Iowa State to Offer Master's in Seed Technology and Business

September 6th, 2006

AMES, Iowa — Iowa State University will offer a master's degree in seed technology and business beginning next year.

The interdisciplinary degree will integrate coursework from the colleges of Agriculture and Business. It will combine scientific and technical subjects relating to seed and genetic improvement with business courses similar to those in the first year of a master's of business administration program.

The Board of Regents, State of Iowa, approved the degree to be accompanied by graduate certificates in seed science and technology and seed business management. The certificates would be used by students who would like to complement their existing experience and training.

The objective of the new degree is to develop decision-making skills that will prepare students for roles in the seed industry. Organizers expect to attract some students from government with involvement in seed regulation.

"There's quite a bit of industry interest in the new degree," said Paul Christensen, manager of the new program. "Some companies are interested in a source of instruction which can substitute for internal training. Others are interested in gaining access to material that is unavailable internally."

The program will be delivered over the Internet to allow the participation of students from around the United States and the world. It will be scheduled over more than two and a half years so that working professionals can participate.

"Students will go through the program in a group and will be encouraged to share experiences from their work," Christensen added.

He said changes in property laws and the introduction of biotechnology require those in the seed industry to acquire new skills and do so at a faster pace.

Additional information is available at http://www.seeds.iastate.edu/class/.

Contacts: 

Paul Christensen, Seed Science Center, (515) 294-8745, intlcorn@iastate.edu
Mike Crum, College of Business, (515) 294-8105, mcrum@iastate.edu
Ed Adcock, Agricultural Communications, (515) 294-2314, edadcock@iastate.edu