Undergraduate minor

An undergraduate Minor in Biotechnology is available for all students who have met prerequisites in chemistry. This program is university-wide and combines NCSU’s strength in agriculture and engineering resulting in a unique set of core and advanced course offerings that are highly relevant to medical, agricultural, engineering, and veterinary fields.

The Biotechnology Education Facility serves the central point for development and execution of these sophisticated courses. Currently available equipment includes an automated DNA sequencer, a tissue culture and transformation facility, fluorescence microscope workstations, fermentation and protein purification equipment, a wireless networked computer lab, and fully equipped individual laboratory stations for up to 40 students at a time. Training for both graduate and undergraduate students in this facility is year round and special classes ranging from bioinformatics courses for NCSU and sister university faculty to workshops for high school agriculture and biology teachers have been taught in the summer.

Biotechnology is not universally accepted, and one role of a university is to ensure that this technology is used wisely. A key part of the training provided by the NCSU Minor in Biotechnology is the requirement for an ethics course that promotes critical thinking of ethical issues and discussions of individual and collective rights and responsibilities. Using student-lead presentations and discussions, and promoting an environment that encourages questioning and a respect for alternative opinions, each student can contribute their concerns and thoughts regarding the complex issues that accompany use of genetically engineered organisms. These discussions can promote a solid foundation for the equitable and productive use of biotechnology in agriculture.

The Minor in Biotechnology will help to prepare all of our students to meet the challenges of rapidly changing technologies and explosions in information. Our top researchers have contributed to the formation of the Biotechnology Courses, motivated by the desire to share what has been important in their experience, and the knowledge that there is no substitute for hands-on experience in this field. By increasing the depth and sophistication of the training our students receive, we can provide a competitive workforce for industry as well as future leaders that will keep North Carolina at the leading edge of Biotechnology.