What can I do with a degree from the Plant Sciences & Plant Pathology Department? 

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 Why choose the Plant Sciences & Plant Pathology Department? 

The Department of Plant Sciences and Plant Pathology offers a rich, diverse curriculum taught by award-winning researchers and supplemented by world-class facilities. As a student of plant science and plant pathology, you will have the opportunity to influence the future of crop production, play an essential role in maintaining the nation's food supply, develop new technology to manage crop pests, and study the genetics of crops to influence their management and quality. Finally, nearly every one of our programs offers hands-on research and internship experiences. You will learn as much out of the classroom as in the classroom. 

What do plant scientists do? 

Plant scientists play an important role in maintaining the nation's food supply by ensuring productivity and food safety. They look for ways to improve crop yield with less labor, control pests and weeds more safely and effectively, and conserve soil and water. Plant scientists not only help increase productivity, but also study ways to improve the nutritional value of crops and the quality of seed, often through biotechnology. Some plant scientists study the breeding, physiology, and management of crops and use genetic engineering to develop crops that are resistant to pests and drought. They also develop new technologies to control or eliminate pests and prevent their spread in environmentally safe ways. 

What are the employment fields for training in plant sciences? 

Graduates in Plant Science find careers in farming and ranching; as crop production specialists; in pest management; in seed, fertilizer, and chemical industries; Extension Service and with government agencies such as the Natural Resource Conservation Service or the United States Department of Agriculture. Graduates are also well-prepared for graduate school and a variety of academic and professional careers. 

Graduates in Environmental Horticulture are employed by landscape nurseries, landscape contractors, and planning agencies; others become self-employed as landscape designers and contractors. Graduates in Sustainable Crop Production are prepared for careers in agricultural production; community nutrition, community food security, public health, Extension education, food and nutrition policy and education, food enterprise, culinary arts and management, community supported agriculture, food processing, food marketing, retailing and distribution. 

Additional Careers:

  • Agronomist
  • Botanist
  • Conservationalist
  • Consultant
  • Crop Scientist
  • Entomologist
  • Environmental Scientist
  • Horticulturist
  • Landscape Designer
  • Naturalist 
  • Plant Geneticist
  • Plant Pathologist
  • Research Assistant
  • Science Teacher