Students at Auburn University will have a new degree option next fall as the College of Agriculture offers a bachelor of science in applied biotechnology. The new major was approved by the Alabama Commission on Higher Education in December 2016.
“This is the first program of its kind in the state of Alabama and was developed in response to the rapid growth of the biotechnology industry,” said Paul Patterson, dean of Auburn’s College of Agriculture. “We believe this program will be an attractive option for a number of students pursuing careers in the advanced sciences.”
The new major is an interdisciplinary program drawing from a variety of agricultural sciences. Students in the program will train to apply advanced science and engineering to some of the world’s leading issues through alternative energy sources, safer plant- and animal-based products, management of crop damage, reduced production costs and more.
“Biotech is a very fast-growing field, and the USDA projects the rapid growth of even more biotech career opportunities related to food, renewable energy and the environment,” said Nannan Liu, chair of Auburn’s Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology. “These are fields of great need for communities throughout our state and around the world. That is why is was priority for us to develop and offer this new major in applied biotechnology.”
The applied biotechnology program is administratively housed in the Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology while incorporating coursework from multiple departments and programs, including animal sciences, biosystems engineering, crop and soil science, environmental science, food science and horticulture.
The program’s curriculum was designed to prepare students for careers and graduate studies in biotechnology, biomedicine, pharmaceuticals and related industries.