Genetic Engineering & Society (Minor)

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The interdisciplinary minor in Genetic Engineering and Society (GES) examines the technological, societal and ecological issues surrounding the development and potential use of genetically engineered organisms. Participants in the minor will learn the basic concepts and principles underlying genetic engineering and the methods used for evaluating the technology’s social, cultural and environmental dimensions. The graduate minor is available to students pursuing either an MS or a Ph.D. degree.


In order to complete the minor, coursework must be taken in relevant areas of natural sciences and the humanities and social sciences. 9 credit hours from a list of approved courses (see below) are required, 6 of which must be two of the core GES courses. The remaining 3 credit hours must be fulfilled by a course from the list of approved courses that are outside the students’ home discipline. A grade of B or higher must be achieved in each course counted towards the minor. In addition, a student must have a GES faculty member on his or her committee, and this faculty member should be from a discipline other than the student’s major, ensuring that there is representation from both humanities/social science and natural science.

The choice of courses must be consistent with the interdisciplinary outlook of this minor, namely that students will learn the basic concepts and principles underlying genetic engineering and the methods used for evaluating the technology’s social, cultural and environmental dimensions. The minor representative will be responsible for ensuring that the courses taken are appropriate and balance the student’s major. Students in the biological sciences will be encouraged to take hands-on courses, such as those offered by the BIT program.

Plan Requirements

Core Courses9
Emerging Technologies and Society
Special Topics in Genetic Engineering and Society (Governance, Systems & Modeling)
Special Topics in Genetic Engineering and Society (Genetic Engineering for Sustainable Crop Development)
Select one additional course below:3
Principles of Genetic Pest Management
Culture, Ecology, and Sustainable Living
Manipulation of Recombinant DNA
Seminar in Environmental Communication
Economic Development
Rhetoric Of Science and Technology
Human Dimensions of Wildlife and Fisheries
Functional Genomics
American Environmental History
History of the Life Sciences
History of American Technology
Current Issues in Natural Resource Policy
Darwinism and Christianity
Special Topics in Public Administration (Science and Technology Policy)
Ethical Theory
Innovation and Technology
Special Topics (Bioinformatics I/II)
Total Hours12


Full Professors

  • Rick Lynn Brandenburg
  • David Buchwalter
  • Wayne G. Buhler
  • Hannah J. Burrack
  • Robert R. Dunn
  • Steven D. Frank
  • Fred L. Gould
  • Rebecca Elizabeth Irwin
  • George G. Kennedy
  • Dominic Duane Reisig
  • Richard M. Roe
  • Coby J. Schal
  • Jules Silverman
  • Clyde E. Sorenson
  • David R. Tarpy
  • James F. Walgenbach
  • David W. Watson
  • Anna Elizabeth Whitfield
  • Brian M. Wiegmann

Associate professors

  • Marce D. Lorenzen
  • David B. Orr
  • Michael Hay Reiskind
  • Dorith Rotenberg

Assistant Professors

  • Zachary Steven Brown
  • Sydney E. Crawley
  • Anders Schmidt Huseth
  • Aram Arshak Mikaelyan
  • Elsa Youngsteadt

Emeritus Faculty

  • Charles Smith Apperson
  • Jack S. Bacheler
  • James R. Baker
  • Julius R. Bradley Jr
  • Wayne Maurice Brooks
  • William V. Campbell
  • Lewis L. Deitz
  • Maurice H. Farrier
  • Fred P. Hain
  • James D. Harper
  • Ruediger C. Hillmann
  • John R. Meyer
  • Harry B. Moore Jr.
  • Herbert H. Neunzig
  • John F. Roberts
  • Robert L. Robertson
  • Kenneth A. Sorensen
  • Phillip S. Southern
  • Ronald Edwin Stinner
  • John W. VanDuyn
  • Charles Gerald Wright

Adjunct Professors

  • Nicholas M. Haddad
  • Loganathan Ponnusamy
  • Christopher M. Ranger