Biotechnology and Biochemical Engineering Minor

This minor provides specific training for McCormick students interested in industries that create and manufacture bio-based fuels and industrial chemicals, pharmaceuticals, biomaterials, and agents for gene and cell therapies or for those desiring in-depth preparation for future graduate study in biotech research.

Course Title
Requirements (10 units)
6 courses in biological science and biochemical engineering:
Molecular Biology 1, 2, 3
Cell Biology 1, 2, 3
Genetics and Evolution 2, 3
Principles of Biochemistry
Biochemical Engineering
Bioseparations
Laboratory experience:
The complete series of 0.34-unit laboratories or one unit of 399 independent study in an approved laboratory 4
Molecular and Cellular Processes Laboratory
and Genetics and Molecular Processes Laboratory
and Investigative Laboratory
3 electives providing opportunity for greater depth in both fundamental biology and engineering applications:
1

CHEM_ENG 275-0 Molecular & Cell Biology for Engineers may substitute for either one 

2

Prior to 2020, the introductory Biological Science sequence consisted of BIOL_SCI 215-0 Genetics and Molecular Biology, BIOL_SCI 217-0 Physiology, and BIOL_SCI 219-0 Cell Biology. The new intro sequence no longer includes Physiology. Students who have taken ALL of the older intro sequence courses will petition to use the older courses when completing the Minor Declaration form in MAS. Students who have taken only SOME of the older intro courses can discuss with the minor coordinator which additional courses to take and then petition to use the old courses in the Minor Declaration form in MAS. In general, students missing BIOL_SCI 215-0 Genetics and Molecular Biology will take BIOL_SCI 201-0 Molecular Biology, students missing BIOL_SCI 219-0 Cell Biology will take BIOL_SCI 202-0 Cell Biology, and students missing BIOL_SCI 217-0 Physiology will take BIOL_SCI 203-0 Genetics and Evolution to complete the intro sequence. Students should consult the minor advisor for guidance on completing these requirements. 

3

The Biotech Minor requires 3 units of Biology coursework. Exemptions or course reductions are NOT granted for students taking the Biological Sciences Department placement test, and who test out of and skip BIOL_SCI 201-0 Molecular Biology. These students may complete BIOL_SCI 202-0 Cell Biology and BIOL_SCI 203-0 Genetics and Evolution and petition to use an upper level Biology course to complete the required 3 units of Biology coursework.

4

Biological Science laboratories are now connected to the intro sequence courses, and registration in the lab is required. Biological Science laboratories were previously numbered BIOL_SCI 220-0, BIOL_SCI 221-0, and BIOL_SCI 222-0. Students who have already completed these laboratory courses with the older numbering may continue to use them toward the minor, or use a previously approved independent study. 

  • A minimum GPA of 2.0 is required in courses in the minor.
  • A BA or BS degree from Northwestern must be completed.
  • No more than 5 units may be double-counted to fulfill requirements in the major program.
  • A maximum of 2 units not offered by the department may be taken P/N for the minor. Students must also comply with departmental and McCormick P/N regulations for courses that are double-counted toward requirements in the minor and major programs.
  • Students not majoring in chemical engineering should take the Biological Sciences intro sequence BIOL_SCI 201-0 Molecular BiologyBIOL_SCI 202-0 Cell Biology, BIOL_SCI 203-0 Genetics and Evolution (former intro sequence was BIOL_SCI 215-0 Genetics and Molecular Biology, BIOL_SCI 217-0 Physiology, BIOL_SCI 219-0 Cell Biology), and BIOL_SCI 301-0 Principles of Biochemistry before CHEM_ENG 375-0 Biochemical Engineering and CHEM_ENG 377-0 Bioseparations. They should also take CHEM 342-1 Thermodynamics and the recommended BIOL_SCI 315-0 Advanced Cell Biology to prepare for CHEM_ENG 375-0 Biochemical Engineering and CHEM_ENG 377-0 Bioseparations.
  • Students must submit an up to date minor declaration form in MAS (McCormick Advising System) before the beginning of their final quarter as undergraduates.

Minor Electives

Core Electives

Course Title
CHEM_ENG 372-0Bionanotechnology
CHEM_ENG 373-0Biotechnology and Global Health
CHEM_ENG 376-0Principles of Synthetic Biology
CHEM_ENG 379-0Computational Biology: Analysis and Design of Living Systems
CHEM_ENG 382-0Regulatory Sciences in Biotechnology
CHEM_ENG 470-0Molecular Folding and Function
CHEM_ENG 478-0Advances in Biotechnology
CHEM_ENG 395-0Special Topics in Chemical Engineering (must be approved by petition)

Extended Electives

Course Title
CHEM_ENG 372-0Bionanotechnology
CHEM_ENG 373-0Biotechnology and Global Health
CHEM_ENG 376-0Principles of Synthetic Biology
CHEM_ENG 379-0Computational Biology: Analysis and Design of Living Systems
CHEM_ENG 382-0Regulatory Sciences in Biotechnology
CHEM_ENG 470-0Molecular Folding and Function
CHEM_ENG 478-0Advances in Biotechnology
CHEM_ENG 395-0Special Topics in Chemical Engineering (must be approved by petition)
BIOL_SCI 315-0Advanced Cell Biology
BIOL_SCI 323-0Bioinformatics: Sequence and Structure Analysis
BIOL_SCI 328-0Microbiology
BIOL_SCI 332-0Conservation Genetics
BIOL_SCI 341-0Population Genetics
BIOL_SCI 353-0Molecular Biology Laboratory
BIOL_SCI 355-0Immunobiology
BIOL_SCI 361-0Protein Structure and Function
BIOL_SCI 363-0Biophysics
BIOL_SCI 378-0Functional Genomics
BIOL_SCI 380-0Biology of Cancer
BIOL_SCI 390-0Advanced Molecular Biology
BIOL_SCI 395-0Molecular Genetics
BMD_ENG 302-0Quantitative Systems Physiology
BMD_ENG 317-0Biochemical Sensors
BMD_ENG 343-0Biomaterials and Medical Devices
BMD_ENG 344-0Biological Performance of Materials
BMD_ENG 346-0Tissue Engineering
BMD_ENG 347-0Foundations of Regenerative Engineering
BMD_ENG 348-0Applications of Regenerative Engineering
BMD_ENG 446-0Biomaterials in Synthetic Biology
CHEM 215-3Advanced Organic Chemistry (Formerly CHEM 210-3)
CIV_ENV 361-1Environmental Microbiology
CIV_ENV 441-0Chemical Microbial Interactions
CIV_ENV 442-0Environmental Biotechnology for Resource Recovery
MAT_SCI 353-0Bioelectronics
MAT_SCI 370-0Biomaterials
Independent Study 399 in approved laboratory