Best Biotechnology Programs

Biotechnology is a fast-growing subject touching a variety of industries. Find your path to join this new and innovative field.

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by Blake Weil

Published July 13, 2022

Edited by Colin Weickmann
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Biotechnology is the use of living organisms and biological processes to create new products and industrial techniques. A bachelor's in biotechnology introduces you to the basics of biology and its applications in various fields, such as medicine and agriculture.

A bachelor's in biotechnology typically takes four years to complete. Although, you may be able to complete an online program faster. A public four-year school charged an average in-state tuition rate of $9,375 per year for the 2020-2021 academic year. Private nonprofit schools charged an average of $35,852 per year in tuition and fees. Online programs cost an average net price of $10,000-$17,000 per year. Public schools cost less overall than private institutions.

www.bestcolleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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Possible careers for biotechnology graduates include food scientist, clinical researcher, and process development engineer. According to Payscale data from June 2022, these jobs command average salaries in the mid to high five figures, ranging from about $60,000-$80,000.

Our Top Pick

Tufts University - Medford, Massachusetts

Why It's #1: Tufts University is our number one school for a bachelor's in biotechnology. While the admissions rate is lower at 15%, the school makes up for it with a high graduation rate of 94%. Forty-five percent of students receive financial aid, making it a more affordable option for many students. All of these factors make the school highly attractive, with 47% of admitted students choosing to attend it.

Read Our Rankings Methodology

Best Accredited Bachelor's in Biotechnology Programs

Rankings compiled by the BestColleges Ranking Team

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#1

Tufts University

School Information
Location Medford, Massachusetts
Admission Rate 15%
Graduation Rate 94%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes New England Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 3% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

On Campus | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Tuition per Year
Private | $63,804

Credits to Graduate
120

Program Information
Degree-Completion Program | No
Program Accreditation | N/A

Tufts offers a major in biotechnology for students seeking bachelor's degrees. The coursework covers biotechnology applications, basic research, and manufacturing processes. Students must take the major as a second major alongside one in biology, biochemistry, or engineering.

Applicants must submit the Common Application or Coalition Application, along with transcripts and letters of recommendation. SAT and ACT scores are optional. 

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#2

University of Georgia

School Information
Location Athens, Georgia
Admission Rate 45%
Graduation Rate 87%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 14% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

On Campus | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Tuition per Year
In State | $12,080
Out of State | $31,120

Credits to Graduate
120

Program Information
Degree-Completion Program | No
Program Accreditation | N/A

The University of Georgia offers a bachelor's in applied biotechnology through their College of Agricultural and Environmental Science. During the first two years, students gain broad experience in molecular biology, molecular genetics, and DNA extraction. They then choose a specialty in either food science, plant science, animal science, or applied economics.

Prospective students can apply through the university website. Applicants must submit ACT or SAT test scores and high school transcripts.

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#3

University of Central Florida

School Information
Location Orlando, Florida
Admission Rate 44%
Graduation Rate 72%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 59% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

On Campus | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $212
Out of State | $749

Credits to Graduate
120

Program Information
Degree-Completion Program | No
Program Accreditation | N/A

University of Central Florida's BS in biotechnology prepares students for work in the field and graduate and professional schools. The program emphasizes networking and internships to prepare students for real-world applications of their skills.

First-year students must submit an application with their transcripts and either SAT or ACT scores. After declaring a major in biotechnology, students are considered "pending" until basic courses are satisfactorily completed.

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#4

University of California-Davis

School Information
Location Davis, California
Admission Rate 39%
Graduation Rate 87%
Accreditation Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 5% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

On Campus | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Tuition per Year
In State | $13,104
Out of State | $31,026

Quarter Units to Graduate
180

Program Information
Degree-Completion Program | No
Program Accreditation | N/A

The bachelor's in biotechnology at UC Davis introduces students to the underlying science of molecular biology, cell biology, and genetics. The program then helps students apply those disciplines. Students can specialize in microbial biotechnology, animal biotechnology, plant biotechnology, or bioinformatics. All students participate in an internship with either a biotechnology company or research laboratory.

UC Davis uses the UC application. The application must include high school transcripts and answers to personal insight questions.

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#5

Syracuse University

School Information
Location Syracuse, New York
Admission Rate 44%
Graduation Rate 83%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 15% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

On Campus | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Tuition per Year
Private | $58,440

Credits to Graduate
120

Program Information
Degree-Completion Program | No
Program Accreditation | N/A

Syracuse's bachelor's in biotechnology prepares students for careers in health, agriculture, and environment, and for further study. Coursework emphasizes ethics and law in addition to fundamental science. Students are encouraged to pursue field and lab opportunities to get real-world experience. Many students pursue study abroad opportunities to broaden their education.

Applicants must submit transcripts and academic recommendations. Test scores are optional through spring 2024.

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#6

Rutgers University

School Information
Location New Brunswick, New Jersey
Admission Rate 61%
Graduation Rate 84%
Accreditation Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 24% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

On Campus | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Tuition per Year
In State | $12,536
Out of State | $29,737

Credits to Graduate
120

Program Information
Degree-Completion Program | No
Program Accreditation | N/A

Rutgers offers a bachelor's in biotechnology, which educates students on biological science basics. Rutgers prides itself on being one of the first colleges in the country to offer a biochemistry degree. After foundational courses in genetics, molecular biology, and biochemistry, students can concentrate on a specific discipline within biotechnology.

Rutgers uses a unique Rutgers application, as well as the Coalition Application. Applicants must submit a self-reported academic record and recommendations. Standardized testing is optional through 2024.

