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

Immerse yourself into the biotechnology sector with a degree in Plant Biotechnology. Enjoy the charged atmosphere of scientific discoveries for which the University of Illinois is globally recognized while you complete your non-thesis Master’s degree in just 18 months.

Along with biotechnology-related disciplines, you will learn how the commercialization process works.  This program provides opportunities to help you connect with industry partners, helping you learn about the directions and needs of biotechnology enterprises. 


Work with your advisor, Dr. Juvik, to create a customized set of courses that match your interests and individual career goals.

Access courses and faculty performing industry-relevant research in

  • plant breeding
  • plant and environmental physiology
  • bioinformatics
  • regression and statistical analysis


The merging of biotechnology-focused education with business knowledge and professional skills will prepare you for diverse entry points into agricultural and environmental enterprises.

Career opportunities span industry, not-for-profit, and government organizations. Potential career areas you might enter include

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

Plant Biotechnology PSM graduates have been hired at companies such as:

Corporate Logos: Bayer, Eli Lilly, ADM (Archer Daniels Midland), Genective, AGCO Corporation, KWS, Sanofi Genzyme, Medline Industries, Eurofins Scientific, United Suppliers, Corteva Agriscience, United States Department of Agriculture, Agilent Technologies, DiaCarta, Inc.


The integrated business courses, professional development seminars, and required internship make your Master’s program different than a traditional master’s. Plus, your cross-disciplinary industry seminars offer you the opportunity to interact with industry and government leaders.

By the end of your program, you will be able to

  • design a comprehensive marketing strategy
  • manage the flow of products and services
  • execute project plans within time and budget
  • understand and discuss regulatory policies
  • assess financial risks, statements, valuation, and capital budgets
  • examine organizational behavior, structures, effectiveness, and more!


  • bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or a comparable degree from a recognized institution abroad
  • grade point average of 3.0 or higher (4.0 scale) for the last 60 hours of undergraduate work and for any graduate work
  • graduate Record Examination (GRE)
  • test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) for non-native speakers of English
  • three (3) letters of recommendation

For additional information or to discuss your learning and career objectives, contact plant biotechnology major advisor Dr. Jack Juvik at; (217) 333 - 1966.

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