Animal Science Department

College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences


Photograph of student using laboratory materials

What is biotechnology?

Biotechnology is a broad term that can be defined as the application of modern techniques and technologies to the life sciences. Recombinant DNA technology is used in agricultural and biomedical research, pharmaceutical development and production, bioremediation, industrial and food manufacturing, as well as in the production of many common household items.

Why study biotechnology?

Studying animal biotechnology at Cal Poly provides students the opportunity to learn how the application of biotechnology helps animal scientists understand how biological processes normally occur, as well as what happens to these processes in disease conditions. Through better understanding, students can work to maximize animal well-being, production, and efficiency, as well as develop new treatments for diseases in both human and non-human animals.

Our Program

Cal Poly’s program in animal biotechnology strives to gives students the best educational opportunities by encouraging undergraduate research. About 40 percent of undergraduate biotechnology students are currently involved in research. Additionally, excellent biotechnology facilities available to students provide access to the latest instrumentation and technologies to conduct research.

Excellent career opportunities exist for students who have followed the Animal Science Department’s biotechnology track. Numerous positions are available in the biotechnology industry for graduates interested in working with animals and humans. Pharmaceutical and private biotechnology companies are frequently recruiting for well-trained graduates who have a strong animal and molecular biology background.

As a student a part of the embryology class, I have been provided with the funding and opportunity to work on equipment and to practice techniques that you usually only begin to do at graduate-level programs. It's the epitome of Learn By Doing.

Marc Ledesma, senior animal science major

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