Skip Navigation
search: People Opens New Window | Departments Opens New Window | Penn State Opens New Window | Web Opens New Window
Penn State mark
Penn State mark

University Bulletin

Undergraduate Degree Programs

Agricultural Sciences

Plant Sciences

University Park, College of Agricultural Sciences (PLANT)

PROFESSOR RICH MARINI, Head, Department of Horticulture

The Plant Sciences Major is an applied biological science program designed for students seeking careers in agronomic and horticultural crop production systems and enterprise management, agroecology, sustainable and organic managed and natural ecosystems, crop protection, applied plant physiology, plant science research, and plant biotechnology. Students will secure: (1) a working knowledge of basic plant biology, soils, pests, and pathogens with emphasis on growth, development, and physiology in an ecological and agricultural context, (2) the scientific, technical, and computational approaches to problem solving in an ecological and agricultural context, individually and in teams, (3) the ability to analyze ethical issues regarding ecosystem sustainability, business practices and plant science, and critically evaluate and respect different viewpoints in making management decisions, and (4) a high level of proficiency in written and oral communication, particularly with regard to critical evaluation of scientific issues.

There are four options in the major, providing flexibility for concentrations in areas including production and management systems related to agronomic and horticultural crops, plant biotechnology and breeding, crop physiology, ecology, agroecology, and other aspects of general plant science. Students can choose from diverse course offerings in designing a program of study suited to their needs and professional goals.

AGROECOLOGY OPTION:
This option applies an ecological approach to understanding and managing cropping systems to meet societies' needs while enhancing environmental protection and resource conservation. Students will develop skills to manage agroecosystems for sustainable productivity, profitability and environmental protection by studying plant and soil sciences, ecology, and pest management from a systems perspective. The curriculum prepares students for a wide range of careers in agricultural and ecological fields, sustainable food production, and for graduate studies.

CROP PRODUCTION OPTION:
This option provides students with practical and field-related skills in Agronomy (field crop production and soil management). Students will focus on techniques and knowledge necessary to efficiently and economically manage soils, crops and other farm resources with additional emphasis on pest management and commodity marketing. Courses stress the skills and information needed to work with current production technologies such as seed traits, crop protection chemicals, and fertilizers to improve yield and productivity.

HORTICULTURE OPTION:
This option prepares students to enter the horticultural industry by providing a broad background in courses related to production and physiology of horticultural crops. Additional courses in pest management and business are required. Graduates may work as orchard, greenhouse, garden center, nursery or farm managers, with horticultural and landscape service providers, suppliers, and brokers, with cooperative extension and other government and non-governmental agencies and public and private gardens, or continue with graduate studies.

PLANT SCIENCE OPTION:
This option emphasizes the application of the biological sciences to problem-solving in agronomic and horticultural ecosystems. Topic areas include plant biology, plant pathology, plant microbiology, plant biotechnology, plant-insect interactions, horticulture, crop science, plant ecology, and bioenergy. Graduates may find employment in industry, government and academic research programs as technicians and research assistants, or pursue graduate degrees.

For the B.S. Degree in Plant Sciences, a minimum of 120 credits are required.

GENERAL EDUCATION: 45 credits
(21-24 of these 45 credits are included in the REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MAJOR)
(See description of General Education in this bulletin.)

FIRST-YEAR SEMINAR:
(Included in ELECTIVES or GENERAL EDUCATION course selection)

UNITED STATES CULTURES AND INTERNATIONAL CULTURES:
(Included in ELECTIVES or GENERAL EDUCATION course selection)

WRITING ACROSS THE CURRICULUM:
(Included in REQUIREMENTS FOR THE OPTIONS)

ELECTIVES: 0-13 credits

REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MAJOR: 83-99 credits
(This includes 21-24 credits of General Education courses: 9 credits of GN courses; 6 credits of GQ courses; 3 credits of GS courses and 3 credits of GWS courses; plus 3 GH in Crop Production.)

