Student Profile

Grant Hansen
Class of '12

Grant Hansen earned an M.S. in the Illinois PSM’s plant biology (now plant biotechnology) program. He return to school after several years of business experience to "not only gain a master's degree, but to add business instruction and experience" to position him for bio-based careers. Grant received the 2012 Volunteer Service Award from the Illinois Office of Volunteer Programs for his work with SCORE while an Illinois PSM student. He interned with AMCOL International as a market research analyst. Upon graduation, Grant was hired as a marketing specialist with DuPont.  Recently, he accepted a new position as a product coordinator for United Suppliers.

Plant Biotechnology

The Plant Biotechnology program is not accepting applications for 2017.  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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