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Sustainable Plant Systems: Controlled Environment Agriculture Emphasis

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Sustainable Plant Systems: Controlled Environment Agriculture Emphasis

Bachelor of Science

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Students pursuing a degree in sustainable plant systems learn fundamental plant and soil science principles and techniques aimed at developing improved crop plants, and best practices for managing field-, greenhouse-, and agricultural crops, as well as urban landscapes. The School of Plant Sciences (SPLS) and Department of Soil, Water and Environmental Science (SWES) provide instruction for this interdisciplinary undergraduate degree.  Their joint efforts prepare students for a broad array of careers in modern agriculture, land management, and agronomic crop production in the Western United States and throughout the world. The academic program in Controlled Environment Agriculture provides practical training and a rigorous foundation in basic sciences to prepare students to enter graduate degree programs and be competitive for industry positions.  This program prepares students to develop technologies that efficiently produce plants and plant-based products, with optimized resource consumption, using environmentally, socially and economically sustainable growing systems in arid lands and urban settings. Specifically, students in Controlled Environment Agriculture learn the technical aspects of greenhouse design, environmental control, hydroponic crop production, plant nutrient delivery systems, intensive field production systems, and post-harvest handling and storage of crops.   The academic program in Controlled Environment Agriculture provides practical training and a rigorous foundation in basic sciences to prepare students to enter graduate degree programs and be competitive for industry positions.

Major Details

College: College of Agriculture & Life Sciences
Admissions Requirements:

No Additional Requirements

Math Required:


    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.
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
English 101 3
CHEM 151 3
First Semester Second Language 4
ENVS 195B Careers in Crop Production or PLS 195A Feed & Clothe 9-Billion People 3
Tier I General Education 3
2nd Semester
English 102 3
Statistics 3
CHEM 152 4
Tier I General Education 3
Tier I General Education 3
3rd Semester
MATH 122A 1
MATH 122B 3
PLS 240 4
Second Semester Second Language 4
Tier I General Education 3
4th Semester
PHYS 102 3
SWES 200 3
SWES 201 1
Communications 3
Tier II General Education 3
5th Semester
PLS 405 3
PLS 217 3
CHEM 241A 3
Controlled Environment Ag Core 3
6th Semester
PLS 312 4
PLS 397B 3
ECON 200 or ECON 201A 3
Controlled Environment Ag Elective II 3
Tier II General Education 3
7th Semester
PLS 360 3
Controlled Environment Ag Core 3
Elective II 3
Elective II 3
Tier II General Education 3
8th Semester
SWES 316 3
Controlled Environment Ag Core 3
ENTO 468 Insect Pest Management or PLP 305 Intro to Plant Pathology 3
PLS 498 Senior Capstone 3
PLS 475A Physio of Plant Production in Controlled Environments 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

  • 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 general science, controlled environmental agriculture, permanent tree crop production, turf grass systems, and urban horticulture gained from a major in Sustainable Plant Systems forms a solid foundation for many careers. Graduates are prepared to work in research, management, education, consulting, production, and manufacturing. This major is also excellent preparation for graduate studies in agriculture, or life science. Some of the job titles listed below require an advanced degree

Potential Career Areas

  • Research
  • Farming/Farm operation
  • Agricultural engineering
  • Land management/Field Support
  • Education/Teaching
  • Consulting/Advising
  • Plant Breeding
  • Crop production
  • Manufacturing
  • Editorial/Media

Sample Employers

  • Colleges and Universities
  • Research Institutes
  • Government agencies (national and state)
  • Food production companies
  • Consulting firms
  • Plant Breeding and Seed companies
  • National, state, and nonprofit gardens and parks
  • Landscaping firms

Sample Job Titles and National Salary Range

Job Title Salary Range
Agricultural Consultant $27,705 - $41,979
Agricultural Inspector $25,540 - $42,680
Agricultural Sciences Teachers, Postsecondary $35,670 - $80,490
Agricultural Technicians $29,220 - $47,300
Agronomist $28,750 - $68,846
Botanist $34,120 - $58,990
Conservation Scientist $37,070 - $61,220
Crop Scientist $30,660 - $88,840
Farm Crop Production Technician $18,710 - $34,790
Farm Management Analyst $44,370 - $78,600
Forester $37,160 - $57,110
Forestry and Conservation Science Teachers, Postsecondary $39,000 - $68,500
Golf Course Superintendent $71,275 - $81,044
Horticultural Technician $17,550 - $38,220
Nursery and Greenhouse Managers $33,840 - $70,110
Plant Scientist $30,660 - $88,840
Soil Scientist $34,120 - $58,990