Welcome to the Northern Virginia Community College Website

Accessibility Navigation:

College Catalog 2018-2019

Career Studies Certificate
Offered through LO, MA
CIP Code: 41.0101

Purpose:  This program 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: career changers who already have a bachelor’s degree, scientists who were trained in foreign countries who need updated training, current A.S. in Science students who want to obtain a core of biotechnology courses and/or find a job in local industry while they complete their undergraduate degrees, and 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 Biotechnology Lab Technician Career Studies Certificate 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 1). In addition, a student must have completed a college degree (associate of science 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, please submit the online application form.

Prerequisites: Because jobs in biotechnology generally require at least an associate degree in a science field, students must already have a 2-year or 4-year college degree, be enrolled in the A.S. in Science, 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 fields are strongly encouraged to complete the A.A.S. in Biotechnology.

One Year Credits
1st Semester
BIO 147 Laboratory Calculation for Biotechnology 1
BIO 165 Principles in Regulatory and Quality Environments for Biotechnology 2
BIO 250 Biotechnology Research Methods and Skills 3
BIO 253 Biotechnology Concepts 3
1ENG/CST Elective 3
Total   12
2nd Semester
BIO 180 Introduction to Careers in Biotechnology 1
BIO 251 Protein Biotechnology or 4
  BIO  252  Nucleic Acid Methods  
BIO 254 Capstone Seminar in Biotechnology 2
BIO 255 Bioinformatics and Computer Applications for Biotechnology 2
Total   9
3rd Semester
2BIO 290 On-site training in Biotechnology (Biotechnology Internship) 3
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 Choose from the following courses: CST 100, CST 110, CST 126, CST 227, ENG 111, ENG 115, ENG 131.

2Students must be approved by the Biotechnology program coordinator(s) for an internship. 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 a Biotechnology academic advisor for assistance in determining eligibility and placement or for approval of a topic for a Project or Supervised Study.