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College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences
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Plant Science

CFANS has a new Plant Science major! This major is open to all incoming and current students as of the fall 2013 semester. When you major in Plant Science, you'll do a broad course of study in plant sciences and plant species, then focus on a specific area tailored to your interests.

Plant Science students learn about conventional large-scale farming, organic agriculture, new sustainable production practices, medicinal plants, greenhouse management, and turf and lawn management. You'll do all this in the classroom, online, in greenhouses, in the field, and possibly through study abroad.

Topics you can focus on in Plant Science include:

This major prepares students for rewarding careers in areas such as:

Through the Plant Science major, students will gain experience in the use of plants to produce food, alter environments, restore damaged landscapes, improve human health and well-being, educate people about science and agriculture, improve community environments, and provide recreational and practical benefits to the public.

The University of Minnesota is a leading center of plant science research. At CFANS, students can focus on a wide range of plant species, including:

Plant Science students take a set of core courses, then develop an individualized plan. The core courses lay the foundation for understanding plant genetics, growth and development, biochemistry, anatomy, taxonomy, and ecology. Each student will also work with a faculty advisor to design an individualized program of study that includes courses tailored to one or more Plant Science fields. This rigorous and flexible course plan will emphasize expertise, experiential learning, and analytical and communication skills that allow students to work effectively across disciplines to solve problems.

Field-oriented coursework includes the study of cropping systems, plant taxonomy of species, and production practices suitable for a cold-weather climate. Students will learn about plant disease, agricultural production, pest control issues and practices, and plant systems that arise in the unique context of Minnesota’s agricultural landscapes.

This new major was officially approved by the University of Minnesota Regents on May 9, 2013.


Academic Planning

Major Requirements (PDF)

University Catalog info (requirements for this major)

Sample 4-Year Plans (PDFs):
Nursery and Floriculture
Plant Breeding
Sustainable Plant Health
Turfgrass Science


Departments affiliated with this major: Agronomy and Plant Genetics; Entomology; Horticultural Science; Plant Pathology

Career Info

Involvement Opportunities

Contact Us

Academic Advisor
See CFANS Advisors list.

Major Coordinator
See CFANS Major Coordinators list.