The Plant Science major allows the most flexibility within the Plant and Soil Sciences Department. For students who wish to explore a variety of specialties within plant science, this is an ideal major. The options within this major are endless! Landscape designing, pest resistance, crop studies, and plant diseases are only a few topics students in the major can explore. Plant Science provides a basic understanding of the biology, chemistry, and physiology of plants.
The Major Elements
To give students a broad understanding of the use, function, and benefits of plants, Plant Science students are required to take courses in botany, soil science, genetics, plant pathology, and plant physiology. Beyond those courses, students can choose plant science courses that best fit their individual interests, from landscape horticulture to plant breeding. The major also requires a set of core requirements in biology, chemistry, and mathematics. To ensure that students receive a well-balanced education, courses in the arts, literature, social sciences, and humanities are also required.
A Place to Learn
Expansive gardens of native and non-native plants surround Townsend and Worrilow Halls, home of the Plant and Soil Sciences Department. Serving as a living laboratory, the University of Delaware Botanical Gardens are used often in our courses and by the public. The modern Fischer Greenhouse Laboratory is used in teaching and research, as are the laboratories and design studio in Worrilow Hall. Our 350-acre complex also includes several small greenhouses, a woodlot, a wildlife habitat trail, a library, and a fully- equipped computing site. And for those students whose interests lie within the molecular biology or biotechnology of plants, our College is affiliated with the Delaware Biotechnology Institute. DBI is a world-renowned institute with top-notch research facilities and equipment.
Enriching the Experience
To provide guidance and support, each student is matched with a faculty advisor. Advisors assist in choosing courses, deciding on internships, and planning career paths. Faculty also serve as instructors, mentors for research and independent studies, and coordinators of study abroad trips.
Many of our students conduct research and take part in independent studies to gain practical experience. Opportunities are available on-campus and within the community. To learn about plants in different countries, students often take advantage of our study abroad programs, including those in Peru, Ecuador, Costa Rica, and Morocco. Whether in the United States or in another country, a multitude of opportunities exist to gain practical experience in Plant Science.
Life After College
Because of the flexibility of the Plant Science curriculum, the careers graduates pursue vary. Some career options include: landscape design, research support, greenhouse or nursery crop production, plant breeding, garden-center management, plant molecular biology, and golf-course management.
While some graduates immediately enter the job market, others opt for graduate school to study such subjects as landscape architecture, plant biology, weed science, horticultural science and public-garden administration.
To assist students with their career plans, we offer career-preparation programs throughout the year, including workshops on resume writing, the job search, and how to prepare for graduate school. A spring career fair, which attracts more than 35 companies, allows students to network with prospective employers for full time jobs and internships.