The earth on which we live is inhabited by numerous plant species that produce essential materials for the support of humans, other animals and the great diversity of plants themselves. The science of botany is the study of plants, including plant structure, function, systematics and ecology. Students study a wide variety of activities, such as the relationship of plants to each other and their environment, plant growth and metabolism, classification and identification of plants, plant cell composition and plant heredity.
The undergraduate program in botany at North Dakota State University is designed for students seeking a better understanding of plants and eventual careers in the plant sciences. The Department of Biological Sciences offers instruction in a number of different areas for majors and for students interested in the applied field of plant sciences. The botany curriculum allows students to become knowledgeable in botany and to pursue individual interests through elective course work. The introductory courses may be of interest to non-majors seeking a more limited background in science.
A science as broad in scope as botany requires basic knowledge in other disciplines such as chemistry, zoology, physics and mathematics for a complete understanding of plants. These are provided in the curriculum. In addition to these areas of study, students are required to complete course work in the humanities and social sciences.
Faculty and Facilities
Undergraduate students in botany at NDSU receive individual attention in planning course work and careers in botany. The Department of Biological Sciences is composed of 18 faculty members. Each member is experienced in teaching and research. The department is housed in Stevens Hall which includes modern classrooms, teaching and research laboratories and a lecture auditorium. Opportunity is available for students to conduct individual research projects or to work with ongoing faculty research. Specialized facilities in botany include greenhouses, plant growth chambers, an herbarium, field equipment, transmission and scanning electron microscopes, radioisotope equipment, centrifuges, spectrophotometers and equipment in support of tissue culture and biotechnology.
Botanists are employed in government research laboratories and field stations, industry and academic institutions. An undergraduate degree in botany prepares students for professional employment or for graduate studies. Most positions in botany require graduate training and an advanced degree. Botanists fill both training and research positions. Depending on the level of training, they may serve in technical positions or as senior scientists. Botany is a broad field and opportunities exist in the basic subdisciplines of cellular and molecular plant biology, physiology, anatomy, systematics and ecology. A degree in botany also may be the foundation for further study and careers in applied fields of plant pathology, forestry, crop production, horticulture, genetics and plant breeding, plant biotechnology, or environmental monitoring and control.
High School Preparation
It is suggested that prospective botany majors develop a strong background in English, chemistry, biology, mathematics and physics.
General Education Requirements
First Year Experience
Univ. 189 - Skills for Academic Success
Comm. 110 - Fundamentals of Public Speaking
Engl. 110, 120 - College Composition I, II
Engl. 324 - Writing in the Sciences
Stat. 330 - Introductory Statistics
Science & Technology
Bot. 315, 315L - Genetics and Lab
Chem. 121 - General Chemistry I
Chem. 122 - General Chemistry II
Humanities & Fine Arts
Social and Behavioral Sciences Sciences
College and Department Requirements
Hum/Soc. Science Electives (B.S. Degree)
Hum/Soc. Science Electives (B.A. Degree)
Second Year Language Proficiency
Biol. 150, 150L - General Biology I and Lab
Biol. 151, 151L - General Biology II and Lab
Biol. 459 - Evolution
Bot. 314 - Systematic Botany
Bot. 372 - Structure and Diversity of Plants and
Bot. 380 - Plant Physiology
Bot. 460 - Plant Ecology
Bot. 491 - Seminar
Chem. 121, 121L - Chemistry I and Lab
Chem. 122, 122L - Chemistry II and Lab
Math. 146 - Applied Calculus I
Phys. 211, 211L - College Physics I and Lab
Phys. 212, 212L - College Physics II and Lab
Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry Sequence
This sample curriculum is not intended to serve as a curriculum guide for current students, but rather an example of course offerings for prospective students. For the curriculum requirements in effect at the time of entrance into a program, consult with an academic adviser or with the Office of Registration and Records.
Stevens Hall is located on the corner of Centennial Boulevard and Bolley Drive
Dr. Wendy Reed, Department Head
Department of Biological Sciences
North Dakota State University
Stevens Hall 218
Dept. 2715, PO Box 6050
Fargo, ND 58108-6050
Office of Admission
North Dakota State University
Dept 5230, PO Box 6050
Fargo, ND 58108-6050