College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics
CSULB Home page

Certificate in Biotechnology Program Requirements

The certificate program can be completed in one calendar year.

    1. A baccalaureate degree (can be concurrent);
    2. Completion of the program's prerequisite course requirements;
    3. Approval by the program director;
    4. Completion of the Core Curriculum (see the descriptions below): BIOL 477/577 (4) or MICR477/577; NSCI 492 (3) or BIOL 492A/592A (12); BIOL 473/573 (3); BIOL 480/580 (1); additional 4 units to be selected in consultation with the program director;
    5. Completion of 3 units consisting of an approved research project in biotechnology (approved by Dr. Klig) to be taken from one or more of the following: BIOL 496; CHEM 496; or MICR 496 (undergraduate students); BIOL 697; CHEM 697; or MICR 697 (graduate students);
    6. BIOL 301, 304, 308, 309I and MICR 300I do not meet any specific or elective requirements for this certificate.
    7. Total Units Required for Certificate: 18 units.

Suggested order of classes

(check on-line for the current schedule of classes at

Fall Semester

BIOL 477/577 (4 units)
Elective class  (3 units)
Directed Research in laboratories at CSULB (BIOL496/697, or MICRO 496/697, or CHEM 496/697)  (1-3 units)
BIOL 480/580 (1 unit)

Spring Semester

BIOL 473/573 (3 units)
BIOL 462/562  (3 units)
Directed Research in laboratories at CSULB (BIOL496/697, or MICRO 496/697, or CHEM 496/697)  (1-3 units)
NCSI 492 (3 units)
Students interested in the Stem Cell option are encouraged to take BIOL 432/532 (3 units)

Core Curriculum Course descriptions

477./577. Biotechnology: Applications of Molecular Techniques and Bioinformatics (4) F

Prerequisite: BIOL 340 or 370 or CHEM 441A,B; all with a grade of "C" or better. (Undergraduates enroll in BIOL 477; graduates enroll in BIOL 577.)
Theory and techniques for isolating, amplifying, and analyzing genes, genomes, transcripts, and proteins. Data-mining, the use of computers in experimental design and/or functional analysis, use of microarrays, and future of nanotechnology.
Letter grade only (A-F). Same course as MICR 477./577. Not open for credit to students with credit in MICR 477./577. (Lecture 3 hrs., activity 2 hrs.)

473./573. Molecular Genetics (3) S

Prerequisites: BIOL 370 or MICR 371; CHEM 320A,B or 322A,B and 323A,B, or 327, all with a grade of "C" or better. (Undergraduates enroll in BIOL 473; graduates enroll in BIOL 573.)
Contemporary molecular genetic analysis of model organisms (mouse, worm, flies, yeasts) used in study of human disease, basic biological processes, gene regulation, and global analysis of genomes and proteomes. Letter grade only (A-F). (Lecture 3 hrs.)BIOL 462/562. Bioethics and Public Policy. (3) S

Prerequisites :BIOL 340 with a grade of “C” or better

History of bioethics, scientific and medical bases of key bioethical issues, current legislation and appropriations, including legal, social, and ethical implications of stem cell research and other biotechnological advances. Letter grade only (A-F). (Lecture 3 hrs.)

480./580. Seminars (1) F,S

Prerequisites: Consent of department. Undergraduates must have filed for graduation and be in ultimate or penultimate semester. Graduates must have been admitted to the department as a graduate student. (Undergraduates enroll in BIOL 480; graduates enroll in BIOL 580.)
Weekly meetings with professional biologists presenting results of their research. Requires participation in organization and critical evaluation of these presentations.
May not be repeated for credit towards any single degree. Letter grade only (A-F) (Seminar 1 hr.)

492. Internships In Natural Science (3)

Prerequisites: Major in the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, completion of 9 units of upper division science coursework, a 2.5 GPA overall or 2.75 GPA in the student’s major, and consent of instructor prior to registration.
Qualifying students placed in a major or career-related assignment in private industry or at a public agency. May be placed in either a volunteer or paid work assignment. Teacher aide positions may be used for students interested in pursuing a career in science education in K-12 schools.
Learning assignments will be arranged through the Career Development Center and the instructor. Final written report required. Class attendance and internships to be arranged by the instructor. Minimum of 120 hours of field experience required. Credit/No credit grading only. May be repeated to a maximum of 6 units

BIOL 432/532. Stem Cell Biology. (3) S

Prerequisites: BIOL 433/533 with a grade of “C” or better

Current literature on advances in stem cell research, translational research, and clinical applications of stem cells to alleviate human disease. Letter grade only (A-F). (Lecture 3 hrs.)

BIOL 492A/592A  Stem Cell Research Internship (12)

Prerequisites: BIOL 432/532, 432L/532L, 462/562, 473/573, 477/577, all with a grade of "C" or better and permission of the director of the CSULB Biotechnology Certificate Program, and acceptance in the Stem Cell Training Option within the Biotechnology Certificate.  CIRM-approved institutions train interns in their stem cell research laboratories.  Must be repeated once for credit.  Credit/No Credit grading only.  (Laboratory 36 hrs.)