COMMON REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MAJOR (ALL OPTIONS): 33-36 credits

PRESCRIBED COURSES (19 credits)
BIOL 110 GN(4), CHEM 110 GN(3), CHEM 111 GN(1) (Sem: 1-4)
SOILS 101 GN(3)[1], ENT 313(2) (Sem: 5-6)
AGECO 457(3)[1], AGECO 461(3)[1] (Sem: 5-8)

ADDITIONAL COURSES (14-17 credits)
Select 3-5 credits from MATH 022 GQ(3), MATH 026 GQ(3), MATH 040 GQ(5), MATH 041 GQ(3-4), MATH 110 GQ(4), MATH 111 GQ(2), MATH 140 GQ(4), MATH 141 GQ(4), or MATH 141B GQ(4) (Sem: 1-2)
Select 3-4 Credits from STAT 200 GQ(4), STAT 240 GQ(3) or STAT 250 GQ(3) (Sem: 1-2)
Select 3 credits from ENGL 202C GWS(3) or ENGL 202D GWS(3) (Sem: 1-4)
Select 3 credits from AG BM 101 GS(3), ECON 014 GS(3), ECON 102 GS(3), or ECON 104 GS(3) (Sem: 3-4)
Select 1 credit from ENT 314(1) or ENT 316(1) (Sem: 5-7)
Select 1 credit from AGECO 495(1-18), AGRO 495(1-5), HORT 495(1-13), or HORT 496(1-18) Sem: 5-8)

REQUIREMENTS FOR THE OPTION: 50-63 credits

AGROECOLOGY OPTION: (60-61 credits)

PRESCRIBED COURSES: (18 credits)
SOILS 102(1) (Sem: 1-5)
AGECO 201(3)[1] (Sem: 2-6)
AGECO 295(1) (Sem: 2-8)
AGECO/AGRO 438(4) (Sem: 5-7)
PPATH 405(3) (Sem: 5-8)
SOILS 401(3), SOILS 402(3) (Sem: 6-8)

ADDITIONAL COURSES (24-25 credits)
Select 3 credits from AGECO/METEO 122 GN(3), AGECO/R SOC 134 GN(3), AGECO 144 GN(3), AGECO 154(2) or AGECO 496(1) (Sem: 1-4)
Select 3 credits from AG 160 GH(3), GEOG 030 GS;IL(3), PHIL 013 GH(3), PHIL 103 GH(3), or PHIL 132 GH(3) (Sem: 1-4)
Select 3 credits from AGRO 028(3)[1] or HORT 101 GN(3)[1] (Sem: 1-5)
Select 3 credits from AGECO 121 GN(3) OR BIOL 127 GN(3) (Sem: 3-5)
Select 6 credits from AGRO 423(3), AGRO 425(3), HORT 202(3), HORT 315(3), HORT 431(3), HORT 432(3), HORT 433(3), HORT 450(3), or SOILS 418(3) (Sem: 5-6)
Select 3 credits from BIOL 222(3) or HORT 407(3) (Sem: 5-6)
Select 3-4 credits from AGRO 410W(4), HORT 412W(3), or SOILS 412W(3) (Sem: 6)

SUPPORTING COURSES AND RELATED AREAS (18 credits)
Select 18 credits of supporting courses in consultation with adviser. (Sem: 5-8)

CROP PRODUCTION OPTION: (61-63 credits)

PRESCRIBED COURSES (29 credits)
SOILS 102(1) (Sem: 2-5)
AGECO 201(3)[1], AGECO 295(1) (Sem: 2-6)
PPEM 405(3) (Sem: 3-7)
AGECO 429(2), AGRO 423(3), AGRO 425(3) (Sem: 3-8)
AGECO/AGRO 438(4) (Sem: 5)
HORT 407(3) (Sem: 5-7)
SOILS 401(3), SOILS 402(3) (Sem: 6-8)

ADDITIONAL COURSES (23-25 credits)
Select 3 credits from AGRO 028(3)[1] or HORT 101 GN(3)[1] (Sem: 1-3)
Select 3 credits from AG 160 GH(3), PHIL 013 GH(3), PHIL 103 GH(3), or PHIL 132 GH(3) (Sem: 2-7)
Select 3 credits from AGECO 121 GN(3) or BIOL 127 GN(3) (Sem: 3-5)
Select 3 credits from AG BM 102(3), AG BM 106(3), AG BM 200(3) or AG BM 407(3) (Sem: 3-7)
Select 3 credits from AEE 201 GS(3), AEE 360(3), AEE 460(3), or AEE 465(3) (Sem: 3-7)
Select 2 credits from AGECO 154(2) or SOILS 403(2) (Sem: 3-8)
Select 3-4 credits from AGECO/AN SC/SOILS 418(3), AN SC 201(4), GEOG 160 GS(3), or SOILS 450(3) (Sem: 3-8)
Select 3-4 credits from AGRO 410W(4), HORT 412W(3), or SOILS 412W(3) (Sem: 6)

