Placeholder image for Biotechnology

Biotechnology, B.Sc.

  • Application Deadline
  • 48 months
San Marcos, CA, United States
The Biotechnology major offered by the California State University San Marcos is housed in the Biological Sciences Department. Biotechnology refers to the long practiced skill of applying our knowledge of the molecular basis of life processes for the benefit of society.
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While classic examples of biotechnology include using bacteria and enzymes to produce cheeses and using yeast to make bread and beer, modern applications exploit DNA-based technologies such as immunology, biochemistry, and microbiology to make new products or provide services to improve health care, agriculture, food, and the environment. Over the past 40 years, biotechnology has caused a profound revolution in science and has had significant technological and social implications.

Today, pharmaceuticals and vaccines are being designed through biotechnology to treat various cancers, heart disease, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s, AIDS, obesity, and other conditions. Biotechnology is responsible for hundreds of medical diagnostic tests that keep the blood supply safe from the AIDS virus and detect other conditions early enough to be successfully treated. Home pregnancy tests are also biotechnology diagnostic products. Food and agriculture biotechnology has resulted in the development of crops that are naturally resistant to pests and viruses; more tolerant of environmental stresses such as drought, salinity, and extreme cold; and more nutritious and longer lasting than their conventional counterparts. Environmental biotechnology products make it possible to more efficiently clean up hazardous waste without the use of caustic chemicals.

The Biotechnology curriculum at the California State University San Marcos comprises courses selected from the curricula of the departments of Biological Sciences, Chemistry and Biochemistry, Mathematics, Physics, and the College of Business Administration. The core curriculum provides students with a solid foundation in molecular biosciences and biochemistry. It also introduces students to the applied technologies of fields such as molecular genetics/recombinant DNA technology, immunology/cell culture-hybridoma technology, biochemistry/protein purification methods, and DNA sequencing/computational biology.

Student Learning Outcomes

Students who graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Biotechnology will be able to:

  • Apply fundamental knowledge of biology, biological processes, and the scientific method to solve problems in biotechnology.
  • Integrate biological knowledge and concepts with the legal, ethical, and business perspectives of the biotechnology and life sciences industry.
  • Work in groups or individually to develop written and oral presentations that effectively communicate scientific concepts and opinions using language appropriate to the discipline.
  • Apply major quantitative and computational skills and tools to solve problems in the biotech and the life sciences industry.

Career Opportunities

A Bachelor of Science degree in Biotechnology from CSU San Marcos prepares students to succeed in entry-level positions in a number of market sectors, including pharmaceuticals, clinical diagnostics, environmental protection, medical therapeutics, scientific services, and scientific equipment and supplies. The degree will also enable graduates to pursue higher degrees in areas as diverse as Biochemistry, Microbiology, Pharmacology, Environmental Science, Molecular Biology, and Plant Science.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Programme intensity Full-time
    • Full-time duration 48 months
  • Credits
    120 alternative credits
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

Programme Structure

Courses include:

  • Molecular Biotechnology
  • Cellular Biotechnology
  • Foundations of Biotechnology
  • Scientific Communication in Biotechnology
  • General Biochemistry or Biochem I
  • Foundations of Management
  • Foundations of Marketing
  • Ethics

English Language Requirements

  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL iBT ® measures your English-language abilities in an academic setting. The test has four sections (reading, listening, speaking, and writing), each with a score range of 0-30, for a total score range of 0-120.

  • Minimum required score:


    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

Academic Requirements

You need the following GPA score:

Required score: 3

Applicants for graduate programs must have the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree with a minimum GPA equivalent to 3 on a US 4.0 grading scale. Admitted applicants typically have an undergraduate GPA of or better on a 4.0 scale. No exam grade should be lower than 4.5 (European grade scale) or D (American grade scale).

Your GPA (Grade Point Average) is calculated using the grades that you received in each course, and is determined by the points assigned to each grade (e.g. for the US grading scale from A-F).

General Requirements


  • Completion of preparatory A–G Courses
  • Test Scores (SAT and ACT)
  • Your official GPA for admission to any California State University, including CSUSM, may be different than the GPA on your high school transcript. This is because we calculate your high school GPA using your 10th–12th grade A-G courses.
  • University Application
  • All official academic records
  • Official English translations of all academic records
  • Affidavit of Financial Support
  • Copy of your Passport
  • Are or will be a high school/secondary school graduate or equivalent
  • Equivalent of a "B" (3.0) grade point average

Tuition Fee

  • International

    15246 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 15246 USD per year and a duration of 48 months.
  • National

    15246 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 15246 USD per year and a duration of 48 months.
  • In-State

    5742 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 5742 USD per year and a duration of 48 months.
We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.

Living costs for San Marcos

  • 1100 - 1600 USD/month
    Living Costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.


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