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Botany/Plant Biology

Program Description

Just the Facts

Botany/Plant Biology. A program that focuses on the scientific study of plants, related microbial organisms, and plant habitats and ecosystem relations. Includes instruction in plant anatomy and structure, phytochemistry, cytology, plant genetics, plant morphology and physiology, plant ecology, plant taxonomy and systematics, paleobotany, and applications of biophysics and molecular biology.

This program is available in these options:

  • Certificate / Diploma
  • Associate degree
  • Bachelor's degree
  • Graduate Certificate
  • Master's degree
  • Doctoral degree

High School Courses

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See the high school courses recommended for programs in this pathway:

Related Careers

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Additional Information

Have you ever wondered why seeds become plants or why tomatoes are red? A botany program can help you find out.

Students who study botany and plant science have the chance to explore many fields. Most schools offer broad programs that expose you to molecular biology, plant pathology, ecology, microbiology, biochemistry and more.

Students interested in ecology study how plants interact with other plants, animals and the environment. Field botanists search for new species. They also experiment to see how plants grow under different conditions.

Some botanists study the structure of plants, including their cells, chemicals and genes. Molecular biology is also a big part of a good botany program.

A day at school could mean classes in biology, chemistry, math and physics. Then it's off to the lab to look at plant cells under a microscope.

After lunch, you'll go on a field trip to a local pond to see how plants live in their environment. Later, you and several friends will get together for your botany club meeting.

Many universities and colleges offer degrees in botany and plant science.

With a bachelor's degree, you may be able to find work as a lab technician or technical assistant in education, industry, government, museums, parks or botanical gardens. You may also be able to work as an ecologist, taxonomist, forester or conservationist.

For many higher-level research posts, botanists need to have a master's or PhD. To work or teach at a college or university, botanists usually need a PhD.

Start learning now by taking science courses in high school. Classes in math, chemistry, biology and physics are important. They will also help you understand basic scientific theories and lab work.

Include as many English and writing classes as possible. Professor Larry Peterson says these classes will help you with presentations and lab reports.

Hobbies such as hiking and gardening can also help you gain skills you can use as a botanist. Peterson recommends doing any activity that promotes independence, report writing and oral communication skills.

Aside from tuition, costs include textbooks, student union fees, equipment, field trips and lab fees.


Occupational Outlook Handbook
Find more information related to this field of study

Plants National Database
U.S. Department of Agriculture database of plant names and symbols

Careers in Botany
What to do with your degree


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