Department of Graduate Biotechnology joins the School of Agriculture

The Alcorn State University School of Agriculture, Research, Extension and Applied Sciences just got bigger: it recently added the Department of Graduate Biotechnology.

“The program will allow graduate students to receive a master’s degree in biotechnology,” said Interim Chair Dr. Keith McGee, associate professor of biological sciences.

One of McGee’s main goals is to reconsolidate this program under the leadership of the School of Agriculture, Research, Extension and Applied Sciences to prepare students for careers in agriculture, biotechnology and molecular biology as well as create a space for new undergraduate programs.

“With this program, students can look forward to vast opportunities and careers in agriculture, veterinary medicine, and a number of fields in biotechnology,” said McGee. “Biotechnology touches just about everything and is one of the fastest growing sectors there is.”

The department is also targeting the fall semester of 2017 as the starting date of an additional undergraduate program. Students can expect the courses to take place in a classroom setting and meet their instructors face-to-face. The core curriculum will follow the requirement of 120 hours with 30-36 hours of lab-based courses taught by a diverse faculty.

McGee looks forward to creating a robust group of students in the department that will represent the University well.

“My long-term goal is to develop a doctorate program. That way, we’ll have the full spectrum covered with program offerings from bachelor’s to doctorate degrees in biotechnology,” he said. “We also want to see more involvement with industry – companies such as Monsanto, Tyson Foods and Archer Daniels Midland, and pharmaceutical companies as well.”

For more information, please contact McGee at [email protected] or (601) 877-6198, or call the Department of Graduate Biotechnology at (601) 877-6658 or (601) 877- 6678.