Student Profile

Brandon Jordan
Class of '12

Brandon Jordan earned an M.S. in the Illinois PSM’s first plant biology (now plant biotechnology) cohort. He earned an undergraduate degree at Illinois in molecular and cellular biology with an informatics minor. Brandon’s Illinois PSM internship was with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. He also completed a research project with Chromatin. Brandon is currently a PhD student in Dr. Brian Dier's lab at the University of Illinois.

Plant Biotechnology

The Plant Biotechnology program is not accepting applications for 2016.  Applicants are encouraged to explore the other IL PSM degree programs, especially the crops specialty in Agricultural Production, to determine if another major would match your goals and interests.


The Illinois PSM in plant biotechnology offers a fast-paced immersion into preparation for careers in biotechnology sectors. In this program, students merge their interdisciplinary graduate studies with real world training by integrating business acuity with the top-notch science credentials demanded by a wide array of biotechnology careers in agriculture, medicine, and environmental enterprises.


Graduate students in the Illinois PSM in plant biotechnology build a flexible, interdisciplinary expertise around a strong, plant-based biotechnology core. Embedded within the graduate programs in the School of Integrative Biology, plant biotechnology PSM students enjoy the charged atmosphere of scientific discoveries for which the University of Illinois is globally recognized.

Moreover, students interested in research are placed and mentored in industry-relevant laboratory projects that both forge the unique skills and credentials of graduate scientific inquiry and offer insights into the modes by which scientific advances are translated into the commercial realm.



To prepare students to function successfully at the interface of science and business in biotechnology industries, the Illinois PSM in plant biotechnology provides essential business knowledge and real-world experience that builds professional skills in key areas of communication, management, and leadership.

By collaborating with its industry partners, the plant biotechnology PSM develops team industry projects during the on-campus semesters, through which students cultivate meaningful relationships with industry mentors and learn to apply their technical and business knowledge to real industry questions.


By merging a biotechnology-focused education with business knowledge and professional skills, the Illinois PSM in plant biotechnology equips graduates for diverse entry points into agricultural, medical and environmental enterprises that demand strong science credentials and business acumen. The sources of career opportunities span industry, not-for-profit, and government organizations. Career areas include


  • product development and marketing,
  • government and public relations,
  • design and implementation of regulatory strategies,
  • market analysis and feasibility studies,
  • application of new customer support models, and
  • technology transfer and intellectual property ventures.


To discuss your learning and career objectives, contact the Illinois PSM Office at or (217) 265-5363.

Visit the Department of Plant Biology's plant biotechnology webpage for

  • student and alumni profiles, 
  • industry projects,
  • PSM research,
  • PSM careers,
  • and more.
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