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Plant Science

The Breakdown

If plants are your passion, you may be interested in focusing your studies on the area of plant sciences. Generally speaking, programs focus on the scientific principles underlying the breeding, cultivation and production of agricultural plants, as well as the production, processing and distribution of plant products. You’ll focus on plant growth and development, plant breeding and protection, crop cultivation and production, and agricultural/food products processing. You’ll also study issues such as the environmental impact of modern agricultural processes and sustainability.

Nuts and Bolts

Typically, the plant sciences curriculum will include courses such as:

•    Biology
•    General/Organic Chemistry
•    Plant Anatomy
•    Plant Biochemistry
•    Plant Cell Biology
•    Introductory Botany and Evolution
•    Sustainable Agriculture
•    Traditional Agriculture in the Developing World
•    Urban Gardening
•    Global Food Production
•    Seed Science
•    Climate Change and Food Production
•    Pest Management

Decisions, Decisions

Related majors include botany, horticulture, landscape architecture, agriculture, soil science, turfgrass management, greenhouse operations/management, food science, nutrition, crop management, forestry, environmental science and sustainability studies.

What's Next

Many plant sciences majors will find themselves working in research, developing new ways to grow crops, manage ecosystems and breed new plant varieties. This can be done in both public and private organizations. You may choose to focus your career on small-scale urban agriculture or you may find yourself working in the research department of a large agricultural business entity. While careers in science are common, many plant science majors also find themselves becoming teachers, agricultural policy makers, bank lending advisors, farm managers/farmers, consultants and more. Careers in law and medicine are also possibilities, although they will require further study.


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