The Biology Department is at the forefront of biotechnology, offering students an opportunity to study the technologies and products that improve our lives and the health of our planet. Students who are interested in biotechnology can prepare for careers in combating disease, reducing our environmental footprint, feeding the hungry, creating clean energy and more of society’s most pressing challenges.

Life Sciences forecast for Massachusetts Biotechnology sector: 2023 and beyond

  • 12,000 new jobs are forecast to be created between May 2017 and May 2023.
  • 83% of life sciences companies reported plans to expand their headcount in the next 12 months
  • Skills and knowledge learned align with those desired by Massachusetts biotechnology companies

Data from MassBioEd

  • 12,000+

    New Jobs Forecasted




Program Description

The Biotechnology concentration prepares students for the biotechnology workforce, a strong, growing industry in the region. The program was developed as a result of a needs assessment and in consultation with the Westfield State University Biotechnology Advisory Committee, consisting of 2-year and 4-year faculty, students, and biotechnology industry professionals.

Requirements for the Biotechnology Concentration - 81 Credits

Common Core Courses

Courses in the Laboratory Science section of the Common Core are BIOL 0102 - Environmental Biology, BIOL 0104 - Human Biology, BIOL 0106 - Biology Today, and BIOL 0237 - Human Anatomy and Physiology I. The 100-level courses (BIOL 0102, BIOL 0104, and BIOL 0106) do not satisfy requirements for the Biology Major and should not be taken by students majoring in Biology.  MATH 0105  satisfies the traditional mathematics area of the Common Core.  BIOL 0278 satifies the applied analytical reasoning area of the Common Core.

Introductory Sequence

Math Requirement


Required Biology Courses

Additional Graduation Requirements

All students must meet the University Graduation Requirements and complete a common core of studies, distributed among the different academic areas as detailed in the Common Core.

Learning Outcomes

Students will demonstrate a comprehension of the following core concepts from the molecular to ecosystem level:

  • Evolution: Change over time and mechanisms involved
  • Structure and function: How the shape of something affects performance
  • Energy transformation: Energy capture, use and transfer
  • Information flow: Transmission and interpretation of biological information
  • Systems: Interaction and organization of components
Biology student at a microscope

Internship/Job Shadow Opportunities

The Biotechnology Concentration requires an internship. Potential internship sites are available through the Massachusetts Life Center Internship Challenge including these additional internship sites:

  • Microbiotix, Inc.
  • Cellmosaic
  • Celltreat Scientific Products
  • Iomics Intelligent Analytics

Baystate Hospital has served as a previous internship site.

Still have questions?

Biology Department, Chair
David Christensen, Ph.D.

Kristen Porter, Ph.D.