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The Plant Genetics and Plant Breeding Option is designed for students interested in agricultural biotechnology, genetic engineering, and research in genetic mechanisms that control crop growth and development. This option prepares students for many research opportunities in industry and provides the necessary background for graduate studies. Students also learn the fundamentals of genetics and practical plant breeding as well as the latest developments in genetic engineering, environmentally sound crop production practices, development of varieties appropriate for the agriculture of developing countries, and strategies for developing plant lines adapted to environmental stresses. Opportunities exist for training both in laboratory and field practices important to modern genetics research.
Plan of Study
There is a wide range of employment opportunities for graduates of the Plant Genetics and Plant Breeding option in the seed and biotechnology industries and plant genetics research and teaching. Students specializing in plant breeding are prepared for a broad range of careers involving development of improved crop varieties and their adaptation to crop production systems.
Summer Employment and Summer Internships
Students are encouraged to spend summer sessions gaining laboratory or field experience in plant genetics.
A formal internship program is available for students who desire to earn credit while gaining experience during the summer. Summer internship experience is extremely valuable for future employment placement and provides an ideal opportunity to learn about plant genetics and plant breeding, and to explore employment options in the field.