Plant Sciences

From the food on our plates to the homes we live in to the fuel in our vehicles, plants impact all aspects of our daily lives.

As an ever-growing human population continues to increase the demand for crops and other plant products, so too does the demand increase for those skilled in improving their production, protection and use.

If you're interested in answering these challenges from the field to the laboratory, then a career in plant sciences is right for you.

Plant Sciences

Career Opportunities

A bachelor's of science degree in plant sciences from the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (CAFNR) will provide you with all the skills you'll need to succeed in a wide variety of plant science careers.

Students enroll in a generalized core curriculum, then further refine their expertise by choosing among a variety of discipline-specific emphasis areas including: plant breeding, genetics and biotechnology; crop management; landscape horticulture; ornamental plant production; plant biology; plant protection; precision agriculture; and turfgrass management. A few of the plant sciences careers you might consider include:

Research/Internship Opportunities

As a plant sciences student, your chances to gain real-world experience through research and internships are almost as unlimited as the plant species you'll study.

Work side-by-side with plant sciences faculty and get hands-on experience with basic or applied research in numerous areas including plant genetics or golf course maintenance.

Opportunities exist during the school year and summer for on-campus employment as field, greenhouse or lab assistants. You are also encouraged to complete an off-campus internship. Among the opportunities for plant sciences students are internships with botanical gardens, seed or chemical companies, private nurseries, golf courses, life science companies, and state and federal government agencies.

Get Involved on Campus

Want to have fun and develop your leadership skills and professional contacts at the same time? Then join one or more of the College's student clubs and organizations. There are more than 30 to choose from, and each gives you the opportunity to apply what you're learning in the classroom while making lifelong friends.

Here are a few organizations you might consider joining as a plant sciences student:

Agronomy Club: The Agronomy Club strives to stimulate interest in agronomic work and provide leadership and training opportunities that allow students to make meaningful contacts with prominent professionals. Members can attend regional and national conventions, go on field trips, and participate in the many contests offered by SASES. Other activities include our fundraisers, bonfire in the fall, and baseball trip in the spring.

Division of Plant Sciences
52 Agriculture Lab, 573-882-3001

Horticulture Club: The Horticulture Club is a club for students majoring in Plant Science or for those with an interest in plants. The club provides an opportunity to gain hands-on experience in the greenhouse, provide service to both the University community and the community at large and to enjoy social recreation with students and faculty who share a common interest in plants. Members participate in many activities, field trips and tours, social activities and community service projects throughout the year. They also spend a lot of time working in the greenhouse to raise plants for the three large sales they host during the school year. The sales include a poinsettia sale in December, a rose sale on Valentine's Day and a bedding plant sale each spring.

Division of Plant Sciences
52 Agriculture Lab, 573-882-3001

MU Student Chapter of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) is for all students interested in golf course management. The chapter provides both information about career directions, as well as an avenue for an exchange of information and ideas between students and golf course professionals.

American Institute of Floral Mizzou Student Design (SAIFD) is an organization that lets students learn about the floral industry, the skills and techniques used, and to be more knowledgable about flowers.

Division of Plant Sciences
1-31 Agriculture Lab, 573-882-3001

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Major requirements

Emphasis Areas
Minor Curriculum

Requirements for Minor

Division of Plant Sciences

52 Agriculture Building
Columbia, MO 65211
Phone: 573-882-3001
Fax: 573-882-2699
Apply now
Academic Major Sheet (PDF)