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Program Description

Biotechnology is a discipline which deals with living organisms and their products in large scale industrial processes and human services. It is an old field with new horizons and frontiers. Its potentials have been vastly enhanced by the development of recombinant DNA technology and sequencing of the genomes of important organisms in the recent past.

The fusion of recombinant DNA technology and genetic engineering techniques with the traditional methodologies has enormously strengthened this discipline with vast potential and applications. Humans around the world are already reaping immense benefits from these advancements in the fields of health, agriculture, industry and environment. Biotechnology is a highly interdisciplinary field. Whereas it requires inputs from biochemistry, microbiology, chemistry, genetics, engineering, and computer sciences, the aspects like product development, marketing and business have also to be included in formal training programs in biotechnology.

Teaching and research in the field of biotechnology must be strengthened in Pakistan not only to assimilate the progress made in the world but also to undertake research for solving the country's specific problems. This would only be possible by producing well-trained scientific manpower in the country. It is, therefore, imperative to initiate well-planned academic programs in the emerging areas of science like biotechnology.

Realizing importance of the field, the Departments of Environmental and Biosciences have initiated graduate program (MS/PhD) in the discipline of Biotechnology. The courses and research schemes have been designed keeping in view the students' background, current developments in the field, country's specific need and the guidelines set by the Higher Education Commission.

Objectives of the Program

To provide high quality education and training to the students to promote the pursuit of excellence in research at national and international level
To impart, integrate and augment education in the discipline of biotechnology and genetic engineering in Pakistan through competitive teaching and research
To create a nexus of tangible research that will provide solutions to environmental, industrial, agricultural and health problems

Major Focused Areas of Research

The broader thrust of biotechnology program is into health, agriculture, environment and industry with the following specific areas of research interest.

Mapping genetic diversity in plants and animals using genome based technologies
Understanding genetic mechanisms of biotic and abiotic stresses, quality and yield traits in important crop plants
Application of invitro technology and genetic engineering in plants and microbes
Genetic understanding of biochemical compounds in medicinal plants
Improving agriculture, environment and health through the application of biotechnology techniques 

Application and admission

At CIIT the admissions in graduate programs are offered on merit. The merit is determined on the basis if the academic record, GRE/NTS-GAT score and interview.
General Eligibility Criteria
  • An MS/M.Phil degree with Thesis of 06 credit hours or its equivalent degree with Thesis of 06 credit hours, in the relevant field from an accredited institution, with minimum CGPA of 3.0/4.0 (Semester system) or 70% marks (annual system), and no third division (annual system) or'D' grade (semester system) throughout the academic career. 
  • GRE (Subject) as per HEC policy or NTS GAT (subject) with a minimum score of 60.

Program Duration

The duration of studies for PhD degree shall normally be, not less than three years and not more than five years.

Course Work Requirements:

a) A PhD scholar shall have to complete 18 credit hoursof graduate level course work from approved Scheme of Studies and 09 credit hours of PhD thesis. Supervisory committee will recommend the courses for each student. Courses will be selected from the list of all approved graduate level courses. Only 600 level and above courses are permitted for PhD.

b) The reigstration of PhD Thesis of 09 credit hours shall be allowed after the completion of course work for PhD degree.

c) If the scheme of courses completed by the candidates for their last degree in the relevant field does not provide adequate background for the PhD program into which they are seeking admissions, they may be required to rectify the defficiency by taking one or more additional courses proposed by the departmental advisory committee.

Note: Information regarding required oral and written examinations and detailed rules and regulation as specified in the CIIT Graduate Handbook will be considered the CIIT Graduate Handbook will be considered final.

Career prospects

Biotechnology careers encompass disciplines of teaching, research, development, production, business, law and policies, and community services. Rapid expansion of knowledge in life processes at molecular level has increased the realization of potential application of biotechnology for human welfare. The subject has gained a tremendous boost in the recent past and will continue to grow in the coming decades throughout the world.
The need of trained manpower in this area will continue to grow in future and the graduates of the proposed program will, therefore, be able to fill the existing gaps.
Based on the quality training, and prominent standing of COMSATS IIT in academics and research, the graduates of our program are expected to be highly competitive in the job market.
Excellent career opportunities await the graduates of COMSATS.