Program Overview

Mission Statement

The Department of Biology and Biotechnology will make scholarly scientific and technological advances that will address the changing needs of society. We will prepare well educated scientists able to approach problems wirh creativity and flexibility. A key element in this preparation is active participation in the process of scientific inquiry.

Educational Program

Our educational program is founded in five unifying concepts.

  1. All living things evolve through processes such as genetic drift and natural selection that act on heritable genetic variation.
  2. Biological systems obey the principles of chemistry and physics.
  3. Simple biological units can assemble into more complex systems with emergent properties.
  4. Biological systems function by rhe actions of complex regulatory systems.
  5. Scientific knowledge follows a process of observation and hypothesis resting.

An  integrated and functional  understanding  of these concepts provides the foundation for biotechnology,  the technological application of biological systems, living organisms or derivatives thereof to make or modify products or processes for specific use. (United  Nations  Convention  on Biological  Diversity)

In the Biology & Biotechnology curriculum, these concepts are exemplified and integrated across three major divisions of biology:

  • Cellular and molecular biology
  • Biology of the organism
  • Organisms in their environment

Program Outcomes

The program's learning outcomes are designed to support life-long learning in the discipline. Toward that end, graduates of WPI with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology & Biotechnology

  • will know and understand the five unifying themes and can provide and explain examples of each from each of the three divisions of biology.
  • can demonstrate mastery of a range of quantitative and procedural skills applicable to research and practice in biology & biotechnology.
  • are able to generate hypotheses, design approaches to rest them, and interpret data to reach valid conclusions.
  • can find, read and critically evaluate the scientific literature.
  • can describe the broader scientific or societal context of their work or that of others.
  • demonstrate oral and written communication skills relevant to the discipline.
  • can function effectively in a collaborative scientific environment.
  • understand and can adhere to accepted standards of intellectual honesty in formulating, conducting and presenting their work.
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