Botany/Plant Biology
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Botany/Plant Biology Overview

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.

Required Skills

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.


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.

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Example Careers

Here is a small sample of the careers that a degree in Botany/Plant Biology might open up.

Biological Science Teachers, Postsecondary
Biological Scientists, All Other
Natural Sciences Managers
Salary data is estimated by College Factual using 2013 data provided by PayScale.
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