Area of Focus
  • Engineering & Technology
  • Science & Math
Degrees Offered
  • B.A.
Academic Division
  • Jack Baskin School of Engineering
  • Biomolecular Engineering

Program overview

The Biotechnology B.A. is not job training for a specific job, but a broad overview of the field of biotechnology. The requirements of the degree are deliberately minimal, to allow students to shape their own education by choosing appropriate electives—the major is designed to be suitable as a double major for students in the humanities or social sciences.


Learning Experience

The courses include survey courses, detailed technical courses, and courses that look at the consequences of biotechnology, but there are no wet-lab courses.

Study and Research Opportunities

The capstone course of the Biotechnology B.A. is a course on entrepreneurship in biotechnology, in which students prepare a business plan for a biotech startup.

First-Year (Freshman) Requirements

Any UC-eligible student with a strong interest in biotechnology is welcome in the program.

Please see the current UC Santa Cruz General Catalog for a full description of the BSOE admissions policy.

Freshman Applicants: Once at UCSC, students will be accepted into the major based on grades in four courses required for the major.

High School Preparation

It is recommended that high school students applying to the BSOE have completed four years of mathematics and three years of science in high school, including both biology and chemistry. Comparable college mathematics and science courses completed at other institutions may be accepted.

Students reading Cell Magazine

Transfer Requirements

This is a screening major. Transfer students should have had an introductory programming course (preferably in Python), a statistics course, and a cell biology course.

Student in a lab

Internships and Career Opportunities

The Bachelor of Arts in Biotechnology is intended for students who plan to be involved in the biotechnology industry as writers, artists, ethicists, executives, sales force, regulators, lawyers, politicians, and other roles that require an understanding of the technology, but not the intensive training needed for technicians, research scientists, engineers, and bioinformaticians. (For those more technical roles, the biomolecular engineering and bioinformatics major or the molecular, cell, and developmental biology major is recommended.)

The Wall Street Journal recently ranked UCSC as the number two public university in the nation for high-paying jobs in engineering.

Program Contact

apartment Baskin Engineering Building