The Department of Genetics and Biotechnology, University of Calabar came into existence in April 2001 when the former Biological Sciences Department was split into 4 new Departments - namely, Genetics and Biotechnology, Zoology and Environmental Biology, Botany and Microbiology. These 4 new Departments were transformed directly from the previously existing units (Biology, Zoology, Botany and Microbiology) in the defunct Biological Sciences Department. The former Biology unit thus became transformed into the Department of Genetics and Biotechnology.
The first set of students admitted into the Department arrival at the beginning of the 2001/2002 sessions. Thus, the first graduates with B.Sc Genetics and Biotechnology of the University of Calabar were produced in 2004/2005 session. The University of Calabar is one of the first in Nigeria to offer degree programmes in Biotechnology. It, therefore, stands to benefit a great deal from the current national policy in biotechnology. The program earned full accreditation status from the National Universities Commission in its first accreditation exercise in 2006.
The Department of Genetics and Biotechnology is administered by a Head of Department who is appointed by the Vice-Chancellor usually for a term of two or three years, which is dependent on the rank. The Head of Department is assisted in the daily running of the Department by the administrative staff as well as the academic staff. The Technical staff assist in handling technical issues, especially laboratory matters.