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Applied Biotechnology Major

Discover new ways to use living cells and biological processes to feed the world, fight disease and increase sustainability. A Bachelor of Science undergraduate degree in applied biotechnology from the University of Arizona gives you the tools and hands-on experience you need to use biomedical science to help solve complex challenges related to population growth, human health, climate change and more.   

Why Major in Applied Biotechnology?

You want to join the fast-growing biotechnology field to address some of the most pressing issues we face today. You’ll work with faculty mentors and corporate partners to learn how using microorganisms and bio processes can improve modern food production, medicine, and biofuel and chemical industries.

Students who major in applied biotechnology develop a solid foundation in microbiology, plant biology, food science and nutrition. You can customize your biomedical science degree with one of three options: applied biotechnology (with applications in a variety of areas, including medicine); food and beverage fermentation; or industrial plant and microbial biotechnology. 

A degree in applied biotechnology will prepare you for careers developing vaccines and medicines, bio-fuels, insect-resistant crops and fermented foods and beverages. An applied biotechnology degree also can serve as a springboard into graduate, medical, veterinary, law, or pharmacy school.

What Can You Do with a Degree in Applied Biotechnology?

There are a variety of career opportunities available to students who complete a bachelor of applied biotechnology, including:

  • Biological Technician: Conduct scientific tests, experiments, and analyses in collaboration with biological and medical scientists.
  • Food Scientist: Create new food and beverage varieties and improve the safety and nutrition of existing food products.
  • Industrial Microbiologist: Monitor and solve problems related to the use of microorganisms in the production of food, medicine, and other materials.
  • Geneticist: Study genetic material in a laboratory to determine how plant, animal, and human genes interact with each other, evolve, and duplicate.
  • Biomedical Engineer: Combine biology and medicine with engineering to develop machines and processes to solve medical and health-related problems.

Applied Biotechnology Degree Requirements

As an applied biotechnology student at the University of Arizona, you’ll study the power that living organisms and biological processes have to sustain the world through food production, to improve health and medicine, and to develop new industrial bio materials. Courses required to complete a bachelor of applied biotechnology are subject to change, so remember to meet with your advisor regularly to review your course plan.

Applied Biotechnology

2 students in a lab discussing findings

The Applied Biotechnology emphasis is your most customizable option with applications in a variety of areas, including medicine. It prepares you to do research in academic, institutional, or government laboratories, or to develop products in the biotechnology industry, including vaccines, enzymes, biofuels, and biologics.

Learn more about the applied biotechnology emphasis

Food & Beverage Fermentation

fermentation process

The Food and Beverage Fermentation emphasis prepares you for careers in food and beverage development, production, and safety through a combination of classes focused on microbiology, food science, genomics, biotechnology, laboratory work, and more. 

Learn more about the food and beverage fermentation emphasis

Industrial Plant & Microbial Biotechnology

testing plants in a beaker

The Industrial Plant and Microbial Biotechnology emphasis prepares you to work in the quality, safety, and development segments of the biotechnology manufacturing industry. You'll take classes focused on plant biology, microbial genetics, industrial biotechnology, and more. 

Learn more about the industrial plant and microbial biotechnology emphasis