SUPPORTING COURSES AND RELATED AREAS (9 credits)
Select 9 credits of supporting courses in consultation with adviser (Sem: 4-8)

HORTICULTURE OPTION: (54-57 credits)

PRESCRIBED COURSES (30 credits)
HORT 101 GN(3)[1], HORT 202(3)[1], HORT 232(3), HORT 315(3)[1], HORT 402W(3), HORT 407(3), HORT 412W(3)[1], HORT 420(3), HORT 445(3), HORT 455(3) (Sem: 1-8)

ADDITIONAL COURSES (24-27 credits)
Select 3 credits from HORT 131(3), HORT 137(3), HORT 138(3), HORT 431(3)*, HORT 432(3)*, or HORT 433(3)* (Sem: 3-8)
Select 3 credits from PPEM 300(3) or PPEM 405(3) (Sem: 4-8)
Select 6-7 credits from HORT 408(4), HORT 431(3), HORT 432(3), HORT 433(3), HORT 450(3), or HORT 453(3) (Sem: 5-8)
Select 3-4 credits from AGRO 438(4) or HORT 238(3) (Sem: 5-8)
Select 9-10 credits from AG 301W(3), AG BM 200(3), AG BM 407(3), B LAW 243(3), FIN 100(3), MKTG 221(3), SPAN 001(4), SPAN 002(4), SPAN 003(4) or SPAN 105(4) (Sem: 5-8)

PLANT SCIENCE OPTION: (50-56 credits)

PRESCRIBED COURSES (24 credits)
CHEM 112(3) (Sem: 2-3)
BIOL 127 GN(3)[1], PHYS 250(4) (Sem: 3-6)
CHEM 210(3), CHEM 212(3), CHEM 213B(2) (Sem: 4-5)
BIOL 222(3) (Sem: 5-6)
PPEM 405(3)[1] (Sem: 5-8)

ADDITIONAL COURSES (26-32 credits)
Select 3 credits from AGRO 028(3) or HORT 101 GN(3) (Sem: 1-4)
Select 1 credit from CHEM 113(1) or CHEM 113B(1) (Sem: 2-3)
Select 4-6 credits from B M B 211(3) and B M B 212(1), or BIOL 230W GN(4), or BIOL 240W GN(4), or MICRB 201(3) and MICRB 202(2), or MICRB 251(3), or MICRB 252(3) (Sem: 3-6)
Select 3-4 credits from BIOL 439*(3), ENT 402W(3), ENT 410(3), PPEM 416(3), PPEM 417*(3), or PPEM 425*(4) (Sem: 5-8)
Select 3-4 credits from BIOL 412(3), BIOL 414(3), BIOL 427(3), BIOL 428(3), BIOL 436(3), BIOL 448(3), ENT/VB SC 402W(3), ENT 420(3), HORT 445(3), or PPEM 425*(4) (Sem: 5-8)
Select 3 credits from AGRO 460(3), BIOL 439(3), HORT 407*(3), or HORT 459(3) (Sem: 5-8)
Select 6-7 credits from AGRO 410W(4), AGRO 460(3), BIOL 407(3), BIOL 441(3), BIOL 424(3), HORT 402W(3), HORT 407*(3), HORT 412W(3), HORT 420(3), PPEM 417*(3), or PPEM/E R M 430(3) (Sem: 5-8)
Select 3-4 credits from AGRO 410W(4), HORT 412W(3), or SOILS 412W(3) (Sem: 6)

*Students cannot use the same course more than once as an additional course
[1] A student enrolled in this major must receive a grade of C or better, as specified in Senate Policy 82-44.

Last Revised by the Department: Fall Semester 2012

Blue Sheet Item #: 41-01-003

Review Date: 08/14/2012