UC San Diego Extension Certificate Programs
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Biofuels Science Certificate

Now accepting applications for Spring 2014!
Apply Now >

The Biofuels Science Specialized Certificate is aimed at training professionals for field and laboratory roles in the growing biofuels industry. It provides students hands-on technical knowledge and experience in laboratory techniques used in biofuels production, analysis and processing.

Students choose from one of the following specialization tracks:
-Molecular Biology
-Aquatic Microbiology
-Analytical Chemistry

Why Biofuels?
Biofuels research and development in the San Diego region constitutes an increasingly robust cluster of economic activity and employment opportunities. A 2011 analysis, conducted by the San Diego County of Governments’ (SANDAG) economic bureau, reports that for the algae sector alone, the industry currently provides the San Diego region with 466 direct jobs and $81 million in direct economic activity and $157 million in total economic activity annually. With increasing pressure on fossil fuels and the movement to develop clean, renewable alternative energy, the biofuels sector is set to grow at an impressive pace.

Certificate & Course Fees:
The total cost of this program is approximately $5385. Fees are payed at the course level, with the exception of the $60 certificate fee. Prices of the courses range from $795 to $1800. Fees do NOT include books or materials. Additional fees for housing and food will need to be considered for those traveling to San Diego for the 4-week Summer laboratory in July.

Financial Aid:
Financial aid is available for this program, including grant funding. See the Biofuels Webpage for more information (right side bar).

New! Massive Open Online Course
With the support of Google, Food & Fuel for the 21st Century and the Center for Energy Research at UCSD have teamed up to create a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on Our Energy Future. This short course aims to provide knowledge on general topics of energy including, energy production and utilization, renewable energy, climate change, social and economic effects of energy, and energy as it relates to water and food security. Although basic knowledge of chemistry, biology, economics, and social sciences will help, no prior coursework on these subjects is required. Note: This course does not earn you credit towards the certificate. Learn more and register >

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Certificate Course Matrix
Course Title Course Number Units FA WI SP SU
Required Core Courses (Both courses are required.)
Introduction to Biofuels
O O    
Biomass Production
Biomass Production Lab
Required Track Courses (Choose one track.)
Molecular Biology (Both courses are required.)
Genetics and Physiology of Photosynthetic Microorganisms
Photosynthetic Microorganisms Molecular Biology Laboratory
Aquatic Microbiology (Both courses are required.)
Aquatic Ecology
Aquatic Microbiology Laboratory
Analytical Chemistry (Both courses are required.)
Chemistry and Biochemistry of Biofuels
Analytical Chemistry Laboratory
L=La Jolla M=Mission Valley O=Online U=University City X=Location TBA
Certificate Programs

To Register in the Certificate Program

Certificate registration is required to complete the program. Candidates are encouraged to register in the certificate program as early as possible to take advantage of program benefits. See Certificate FAQs for more information.

Certificate Section ID: 100548 Apply Now!
Application Fee: $60
Contact: Life Sciences, (858) 534-9351
E-mail: avyang@ucsd.edu

Conditions for Admission

Application is required. Click the apply now button above to begin application process.

Students applying for this program need to have college-level knowledge in the following areas to be considered for the program. Please be sure to include background in these areas on the application.

Molecular Biologist & Aquatic Microbiologist Track Prerequisites:
-Introductory Biology
-Introductory Chemistry

Analytical Chemist Track Prerequisites:
-Introductory Biology
-Introductory Chemistry
-Intro Organic Chemistry

Certificate Guidelines

This is a hybrid program. Lectures are completed online. The laboratory components are completed during summer at the UC San Diego campus. See course details to see specific dates, times and locations for each course.


Michael Burkart, Ph.D.
Asst. Director, San Diego Center for Algae Biotechnology
UCSD, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

William R. Davison, M.S.
Vice President, Alternative Fuels Division
General Atomics

Stephen Mayfield, Ph.D.
San Diego Center for Algae Biotechnology (SD-CAB)

David J. Pyrce, MBA
Executive Vice President
Kent BioEnergy Corporation

Tim Zenk
Vice President of Corporate Affairs
Sapphire Energy