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The Major Program

Every living organism, from the smallest and most primitive bacteria to every plant, insect, animal or human being, contains DNA as the primary genetic material. DNA directs all cellular processes, creating the incredible variety and diversity of living organisms in the biosphere. Biotechnology focuses on the mechanics of life processes and their application. Biotechnology means “life technology” and represents an integrated, multidisciplinary field, with a profound impact today on almost every aspect of human endeavor.

Preparatory Requirements. UC Davis students who wish to change their major to Biotechnology must complete the following courses (representing the subject areas of Biological Sciences, Chemistry, and Mathematics) with a grade point average of at least 2.500 in each subject area. All of these courses must be taken for a letter grade:

Biological Sciences 2A, 2B, 2C 14-15
Chemistry 2A, 2B, 2C 15
Mathematics, one of the following
Mathematics 16A, 16B; or Mathematics 17A, 17B; or Mathematics 21A, 21B  

The Program. In the first two years, students develop a strong and general background in biological science with an emphasis on fundamental concepts and basic principles of genetics, molecular biology and cell biology. Four options, Animal Biotechnology, Plant Biotechnology, Fermentation/Microbial Biotechnology, and Bioinformatics, provide in-depth training and specialized knowledge in an aspect of biotechnology. Each option has a strong laboratory component to reinforce the theoretical concepts. Students also do an internship in a biotechnology company or university or government laboratory.

Internships and Career Opportunities. In the last decade, more industries are turning to biotechnology to solve problems and improve products, creating a growing job market for individuals trained in biotechnology in the agricultural, food and beverage, health care, chemical, pharmaceutical and biochemical, and environmental and bioremediation industries.

Graduates trained in the technologies designed for biotechnology will find their training applicable to advanced research in molecular biology, genetics, biochemistry, and the plant and animal sciences.

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Updated: November 21, 2017 12:17 PM