Agricultural and medical biotechnology encompasses cellular and molecular approaches to the manipulation and improvement of agricultural plants, animals and microorganisms, and the control of agricultural pests and diseases. The primary purpose of the baccalaureate degree program in Agricultural and Medical Biotechnology is to train students in modern cellular and molecular biology and genetic engineering. Students will be provided with a firm foundation in the principles of genetics and molecular biology of both prokaryotic and eukaryotic organisms. Each student will then specialize in an area appropriate to his or her interest and career objectives, including: microbial, fungal, plant, insect and mammalian biotechnology.
Graduates will be prepared to assume government, university, and industry positions with research and technology applications to agriculture and food production. Employment opportunities include research scientists, laboratory technicians or managers in university, government, industrial, or clinical laboratories using biotechnological tools for research and production. Examples of research areas include: gene cloning, construction of novel pest and disease resistance genes, development of new immunological and nucleic acid types of diagnostic probes for plant and animal disease, genetic engineering of microorganisms for the production of important pharmaceutical agents, and development of new bioengineered strains of microorganisms for fermentation and food production services. Students will also be prepared to enter graduate programs in agriculture, molecular biology, and the biological sciences.
To earn a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural and Medical Biotechnology the student must complete 125 semester hours with at least a 2.0 gradepoint standing. A minimum of 45 credit hours must be from upper division courses (300 and above). Remedial courses may not be counted toward the total hours required for the degree. In addition to the UK Core requirements, students must complete college, premajor, major, and specialty support requirements, including an independent research project relevant to the student’s interest in biotechnology.