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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.

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The Program

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.

Career Opportunities

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 sub disciplines 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.

Sample Curriculum

General Education RequirementsCredits
First Year Experience
  UNIV 189 - Skills for Academic Success1
  COMM 110 - Fundamentals of Public Speaking3
  ENGL 110, 120 - College Composition I, II 3, 3
  ENGL 324 - Writing in the Sciences3
Quantitative Reasoning
  STAT 330 - Introductory Statistics3
Science & Technology10
Humanities & Fine Arts6
Social & Behavioral Sciences6
Cultural Diversity-
Global Perspective-
College and Department RequirementsCredits
Hum/Soc. Science Electives (B.S. Degree)6
Hum/Soc. Science Electives (B.A. Degree)12
Second Year Language Proficiency-
Major RequirementsCredits
BIOL 150, 150L - General Biology I and Lab4
BIOL 151, 151L - General Biology II and Lab4
BIOL 359 - Evolution3
BOT 314 - Plant Systematics3
BOT 315, 315L - Genetics and Lab4
BOT 460 - Plant Ecology3
BOT 372 - Structure and Diversity of Plants and Fungi4
BOT 491 - Seminar2
Related RequirementsCredits
CHEM 121, 121L - Chemistry I and Lab4
CHEM 122, 122L - Chemistry II and Lab4
MATH 146 - Applied Calculus I4
PHYS 211, 211L - College Physics I and Lab4
PHYS 212, 212L - College Physics II and Lab4
Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry Sequence7-10
Electives 21

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
Room 218

Stevens Hall is located on the corner of Centennial Boulevard and Bolley Drive
(Campus Map)

Contact Information

Dr. Wendy Reed, Department Head
Department of Biological Sciences
North Dakota State University
Stevens Hall 201B
Dept #2715, PO Box 6050
Fargo, ND 58108-6050

Tel: (701) 231-7087 / Fax: (701) 231-7149

Office of Admission
North Dakota State University
Ceres 114
Dept #5230, PO Box 6050
Fargo, ND 58108-6050

Tel: (701) 231-8643 / Fax: (701) 231-8802



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Office of Admission
North Dakota State University
Phone: +1 (701) 231-8643 / Fax: (701) 231-8802
Campus address: Ceres Hall 114
Physical/delivery address: 1301 Administration Ave., Fargo, ND 58102
Mailing address: NDSU Dept. 5230 / PO Box 6050 / Fargo, ND 58108-6050
Page manager: NDSU Webmaster

Last Updated: Thursday, December 03, 2015 11:32:40 AM