Strengthen your qualifications for graduate studies in biotechnology.

Certificate in Biotechnology

Columbia University’s Department of Biological Sciences designed this 29-credit Certificate in Biotechnology curriculum for college graduates with little or no background in biology who want graduate school preparation in biotechnology.

The course plan is also useful for individuals interested in a career change, choosing to specialize in biotechnology, or those who are likely to work in fields that interact with the biotechnology industry, such as business or law.

Individuals with some prior coursework in biology may receive advanced standing for the introductory biology classes, which may be substituted by more advanced courses to achieve the 29-credit minimum required to complete the program.

  • BIOL F2401. Contemporary Biology I
  • BIOL F2402. Contemporary Biology II
  • BIOT G4310. Intensive Laboratory in Biotechnology
  • BIOL C3031. Genetics
  • BIOL C3512. Molecular Biology

Depending on the applicant’s background, the required curriculum may also include:

  • CHEM C1403. General Chemistry I (lecture)
  • CHEM C1404. General Chemistry II (lecture)
  • CHEM C3443. Organic Chemistry I (lecture)

For detailed course descriptions, please visit the courses page and select the subject area you are interested in.

Individuals with a background in biology are encouraged to speak with the faculty advisor to discuss a course plan that includes advanced biology coursework and is tailored to you. The time to complete the certificate varies, but students completing the curriculum outlined above should expect to complete the program in a minimum of two years and enroll in courses part-time (1 to 2 classes each term).

NOTE: International students who need a full-time program should not enroll in this Certificate as it will not qualify them for an F-1 student visa.

Students are required to maintain an overall minimum GPA of 3.0 (B). Every course creditable toward the certificate must be taken for a letter grade. Courses with a grade below a C will not count toward the completion of the certification. Students who successfully complete 15 points with a B or better in each class will be awarded a Certificate in Biotechnology. (Precise point total can vary, depending on a student’s experience.)



To apply, follow the Summer Sessions application instructions for your admissions category:

Adults & Professionals Individuals with a bachelor’s degree or higher degree. See Details >

Contact the Department

General Information, Admissions Questions, and Advising

biotechnology [at]
Other Program Contacts

Application Document Submission and Application Processing Questions

Mailing Address and Campus Location

Office of Enrollment Management
School of Professional Studies
203 Lewisohn Hall
2970 Broadway, Mail Code 4119
New York, NY 10027-6902
Office hours: Monday–Friday, 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.