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The Major Program

As organisms that sequester carbon and convert solar energy to usable forms, plants are the primary source of food on the planet as well as important buffers against climate change. The Plant Biology major focuses on fundamental aspects of how plants function as organisms and interact with their environment. A wide variety of scientific disciplines are integrated within the Plant Biology major, including physiology, cell and molecular biology, development, genetics and genomics.

The Program. The plant biology major consists of a Biosciences core covering the general principles of biology plus four plant-specific classes dealing with advanced aspects of plant biology including physiology, development, and anatomy. Two required electives allow students to tailor the degree to suit their interests. Independent research in a laboratory setting is a requirement, and majors in Plant Biology are guaranteed this opportunity. Because of the value of plants as a model system for research in molecular genetics, cell biology, and biochemistry, Plant Biology makes an excellent minor or second major for student in these fields.

Career Alternatives. A degree in Plant Biology serves as an excellent launching point for a wide range of career options, including domestic and international opportunities in business, research and teaching in both governmental and private sectors. The program is excellent preparation for students wishing to enter graduate or other professional schools, including medicine, law (particularly environmental or patent law) or journalism. Plant biologists can work in the laboratory, in the field, in the forest, in botanical gardens or nurseries, in agricultural companies, or in biotechnology, pharmaceutical, energy or chemical industries, or in the area of environmental protection.

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Updated: November 21, 2017 12:17 PM