Department of Plant Sciences
Crop and Weed Sciences Major
Instruction in crop and weed sciences includes field and forage crop production and management, weed science, general and plant genetics, plant breeding, experimental design, and biotechnology. The study of botany and other plant sciences, entomology, plant pathology, and soil science is basic or related to crop and weed sciences. Students may obtain either a major or minor. The Crop and Weed Sciences major or minor is intended for general use in sales, research, and technical services (crop consultant) of agribusinesses involved in seed, chemical, and other plant production, protection, and management aspects; in natural resources conservation service; by those interested in production agriculture; or as a prerequisite for graduate study. For more details on M.S. and Ph.D. degrees, see the Graduate School Bulletin.
Students may select one of the following options within Crop and Weed Sciences:
- Agronomy: This option is for students most interested in production agriculture. This is the most popular option with students and provides the most flexibility of course selection. Completing the basic crop and weed sciences curriculum fulfills this option.
- Biotechnology: This option is intended for students who wish to work in the biotechnology industry or pursue graduate study in the crop biotechnology area. Students interested in biotechnology also may pursue the interdisciplinary Biotechnology major (see Interdisciplinary Programs section).
- Science: This option is intended for students who are interested in graduate studies and want more basic science courses as a foundation for graduate studies.
- Weed Science: This option is intended for students interested in crop consulting, weed science, or integrated pest management. Additional courses in pest management are required to provide exposure to common issues encountered in these careers and practice in diagnosis and resolution.
Agronomy Club: The Agronomy Club meets twice each month. Members join in campus and community activities, arrange speakers on agricultural topics, and participate in meetings and contests at the regional and national levels. The club also coordinates tours to local agribusinesses to gain a better perspective of career opportunities. Students with an interest in agriculture are encouraged to attend, regardless of chosen major.
Crop and Weed Sciences Minor
Students may minor in Crop and Weed Sciences by selecting a total of 18 credits of study in crop and weed sciences or closely related fields.
Students interested in a business career in crop and weed sciences should consider the Agribusiness minor offered through the Department of Agribusiness and Applied Economics.
Instruction and study in horticulture is focused on fruits, vegetables, and woody and herbaceous landscape plants, including propagation, production, culture, marketing, processing, and utilization. Horticulture encompasses the design and planting for landscapes, parks, highways, and public facilities, including interiorscapes, in rural, suburban, and urban areas. It includes skills for management of nursery, garden center, greenhouse, seed, fruit, vegetable, biotechnology, and specialty crop enterprises, as well as floral design and flower shops.
The Horticulture major is a four-year curriculum leading to the B.S. degree. Students also may minor in Horticulture. Prospective students should consult with horticulture faculty regarding programs and options so their educational needs may best be fulfilled. Master of Science and Ph.D. degree programs also are available. For more complete details, see the Graduate Bulletin online.
Horticulture majors may select one or more options of study. All of the requirements for the major and the supporting disciplines must be met to complete any horticulture option. Students may select from the following five options:
- Horticulture Biotechnology: This option is for students who plan to engage in laboratory research or further their education in the biotechnology of horticultural crops.
- Horticulture Science: This option is for students who plan to continue formal graduate school education leading to careers in research, teaching, and extension.
- Landscape Design: This option is for students interested in planning, designing, and installing landscape plantings for functional and aesthetic purposes (a 19-credit minor in landscape architecture is required).
- Production Business: This option is for students who wish to grow, market, and process horticultural crops, for example, nursery and/or greenhouse landscape, fruit, and vegetable crops.
- Urban Forestry and Parks: This option is for students who desire a career in the management of urban forests and park-like areas, including arboreta and botanic gardens. It also includes maintenance of residential landscapes.
Pre-Forestry: A student who desires to major in forestry may select a two-year pre-forestry curriculum. However, the forestry student must transfer to another institution that offers a Forestry program to complete degree requirements.
Horticulture and Forestry Club: This club meets twice each month. Members take field trips to botanical gardens, arboreta, trade shows, parks and other horticultural sites. They also are actively involved in growing and marketing flowers and foliage plants, regional and national judging contests, flower shows, and horticulture science and education programs.
Sports and Urban Turfgrass Management Major
The Sports and Urban Turfgrass Management program focuses on the science and technology for the management of quality turf in such areas as golf courses, sports facilities, parks, and home lawns. A graduate should be competent in grass physiology, soil science, proper irrigation practices, pest control, budgeting of resources, and personnel management. Graduates may work in the turf industry, which encompasses not only turf managers, but also the production of seed, sod or other turfgrass materials, manufacturing and marketing of products for turf management, business management, manpower development, consulting, and other services.
Students have the opportunity to minor in other programs of interest.
Turf Club: The goals of the Turf Club are to provide students with opportunities to share information, connect with the turf industry, gain real world experience, and broaden their knowledge. The club organizes field trips, topic discussions, and presentations by guest speakers. Other activities include attending regional and national turf conferences, community service, and fundraising.