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Sustainable Plant Systems: Environmental Horticulture

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Sustainable Plant Systems: Environmental Horticulture

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 Environmental Horticulture provides practical training and a rigorous foundation in basic sciences to prepare students to enter graduate degree programs and be competitive for industry positions.  Students in this program will learn principles and cultural practices for propagating, producing, marketing, and using intensively cultivated herbaceous and woody crop plants for agricultural and ornamental purposes. Environmental Horticulture aims to promote science-based applications that increase plant yield or longevity and enhance environmental quality, while reducing inputs such as labor, fertilizer, water, and chemical pesticides.  The academic program in Environmental Horticulture 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
ENGL 101 First-Year Composition 3
CHEM 151 General Chemistry I 4
Second Language 4
ENVS 195B Careers in Crop Production or PLS 195A Feed & Clothe 9-Billion People 1
Tier I General Education 3
2nd Semester
ENGL 102 First-Year Composition 3
Statistics 3
CHEM 152 General Chemistry II 4
Tier I General Education 3
Tier I General Education 3
3rd Semester
MATH 122A Functions of Calculus 1
MATH 122B First-Semester Calculus 4
PLS 240 Plant Biology 4
Second Language 4
Tier I General Education 3
4th Semester
PHYS 102 Introductory Physics I 3
SWES 200 Soils 3
SWES 201 Soils Laboratory 1
Communications 3
Tier II General Education 3
5th Semester
PLS 405 Weed Science 3
Environmental Horticulture Core 3
CHEM 241a Lectures in Organic Chemistry 3
Environmental Horticulture Elective II 3
6th Semester
PLS 312 Animal and Plant Genetics 4
PLS 235 Introductory Horticulture 3
ECON 200 Basic Economic Issues or ECON 201A Principles of Economics 3
Environmental Horticulture Core 3
Tier II General Education 3
7th Semester
PLS 330 Plant Propagation, Production and Management 4
PLS 360 Plant Growth and Physiology 3
Elective II 3
PLS 498 Senior Capstone 2
Tier II General Education 3
8th Semester
SWES 316 Soil Fertility and Plant Nutrition 3
Environmental Horticulture Core 3
ENTO 468 Insect Pest Management or PLP 305 Introduction to Plant Pathology 3
Elective II 3
PLS 475A Physiology of Plant Production under Controlled Environment 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, soil science, plant science (biology, genetics, pathology, physiology, and propagation), insect/pest management, controlled environment production and system management, and horticulture, gained from a major in Sustainable Plant Systems in the Environmental Horticulture concentration 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
  • Agricultural engineering
  • Landscape/Ground maintenance and management
  • Education/Teaching
  • Consulting/Advising
  • Interioscape/Arboriculture business
  • Sales, marketing, and public relations
  • Editorial/Media

Sample Employers

  • Colleges and universities
  • Research institutes
  • Government agencies
  • Consulting firms
  • Nurseries
  • Gardens and parks (national, state, corporate, and nonprofit organization)
  • Recreation areas and sports field management
  • Landscape and maintenance companies
  • Farms/Greenhouses
  • Farming, gardening, and landscaping supply companies
  • Estate and property management companies

Sample Job Titles and National Salary Range

Job Title Salary Range
Forester $24,300 - $57,110
Plant Scientist $30,660 - $88,840
Green Marketer $42,700 - $87,700
Horticultural Scientist $35,900 - $58,900
Agricultural Inspector $25,540 - $42,680
Agricultural Technician $29,220 - $47,300
Crop Scientist $30,660 - $88,840
Horticultural Technician $17,550 - $38,220
Agricultural Sciences Teachers, Postsecondary $35,670 - $80,490
Soil Scientist $34,120 - $58,990
Farm Management Analyst $24,300 - $78,600
Nursery and Greenhouse Managers $33,840 - $70,110
Agricultural Consultant $27,705 - $41,979
Farm Crop Production Technician $18,710 - $34,790
Botanist $34,120 - $58,990
Golf Course Superintendent $71,275 - $81,044
Agronomist $28,750 - $68,846
Conservation Scientist $37,070 - $61,220
Forestry and Conservation Science Teachers, Postsecondary $39,000 - $68,500