School of Biology announces new certificate program

Tech’s School of Biology and Biology Student Advisory Board has announced the enactment of six new certificate programs, open to all non-biology majors.

Although Tech has been undergoing budget cuts and changes throughout each department, the School of Biology has taken a different approach by expanding their available curriculum. Starting at the beginning of this semester, the School of Biology opened up the new undergraduate certificate programs to all interested Tech students.

The biology department approved the six new certificate programs this past spring after current biology majors responded to a survey asking which certificate topics they would be most interested in pursuing.

The recently introduced certificates include biomedical science, biomedical technology, computational and quantitative biology, environmental science, marine science, and integrative biology.

“Part of the reason for creating the certificates was for bio majors who wanted more focus in certain areas,” said Amanda Jara, a third-year BIO major and member of the Biology Student Advisory Board.

According to Jara, the certificate programs will allow for these students to better familiarize themselves with these focuses, without having to spend the amount of time or money it would take to acquire a minor in any other field.

Like certificate programs in other schools at Georgia Tech, each of the newly founded biology certificates requires a basic number of 12.

The specifics as to how those 12 credit hours are completed vary depending on whether the student is a biology and non-biology major.

At least nine hours of biology credit are required for non-biology majors. In most cases, up to three of those hours can come from 1000 or 2000 level courses.

Also, non-biology majors are required at least nine credits of biology coursework to complete their certificates. For both cases, the required nine hours must be 3000 level or above courses, and can not double count or be applied to other majors.

The remaining three credit hours can be used to complete a wide range of other courses that range from computer science classes such as Introduction to Databases to even a class called Navigation (NS 2323, for marine science certificates specifically), which is entirely dedicated to developing a student’s basic understanding of piloting a sea vessel and becoming a seaman.

“There are always students out there who wanted to be marine scientists when they were younger,” Jara said. “Now they can at least get a certificate in marine science.”

Any students interested in pursuing or finding more information concerning the new certificate programs can visit the School of Biology’s certificate program website ( under minors and certificates or speak to the one of the school’s academic professionals Dr. Mirjana Brockett or Dr. Jennifer Leavey.