the instructor's recommendation is required.

Faculty 

Dr. Oscar Alzate

Associate Professor

Email: oalzate@tamut.edu