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Plant Sciences

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Plant Sciences

Bachelor of Science

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Plants are fundamental to all aspects of our existence; they provide the oxygen we breathe and contribute to our nutrition, the clothes we wear, the infrastructure we inhabit, and the natural beauty that surrounds us.  Given the growth of the human population and the effects of this growth on the environment, research and training in the Plant Sciences has never been more critical.  After solid training in fundamental sciences, Plant Science majors customize their education with diverse and interdisciplinary electives in fields such as genetics, genomics, development, biotechnology, plant pathology, environmental horticulture, and sustainable agriculture.  Coursework and optional research training prepare majors for post-graduate studies in research, medicine, and pharmacy, or careers in horticulture, agriculture, microbiology, or biotechnology.

Major Details

College: College of Agriculture & Life Sciences
Admissions Requirements:

No Additional Requirements

Website: http://cals.arizona.edu/spls/
Math Required:

Substantial

    This strand involves skill and facility with calculus. The S-strand begins at one of two calculus options - MATH 124 (Calculus I with Applications) or MATH 125 (Calculus I). Students who successfully complete the S-strand may continue on to MATH 129 (Calculus II), MATH 223 (Vector Calculus), or beyond. Those who choose but are not ready to begin the S-strand will be required to take preparatory work.
Substantial
Second Language Required:

2 Semesters

  • Scoring the equivalent of second-semester skill level on an entrance or placement examination administered by The University of Arizona.
  • Completion with a C or better of a second semester course at the post-secondary level.
  • An AP (Advanced Placement), IB (International Baccalaureate) or CLEP (College Level Entrance Program) language score determined by the individual language department.
  • In the College of Engineering by a method determined within the College; however, all students in the college must also take a language placement examination on entrance to the University.
2 Semesters
Fees: No
Pre-Major: No
Available at:
  • Main Campus

Four-Year Plan

Archived plans are available on Degree Search 2011-2016 for many degree plans. These are sample plans. Please work with your academic advisor for more specific and up-to-date requirements.

Select a year:

UA Course Requirements Units
1st Semester
MATH 122A Functions of Calculus 1
MATH 122B First-Semester Calculus 4
CHEM 151 General Chemistry I 4
PLS195 Colloquium 1
ENGL 101 English Composition 3
Tier I General Education 3
2nd Semester
CHEM 152 General Chemistry II 4
ECOL 182R Introductory Biology II 3
ECOL 182L Introductory Biology II Lab 1
ENGL 102 1st Year Composition 3
Tier I General Education 3
3rd Semester
MCB 181R Introductory Biology I 3
CHEM 241A Lectures in Organic Chemistry 3
CHEM 243A Organic Chemistry Laboratory 1
PLS 240 Plant Biology 4
ISTA 100 Great Ideas of the Information Age, ISTA 116 Statistical Foundations for the Information Age, or ISTA 130 Computational Thinking and Doing 3
4th Semester
PLS 312 Animal and Plant Genetics 4
MATH 263 Intro Statistics/Biostats 3
BIOC 384 Foundations in Biochemistry 3
Tier I General Education 3
Tier I General Education 3
5th Semester
PLS 359 Plant Cell Structure/Function 3
BIOC 385 Metabolic Biochemistry 3
Free Elective 3
First Semester Second Language 4
Free Elective 3
6th Semester
PLS 360 Plant Growth and Physiology 3
PHYS 102 Introductory Physics I 3
PHYS 181 Introductory Laboratory I 1
Core Elective 3
Second Semester Second Language 4
7th Semester
Science Communication 3
Tier II General Education 3
Tier II General Education 3
Core Elective 3
Free Elective Upper Division 3
8th Semester
PLS 498 Senior Capstone 2
Tier II General Education 3
Free Elective Upper Division 3
Free Elective Upper Division 3
Free Elective Upper Division 3
Free Elective Upper Division 3

AZ Transfer Pathways

This page is designed for in-state transfer students who plan to attend the University of Arizona. The information presented lists the most accurate course equivalencies and may not include all possible requirements. Transfer students are strongly encouraged to use this site for reference only and not for self-advising.

Transfer students should work with their community colleges and UA advisors to develop an individualized plan for transfer, and visit aztransfer.com

  • All posted Pathways (except for Bachelor of Applied Science Pathways) fulfill an AGEC and most also fulfill an Associate Degree
  • Following a Pathway does not guarantee admission to the UA nor admission to a college/major/program at the UA
  • Use Pathways in consultation with advisors from your community college and the UA
  • Pathways are subject to change at any time

Which college/university do you attend?

Career Planning

The knowledge of chemistry, biology, genomics, and mathematics gained from a major in Plant Sciences provides a scientific background that can be applied to a variety of specialized fields, including biotechnology, environmental horticulture, sustainable agriculture, and developmental and cell biology. Graduates might work as researchers, consultants, conservation advocates, educators, or project managers. This major is also excellent preparation for graduate studies in microbiology, pharmacy, agriculture, or medicine.

Potential Career Areas

  • Research
  • Species surveillance
  • Conservation
  • Horticulture
  • Biofuels production
  • Agriculture
  • Education
  • Consulting
  • Project management

Sample Employers

  • Conservation organizations
  • Schools and universities
  • Medical and research laboratories
  • Consulting firms
  • Wilderness and parks services
  • Farms
  • Gardens and arboretums
  • Biotechnology companies
  • Government agencies

Sample Job Titles and National Salary Range

Job Title Salary Range
Plant Scientist $30,660 - $51,200
Horticulturist $33,650 - $93,460
Botanist $34,120 - $58,990
Biofuels Production Manager $55,250 - $90,790
Research Associate $21,000 - $61,000
Field Teacher $20,000 - $40,000
Park Naturalist $20,000 - $49,000
Environmental Specialist, Government $35,000 - $80,000
Arborist $20,310 - $52,950
Biotechnologist $33,650 - $93,460
Agriculture Scientist $30,000 - $58,740
Horticultural Inspector $25,540 - $42,680