Crop Sciences

What Is It?:

Crop Sciences studies is working to help educate future leaders to help feed the world. Join our efforts to advance science to meet the needs of a growing world population. From plant breeding and molecular biology to sustainable food and fuel production systems, our internationally recognized faculty are prepared to educate the future leaders of our industry to use the latest advancements in science and technology to improve food and fuel production. We offer 7 concentrations to help students tailor their degree to fit their interests and prepare them for an enriching career. 

For more information, please visit the Department of Crop Sciences.

Concentrations:

  • Agroecology: addresses ecologically based management of cropping systems, stewardship of the environment, and sustainable food production systems. The intersection between crop plants and their environment is emphasized in this concentration. Graduates of the Agroecology concentration are prepared for careers in integrated plant health management, crop consulting, and agrichemical management or for entrance into graduate school.
  • Biological Sciences: designed for students who plan to enter a graduate study program or who want professional positions that require more science than included in the other concentrations. Courses for the second, third, and fourth years are planned in consultation with the student's faculty advisor, in the area of biological sciences. Students and advisors are encouraged to consult individual graduate schools for the specific entrance requirements. Although flexibility in individual course selection is a characteristic of this concentration, graduation requirements are established by selection of elective courses.
  • Crop Agribusiness: designed for students wanting to combine agronomic production and business management. This concentration prepares students for careers in production and marketing, cropping systems management, and a broad range of multi-functional agricultural enterprises, or for entrance into graduate school.
     
  • Crops: designed for students with an interest in agronomic crop plants. Students study the diversity of crop plants-how they grow and how they are grown This concentration prepares students for careers in crop production and marketing, cropping systems management, plant breeding, and seed merchandising, or for entrance into graduate school.
  • Horticultural Food Systems: provides students with a strong foundation in plant sciencs along with specialized knowledge in horticultural fruit and vegetable crop systems at urban, local, and commercial scales. This concentration prepares students for careers as crop consultants, crop protection and production specialists; entrepreneurs in urban and local food systems; greenhouse or farm managers; and as community gardening and horticultural educators. 
  • Plant Biotechnology & Molecular Biology: provides a curriculum that prepares students for careers in biotechnology or for entrance into graduate school. The basic sciences are emphasized, including a strong foundation in biology and genetics. Students are encouraged to participate in undergraduate independent study in a molecular biology laboratory. For those who wish to pursue graduate work later, adequate preparation may be obtained by suitable choices of electives within the framework of this concentration.
  • Plant Protection: provides a broad selection of courses in crops, soils, plant diseases, insects and weeds, and the physical sciences. Students learn how to protect plants from the effects of diseases, insects, and weeds. This concentration is designed to prepare students for careers in crop consulting, integrated pest management, and agribusiness managing and merchandising, or for entrance into a graduate program. 

Courses That Introduce the Major:

  • CHEM 102/103—General Chemistry I / General Chemistry Lab I
  • CPSC 112—Introduction to Crop Sciences
  • IB 103—Introduction to Plant Biology
  • HORT 100—Introduction to Horticulture 

Students should consult with an academic advisor regarding course selection prior to the advanced registration period.

Possible Career Opportunities:

Common Career Titles Related to this Major:

(Some careers may require education beyond an undergraduate degree)

  • Agronomist
  • Geneticist 
  • Horticulturist 
  • Plant & Soil Scientist
  • Research Lab Technician 
  • Weed Specialist

Enhancing Your Academic Experience:

  • Participating in undergraduate research
  • Applying for a study abroad experience
  • Utilizing resources of The Career Center
  • Joining a Registered Student Organization (RSO) related to this major, such as:
    • Field and Furrow Agronomy Club: Provides educational & social opportunities for undergraduates interested in agronomy.
    • Horticulture Club: Provides educational and social opportunities for students interested in horticulture. 

Related Skills:

  • Ability to work as part of a team or independently
  • Analytical skills
  • Enjoy doing research
  • Enjoy working outdoors
  • Interest in and aptitude for the natural sciences
  • Problem solving abilities
  • Strong oral and written communication skills

Further Information:

For more information on what you can do with a major in Crop Science, visit The Career Center’s webpage: What Can I Do With This Major.

There are several professional organizations dedicated to Crop Science. Their websites might be able to provide a glimpse in the world of Crop Science. These organizations include Crop Science Society of America and the American Phytopathological Society

For more information on the classes needed for a degree in Crop Science, visit Undergraduate Programs.