May 30, 2024  
2015-2016 Course Catalog 
2015-2016 Course Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Biotechnology, AS

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The Biotechnology Associate in Science degree provides students with two options after successful completion of the degree. Students have the option to transfer to a four-year college immediately after completing the program. The AS degree is structured to prepare transfer students for a wide range of majors including Genetics, Medicine, Pharmacology, Cell Biology, Molecular Biology or Biochemistry, etc. The program includes many lab-based courses, which enable students to apply what they learn in chemistry, math and statistics, biology, microbiology, genetics and molecular biology. Specific skills such as written and oral communications, critical thinking, problem-solving, computer skills and small-group collaboration are an integral part of the program. With the hands-on lab experience provided during the program, students will also qualify to work in research laboratories at their transfer institution, which is a major advantage as they continue their career in the biological sciences.

Students also have the option to begin a career within the Biotechnology industry immediately after graduation. Biotechnology is a rapidly expanding field that spans many different disciplines including agriculture, environmental testing and monitoring, medical diagnostic tests and treatments, industrial product development and production, and criminal investigation. Technicians may work in the areas of laboratory research, product development, quality control, manufacturing and testing. Specific career opportunities could require skills related to genetic engineering of plants or microorganisms, gene therapy to correct human health problems, DNA fingerprinting, laboratory sample preparation and testing, vaccine development, or production of food, drugs and other consumer products. Students participate in internships in cooperation with potential employers. Graduates can look forward to a career with competitive pay and benefits in a field that continues to expect job growth into the future. With the hands-on experience provided during the program, you can advance within industry and can easily continue your education at any time.

For more information about the Biotechnology program, please visit our website at

Location: Ankeny

Selected courses in this program are offered at other campuses.

Students start Fall or Spring semester.

Program Entry Requirements

  1. Complete an application for admission to the Biotechnology Program.
  2. Satisfy the assessment requirement.
  3. Attend any required information/registration session.
  4. Must submit proof of one year of high school chemistry or Academic Achievement Chemistry I & II or successful completion of CHM 122 .
  5. Must submit proof of two years of high school algebra or MAT 063  & MAT 073 .
  6. Demonstrate satisfactory writing skills on college entrance or assessment exam.

Graduation Requirements

To earn a Biotechnology AS degree, a student must be accepted into the Biotechnology program, complete all coursework as prescribed and maintain a 2.0 grade point average.

Requirements for the AS Degree

Semester 3

Semester 4

Semester 5


To complete this program, you must meet the Diversity Requirement with a grade of “C” or higher. See the AS   section of this catalog for more information about which courses can count toward this requirement.

Total Credits Required to Complete this AS Degree - 64

Fixed Costs

Tuition……………………………………………………………………………………..$143.00 per credit

The costs for each program are estimates and subject to change.

Varied Costs

  Semester 1 Semester 2 Semester 3 Semester 4 Semester 5
Books (approximate) 250 280 180 280 275
Supplies 120 120 120 120 120

Approximate total for program: $11,017*

* Program entry requirements are not included in the total approximate cost.

What Kind of Work Will You Do?

  • Record, analyze, summarize and present data.
  • Properly use, calibrate and maintain laboratory equipment.
  • Prepare reagents and chemicals used in the laboratory.
  • Design and conduct basic laboratory experiments or processes.
  • Use current technology such as gel electrophoresis, chromatography, or protein and DNA analysis for research, manufacturing or quality control processes.

What Skills and Abilities Will You Need?

  • Critical thinking and problem-solving.
  • Good interpersonal skills.
  • Ability to work effectively in groups or teams.
  • Effective oral and written communication skills.
  • Accuracy and attention to detail.
  • A good understanding of concepts of biology, chemistry, math and computers.
  • Self-motivation and ability to complete projects on time.

What Else Should I Consider about this Program or Career Choice?

  • This is a competitive and rapidly changing field. You need to continually learn new things and to keep your skills up to date.
  • This field requires attention to detail and an ability to recognize and solve problems.
  • Some parts of the job can be very repetitive.
  • There is opportunity for advancement, but it will often require additional formal education in addition to demonstrated performance as described above.
  • This is a rapidly growing field with more than 1,000 biotech companies, academic institutions, state biotech centers and related organizations in all 50 U.S. states and 33 other nations searching for students trained in biotechnology (
  • Anticipated average starting salary $25,000-$38,000 depending on industry and position. Benefits often include: training, healthcare, paid time off, tuition reimbursement, competitive pay, bonus programs and retirement plans.

Nondiscrimination Policy

Des Moines Area Community College shall not engage in or allow discrimination covered by law. This includes harassment based on race, color, national origin, creed, religion, sex (including pregnancy and marital status), sexual orientation, gender identity, age, disability and genetic information. Veteran status in educational programs, activities, employment practices, or admission procedures is also included to the extent covered by law. Individuals who believe they have been discriminated against may file a complaint through the College Discrimination Complaint Procedure. Complaint forms may be obtained from the Campus Provost’s office, the Academic Deans’ office, the Judicial Officer, or the EEO/AA Officer, Human Resources. For information about the ADA, the Section 504/ADA Coordinator can be contacted at 515-964-6857. For Title IX questions and concerns contact 515-964-6850.

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