Protecting our Plants
Plants provide us with food for nutrition, fiber for clothing, and medicine for our health. They are vital to our everyday living, but plants are prone to disease and decay caused by fungi, viruses, bacteria, weeds, and insects. Understanding how various factors threaten the structure, physiology, growth, and function of plants is vital to determining how to help plants live and thrive.
Students majoring in Plant Protection delve into a curriculum rich in science, including biology, botany, chemistry, entomology, genetics, plant pathology, and soil science. To ensure a strong general education, students also choose courses in mathematics, literature, the arts, the social sciences and humanities. To enhance the practical application of Plant Protection, students participate in an internship or independent study project during their junior or senior year.
Enriching the Experience
Beginning in freshman year, each student is matched with a faculty advisor who assists with choosing courses, planning academic pursuits, and discussing career paths. In addition to being dedicated advisors, the faculty serve as instructors for the College’s courses. Establishing relationships with faculty advisors and instructors is strongly encouraged, as these are the people who will write letters of recommendation for internships, jobs, and graduate school.
Many students in the College participate in undergraduate research with a faculty member. Some students begin their research as part of the Science and Engineering Scholars program and continue working on their project until graduation, often working towards a thesis and a Degree with Distinction. Throughout the process, students are given guidance and support from a faculty mentor.
To further expand their knowledge, many students participate in various faculty-led study abroad programs, including those in Costa Rica, Peru, Ecuador, and Morocco. Through study abroad, students learn about the environmental and agricultural challenges that other countries face, while learning about and experiencing a new culture.
Life after Graduation
A degree in Plant Protection can mean a variety of career options, from positions with agricultural consulting firms to those in state and federal agencies. The demand is great for positions like technical field representatives, crop advisors, sales managers, pest management coordinators and research technicians.
Because a graduate degree can bring additional opportunities for employment and career growth, some students choose to pursue this option in areas such as Integrated Pest Management, Entomology, Plant Pathology, Weed Science and Agronomy.
Whatever their goals, we give students plenty of chances to polish their public-speaking skills, to develop their resumes, and to learn to network. We offer job-search workshops and seminars year-round, as well as an annual career day. Taking advantage of these opportunities, as well as doing well academically, greatly enhances the post-graduate opportunities for all students.