Genetic Engineering and Society Interdisciplinary Minor Certificate

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 learn the basic concepts and principles underlying genetic engineering and the methods used for evaluating the technology’s impacts on society and the environment.

Fellowships are open to Masters and PhD students in the Humanities, Natural and Social Sciences, and include one semester of:

  • Tuition and Fees, and a
  • Generous Stipend ($17K)

Approved Courses

Core courses:

  • GES/COM 508 (3 CR) Emerging Technologies and Society
  • GES 591 (1-2 CR) GES Weekly Seminar Colloquium

*Other approved courses:

  • ANT 550 – Culture, Ecology, and Sustainable Living
  • BIT 510 – Manipulation of Recombinant DNA
  • BIT 574 – Plant Genetic Engineering
  • CBS 561 – Principles of Collaborative & Team Science
  • COM 538 – Risk Communication
  • COM 561 –  Human Communication Theory
  • COM 568 – Public Communication of Research
  • CS 518 – Intro to Regulatory Science in Agriculture
  • ECG 515/ FOR 515- Environmental & Resource Policy
  • ECG 540 – Economic Development
  • ENG 515 – Rhetoric of Science and Technology
  • FW 511 – Human Dimensions of Wildlife Management
  • FW 595 – Special Topics: Genetics in Wildlife Management
  • GN 735 – Genomic Science
  • HI 540 – Topics in Environmental History
  • HI 581 – History of the Life Sciences
  • HI 585 – History of American Technology
  • NR 571 – Current Issues in Natural Resource Policy
  • REL 571 – Darwinism and Christianity
  • PA 550 – Environmental Policy
  • PA 552 – Science & Technology Policy
  • PHI 475/575 – Ethical Theory
  • PSC 520 – Fundamentals of Citizen Science
  • PSY 757 – Innovation and Technology
  • SOC 762 – Sociology of Food Systems
  • ST 590 – A,C Bioinformatics I/II

*Student must take one course outside of their home discipline

*Additional courses may be added to the approved list, as determined by the Executive Committee. Courses may be substituted at the Co-Directors’ discretion.


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 approved courses
    – With 4-5 hours from two core GES courses,
    – And 4-5 hours from the list of approved courses outside the student’s home discipline
    A grade of B or higher in each course

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 Biotechnology (BIT) program.

GES Minor Co-Directors

Fred Gould

Fred Gould
University Distinguished Professor, William Neal Reynolds Professor of Agriculture, Co-Director of the Genetic Engineering and Society Center, Executive Director of the Genetics and Genomics Academy, and GES Minor Co-Director

Gould studies ecology and evolutionary biology. For over 20 years, he worked on strategies for decreasing the rate of insect pest adaptation to transgenic cotton, rice, and corn. His current research focuses on mosquitoes engineered so they can’t transmit human diseases. Gould participated in policy development for transgenic crops at the national and international level. He sees a need to develop more inclusive and transparent approaches for building, assessing and regulating transgenic pests.

See: full profile and contact information >

Jason Delborne

Photo of Jason Delborne
Professor and Director of Science, Technology, and Society (STS) Program; University Faculty Scholar; GES Executive Committee, GES Minor Co-Director

Delborne’s research explores highly politicized scientific controversies with particular attention to interactions among policymakers, scientists, and the public. He has developed a conceptual model of scientific dissent, organized and studied several experiments in citizen engagement, and analyzed how public think tanks, such as the Congressional Research Service and the Government Accountability Office, navigate scientific controversies to provide expertise to policymakers.

See: full profile and contact information >

Contact Us

Photo of Dawn Rodriguez-Ward

Dawn Rodriguez-Ward

GES Colloquium Co-Instructor, AgBioFEWS Graduate Training Program Coordinator; GES Executive Committee

Please contact Dr. Rodriguez-Ward if you have any questions at dtward2@ncsu.edu.