Biotechnology Training Program Curriculum

Required courses and programmatic elements

  1. Frontiers of BiotechnologyCHEM 797T / VASCI 797T: (3 credits). The course is offered every Fall semester.
  2. Quantitative biology training course –  Biology 676 (Evolutionary Genomics & Bioinformatics) or Food Sci 797A (Genomic Approaches for Food Science) or by arrangement with the BTP Curriculum committee. Other potential courses include BIOSTAT 540 or BIOSTAT 597D or CICS 109 (A course on R).
  3. Responsible Conduct of Research – CHEM 797J (1 credit) Typically offered each winter break and some years in May. Register in SPIRE.
  4. One life sciences elective (3 credits; only required for students in the College of Engineering and Department of Polymer Science and Engineering) or One quantitative biology elective (3 credit hours; only required for students in all other Departments) from the two lists below. Other courses may be accepted with approval of the BTP Curriculum Committee Chair. Email for any question regarding approval.
  5. Four laboratory modules – CHEM-ENG 690B (4 credits total) completed during your Ph.D. degree studies. Laboratory modules are offered throughout the year; see for a current list of available modules. Starting in 2021, you will need to register for a course to be announced with a number of credit hours consistent with the number of modules you will complete that semester (e.g. 2 credit hours for 2 modules)
  6. One BTP journal club – CHEM-ENG 797T (1 credit) during your Ph.D. degree studies. The course is offered every Spring semester.
  7. One BTP seminar series – CHEM-ENG 691B (1 credit) during your Ph.D. degree studies. BTP-affiliated seminars are offered throughout the year; see seminar page here for a list of seminars for the current semester. This course is offered in the Spring semester. You will need to attend at least 10 seminars in that semester (or the prior semester) and write a 250 word summary of each seminar attended. Keep track of all the seminars you attend as you will need to submit it at the end of the semester and provide it during the student annual report.
  8. Industrial Externship. Required for NIH-funded BTP Fellows. You are encouraged to complete your externship during the spring/summer of your second year of BTP support, although earlier externship dates will be accepted. Students should seek assistance from their Ph.D. advisor, other BTP faculty and the BTP program coordinator, Emma Jacobson ( for identifying externship opportunities.
  9. Events to attend throughout the semester:
    • Biotech tAles (All trainees will speak in one during training period).
    • At least one OPD event per semester and other BTP events. You can find current OPD workshops here.
  10. Annual Events: 
    • Symposium in Biotechnology (Fall)
    • Internship Event (Fall)
    • Annually, all students will complete a myIDP and discuss it with their advisor
    • Complete the annual student survey and annual climate survey

NOTE: Check SPIRE for current course availability.

Biotechnology Training Program Elective Courses

Life Sciences Electives Engineering/Quantitative Electives
AnimlSci 672: Molecular Medicine BioStats 597D: Special Topics – Intro to Stats Computing with R
AnimlSci 697C: Carcinogenesis Chem 791J: Biological Mass Spectrometry 
AnimlSci 697J: Cell, Genes, and Development ChemEng 535: Microfluidics and Microscale Analysis in Mat and Bio
AnimlSci 697K: Adv. Immunology ChemEng 575: Tissue Engineering
Biochem 623: Adv. General Biochemisty ChemEng 590D: Immunoengineering
Biology 891PB: Topics in Plant Biology Research ChemEng 597D: Nanostructured Biomaterials
Chem 627: Biomolecular Structure Chem 728: Physical Biochemistry
Chem 791L: Bioanalytical Chemistry M&I-ENG 597MB: Molecular, Cellular and Tissue Biomechanics
Microbio 680: Adv. Microbial Physiology M&I-ENG 597U: Biomechanics
MolclBio 641: Adv. Cellular Biology M&I-ENG 597T: Orthopaedic
MolclBio 642: Adv. Molecular Biology Microbio 697G: Genomics and Bioinformatics
MolclBio 690G: Adv. Concepts of Genetic Analysis Physics 553: Optics
Physics 590K: Biological Physics
Polymer 501: Intro to Polymer Science Engineering
Polymer 607: Intro to Synthetic Polymer Chemistry
Polymer 745: Colloidal & Interfacial Phenomena
Polymer 797TL: Polymer Translocation
Statistic 501: Methods of Applied Statistics