Faculty of Science

Did you know that humans have been biotechnologists for nearly 6,000 years? Making wine, beer, cheese and yogurt involve the use of bacteria or yeast to convert a natural product, like milk or grape juice, into a more desirable fermentation product.

Biothechnology is the direct or indirect use of living organisms in an innovative manner in the production of goods and services, or to improve existing processes. Applications of this science include the diagnosis and treatment of disease, genetically modifying agricultural crops and production of vitamins, pharmaceuticals and other economically important products.

York’s Biotechnology program prepares you for a career in this exciting, steadily growing field. This program teaches not only the underlying science but also exposes you to relevant social, legal, ethical and business issues.

Many students ask, how does "biotechnology" differ from "genetic engineering"? Biotechnology is a broad term that applies to all practical uses of living organisms—anything from microorganisms used in the fermentation of beer to the most sophisticated application of gene therapy. Genetic engineering refers to a set of technologies that are being used to change the genetic makeup of cells and move genes across species boundaries to produce novel organisms.

This program has been designed to provide a well-coordinated synthesis of carefully selected courses in molecular and cell biology, genetics and biochemistry with others in computer science, economics, business and ethics. It combines the required technical and conceptual scientific rigor necessary for mastery of the discipline with a fundamental education relevant to socio-economic aspects of biotechnology.

  • York's program is designed to offer you the opportunity to prepare for a career in biotechnology and, at the same time, to provide a sound foundation for postgraduate studies in molecular biology, cell biology and biochemistry.
  • Students frequently compete in the Sanofi-Pasteur Healthcare & Biotechnology Venture Challenge. This is a unique opportunity for Biotechnology and Schulich MBA students to create business plans to get products out of the lab and on to the market. In 2010, teams comprised of York Biotechnology and Schulich MBA students were awarded with over $10,000 in prizes.

You may also be interested in other Biology programs.

Program Details

Offered by

Faculty of Science

Offered at

  • Keele Campus

Degrees offered


Ways to study

Full-Time, Part-Time

Experiential Education

Co-op or internship

Fall entry

Yes (first and upper year)

Winter entry

Yes (first and upper year)

Summer entry

Yes (first and upper year)