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2021 Botany/Plant Biology Degree Guide

Do you love learning about plants and how things grow? There are millions of plant varieties growing on our green earth. Major in Botany / Plant Biology to study these plants. You will learn how they function, what they look like, how they are related, where they grow, how they have evolved, and how people use plants.

The many plants on our earth serve vital functions for human survival. For starters, we need plants for energy and for oxygen. These powerful and beautiful organisms are also used to create many of the remedies and medicines we use today. Plants are so powerful they can affect climate, the water cycle, and our everyday life. As a Botany Major you get to immerse yourself in this incredible world.

Courses that you will come across in this major include: biochemistry, field ecology, genetics, microbiology, photosynthesis, the study of algae, plant anatomy, plant physiology, plant evolution, plant taxonomy, and the study of ferns.

Concentrations in botany include: Botany/Plant Biology, Plant Pathology, Plant Physiology and Plant Molecular Biology.

Botany/Plant Biology Degrees Remain Stable

#257 Most Popular Major
684 Degrees Awarded
0.0% Increase in Graduates

Botany/Plant Biology was the 257th most popular major in the 2018-2019 school year. Colleges in the United States reported awarding 684 degrees in this year alone. This represents small change only 0.0% from the prior year's total of 684 botany degrees awarded.

There are 35 schools offering degrees in botany/plant biology in the United States. Explore this or one of our many other custom botany rankings further below.

Botany/Plant Biology Degree Requirements

If you like to hike, garden or camp, it could be an indication that you will enjoy this major. Students should have a love for nature and the environment. Botany will require field work where you will observe plants in their natural habitat.

Classes will include both lectures and labs. Lab work will help reinforce what you learn during lectures. Students will learn how to completely break down the biological systems of a particular plant. This will provide you the ability to learn plant anatomy, organization of their cells and plant organs. Your classes will require you to write lab reports, so you will need strong writing skills. You will also take exams with short answer questions.

Students should be comfortable working on group projects, as well as spend many hours on their own doing research in a lab. We suggest forming study groups to work through difficult problems. Don't be afraid to speak to your professors; they are here to help you succeed. You will work through real world problems with your professors, such as the extinction of certain plants and the invasion of others and how we can change it.

Prior Education for a Botany Program

botany/plant biology 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 botany careers may require a certain level of degree attainment or additional certifications beyond that.

Botany/Plant Biology Degree Types

Botany degree levels vary. Botany/Plant Biology programs offered by schools range from a associate's to a research/scholarship based doctorate, which is the highest botany degree you can get. The time it takes to complete a botany degree varies depending on the program.

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 botany, with approximately 36.7% of workers getting one. See the the most common levels of education for botany workers below.

Level of Education Percentage of Workers
Bachelor’s Degree 35.6%
Doctoral Degree 19.9%
Master’s Degree 18.8%
Post-Doctoral Training 17.0%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 2.4%

55.0% of botany workers have at least a master's. See the chart below for the most common degree level workers in botany/plant biology have received.


The education level required is different depending on the botany career you are seeking.

Botany Careers

Average Number of Jobs
107k Avg. Related Jobs Salary
12% Growth Job Outlook 2016-26

A major in Botany/Plant Science provides graduates with a broad set of skills they can use in a variety of careers. Graduates can become marine or freshwater biologists, or work on farms or in a tropical forest developing new medicines. Graduates also find work in museums, botanical gardens or arboretums. Other positions include workers for the U.S. Forest Service. This degree will allow you work in many different fields because it is very diverse. Some botanists will earn their Ph.D., however that is not necessary unless you want to conduct research or teach at a college. Those with advanced degrees are often able to obtain higher-paying positions.

Solid Growth Projected for Botany Careers

Want a job when you graduate with your botany degree? Botany/Plant Biology careers are expected to grow 11.5% between 2016 and 2026.

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

Occupation Name Projected Jobs Expected Growth
Biological Science Professors 71,700 15.1%
Natural Sciences Managers 62,300 9.9%
Biological Scientists 41,800 8.0%

How Much Money Do Botany Grads Make?

As you might expect, salaries for botany graduates vary depending on the level of education that was acquired.

Highest Paid Botany Careers

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

Occupation Name Median Average Salary
Natural Sciences Managers $139,680
Biological Science Professors $97,340
Biological Scientists $83,600

Getting Your Botany/Plant Biology Degree

With over 200 different botany 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 botany school rankings to help you with this.

Study Areas in Botany/Plant Biology

One of 14 majors within the Biological & Biomedical Sciences area of study, Botany/Plant Biology has other similar majors worth exploring.

Related Major Annual Graduates
General Biology 98,638
Biochemistry, Biophysics & Molecular Biology 14,004
Neurobiology & Neurosciences 9,504
Physiology & Pathology Sciences 7,844
Ecology, Evolution & Systematics Biology 6,987

View All Botany Related Majors >


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