Biotechnology is the best course in engineering

Biotechnology is not a classical engineering science, but biotechnologists often work in technical environments because their biological expertise is linked to technical requirements. If you are interested in this exciting combination, read on here.

We have been using biotechnological processes for thousands of years. B. for the production of cheese, bread or beer. On the other hand, we do not yet know or only partially know what influences the function of a cell or a group of cells or what molecular changes lead to diseases. What innovative approaches are there to curing cancer? These and other questions are faced by today's biotechnology students.

In order to be able to answer these questions, extensive knowledge must be acquired in various areas. The students learn to apply scientific knowledge for industrial use and analytical-technical questions.

Biotechnology is an interdisciplinary science. It not only uses the knowledge of microbiology, but also that of genetics, chemistry, medicine, botany and process engineering. The aim is to develop new or more efficient processes for the production of chemical compounds, the development of diagnostic methods and other things.

In addition to the classic biotechnology courses, there are numerous other courses of study in Germany with special focuses: e. B. Molecular biotechnology, bioproduct technology, biomechatronics, bioprocess engineering, plant biotechnology, biosystem technology or bioprocess engineering.

The biotechnology course is offered by almost all types of universities: Universities of applied sciences, technical colleges, universities and technical universities have corresponding subjects in their programs. So you have many options to choose from!

Did you know that...

... In 2014, scientists from the University of California developed a bio-battery in the form of a washable adhesive tattoo that generates electricity from sweat?

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All courses and information on biotechnology studies

An overview of the right universities and courses of study

Biotechnology is a popular subject. In addition to a higher school diploma, you may need a certain grade point average. You can find out exactly what is important here.

  • General higher education entrance qualification (Abitur), technical college entrance qualification (Fachabitur) or a comparable university entrance qualification
    • Studying without a high school diploma: Training and work experience or a master's degree or advanced training can replace a higher school leaving certificate. You can find out more from the student advisory service at your chosen university.
  • Passing the selection procedure (NC)
  • If necessary, participation in a self-assessment test
  • first academic degree with 180 ECTS (Bachelor or equivalent) in a biotechnological subject
  • Passing the selection process
    • eTest, study ability test or something similar
    • a good bachelor's degree is helpful
  • If necessary, participation in a self-assessment test

personal requirements

These qualities should be among your own in order to enjoy your studies and to master it successfully:

  • Great interest in biological and technical interrelationships
  • Good knowledge of mathematics and natural sciences in general
  • Enjoy interdisciplinary thinking and working
  • Careful operation

Numerus Clausus (NC) for biotechnology

Some biotechnology courses have restricted admission. This means that not everyone who fulfills the formal requirements can be automatically admitted - there are simply more applicants than places. In the case of Bachelor applications, an NC often applies here.

Current NC values ​​in biotechnology studies


Course of study


Waiting semester

was standing

Technical University of Aachen

Bachelor in Molecular and Applied Biotechnology


4 (1,1)

WS 2020/21

Bielefeld University

Bachelor in Molecular Biotechnology

2,1 (0)

0 (2,6)

WS 2020/21

University of Rostock

Master in Biomedical Engineering

No admission restrictions


WS 2020/21

University of Magdeburg

Bachelor biosystems engineering

No admission restrictions


WS 2020/21

TU Dortmund University

Bachelor in bioengineering

No admission restrictions


WS 2020/21

Munich University of Applied Sciences

Bachelor in bioengineering



WS 2020/21

In the case of Master’s applications, one speaks of an NC less often. A good grade in the final certificate of the first degree still helps. This is factored into the allocation of the coveted study places. Example: At RWTH Aachen University, 51 percent of the bachelor's grade is included in the selection process, the remaining 49 percent are assessed through a subject-specific study aptitude test.

In the basic course, students deal with various natural and engineering disciplines such as molecular, micro and cell biology, biochemistry, measurement and analysis methods, process and control engineering, information technology and apparatus engineering.

In the main course there are various specialization options depending on the university and degree program. In addition, up to a third of the courses can consist of internships - so the course is usually very practice-oriented.

In the last semester, in addition to writing the thesis, a three-month internship usually has to be completed.

Possible compulsory modules:

  • General and Inorganic Chemistry
  • Analysis for engineers
  • biochemistry
  • Bioprocess engineering
  • Introduction to classical physics for engineers
  • Electrical, measurement and control technology
  • Energy, momentum and material transport
  • Basics of microbiology
  • Basics of genetics / technical and industrial microbiology
  • Construction and materials
  • Linear algebra for engineers
  • Organic chemistry
  • Physical chemistry
  • Physico-chemical measurement methods
  • Scientific and technical basics of medical biotechnology
  • Cell biology

Possible elective modules:

  • Introduction to information technology
  • Practical programming and computer structure: basics
  • Economic basics
  • Graduation: Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.)
  • Duration: 6 - 7 semesters
  • Type of study: only full-time
  • Particularities: many internships and project work (laboratory work)
  • Graduation: Master of Science (M.Sc.)
  • Duration: 3 - 4 semesters
  • Type of study: Full-time, individual extra-occupational offers
  • Particularities: Some practical semesters are possible (this extends the course by one semester), some courses are held in English

Biotechnology graduates work in various industrial sectors as well as in research, development, production or sales. You work e.g. B. in companies in the chemical and pharmaceutical industry as well as in laboratories for chemical analysis. They are also employed in seed production companies as well as in the food and luxury goods industry or in medical, natural and engineering research. Plant construction companies for biotechnology can also be considered as employers. You can also work in public administration, at universities or in associations.

As the interest and use of biotechnology in industry and science increases, qualified biotechnologists have good career prospects. And not just in Germany: Anyone who can imagine working abroad has good cards here too - biotechnology is international. It is also helpful that content is taught in English, especially in master’s courses.

Basically, it is important to know that the job description of the biotechnologist does not involve single-handed work. There is no such thing as crawling into the laboratory alone - biotechnologists often work together with other natural scientists and engineers to jointly complete a research assignment. Teamwork and communication skills are just as important as the willingness to work in an interdisciplinary manner.

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