Allied Health & Sciences

Degree awarded: Associate in Applied Science

Program Narrative

Major improvements in agriculture, breakthroughs in health care, energy production, solutions to environmental challenges - biotechnology is changing our world in exciting ways. Biotech is also one of the more rapidly expanding and diverse areas of employment in today's economy. A career in a biotechnology-related field could lead you to the development of new products and processes to improve the quality of life.

NCC graduates are positioned to compete for a wide range of positions in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries, governmental institutions such as the FDA, USDA, Department of Defense, NIH, EPA, forensics laboratories, the cosmetic industry, biomedical research institutions and the expanding field of green energy.

Students entering this program should be interested in science and should have taken high school classes in biology, chemistry and algebra (or the equivalent). Students who have not taken chemistry or algebra may do so before beginning the program.

Industrial internships are considered the important part of the biotechnology program. Students are strongly encouraged to seek and apply for the internships; program coordinator will assist interested biotechnology majors in the applications process.

Program Features

Students in NCC's Biotechnology program receive a solid background in math and science and practical knowledge in biotechnology. Students also gain good laboratory and critical thinking skills that make them attractive to employers in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry as manufacturing or research technicians. In addition this program prepares students to transfer to a four year institution should they want to pursue a Bachelors degree in Biotechnology.

The program can be completed on a part time or full time basis.

Optional Fifth Semester for Biotechnology AAS Degree

Students in the program have the option to acquire additional skills by attending a capstone semester at Penn State focusing on nanotechnology. This optional fifth semester of study will provide students with hands-on experience using state-of-the-art equipment found in industries that apply nanotechnology. Students who are interested in pursuing this training should work closely with their advisor to ensure that they choose those electives that will best prepare them for the capstone semester.

Program Outcomes

Graduates of the program will:

  • Demonstrate skills necessary to work in a typical biotechnology laboratory or biomanufacturing facility while following appropriate safety procedures and complying with the federal regulations for the industry.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of biotechnological principles and concepts.
  • Follow written instructions and work both independently and collaboratively on a wide variety of projects.
  • Demonstrate literacy in data manipulation and analysis using computerized spreadsheets and graphing programs.
  • Apply statistics to analyze the credibility of scientific results and to follow the biomanufacturing processes.
  • Demonstrate the ability to communicate both orally and through written reports in an effective and efficient manner.
  • Apply all the steps of the scientific method to research, design, perform, and report on a solution to a scientific or manufacturing problem.


Associate in Applied Science Degree

Course Code Course Title Credits
First Semester
BIOS 107 Biology I 4
BIOT 184 Introduction to Biotechnology 4
CHEM 120 General Chemistry I 4
ENGL 101 English I 3
MATH 140 College Algebra 3
Second Semester
BIOS 150 Biology II 4
BIOT 185 Biotechnology Techniques 4
CHEM 220 General Chemistry II 4
ENGL 151T English II (Technical Writing) 3
CISC 101 Introduction to Computers 3
Third Semester
BIOS 240 Microbiology 4
BIOT 175 Introduction to Biomanufacturing 4
CHEM 201G Organic Chemistry I 4
CMTH 102 Speech Communication 3
---------- Social Science: Scientific Study of Human Behavior Elective (SSHB)+ 3
Fourth Semester
BIOT 202 Biotechnology Seminar 1
BIOT 220 General Biotechnology 4
MATH 150 Introductory Statistics 3
---------- Arts and Humanities Elective (AH) + 3
---------- Elective + 3
Total Credits: 68

*Industrial Internships are strongly recommended for students in the biotechnology program. Students are encouraged to seek internship opportunities. Program coordinator will assist students in identifying proper internship sites and the application process.

+ One course must be designated Diversity and Global Awareness (D).

Nanofabrication Specialization (Optional 5th Semester)

Semester at the Nanofabrication Facility at Pennsylvania State University, Main Campus

NANF 211 Materials, Safety and Equipment Overview for Nanofabrication 3
NANF 212 Basic Nanofabrication Processes 3
NANF 213 Thin Films in Nanofabrication 3
NANF 214 Lithography for Nanofabrication 3
NANF 215 Materials Modification in Nanofabrication 3
NANF 216 Characterization, Packaging, and Testing of Nanofabricated Structures 3

Career Potential:
Laboratory Technician, Process Supervisor, Quality Control Technician, Manufacturing Operator/Technician, Research Technician, Forensic Lab Technician, Environmental Lab Technician