Plant Biology B.S.

All students must meet the University Requirements.

All students must meet the College Requirements.

This page also includes descriptions of and specific requirements for the three Plant Biology concentrations:

Students select from three concentrations: General Plant Biology, Plant Molecular Biology, and Ecology and Evolutionary Biology of Plants. Basic courses that are required for all of the concentrations, and additional courses specific for each concentration, are listed below. Students may petition the Department of Plant Biology to substitute similar courses for those listed. Study of a modern foreign language is encouraged for those attracted to the many international career opportunities in plant biology.

Major Requirements

Basic Course Requirements (45-48 credits) – required for all concentrations:

BCOR 011Exploring Biology4
BCOR 012Exploring Biology4
BCOR 101Genetics3
PBIO 104Plant Physiology4
CHEM 031General Chemistry 1 14
CHEM 032General Chemistry 2 14
CHEM 141Organic Chemistry 1 14
CHEM 142Organic Chemistry 2 14
Choose one of the following sequences:6-8
Fundamentals of Calculus I
and Fundamentals of Calculus II
Calculus I
and Calculus II
Choose one of the following: 3
Basic Statistical Methods
Statistical Methods I
Applied Environ Statistics
Choose one of the following:4-5
Elementary Physics
and Introductory Lab I
Fundamentals of Physics I
1

 Students desiring an especially strong foundation in chemistry may enroll in the equivalent courses for chemistry majors:CHEM 035CHEM 036CHEM 143CHEM 144 instead of taking CHEM 031CHEM 032CHEM 141CHEM 142.

Students must also complete the requirements for one of the following concentrations:

General Plant Biology Concentration

This concentration offers broad training at all levels of plant biology ranging from molecular biology to plant communities. Students have the flexibility to study plants from many perspectives and to understand how the diverse areas are interrelated. Students, in consultation with a faculty advisor, can choose courses that meet their individual needs and interests. Students are encouraged to perform undergraduate research working directly with departmental faculty on laboratory or field projects in plant biology.

In addition to the basic course requirements for the departmental major (listed above), this concentration has the following requirements and electives:

Concentration Requirements
PBIO 108Morph & Evo of Vascular Plants4
or PBIO 109 Plant Systematics
BCOR 102Ecology and Evolution4
or BCOR 103 Molecular and Cell Biology
Concentration Electives
At least eighteen credits of courses relevant to plant biology (at least two must be PBIO courses and at least two must be 200-level courses) selected in consultation with the student's advisor.18

Ecology and Evolutionary Biology of Plants Concentration

This concentration offers broad training in organismal biology, with emphasis on population and physiological ecology, community structure and function, and plant evolution and diversity. Students choose from a menu of options in fulfilling most requirements; this flexible curriculum enables students to select from a wide range of courses while achieving proficiency in the ecology and evolution of plants. Students are encouraged to initiate an independent research project with a member of the departmental faculty.

In addition to the basic course requirements for the departmental major (listed above), this concentration has the following requirements and electives.

Concentration Requirements
PBIO 108Morph & Evo of Vascular Plants4
PBIO 109Plant Systematics4
BCOR 102Ecology and Evolution4
Concentration Electives
At least fifteen credits of courses relevant to plant biology, including at least one ecology course (at least two must be PBIO courses and at least two must be 200-level courses) selected in consultation with the student's advisor. 15

Plant Molecular Biology Concentration

This concentration focuses on the inner workings of plants at the molecular, cellular, and organismal levels. Although the basic cellular functions of plants are the same as those of animals, plants face unique challenges and have evolved interesting solutions. To understand the unique biology of plants within a context of what is known about other organisms, courses examining the biochemistry and molecular biology of plants are supplemented by courses on the molecular functions and development of other organisms. In addition to course work, students are encouraged to get hands-on laboratory experience by taking advantage of the many opportunities to participate in independent research with departmental faculty.

In addition to the basic course requirements for the departmental major (listed above), this concentration has the following requirements and electives:

Concentration Requirements
BIOC 205Biochemistry I 13
BIOC 206Biochemistry II 13
BIOC 207Biochemistry Lab 12
BCOR 103Molecular and Cell Biology4
PBIO 108Morph & Evo of Vascular Plants4
or PBIO 109 Plant Systematics
Concentration Electives
At least twelve credits of courses relevant to plant biology (at least two must be PBIO courses and at least two must be 200-level courses) selected in consultation with the student's advisor.12
1

 PBIO 185  and PBIO 187 may be substituted for BIOC 205BIOC 206, and BIOC 207 with instructor permission.

To learn more about the undergraduate program, visit the Plant Biology department’s website.