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2020 Plant Sciences Degree Guide

Your green thumb has inspired you to search for a career involving plants. Your bedroom window overflows with potted plants and you love nothing more than caring for plants and learning more about them. If this is the case, a major in Plant Science might be for you.

Plant Science gives you the ability to learn how to breed, cultivate, and produce agriculture plants. You also learn the process behind producing and distributing plant products. Classes in areas such as biotechnology, botany, agriculture economics, entomology, and plant pathology will provide the basis for how plants feed the general public and how to combat drought, disease and any other issues that affect plant production.

While you have the ability to major in general Plant Science, students often decide to concentrate in a certain area such as Agronomy and Crop Science, Horticultural Science, Agricultural and Horticultural Plant Breeding, Plant Protection and Integrated Pest Management, Range Science and Management.

Rapid Growth in Plant Sciences Degrees Awarded

#173 Most Popular Major
3.3k Degrees Awarded
3.2% Increase in Graduates

Plant Sciences was the 173rd most popular major in the 2017-2018 school year. Colleges in the United States reported awarding 3,327 degrees in this year alone. This represents a 3.2% increase in plant sciences degrees awarded over the prior year's total of 3,220.

Approximately 79 colleges in the U.S. offer a plant sciences degree of some kind. Explore this or one of our many other custom plant sciences rankings further below.

What Are The Requirements For a Degree in Plant Sciences

Students with strong analytical and critical thinking skills would make ideal plant scientists. A lot of time is spent collecting and analyzing data through a variety of methods. Someone with a strong background in sciences, specifically biology, chemistry, and physical sciences, would be successful in this field as you work to test, genetically engineer, and maintain plants.

Although you work the typical 40-hour workweek, you don't spend too much time behind a desk. Plant Scientists are often out in the field working directly with plants or performing experiments in the lab.

Internships or summer jobs with research labs or farms provides you with experience gathering and analyzing data along with the ability to decide if this is the career path you wish to follow.

Getting Accepted Into a Plant Sciences Program

plant sciences degree applicants generally need have finished high school or their GED. Many schools may also have GPA and SAT/ACT score minimums that must be met. Specific plant sciences careers may require a certain level of degree attainment or additional certifications beyond that.

Plant Sciences Degree Types

There are various different levels of plant sciences degrees. You can get anything from a award taking less than 1 year in plant sciences to the highest plant sciences degree, a professional practice doctorate. The type of plant sciences degree you choose will determine how long it takes to get your diploma.

Degree Credit Requirements Typical Program Length
Associate Degree 60-70 credits 2 years
Bachelor’s Degree 120 credits 4 years
Master’s Degree 50-70 credits 1-3 years
Doctorate Program required coursework including thesis or dissertation At least 4 years

A bachelor's degree is the most common level of education achieved by those in careers related to plant sciences, with approximately 29.0% of workers getting one. See the the most common levels of education for plant sciences workers below.

Level of Education Percentage of Workers
Doctoral Degree 27.5%
Bachelor’s Degree 25.7%
Post-Doctoral Training 10.4%
Master’s Degree 9.3%
High School Diploma 8.2%

About 72.6% of workers in careers related to plant sciences obtain at least bachelor's degree. The chart below shows what degree level those who work in plant sciences have obtained.


This of course varies depending on which plant sciences career you choose.

Career Opportunities for A Degree In Plant Sciences Graduate

Below Average Number of Jobs
$35.9k Average Starting Salary
-0% Decline Job Outlook 2016-26

A degree in Plant Sciences opens many job opportunities for graduates. You may choose to work in research labs, farms, processing plants, or for food distributors. As a food scientist you also have the option to work for governments or research for universities and colleges.

Steady Demand Projected for Plant Sciences Careers

Want a job when you graduate with your plant sciences degree?

The following options are some of the most in-demand careers related to plant sciences.

Occupation Name Projected Jobs Expected Growth
Farmers, Ranchers, and Agricultural Managers 1,020,700 -0.8%
Farming, Fishing, and Forestry Worker Supervisors 49,700 2.1%
Conservation Scientists 23,700 6.3%
Soil and Plant Scientists 21,700 9.0%
Agricultural Sciences Professors 13,600 7.9%

How Much Money Do People With a Plant Sciences Degree Make?

Plant Sciences graduates between 2015-2017 reported earning an average of $35,854 in the 2017-2018 timeframe. Earnings can range from as low as $20,200 to as high as $65,100. As you might expect, salaries for plant sciences graduates vary depending on the level of education that was acquired.


High Paying Careers for Plant Sciences Majors

Salaries for plant sciences graduates can vary widely by the occupation you choose as well. The following table shows the top 5 highest paying careers plant sciences grads often go into.

Occupation Name Median Average Salary
Forestry & Conservation Science Professors $92,550
Agricultural Sciences Professors $90,890
Farmers, Ranchers, and Agricultural Managers $79,940
Soil and Plant Scientists $70,630
Animal Scientists $67,690

Getting Your Plant Sciences Degree

With over 417 different plant sciences degree programs to choose from, finding the best fit for you can be a challenge. Fortunately you have come to the right place. We have analyzed all of these schools to come up with hundreds of unbiased plant sciences school rankings to help you with this.

Plant Sciences is one of 13 different types of Agriculture & Agriculture Operations programs to choose from.

Related Major Annual Graduates
Agricultural Economics & Business 8,521
Animal Science 7,549
Horticulture 4,175
General Agriculture 3,457
Agricultural Production 3,279

View All Plant Sciences Related Majors >


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