The application of many scientific disciplines to the study of living organisms and the use of this information for commercial/practical applications.

Biotechnology involves genetic engineering, antibody and vaccine production, fermentation technology, plant regeneration from single cells, and many more emerging scientific techniques.

The challenges of Agricultural and Medical Biotechnology (ABT) are to expand its usefulness by identifying and cloning new genes and traits, developing new diagnostic tests and vaccines, and continuing to use these tools to better understand the plants, animals, and microbes that make up our world.

Scientists have a new set of tools through Agricultural and Medical Biotechnology:

  • Plant, animal, and human disease diagnosis relies heavily on biotechnology for answers to age-old questions.
  • Recombinant DNA technology (genetic engineering) provides enormous potential for detecting, modifying, or adding genes into organisms. We are no longer limited to the gene pool within a species.
  • Fermentation biotechnology has led to the production of new livestock food additives, vitamins, and growth hormones,

All in a fraction of the time it once took entire research teams to accomplish similar tasks.

ABT offers an exceptional opportunity in a wide range of scientific areas. The faculty helped me with internships, job opportunities, professional advice, and personal advice; even as a professional, after graduate school, I still turn to them—the faculty make the College of Agriculture special. - Warren Pinkston, Alltech Biotechnology

As a high school student I was nervous about attending a big university like UK. Well, I worried for nothing. The College of Agriculture is small and personal, so I'm getting a great education in a place that's friendly and helpful. - Holly Kennedy

Potential Career Pathways

  • Medical Scientist
    2016 Median Salary: $80,530 per year
    Job Outlook: 8% (faster than average growth)

  • Pharmacist*
    2016 Median Salary: $122,230 per year
    Job Outlook: 3%

  • Veterinarian*
    2016 Median Salary: $88,770 per year
    Job Outlook: 9% (faster than average growth)

Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics 
*Post-graduate work required

Student Groups Associated with this Program

Our college supports dozens of organizations to help students apply their learning outside the classroom and gain valuable work and leadership experience.  To learn more about the organizations listed below, click here.

Pre-Professional Tracks

The College of Agriculture, Food and Environment has specialized advising services for students planning to attend professional school (Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy, Law, etc.).  

In addition to helping students fulfill foundational coursework, the college's pre-professional advisor also helps student secure relevant experience such as internships, volunteer opportunities, and job shadowing positions. 

For more information on the college's pre-professional advising, click here.  

Contact an Ambassador

Want to know more about this major?  
Ask someone who knows first-hand.

  • Alli Ellis,
    Agricultural and Medical Biotechnology major 
    from Eddyville, KY 
  • Carly Leamer,
    Agricultural and Medical Biotechnology major 
    from Georgetown, KY
  • Jesse Neal,
    Agricultural and Medical Biotechnology major 
    from Louisville, KY