Applied Biotechnology

The applied biotechnology major is an interdisciplinary program that brings together the multidisciplinary expertise of faculty from various departments within the College of Agriculture. This major will prepare you to meet the needs of today’s rapidly growing biotechnology and biomedical industries, equipping you with the specialized knowledge, skills and techniques this exciting field demands. As a biotechnologist, you will be trained 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. This program will also provide you with a strong foundation for graduate studies in fields such as biology, biomedical sciences, biotechnology and pharmaceutical sciences.

About the Major in Applied Biotechnology

Applied biotechnology is for students interested in scientific fields such as biology, microbiology, biomedical sciences and related disciplines. This major will equip you with invaluable hands-on experience through opportunities to work in state-of-the-art research labs on campus as well as in internships with biotechnology-related companies. This will help you build the strong scientific background and research skills necessary for employment within the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries. In addition, the applied biotechnology major is excellent preparation for professional programs in medicine.

An Interdisciplinary Degree

While housed in Auburn’s Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology, applied biotechnology is an interdisciplinary program drawing from a variety of scientific disciplines. The curriculum includes coursework from animal sciences, crop and soil sciences, entomology, environmental science, horticulture and plant pathology.

Curriculum Model

Working in Applied Biotechnology

Biotechnologies fill critical roles within today’s diverse biotech industries. Several of the largest companies in the agricultural life sciences have indicated that they will increase their workforce by 13 percent in this area and that they expect the number of academic agricultural scientists with B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. degrees to increase by 26 percent or more. Globally, agriculture-related workforce hiring will be concentrated in the plant sciences, plant breeding and genetics, and plant protection. Biotechnology is poised to take a major step forward as it begins to take advantage of the novel methods currently being developed for editing entire bacterial, animal and plant genomes to produce organisms that are well adapted to droughts and other environmental challenges. The USDA also projects significant increases in annual job openings in the renewable natural resources section of the U.S. economy, with 89 percent of those jobs being in scientific areas related to food, renewable energy and environmental specialties. The pharmaceutical and gene therapy industries are equally expecting increases in demand for well-trained employees. This degree program will produce graduates equipped for immediate placement in these positions.

Careers With Biotechnology Companies

Agilent Amgen
Alexion BASF
Biogen BioMarin
Celgene Dow AgroSciences
DuPont FMC
Gilead Sciences Ilumina
Monsanto Regeneron

Academic Advisor

Photo of Liz Smith
Liz Smith
Academic Advisor II
230A Funchess Hall
Auburn Univ, AL 36849


Lead faculty 

John Beckmann
Assistant Professor