Plant Sciences, Bachelor of Science College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences

The Major Program

The Plant Sciences major is designed for students who are interested in a scientific understanding of how plants grow and develop in managed agricultural ecosystems and how plant products are utilized for food, fiber and environmental enhancement. Advances in science and technology have provided new insights and options for using plants to address the issues associated with providing renewable food, fiber and energy resources for a growing global population while minimizing adverse impacts on the natural environment. Graduates in Plant Sciences are able to apply their skills and knowledge to a diverse range of agricultural and environmental goals or pursue advanced degrees in plant sciences.

The Program

The curriculum provides depth in the biological and physical sciences and a sound understanding of how plants obtain and utilize resources from their environment to sustain their growth and development. The influences of genetics, management systems and environmental inputs on crop development and productivity are emphasized along with the postharvest preservation and marketing of plant products. Students will develop an area of specialization with options in Crop Production, Plant Genetics & Breeding, or Postharvest Biology & Technology. An Individual option is also available to match specific subject matter or career goal interests in the plant sciences. All students gain practical experience through a combination of practical laboratory courses and internships. Students may also pursue an Honors thesis in their senior year.

Master Advisor

Daniel Potter

Advising for the major is located in 1220 Plant & Environmental Sciences. Please visit our department website for more information.

Career Alternatives

Graduates from this program are prepared to pursue a wide range of careers, including various technical and management positions in agricultural & business enterprises, farming, or consulting; public, private & non-profit agencies; Cooperative Extension; international development; teaching; or agricultural & environmental journalism and communication services. Graduates are qualified to pursue graduate studies in the natural and agricultural sciences, such as plant biology, genetics, breeding, horticulture, agronomy, biotechnology, ecology, environmental studies, pest management, education, or business management.

Preparatory Subject Matter
Biological Science10
Introduction to Biology: Essentials of Life on Earth
Introduction to Biology: Principles of Ecology & Evolution
Plant Sciences & Statistics12
Botany & Physiology of Cultivated Plants
Seminar: Overview of the Plant Sciences Major (Pending Approval)
Application of Computers in Technology
Application of Computers in Technology
Applied Statistics in Agricultural Sciences
Chemistry16-22
General Chemistry
General Chemistry
Choose a series:
Organic Chemistry: Brief Course
Organic Chemistry: Brief Course
OR
Organic Chemistry for Health & Life Sciences
Organic Chemistry for Health & Life Sciences
Organic Chemistry for Health & Life Sciences
Physics12
General Physics
General Physics
General Physics
Mathematics8
Calculus for Biology & Medicine
Calculus for Biology & Medicine
Preparatory Subject Matter Subtotal58-64
Depth Subject Matter
Soil Science5
Principles of Soil Science
Plant Science25
Metabolic Processes of Cultivated Plants
Growth & Yield of Cultivated Plants
Environmental Interactions of Cultivated Plants
Metabolic Processes of Cultivated Plants Laboratory
Growth & Yield of Cultivated Plants Laboratory
Environmental Interactions of Cultivated Plants Laboratory
Agriculture & the Environment
Plant Genetics
Internship (Capstone Experience: Internship/Research Report)
Special Study for Advanced Undergraduates
Restricted electives; choose at least two from two different categories:7-10
Plant Diversity/evolution/taxonomy
Taxonomy & Ecology of Environmental Plant Families
Introduction to Evolution
California Floristics
Systematics & Evolution of Angiosperms
Evolution of Crop Plants
Plant Morphology & Evolution
Ecology
Plant Ecology
Sustainability & Agroecosystem Management
ENH 160 series:
Restoration Ecology
Restoration Ecology Laboratory
PLS 147 series:
California Plant Communities
California Plant Communities Field Study
Pest management
Introduction to Plant Pathology
Arthropod Pest Management
Plant Nematology
Concepts in Pest Management
Introduction to Weed Science
Population Biology of Invasive Plants & Weeds
Depth Subject Matter Subtotal37-40
Areas of Specialization; choose one*:21-34
*In consultation with an advisor, a student may complete requirements for more than one specialization, which can be noted on the student’s transcript.
Total Units116-138

