Biotechnology & Research Concentration


Vicky Mello '15 looking through microscopeThis is an exciting time to enter the field of animal science since research on gene regulation and early embryo development has resulted in novel techniques to manipulate and exploit the genomes of domestic animals for both food production and biomedical purposes. Animals also contribute to human health through their role in research as models for humans. In the Biotechnology sector, small numbers of valuable animals are used and demand specialized care and management. The Biotechnology industry is a steady source of well-remunerated jobs in Massachusetts. The opportunities in these areas are expanding rapidly in the Northeast. Biotechnologists explore and develop new technologies in molecular biology, molecular genetics, embryo manipulation and cell and tissue culture. Graduates of the Biotechnology Concentration are enrolled in or have completed graduate programs (Ph.D., D.V.M., M.D.) or are laboratory research technicians at universities including Harvard, Cornell and UMass, or work in private companies such as Charles Rivers Laboratories, Pfizer, Advanced Cell Technology, and Genentech.

For those students who choose to follow a career in Biotechnology, the Department offers a strong, well-structured curriculum that can help make them highly competitive in this market. This concentration will also prepare students for graduate school, if they choose to follow this path.

All Animal Science majors must satisfy a set of basic science core courses and the Animal Science core courses. The specific offerings of this concentration commence in the Fall semester of the junior year and continue through to graduation.

These specialty courses emphasize research animal management and welfare, as well as laboratory courses in biotechnology, immunology, and microbiology. Students have the opportunity to work in the laboratories of nationally and internationally recognized scientists studying immunology, reproduction and development, genetics and toxicology. The department houses an impressive array of research equipment and facilities including histology and sophisticated microscopy facilities, molecular biology labs for identifying and quantifying animal and human gene expression, sterile tissue culture facilities and micro-injection facilities and a Bio-safety level 3 containment facility. Research in departmental laboratories is targeted to lab animal models including rodents and frogs as well as cows, goats, sheep, poultry, and horses.

Proposed schedule of classes:

Freshman year - Fall Semester  
     ANIMLSCI 101 - Introduction to Animal Science with lab    4
     BIOLOGY 151 - Introduction to Biology I    4
     MATH 104 - Pre-Calculus*    3
     General Education Class    4
     First Year Freshmen Seminar/RAP    1
     Credits  16
Freshman year - Spring Semester  
     ANIMLSCI 103 - Introduction to Animal Management with lab   4
     BIOLOGY 152/153 - Introduction to Biology II with lab   5
     CHEM 111 -  General Chemistry I with lab   4
     ENGLWRIT 112 - College Writing   3
     Credits  16
Sophomore Year - Fall Semester  
     ANIMLSCI 220 -  Anatomy & Physiology with lab    4
     ANIMLSCI 260 - Animal Welfare with discussion fulfills the Gen Ed SI requirement    4
     CHEM 112 - General Chemistry II with lab    4

     STATS 111 or STATS 240 - Statistics or RESEC 212 - Intro to Resource Economics  OR      General Education Class

     Credits   15/16
Sophomore Year - Spring Semester  
     ANIMLSCI 285 - Animal Cellular and Molecular Biology with discussion   3
     CHEM 250 or CHEM 261 - Organic Chemistry   3
     ANIMLSCI 392A - Careers in Animal Science Seminar Series   1
     STATS 111 or STATS 240 - Statistics or RESEC 212 - Intro to Resource Economics  3/4
     General Education Class   4
     Credits 14/15
Junior Year - Fall Semester  
     ANIMLSCI 311 - Animal Genetics   3
     ANIMLSCI 333 - Livestock, Equine and Companion Animal Nutrition ANIMLSCI 332 - Basic Animal Nutrition and Feeding with lab   3/4
     ANIMLSCI 365 - Fundamentals in Veterinary and Biomedical Laboratory Techniques   3
     ANIMLSCI 472 - Animal Diseases OR ANIMLSCI 572 - Infection & Immunity   3
     ANIMLSCI 455 - Research Animal Management I with lab   4
     MICROBIO 310 - Microbiology   3
     ANIMLSCI 291C, 291M, 391C, 391M, 491C or 491M - Biotechnology Research Experience 1-3
     Credits  15-16
Junior Year - Spring Semester  
     ANIMLSCI 456 - Research Animal Management II   3
     BIOCHEM 420 - Biochemistry   3
     ANIMLSCI 291C, 291M, 391C, 391M,   491C or 491M - Biotechnology Research Experience OR ANIMLSCI 386 Veterinary Oncology Lab 1-4
    NATSCI 387 - Writing in the Natrual Sciences OR Elective 3/4
    Elective or General Education Class 3/4
     Credits 13-18
Senior Year - Fall Semester  
     ANIMLSCI 366 - Veterinary Microbiology (fall or spring semester)   2

     ANIMLSCI 494GI - Integrative Experience - Good Intentions OR ANIMLSCI 494PIIntegrative Experience  Advanced Animal Health & Management 

     ANIMLSCI 291C, 291M, 391C, 391M, 491C or 491M - Biotechnology Research Experience OR BIOCHEM 421 - Elementary Biochemistry Lab 1-3
     NATSCI 387 - Writing in the Natural Sciences OR Elective   3/4
     Credits 13-16
Senior Year - Spring Semester  
    ANIMLSCI 366 - Veterinary Microbiology (fall or spring semester)   2
     ANIMLSCI 494GI - Integrative Experience - Good Intentions (spring semester) OR   3
     ANIMLSCI 421 - Wildlife Reproduction OR ANIMLSCI 521- Physiology of Reproduction with lab  3/4
     NATSCI 387 - Writing in the Natural Sciences OR ANIMLSCI 291C, 291M, 391C, 391M, 491C or 491M - Biotechnology Research Experience  3/1-3
     Credits 12-15

* Students who score 20 or above on part A of the Math test should take Math 127 - Calculus


Research, Clubs & Activities

There are a number of opportunities for students to develop in this field by interacting with other undergraduate students, graduate students and post-doctoral fellows in the research setting. There are Journal Clubs held weekly within the department in two areas of emphasis. Most labs also hold weekly meetings where students have the opportunity to present their research to other lab members and once a year the department holds a Science Day where students present their work to the faculty and students of the Department. Students who achieve a significant amount in their research have the opportunity to present at regional, state and national scientific meetings where they interact with other undergraduate students, graduate students, veterinarians and faculty including those from colleges of veterinary medicine in the USA and abroad. In the summer, as well as during the academic year, there are a number of fellowship programs that provide monetary reward to research students who are accepted into the program along with the opportunity to visit laboratories throughout the campus and meet and interact with other students and faculty in those labs.