The Plant Sciences major is designed for students who are interested in a scientific understanding of how plants grow and develop in managed agricultural ecosystems and how plant products are utilized for food, fiber and environmental enhancement. Advances in science and technology have provided new insights and options for using plants to address the issues associated with providing renewable food, fiber and energy resources for a growing global population while minimizing adverse impacts on the natural environment. Graduates in Plant Sciences are able to apply their skills and knowledge to a diverse range of agricultural and environmental goals or pursue advanced degrees in plant sciences.
UC Davis offers an Undergraduate Biotechnology Major, with specializations in Plant Biotechnology, Bioinformatics, Fermentation/Microbial Biotechnology, or Animal Biotechnology. Undergraduates who are interested in a future career in Plant Breeding may consider this major, with a specialization in Plant Biotechnology or Bioinformatics.
Every living organism from the smallest and most primitive bacteria, to every insect, animal, human and the oldest trees contain DNA as the primary genetic material. This DNA directs all the cellular processes creating the incredible variety and diversity of living organisms that we see around us in the biosphere. Biotechnology means “life technology” and represents an integrated, multi disciplinary field that focuses on the mechanics of life processes and their application. Today biotechnology has begun to have a profound impact on almost every aspect of human endeavor.
It is becoming increasingly evident that we need to find technologies that are more efficient and gentler on our environment. With increasing frequency industries are turning to biotechnology to solve problems and improve products. As a result, in the last decade biotechnology has developed into a major growth industry. This trend is creating an increasing job market for trained individuals in agriculture, food and beverage industries; health care, chemical, pharmaceutical and biochemical industries; and environmental and bioremediation industries. Furthermore, graduates trained in biotechnology will find their training applicable to advanced research in molecular biology, genetics, biochemistry, medicine, and the plant and animal sciences. For more information, visit http://biotechmajor.ucdavis.edu.
International Agricultural Development (IAD) Major
The goal of international agricultural development is to improve food production, nutrition, marketing, and health in less technically advanced countries. Students in this major are trained in technical areas of agriculture that can be applied to the problems of world hunger and health. For more information, visit https://www.plantsciences.ucdavis.edu/undergraduate/international-agricultural-development-iad.