The Department of Integrative Biology offers two certificates for undergraduate students.
Biotechnology is a rapidly growing field that encompasses many disciplines. The Biotechnology Certificate allows students to acquire specialized skills relevant to research into agriculture, biofuels, biomedical biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, microbiology, and medical device development. It provides a strong background in biochemistry and molecular biology, with an emphasis on applied training via lab work and research experiences.
The Environmental Stewardship of Indigenous Lands (ESIL) certificate offered to students interested in environmental issues involving indigenous communities including Native Americans, American Indians, Alaskan Natives, and Hawaiian Natives. It is open to students from all educational backgrounds, with an emphasis on students in biology, civil engineering, geography, and environmental sciences. The certificate provides opportunities in the form of internships and extracurricular activities for students to learn about environmental issues involving tribal and non-tribal entities.
The Biotechnology certificate program is comprised of high-quality, state-of-the-field upper-division courses and the opportunity for experiential learning. Upper-division courses at CU Denver are typically less than 20 students, which provides for abundant interaction between the students and faculty, high rigor, and many opportunities for critical thinking and discussion.
The three major components to the Biotechnology Certificate include advanced molecular biology training, directed student research or an internship in a research laboratory either at CU Denver or off‐campus, and biochemistry training. An advanced molecular biology laboratory teaches students key techniques, experimental design, troubleshooting, and how to work independently on research questions spanning the semester. Students receive hands‐on experience with cloning, DNA and RNA isolation, gel electrophoresis, PCR, quantitative PCR, and other modern techniques in genetic engineering. The Molecular Biology Laboratory enrolls only 16 students per semester so that each student has ample opportunity to work with the equipment and complete every experiment.
For more information, please refer to the Biotechnology certificate handout .
How to Obtain a Biotechnology Certificate
In order to declare intent to pursue the Biotechnology Certificate, you should contact the faculty advisor (see below). In order to earn a certificate, students are required to complete 17-20 credits from the required course list. Students must have the prerequisites for each required course. Most students earn the certificate while working on their Bachelor’s Degree; alternatively, the courses may be taken through non‐degree admission. All CU Denver admissions questions should be directed to the Admissions office .
- Individual courses used to earn the Biotechnology Certificate carry prerequisites that must be met before enrolling.
- All courses used to satisfy the requirements for the Certificate must be completed with a grade of C or better.
- All courses used to satisfy the requirements for the Certificate must be completed at CU Denver.
- All courses used to satisfy the requirements for the Certificate must be completed within a five year period.
A certificate will be issued and noted on your transcript upon proof of satisfactory completion of the coursework. You must contact the Biotechnology Certificate faculty advisor no later than the start of the semester of graduation in order for the certificate recognition to appear on your transcripts.
Upon successful completion of the Biotechnology Certificate:
- Students will be able to explain the foundational knowledge for key molecular biology concepts and techniques (including recombinant DNA technology, genome editing, gene therapy, stem cell biology, DNA sequencing, bioinformatics, proteomics and genomics) and be able to demonstrate how they are applied to molecular biotechnology.
- Students will be able to critically interpret and assess the scientific literature in molecular biotechnology, in the context of the applications of a biotechnology company.
- Students will be able to collect data and effectively analyze and communicate results using state-of-the-field laboratory techniques employed in biotechnology.
Molecular Biology courses (all required)
- BIOL 4024 - Introduction to Biotechnology (3)
- BIOL 3124 - Introduction to Molecular Biology (3)
- BIOL 4125 - Molecular Biology Lab (3)
Biochemistry courses (take one of the following)
- CHEM 4820 - General Biochemistry II (3)
- CHEM 3810 - Biochemistry (4)
Experiential learning (take one of the following)
- BIOL 3939 - Internship (consult the Experiential Learning Center ) (3)
- BIOL 4880 - Directed Research (consult the Biotechnology Certificate faculty advisor) (3)
Elective (take one of the following)
- BIOL 3612 - Cell Biology Lab (3)
- BIOL 3763 - Biostatistics (4)
- BIOL 4055 - Virology (3)
- BIOL 4134 - Human Genetics (3)
- BIOL 4144 - Medical Microbiology (3)
- BIOL 4225 - Genomics & Bioinformatics (3)
- BIOL 4622 - Topics in Immunology (3)
- BIOL 4634 - Biology of Cancer (3)
- BIOL 4064 - Cell Biology of Disease (3)
- CHEM 3111 - Analytical Chemistry (3)
- CHEM 4121 - Instrumental Analysis (3)
- CHEM 4828 - Biochemistry lab (2)
- CHEM 4835 - Biochemistry of Cancer (3)
The stewardship of Indigenous lands depends, in part, on scientifically aware, culturally-sensitive individuals who can serve as environmental liaisons between tribal and non-tribal, government, private and non-profit organizations. The Environmental Stewardship of Indigenous Lands (ESIL) certificate has created a network of tribal and non-tribal agencies to provide ESIL students with the most current, professionally relevant training to meet the employment needs in this critical area of environmental stewardship. More information about the certificate can be found by visiting the ESIL website or directing questions to the ESIL Program Director and Advisor.