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#7

Indiana University-Bloomington

School Information
Location Bloomington, Indiana
Admission Rate 78%
Graduation Rate 79%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 19% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

On Campus | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Tuition per Year
In State | $11,446
Out of State | $39,118

Credits to Graduate
122

Program Information
Degree-Completion Program | No
Program Accreditation | N/A

Indiana University offers a BA in biotechnology. The degree prepares students for work in the life sciences industry, including pharmaceutical sales and marketing, and technical specialization. Many students assist with faculty research and pursue international study opportunities with internships. Students must become proficient in a second language.

Applicants to Indiana University - Bloomington must complete the Common Application or IU Application. Students must submit transcripts, but standardized test scores are optional.

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#8

University of Delaware

School Information
Location Newark, Delaware
Admission Rate 71%
Graduation Rate 81%
Accreditation Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 13% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

On Campus | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Tuition per Semester
In State | $6,685
Out of State | $17,945

Credits to Graduate
120

Program Information
Degree-Completion Program | No
Program Accreditation | N/A

The applied molecular biology and biotechnology major at the University of Delaware seeks to prepare students for work and study across various biotechnology settings. The curriculum includes required internships to offer real-world experience. The program focuses on hands-on and practical training.

Applicants must submit transcripts, but standardized test scores are optional. Delaware residents can apply early and be considered before the general applicant pool opens.

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#9

University of Houston

School Information
Location Houston, Texas
Admission Rate 65%
Graduation Rate 61%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 43% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

On Campus | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Tuition per Year
In State | $10,856
Out of State | $26,096

Credits to Graduate
120

Program Information
Degree-Completion Program | No
Program Accreditation | N/A

The University of Houston's BS in biotechnology introduces students to fundamental and applied biological science. The coursework provides a broad survey of STEM subjects to prepare students for employment in the biotechnology industry. The program focuses on environmental biotechnology. Students can choose to specialize in bioprocessing or bioinformatics.

Students must apply through ApplyTexas or the Common Application. Students must also submit transcripts and either SAT or ACT scores.

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#10

James Madison University

School Information
Location Harrisonburg, Virginia
Admission Rate 77%
Graduation Rate 84%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 8% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

On Campus | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Tuition per Year
In State | $13,092
Out of State | $30,152

Credits to Graduate
120

Program Information
Degree-Completion Program | No
Program Accreditation | N/A

The BS in biotechnology program at James Madison University gives undergraduates an interdisciplinary perspective on biology, chemistry, and biochemistry. The fundamental education is supplemented by hands-on experience, critical analysis of biotechnology, and skills development. Along with their scientific degree, students earn a general business minor.

James Madison University uses a university-specific application. Students must submit high school transcripts, but standardized test scores are optional.

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Featured Online Programs

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

How We Rank Schools

Each year, the BestColleges Ranking Team evaluates hundreds of programs to produce our annual Best Bachelor's in Biotechnology ranking. In 2022, the team sourced the most recent data available from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System and College Navigator, both of which are hosted by the National Center for Education Statistics. We identified 93 schools that qualify for our ranking list based on the following criteria.

To ensure the accuracy and quality of our final ranked list, the ranking team reviewed each qualifying school to ensure it met the criteria for our ranking, and then applied our proprietary ranking methodology to identify the best schools offering this program in the nation. Each school is ranked based on a formula measuring academic factors (60%) and affordability (40%).

The BestColleges Ranking Team is made up of contributors from our data science and product management teams. These contributors operate independently from the editorial team. All BestColleges school rankings are produced by the ranking team and are free of editorial influence. Read our Editorial Policy and Standards to learn more.

BestColleges' Ranking Factors

Frequently Asked Questions About Biotechnology Programs

Is a bachelor's in biotechnology worth it?

A bachelor's in biotechnology degree is often worth it for any student passionate about the subject. Graduates are equally prepared for work as they are for continuing on to graduate education.Determining whether a degree program is worth it is often a financial consideration. Check to see how net program costs compare to your potential salary as a graduate. College is accessible for many people with a combination of financial aid resources. Speak with a counselor or financial aid advisor to see what options might be best for you.

What can I do with a bachelor's in biotechnology?

With a bachelor's in biotechnology, you can either enter the workforce directly or go to graduate school. For graduates entering the workforce, they can pursue careers either in fundamental science, such as bioengineering, or in the business side of biotechnology, like pharmaceutical sales and marketing.

As a biotechnology degree teaches scientific fundamentals and how to apply that knowledge, opportunities are broad. But some advanced positions, including many medical positions, require an advanced degree.

What continuing education is available for biotechnology graduates?

Continuing education is common for graduates of biotechnology programs. A master's degree allows biotechnology researchers to specialize and pursue more technical knowledge specific to their career interests. Some graduates also seek a Ph.D., pursuing independent research in biotechnology. One common path for biotechnology graduates is to pursue a medical degree and become a doctor.

Other paths are possible but less common. For instance, with a law degree, a biotechnology graduate could find work in patent law, helping protect biotechnology intellectual property.

Those who don't pursue a graduate degree can keep up to date by attending conferences and reading academic journals.

How much money can I make with a bachelor's in biotechnology?

According to Payscale data from June 2022, jobs in biotechnology command average salaries in the high five figures. For example, food scientists earned an average yearly salary of $68,140, and process development engineers made an average of $81,760 per year.

Those who want to pursue careers with higher salaries often need further education. Salaries for those with advanced degrees are some of the highest available. For example, physicians earn a median salary of over $200,000 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

What are the highest-paying jobs with a bachelor's in biotechnology?

With a bachelor's in biotechnology, high-paying jobs include pharmaceutical sales representative and research scientist in biotechnology. According to 2022 Payscale data, these jobs paid an average salary of $88,870 and $93,170 per year, respectively. According to the BLS, the average bachelor's degree-holder made $69,370 per year in 2021, so these biotechnology salaries are well above average.

Feature Image: FG Trade / E+ / Getty Images

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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