Northern offers a two-year associate degree in biotechnology.
    About The Program

    Our associate degree in Biotechnology is the study of technology based on biology, especially pertinent to agriculture, food science, and medicine.

    Biotechnology is a fascinating combination of genetics, molecular biology, biochemistry, microbiology, and cell biology. Biotechnology is applied in many fields, including chemical engineering, information technology, and biorobotics.

    Biotechnology is used to improve agricultural crops, conduct recombinant DNA procedures, and produce and improve pharmaceuticals.

    A strong background in biotechnology is a valuable employee asset in U.S. clinical and research laboratories.

    NSU is a member of South Dakota Biotech, an association which directly links Northern to more than 65 companies and organizations in the state and to the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) both nationally and globally.

    At NSU, we encourage you to explore your individual interests, work closely with professors on research projects, and present your research results at state, regional, and national meetings as well as in publications.




    Demand for graduates in biotechnology is increasing and expected to continue, due to laboratory, research center, and hospital growth. Northern’s biotechnology program prepares students for entry-level positions that will meet the growing needs of the biotechnology industry nationwide.

    Many biotechnology graduates seek employment in laboratory settings assisting researchers in a variety of areas, including pharmaceuticals and medical research, as well as governmental and legal issues. Potential job titles include environmental engineering technician, agricultural and food science technician, biological technician, environmental health and safety technician, chemical technician, and medical or clinical laboratory technician.

    NSU's AS degree in biotechnology pairs well with a BS degree in biology, environmental sciences, or chemistry.

    For more information on careers in your major or help choosing a major, contact Career Services.


    NSU biotechnology students are required to complete a 2-credit internship, which provides invaluable hands-on experience that complements their academic coursework. This internship is a key component of NSU's biotechnology degree, giving students a competititve edge at hiring time.

    NSU partners with local and regional companies, including Glacial Lakes Energy LLC, Avera St. Lukes Hospital, South Dakota Department of Public Health, Huron School District, and Redfield Energy LLC to offer internship experiences.

    Other regional businesses supporting biotechnology student internships include South Dakota Wheat Growers Association, AlphaGenix, Monsanto, Braasch Biotech LLC, PharmaCline, Exemplar Genetics, 3M, Dow AgroSciences, and Cibus.

    Northern's biotechnology program relies heavily on hands-on experimentation and lab techniques along with the mandatory internship. Because of this practical training and the need for qualified workers in this field, students may have the opportunity to obtain permanent employment at their internship site.


    Sample Plans of Study
    Contact Information

    For more information about this degree, contact Jessica Ness, or call 605-626-2272 or 605-626-7900. Or, contact NSU Admissions at 605-626-2544 or