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Plant Science


Programs in plant science prepare people to raise healthy crops.

Plant science programs include topics such as:


In plant science programs, students may be able to specialize in:


A few community colleges and other two-year schools offer certificate and associate degree programs in plant science. A certificate program usually takes a year of full-time study. An associate degree usually takes two years to complete. An associate degree prepares students to work as plant technicians. After earning an associate degree students can transfer to a college or university for further study.

Many colleges and universities offer bachelor's degrees in plant science. A bachelor's degree usually takes about four years of full-time study.

Several universities offer graduate degrees in plant science. A master's degree typically requires two years of study beyond a bachelor's degree. Doctoral (PhD) degree programs usually require two or more years of study beyond the master's degree.

See schools that offer this program.

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Program Admission

You can prepare for this program by taking courses in high school that prepare you for college. This typically includes four years of English, three years of math, three years of social studies, and two years of science. Some colleges also require two years of a second language.

Below is a list of high school courses that will help prepare you for this program of study:

Graduate Admissions

Admission to graduate programs is competitive. You need a bachelor's degree, good grades, and good test scores on the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) General.

For some programs, you don't necessarily need to major in plant science as an undergraduate or even in a biology-related field. You should, however, take the following prerequisite courses:

Other programs may grant you "provisional acceptance" if you do not major in plant science or a related field. This means that you can't officially enter the graduate program until you complete certain undergraduate-level courses first.

Typical Course Work

Program Courses

In this undergraduate program, you typically take courses such as the following:

Graduate Program Courses

Graduate course work tends to vary depending on the program. However, the outline of a typical graduate curriculum looks like the following:

Some programs - both undergraduate and graduate - incorporate internships in their curriculums. Because soil and plant science is a broad field, completing an internship gives you the opportunity to further explore the specific area of the field that most interests you. For example, if biotechnology excites you, you could pursue an internship at a company that works with plant genetics and genetic engineering. You might help do lab procedures that extract the DNA from plants.

Whatever kind of internship you choose, you benefit from the direct supervision and guidance of a professional in the soil and plant science field. You gain professional experience and may even secure a reference you can use when applying for jobs.

Things to Know

A background in plant science prepares you for a wide range of careers including nurseries, wetland conservation societies, farms, open ranges (where livestock feed), and even landscape architecture.

For information about farm occupations, opportunities, and 4-H activities, contact your local county extension service office.


East Side Area

Washington State University - Pullman

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Washington State University - Global Campus

Tri-Cities Area

Washington State University - Tri-Cities