College graduates with little or no background in biology who want graduate school preparation in biotechnology should follow the five-course curriculum designed with the Department of Biological Sciences. The course plan is also useful for those interested in a career change, choosing to specialize in biotechnology, or are likely to work in fields that interact with the biotechnology industry, such as business or law.

The curriculum provides students with the academic and laboratory experience required of applicants to the most competitive master’s programs in the field at Columbia or elsewhere.

Students are required to maintain an overall minimum GPA of 3.0 (B). Every course creditable toward the certification must be taken for a letter grade. Courses with a grade below a C will not count toward the completion of the certification.


The Biotechnology Certification program includes courses in:

  • BIOL F2401. Contemporary Biology, I
  • BIOL F2402. Contemporary Biology, II
  • BIOT G4310. Intensive Laboratory in Biotechnology
  • BIOL C3032. 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)

Application Deadlines

International Students July 15
Domestic Students August 15
Summer Session 1
International Students May 1
Domestic Students May 14
Summer Session 2
International Students June 1
Domestic Students June 25
International Students November 15
Domestic Students January 5

Apply here for Fall or Spring. To apply for Summer, visit the Columbia Summer website.