Department of Plant and Microbial Biology

For more information about this department, including contact information, visit the department.

The instructional program in Plant Biology provides classroom, laboratory, and field experience in the fundamental areas of the plant sciences. Undergraduates majoring in plant biology select major courses that are tailored to their interests within the discipline and are required to have a supervised research or teaching experience that allows them to work closely with departmental faculty. Majors, as pre-professionals in the plant sciences, are prepared for advanced study in plant biology and other biological fields, as well as in the applied plant sciences, such as horticulture, crop science, plant pathology, natural resource management, and conservation.


The Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Plant Biology is offered under the science curriculum of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Students can choose to pursue a general major with courses in different areas of Plant Biology, or can specialize their study in one of the following areas: Ethnobotany; Plant Biotechnology and Molecular Biology, and Plant Systematics and Ecology. The Bachelor of Science in Plant Biology with a double major in another life science or applied plant science is possible, as is a double major in a humanities and social sciences discipline (anthropology, English, history, philosophy, psychology, or political science). Selected faculty in Plant and Microbial Biology also work with the Biological Sciences faculty in the College of Sciences to offer the B.S. degree in Microbiology, details about which are located at:

Certificate in Field Botany

The Department of Plant and Microbial Biology and the Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources offers a joint certificate in Field Botany to any student enrolled in an undergraduate program or as a non-degree seeking student. This is a non-degree program that will allow students to develop skills in vascular plant identification through both sight recognition and use of keys, and knowledge of specific domain terminology. Students who complete the certificate will find it helpful in securing positions with US Army Corps of Engineers, US Fish and Wildlife Services, private consulting companies, private conservation companies, and Natural Heritage programs. They could be working to help preserve wetlands, conserve endangered plants to improve wildlife habitat, conserve rare plants, and prepare impact statements and reports of areas of development. Students interested in the Field Botany certificate program should contact Dr. Alexander Krings at