Biotechnology is an expanding field that studies biomolecular and cellular systems to develop technologies that improve industries and quality of life. Biotechnology is involved in research for disease control and developing environmentally-friendly approaches to using fuel and other natural resources. While programs are expanding worldwide, most top-ranked biotechnology schools are in the United States.

Harvard University

Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass., is the highest-ranked school in the World Ranking Guide’s list of top 50 biotechnology universities. In America, it was ranked No. 1 in genetics, genomics and bioinformatics and No. 1 in biochemistry and biophysics by “U.S. News & World Report” in 2014. Harvard’s biotechnology graduate program allows students to choose a concentration in bioengineering and nanotechnologies, bioinformatics, life sciences or management principles, preparing them for careers in research, engineering or biotechnology administration.

University of Tokyo

The University of Tokyo is ranked No. 2 in the world’s top biotechnology universities by World Ranking Guide. In 2014, QS Top Universities ranked it No. 31 in worldwide universities and No. 10 in universities in Asia. The University of Tokyo’s Department of Biotechnology provides graduate degrees in biomolecular research, biofunctional research, molecular and cellular biosciences and biotechnology research. Students study DNA technology, protein engineering and bioinformatics to become valued contributors in fields such as medicine, chemistry and environmental science.

University College London

University College London is ranked No. 5 in world universities by QS Top Universities and No. 3 in the world’s biotechnology universities by World Ranking Guide. It offers a Bachelor of Science degree in biochemistry, providing undergraduates with a foundation in chemistry, biochemistry, genetics and molecular biotechnology. Students can go on to pursue a Master of Research degree in biotechnology, studying cellular regulation, molecular cloning and other biotechnological fields of research.

University of California San Francisco

UC San Francisco is ranked No. 4 in the world’s biotechnology universities by World Ranking Guide. In 2014, “U.S. News & World Report” ranked the university No. 5 for biochemistry and No. 7 for biophysics, fields closely connected to biotechnology. Undergraduates at UCSF major in biology before transitioning into the biotechnology master’s program. Graduate students have the opportunity to combine laboratory research skills with professional business expertise that will help them to navigate the rapidly developing biotechnology industry. Courses include labs, seminars and internships, providing a variety of learning environments.

University of Pennsylvania

The University of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia, is ranked No. 13 in world universities by QS Top Universities and No. 5 in the world’s biotechnology universities by World Ranking Guide. "U.S. News & World Report" ranked it No. 19 in biological sciences. It offers bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees and doctorates in biomedical engineering, as well as a professional master’s degree in biotechnology offered as a joint program between the school of arts and sciences and the school of engineering. Students may specialize in molecular biotechnology, biopharmaceutical/engineering biotechnology or biomedical technologies.

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About the Author

Bethany Marroquin is a writer and credentialed English teacher from Southern California. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English from Westmont College, and completed her teaching credential in 2014 through Azusa Pacific University.