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Plant Biology

The Plant Biology Track 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 track, including physiology, taxonomy, reproduction, and ecology.
A degree in biology with an emphasis 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. The program is excellent preparation for students wishing to enter graduate or other professional schools. Plant biologists can work in the laboratory or field, forestry, botanical gardens and nurseries, agricultural companies, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, energy and chemical industries, or environmental protection.


For both the Biology B.S. and the Biology B.A. (with Topical Focus)


  • 12 of the upper-level elective hours must be completed from the courses listed below (for the B.S. this represents 12 out of a total 15 upper-level elective hours; for the B.A. this represents 12 out of a total 13-15 upper-level elective hours, depending on the topical focus courses)
  • A maximum of 3 credit hours of BIO 394/395/397 will count towards these 12 hours
  • The remaining upper-level elective hours can be completed with any approved upper-level biology elective course (including BIO 394/395/397) - see full list
  • A maximum of 6 credit hours of BIO 394/395/397 will count towards a biology degree
  • At least 9 credit hours of upper-level electives must have a BIO prefix


For full course descriptions, please continue to the course bulletin: B.A. / B.S.
Click here for track course prerequisites and which semesters they are offered

BIO 310: The Life Processes of Plants (3)

BIO 351: Plant Kingdom (3)

BIO 394/395/397: Research in Neuroscience/Biology/Microbiology (max 3 credit hours toward track) (1-3)

BIO 420G: Taxonomy of Vascular Plants (4)

BIO 430G: Plant Physiology* (4)

BIO 525: Advanced Ecology (3)

BIO 380: Special Topics in Biology (Intermediate Level) (Subtitle required). Subtitle must be approved by Director of Undergraduate Studies (1-4)



Courses from outside the Biology Department:

ENT 310: Insect Pests of Field Crops (3)

ENT 320: Horticultural Entomology (3)

FOR 340: Forest Ecology (4)

ENT/ FOR 502: Forest Entomology (3)

PLS 502: Ecology of Economic Plants (3)

PLS 566: Soil Microbiology (3)

PLS 567: Methods in Soil Microbiology (1)

PPA 400G: Principles of Plant Pathology (3)

PLS 320: Woody Horticultural Plants (4)

PLS 366: Fundamentals of Soil Science (4)

Other courses can be accepted by the Director of Undergraduate Studies in Biology on a case by case basis

*Only for students who do not use the course to fulfill the 2nd Tier Core


*For questions regarding the Plant Biology Track, please email