When you major in Plant Science, you’ll do a broad course of study in plant sciences and plant species, then focus on a specific area tailored to your interests.
Plant Science students learn about conventional large-scale farming, organic agriculture, new sustainable production practices, medicinal plants, greenhouse management, and turf and lawn management. You’ll do all this in the classroom, online, in greenhouses, in the field, and possibly through study abroad. Students can focus on a wide range of plant species, such as:
- Field crops
- Fruits and vegetables
- Recreational and ornamental plants
- New crops
Field-oriented coursework includes the study of cropping systems, plant taxonomy of species, and production practices suitable for a cold-weather climate. Students will learn about plant disease, agricultural production, pest control issues and practices, and plant systems that arise in the unique context of Minnesota’s agricultural landscapes.
Students take a set of core courses that lay the foundation for understanding plant genetics, growth and development, biochemistry, anatomy, taxonomy, and ecology. Then students work with a faculty mentor to develop an individualized plan based on their personal or career interests that is tailored to one or more Plant Science fields. This rigorous and flexible course plan emphasizes expertise, experiential learning, and communication skills that allow students to work effectively across disciplines. Learn more about the common tracks our students pursue.
Our number one goal is to help students in our major succeed while in school so they can be more successful after graduation, and that's hard to do when you're struggling to pay your tuition bill. That’s why we think it’s important to help our students pay for college through a variety of scholarship opportunities. Each year the departments involved in Plant Science award over $55,000 to incoming and returning students. To help foster students' professional development, we also offer a scholarship to help cover the cost of registration and travel to plant-science related conferences.
When you graduate with a degree in Plant Science from the University of Minnesota you leave ready to take on a wide variety of possible jobs. Plant Science graduates find positions in horticulture and plant breeding (such as nurseries and greenhouses), plant research and development, food and plant production, biotechnology, landscape restoration, golf course management, pest and weed control, and much more. A year after leaving the University, graduates averaged $50,000 a year. Read more about the kinds of jobs available to Plant Science majors on our Careers page.