Student looking through microscope

Biotechnology Concentration


Why major with a concentration in Biotechnology?

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

  • 11,976 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

Biotech student

Courses in the Biotechnology curriculum provide students with the skills needed to be competitive in the biotechnology sector and align with the majority of the Mass Life Science Education Consortium Biotechnology Core Competencies.

Concentration requires completion of Common Core Courses of Westfield State University and those of the Department of Biology in addition to the following:


  • BIOL 0201 - General Ecology
  • BIOL 0203 - Genetics
  • BIOL 0205 - Cell Biology
  • BIOL 0223 - Microbiology
  • BIOL 0230 - Evolution
  • BIOL 0237 - Human Anatomy and Physiology I
  • BIOL 281 Seminar: Practices and Policies in Biotechnology (Credits: 1)
  • BIOL 0313 - Immunology
  • BIOL 0342 - Drugs: From Start to Finish
  • 6 credits of BIOL 0377 - Research Experience (3 of these credits may be satisfied by BIOL 0399 - Independent Research)
  • BIOL 0380 - Senior Seminar


  • CHEM 0315 - Biochemistry with Lab


  • PHSC 0125 - Physics I


  • Semester long extramural internship (3 credits)

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.

A complete listing of requirements for the Biotechnology Concentration

Internship/Job Shadow Opportunities

The Biotechnology Concentration requires an internship. Potential internship sites are available through the Massachusetts Life Center Internship Challenge.  Additional sites include:

Internship Sites:

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

Previous Internship Sites:

  • Baystate Hospital