Areas of Specialization

Plant Informatics Option

Required courses:15
PLS 124 (Pending Approval)3
PLS 125 (Pending Approval)3
PLS 123Introduction to Plant & Crop Systems Modeling3
BIT 150Applied Bioinformatics 4
Depth (choose 3):11-12
PLS 105Concepts in Pest Management3
ABT/LDA 150Introduction to Geographic Information Systems4
PLS 150Sustainability & Agroecosystem Management4
PLS 157Physiology of Environmental Stresses in Plants4
PLS 158Mineral Nutrition of Plants4
HYD 124Plant-Water-Soil Relationships4

Ecological Management & Restoration Option

Required Major Electives (not included in AOS unit count):24-32
PLS/PLB 102California Floristics5
Ecological Management and Restoration (Choose at least 4):12-17
PLB 119Population Biology of Invasive Plants & Weeds3
ENH 120Management of Container Media3
PLS 130Rangelands: Ecology, Conservation & Restoration3
PLS 135Ecology & Community Structure of Grassland & Savannah Herbivores3
ESM 141Role of Fire in Natural Ecosystems4
PLS 144Trees & Forests4
PLS 147
147L
California Plant Communities
and California Plant Communities Field Study
4
PLS 150Sustainability & Agroecosystem Management4
ESP 155Wetland Ecology4
ENH 160
160L
Restoration Ecology
and Restoration Ecology Laboratory
5
PLS 162Urban Ecology3
PLS 163Ecosystem & Landscape Ecology4
PLS 171Principles & Practices of Plant Propagation4
Environmental Analysis, Monitoring, and Policy (Choose at least 2):7-9
ESM 108Environmental Monitoring3
LDA/ABT 150Introduction to Geographic Information Systems4
ESP 160The Policy Process4
ESP 172Public Lands Management4
ESP 179Environmental Impact Assessment4
Outreach and Communication (choose 1):3-4
EDU 142Introduction to Environmental Education4
Internship:2
PLS 164Practicum in Ecological Restoration1
PLS 192Internship1-2

Environmental Horticulture & Urban Landscape Management Option

Required major electives (not included in AOS unit count):
PLS 105Concepts in Pest Management3
ENH 105Taxonomy & Ecology of Environmental Plant Families4
Required courses: 8
PLS 162Urban Ecology3
PLS 157Physiology of Environmental Stresses in Plants4
Depth
Choose at least 3 of the following:9-13
ENH 100Urban Forestry4
ENH 133Woody Plants in the Landscape: Growth, Ecology & Management4
SSC 112Soil Ecology 3
LDA/ABT 150Introduction to Geographic Information Systems4
ENH 120Management of Container Media3
ENH 125Greenhouse & Nursery Crop Production5
PLS 171Principles & Practices of Plant Propagation4
PLS 158Mineral Nutrition of Plants4
PLS 123Introduction to Plant & Crop Systems Modeling3
Choose one:4
ESP 171Urban & Regional Planning4
ESP 179Environmental Impact Assessment4

