Academic Requirements

We offer three undergraduate programs:

Plant Sciences Major and Minor

A secure global future depends on scientists and leaders who understand the importance of plants in sustaining environmental and human health. To address the challenges of our rapidly growing population, we need bright, dedicated, skilled, and creative people to fill emerging careers in sustainable production of food, feed, medicine, fuel, and fiber from plants.

As a Plant Sciences major, you will be prepared to make a difference on a global scale by gaining knowledge and skills in biotechnology, genomics, molecular biology, plant propagation and breeding, medicinal chemistry, and other modern approaches to 21st century agriculture. Starting in the 2020-2021 Academic Year, the Plant Science major now offers two emphases that students must choose from.

Emphasis option 1: Plant Sciences General subplan

Prepares students with a strong biological foundation through the lens of plants, while offering our students the ability to customize their specialization and future career options

Emphasis option 2: Plant Health Sciences subplan

Trains students in both biotic and abiotic factors that impact plant health, ranging from the molecular to the microscopic to the macroscopic. Professionals working in Plant Health Science apply plant, microbial, and insect sciences to predict disease epidemiology, protect plant, environment and human health, and optimize plant growth or yields.

Students can work with their acdamic and faculty advisors to customize their coursework and decide which emphasis is best for them. After completing foundation courses, all Plant Sciences majors work with their advisor and faculty mentor to customize their coursework, selecting electives to fit their career goals.

A minor in Plant Sciences gives students a thorough introduction to plant biology and complements many majors including Microbiology, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Molecular and Cellular Biology and Natural Resources, and Environmental Science.

Additional information about majoring in Plant Sciences, including required and elective courses and a 4-year plan:

2016-17 Catalog

2017-18 Catalog

2018-19 Catalog

2020-21 Plant Science Major Catalog

2020-21 Plant Science Major - Plant Health Subplan Catalog 

Sustainable Plant Systems Major and Minor 

The Sustainable Plant Systems program is an interdisciplinary major that prepares students to be leaders in 21st century agriculture and experts in agricultural technology, plant improvement, and innovative, responsible plant production systems for healthy urban and agricultural ecosystems. The School of Plant Sciences offers this major in partnership between the Department of Environmental Sciences and the Department of Biological Engineering. For more information, please visit the website for the Sustainable Plant Systems major

A minor in Sustainable Plant Systems balances training in plant biology, soil science and genetics with focused electives relating to your area of interest. This minor complements majors in Nutritional Sciences, Environmental Sciences, Natural Resources, Agricultural Economics and Management, Biosystems Engineering, Geography and Anthropology.

Applied Biotechnology Major and Minor

The interdisciplinary Applied Biotechnology degree gives you the knowledge and tools you need to answer some of the world’s most pressing questions in the areas of food production, health, and sustainability. You may pursue careers in industry related to developing vaccines, biofuels, fermented food and beverages, biologic pharmaceuticals, or insect-resistant crops, or in basic research or medicine. The School of Plant Sciences offers this major in partnership with with the Department of Nutritional Sciences and the School of Animal and Comparative Biomedical Sciences.

Majors in Applied Biotechnology can choose from three emphases:

Emphasis option 1: Food and Beverage Fermentation

Emphasis option 2: Industrial Plant and Microbial Biotechnology

Emphasis option 3: Applied Biotechnology

Applied Biotechnology website

2020-2021 Major Checklist

2020-2021 Minor Checklist