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Home >   Academics > Degree & Certificates

NOVA 2012-2013 College Catalog: Programs of Study

Career Studies Certificate LO, MA

Purpose:  This Career Studies Certificate is designed for persons wishing to enhance their employment options or retrain for a career as a laboratory technician in various biotechnology disciplines. Students interested in this certificate may include: a) career changers who already have a bachelor’s degree, b) scientists who were trained in foreign countries who need updated training, c) current A.S. in Science students who want to obtain a core of biotech courses and/or find a job in local industry while they complete their undergraduate degrees, and d) high school teachers who wish to refine their own biotechnology skills and obtain the required re-training necessary for continued teacher certification.

Application Process: Students applying to the Career Studies Certificate for Biotechnology Lab Technicians must complete all of the pre-admission requirements as outlined for the A.A.S. in Biotechnology with the exception that applications will only be accepted for students enrolling in the Fall Semester (August 1st). In addition, a student must have completed a college degree (Associate of Science degree or higher). Foreign students must document the U.S. equivalent to an Associate Degree. Students without a science degree are strongly advised to complete the A.A.S. in Biotechnology instead of the Career Studies Certificate. To apply to the program, you need to submit the online application form.

Prerequisites: Because jobs in biotechnology generally require at least an associate’s degree, students must already have a 2 or 4 year college degree, be enrolled in the Science A.S., or obtain permission from the Biotechnology Program Coordinator in order to be placed into this program. BIO 101 General Biology I is a prerequisite of all of the biotechnology courses in this program. Students who have degrees in non-science field are strongly encouraged to complete the A.A.S. in Biotechnology Degree.

One Year Credits
1st Semester
BIO 180 Introduciton to Careers in Biotechnology 1
BIO 147 Laboratory Calculation for Biotechnology 1
BIO 250 Biotechnology Research Methods and Skills 3
BIO 255 Bioinformatics and Computer Applications for Biotechnology 2
BIO 253 Biotechnology Concepts 3
Total   10
2nd Semester
BIO 165 Principles in Regulatory and Quality Environments for Biotechnology 2
BIO 251 Protein Biotechnology or 4
  BIO  252  Nucleic Acid Methods  
BIO 254 Capstone Seminar in Biotechnology 2
1ENG/CST Elective 3
Total   11
3rd Semester
2BIO 290 Coordinated Internship in Biotechnology or 3
  BIO  297  Cooperative Education  
Total   3
Total credits for the Biotechnology Lab Technician Career Studies Certificate=24

All first-time students must take a one-credit Student Development (SDV) course prior to enrolling in their 16th credit at NOVA.

1 Students can choose from the following courses: CST 100 Principles of Public Speaking. CST 110 Introduction to Communication, CST 227 Business and Professional Communication, ENG 115 Technical Writing, ENG 131 Technical Report Writing 1.

2 This requirement may be satisfied by a total of 3 credits selected from BIO 290 (Coordinated Internship), BIO 296 (On-Site Training in Biotechnology), BIO 297 (Cooperative Education), and BIO 299 (Supervised Study). A total of 3 credits in this category is required, from a combination of 1 – 3 credits in any of these courses. Students must be approved by the Biotechnology program coordinator(s) for an internship or Cooperative Education assignment. Criteria for approval include successful completion of biotechnology courses (including a demonstrated proficiency of basic lab skills), a professional work ethic, and an ability to work well with others. Please see your biotech academic advisor for assistance in determining eligibility and placement or for approval of a topic for a Project or Supervised Study.