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School of Arts and Sciences

Integrated Science, Business, and Technology

Integrated Science, Business, and Technology (ISBT) is a unique major that integrates multiple fields of study to master the process of innovation. The three areas of focus – energy and natural resources, information management, and biotechnology – equip students with the multidimensional ability to solve complex, real-world problems.

Blaze Your Own Path

Program Features

Sample CoursesCurriculumFacilitiesRelated Programs

Students enjoy a wide range of interesting and unique courses, some including:

Intelligent Systems

This course presents a systematic introduction to the fundamentals of computational intelligence, including in-depth examination of artificial neural networks, evolutionary computing, swarm intelligence, and fuzzy systems. Computational intelligence is the study of adaptive mechanisms to enable or facilitate intelligent behavior in complex and changing environments. Specific environments examined will include Laboratory Automation, Automated Process Control, Robotics, and Business Decision Support.

Bioinformatics

This course examines current biological problems and explore and develop bioinformatic solutions to these issues. Each topic includes a definition of the problem, a review of the basic biological concepts involved, an introduction to the computational techniques used to address the problem along with a utilization of existing web-based tools and software solutions often employed by professionals in the field of bioinformatics. Biological topics include those such as antibiotic resistance, genetic disease, and genome sequencing.

Life Science Innovation

Created in partnership with the Wistar Institute, Life Science Innovation provides students with hands-on science/technology commercialization projects. Cross-listed by the Biology, ISBT and Management & Leaderships programs, interdisciplinary teams of students select technologies from a curated patent portfolio of Wistar inventions. Teams interact with inventor scientists at Wistar to familiarize themselves with the underlying science/technology, as well as with external partners such as venture capitalists, intellectual property lawyers, and biotechnology entrepreneurs—to identify unmet needs the science/technology addresses, and define key commercialization issues such as IP, market opportunity, competition, regulatory pathways, and potential customers. At the end of the semester, teams compete in a “shark-tank” competition and pitch a panel of life science investors.

Phage Hunting

Biology partners with SEA-PHAGES, to provide an undergraduate research experience funded by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Phages are viruses that infect and kill bacteria and have been a powerful tool for learning about microbiology. They have also been used as a therapy against antibiotic resistant bacteria. Over the course of two semesters, students isolate, characterize, and identify phages found in soil. Students then use bioinformatics tools to find genes hidden within the DNA of these viruses. Viruses that students discover are housed in a national repository, and genomes that are annotated are published on a national database, with students listed as authors. The SEA-PHAGES program gives students the opportunity to do real research that might one day provide an additional tool in managing infectious disease.

Sustainable Energy Development

This course covers the topic of sustainability as it relates to our use of our natural resources. We discuss the philosophy, economics, implementation, public and government involvement in this area, the reality and the future of sustainability. We also use current events, policy making, and the media’s treatment of issues surrounding our use of natural resources to put these principles in context.

Regulatory Affairs

In this course, we discuss the history, issues, roles, and future trends of the U.S. agencies such as the FDA, EPA, and OSHA that are responsible for administering the major laws and regulations pertaining to the life cycle of products in commerce. Emphasis is on understanding the impacts of environmental, health, safety (EHS), and product laws and regulations with which most businesses have to comply. All of the major EHS Acts are presented and case studies, practical exercises, and team group work are used to discover the business impact.

The Bachelor’s of Science in Integrated Science, Business, and Technology (ISBT) follows a curriculum where the study of science, technology, mathematics, business, and the liberal arts are explored in interdisciplinary ways to solve complex, real-world problems in a variety of fields. The ISBT curriculum emphasizes teamwork and critical thinking skills and employs hands-on, active learning styles to engage the whole student. ISBT graduates are well positioned to pursue careers in science and technology as inventors, project managers, analysts and entrepreneurs.

Degree Earned: B.S.

Number of Courses Required for Graduation

Major: 19 Courses: 15 ISBT Core and 4 Concentration

Total: 38

Number of Credits Required for Graduation

Major: 66-70

Total: 123 to 127 depending on electives chosen

GPA Required for Graduation

Major: 2.0

Cumulative: 2.0

Course Sequence

Introductory Sequence

ISBT 103

Molecules & Cells: Phage Hunting I
(4 credits)

ISBT 104

Genomics: Phage Hunting II
(4 credits)

ISBT 111

Technology and Systems Analysis
(4 credits)

ISBT 112

Technology Foundations I
(4 credits)

BUS 100

Business Perspectives
(4 credits)

Intermediate Sequence

IBST 201

Living Systems
(4 credits)

IBST 202

Technology and Business Analysis
(4 credits)

IBST 211

Instruments and Measurement
(4 credits)

IBST 212

Technology Foundations: II
(4 credits)

Advanced Sequence

ISBT 311

Bioinformatics
(3 credits)

ISBT 312

Collaborative Software Development
(3 credits)

ISBT 313

Science, Business and Tech Writing
(3 credits)

ISBT 314

Sustainable Energy Development
(3 credits)

Concentration Courses

4 courses within one of three concentrations

Biotechology, Energy and Natural Resources, or Information and Knowledge Management

Senior Research

ISBT 481-482

Capstone Research I & II

The ISBT department is located in Holroyd Hall, home of the Hugh and Nancy Devlin Center for Science and Technology. Students and faculty pursue research ranging from cell biology to materials chemistry to robotics and engineering. The facility is equipped with state-of-the-art labs, research spaces and resources such as:

  • Arduino Electronics kits
  • Tinius Olsen Universal Testers
  • CreatorPro 3-D Printers
  • High Performance Liquid Chromatograph
  • Gas Chromatograph
  • Fluorescent Microscope
  • Scanning Electronic Microscope
  • Illumina iSeq DNA Sequencer
  • PCR & Real Time PCR
  • Tissue Culture Suite
  • Bioreactors
  • Histopathology Suite
  • Roof-top Green House

Related Majors

Minors

  • Translational Science – Translational Science is an emergent, interdisciplinary field focused on translating basic science discoveries into diagnostics, therapeutics, and medical devices to address unmet healthcare needs. This bench-to-bedside approach requires critical thinking skills to see opportunities for innovation and to navigate complex biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry landscapes.
  • Business Systems and Analytics – Systems analytics plays an increasingly important role in how companies make decision and improve productivity. Effectively aggregating, organizing, and understanding data can be the determining factor in the success or failure of an organization. Companies are seeking skilled employees who are comfortable with working with data and making informed and effective decisions in technology-rich environments.

Concentrations

  • Bioethics – an examination of ethical issues that emerge from advances in biology that apply to research and medical practice
  • Bioinformatics – an interdisciplinary field that uses software tools to acquire and analyze large complex biological data sets including whole genome DNA data.
  • BioDesign – an emerging, integrated discipline drawing on design thinking, biology, engineering, and entrepreneurship to develop products and technologies that address unmet healthcare needs.
  • Information and Knowledge Management – Almost every industry must now contend with Big Data. Building efficient ways to store, process, retrieve and analyze that data will be key to creating new innovations and maintaining a competitive edge in business.

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I am an Explorer

Fabian Bergman, ’18

“To all students considering applying to ISBT, Fabian says, “Do it! ISBT is a great major that can be formed in pretty much any direction you want. My closest friends in the major all have different plans – I’m doing biotech, one is going into real estate, one to pharmaceutical sales, one is pre-med, and another one is going to grad school for engineering. The faculty is awesome, they all have open door policies, and there is always candy in our common area.”

Read More about Fabian Bergman, ’18Read More