Crop Production & Agroecology Option

Required major electives (not included in AOS unit count):
PLS 150Sustainability & Agroecosystem Management4
Required courses:8
HYD 124Plant-Water-Soil Relationships4
PLS 158Mineral Nutrition of Plants4
Production (choose 2):4-9
PLS 049Organic Crop Production Practices3
PLS 112Forage Crop Production3
PLS 113Biological Applications in Fruit Tree Management2
PLS 114Biological Applications in Fruit Production2
PLS 160Agroforestry: Global & Local Perspectives3
PLS 170AFruit & Nut Cropping Systems2
PLS 144Trees & Forests4
PLS 170BFruit & Nut Cropping Systems2
PLS 007Just Coffee: The Biology, Ecology & Socioeconomic Impacts of the World’s Favorite Drink4
or PLS 007V Just Coffee: The Biology, Ecology & Socioeconomic Impacts of the World's Favorite Drink
ENH 125Greenhouse & Nursery Crop Production5
PLS 110Crop Management Systems for Vegetable Production4
ENH 120Management of Container Media3
PLS 111Principles of Agronomic Crop Production Systems4
PLS 171Principles & Practices of Plant Propagation4
Advanced soil science (choose 1):3-4
SSC 111Soil Microbiology4
SSC 102Environmental Soil Chemistry3
SSC 112Soil Ecology 3
SSC 109Sustainable Nutrient Management4
Global food systems (choose 1):4
ARE 015Population, Environment & World Agriculture4
IAD 010Introduction to International Agricultural Development4
CRD 020Food Systems4
Pest management (choose 1 in addition to core):3-5
PLS 176Introduction to Weed Science4
VEN 118Grapevine Pests, Diseases & Disorders3
PLP 120Introduction to Plant Pathology4
NEM 100Plant Nematology 4
ENT 110Arthropod Pest Management5
PLS 105Concepts in Pest Management3
PLB 119Population Biology of Invasive Plants & Weeds3
Outreach and communication (choose 1):4
EDU 142Introduction to Environmental Education4

Plant Breeding, Genetics, & Genomics Option

Required courses:18
BIS 101Genes & Gene Expression4
PLS 154Introduction to Plant Breeding4
BIT 160Principles of Plant Biotechnology3
BIT 161BPlant Genetics & Biotechnology Laboratory4
BIT 171Professionalism & Ethics in Genomics & Biotechnology3
Production (choose 1):2-5
PLS 049Organic Crop Production Practices3
PLS 112Forage Crop Production3
PLS 113Biological Applications in Fruit Tree Management2
PLS 114Biological Applications in Fruit Production2
PLS 160Agroforestry: Global & Local Perspectives3
PLS 170AFruit & Nut Cropping Systems2
PLS 144Trees & Forests4
PLS 170BFruit & Nut Cropping Systems2
PLS 007Just Coffee: The Biology, Ecology & Socioeconomic Impacts of the World’s Favorite Drink4
or PLS 007V Just Coffee: The Biology, Ecology & Socioeconomic Impacts of the World's Favorite Drink
ENH 125Greenhouse & Nursery Crop Production5
PLS 110Crop Management Systems for Vegetable Production4
PLS 111Principles of Agronomic Crop Production Systems4
ENH 120Management of Container Media3
PLS 171Principles & Practices of Plant Propagation4
Restricted Elective (choose 1):3-5
Choose one additional course from either Production or Depth Subject Matter3-5

Crop Quality & Safety Option

Required courses:14
PLS 172Biology and Quality of Harvested Crops4
PLS 173Molecular & Cellular Aspects of Postharvest Biology3
PLS 174Microbiology & Safety of Fresh Fruits & Vegetables3
PLS 196Postharvest Technology of Horticultural Crops3
Depth (choose 8 units):8
FST 117Design & Analysis for Sensory Food Science4
ARE 100AIntermediate Microeconomics: Theory of Production & Consumption4
FST 109Principles of Quality Assurance in Food Processing3
PLS 007Just Coffee: The Biology, Ecology & Socioeconomic Impacts of the World’s Favorite Drink4
or PLS 007V Just Coffee: The Biology, Ecology & Socioeconomic Impacts of the World's Favorite Drink
PLS 006Flower Power; Art & Science of Flowers & Their Uses2
FST 131Food Packaging4
PLS 113Biological Applications in Fruit Tree Management2
PLS 114Biological Applications in Fruit Production2

Individual Option

Choose a minimum of 23 upper division units, with approval from the master advisor, to form a coherent program of study resulting in expertise and competence in a sub-discipline of plant sciences.23
Total Units23