University Catalog 2023-2024

Horticultural Science (BS): Plant Breeding and Biotechnology in Horticulture Concentration

To see more about what you will learn in this program, visit the Learning Outcomes website!

The Bachelor of Science in Horticultural Science: Plant Breeding & Biotechnology in Horticulture Concentration is one of the four concentrations offered in by the Department of Horticultural Science. Students are offered a unique look at various aspects of Horticulture.  

The Plant Breeding & Biotechnology in Horticulture concentration is a menu driven concentration that allows students to direct their education in either plant breeding or biotechnology. Students are required to take two Biology courses, Soil Science, General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry I and II, Biochemistry, Genetics, and Whole Plant Physiology. The remaining courses for the major are selected from a series of topical menus: Plant Protection Electives, Business Electives, and Advised Electives. 

Students can follow paths toward research and biotechnology in academia or industry or pursue a graduate degree.


Dr. Helen Kraus
Director of Undergraduate Programs and Associate Professor.
Department of Horticultural Science
114 Kilgore Hall, Campus Box 7609
North Carolina State University
Raleigh, NC 27695-7609

Plan Requirements

ALS 103Freshman Transitions and Diversity in Agriculture & Life Sciences1
or ALS 303 Transfer Transitions and Diversity in Agriculture & Life Sciences
Public Speaking
Interpersonal Communication
Small Group Communication
Mathematics & Sciences
MA 121Elements of Calculus3
or MA 131 Calculus for Life and Management Sciences A
ST 311Introduction to Statistics3
BIO 181Introductory Biology: Ecology, Evolution, and Biodiversity4
BIO 183Introductory Biology: Cellular and Molecular Biology4
CH 101Chemistry - A Molecular Science3
CH 102General Chemistry Laboratory1
CH 221Organic Chemistry I3
CH 222Organic Chemistry I Lab1
CH 223Organic Chemistry II3
CH 224Organic Chemistry II Lab1
Select one of the following:3
Introduction to Agricultural & Resource Economics
Foundational Courses
BCH 351General Biochemistry3-4
or BCH 451 Principles of Biochemistry
CS 413Plant Breeding3
GN 311Principles of Genetics4
GN 312Elementary Genetics Laboratory1
HS 201The World of Horticulture: Principles and Practices3
HS 290Horticulture: Careers and Opportunities1
HS 301Plant Propagation4
HS 303Ornamental Plant Identification I3
HS 304Ornamental Plant Identification II3
or PB 403 Systematic Botany
PB 421Plant Physiology3
PB 480Introduction to Plant Biotechnology3
SSC 200Soil Science3
SSC 201Soil Science Laboratory1
Select one of the following Internship/Research/Teaching courses:3
Horticulture Internship
Research Experience in Horticultural Science
Teaching Experience in Horticultural Science
Environmental Elective3
Plant Protective Electives6
Business Elective 3
Broad-Scope Elective 3
Advised Electives9
GEP Courses
ENG 101Academic Writing and Research 14
GEP Humanities6
GEP Social Sciences3
GEP Health and Exercise Studies2
GEP US Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion3
GEP Interdisciplinary Perspectives2
GEP Global Knowledge (verify requirement)
Foreign Language Proficiency (verify requirement)
Free Electives
Free Electives (12 Hr S/U Lmt) 25
Total Hours120

A grade of C- or higher is required.


Students should consult their academic advisors to determine which courses fill this requirement.

Environmental Electives

BIT 100Current Topics in Biotechnology4
ES 200Climate Change and Sustainability3
COM 289Science Communication and Public Engagement3
CS 224Seeds, Biotechnology and Societies3

Plant Protective Electives

CS 414Weed Science4
CS 415Integrated Pest Management3
ENT 425General Entomology3
or FOR 402 Forest Entomology
FOR 318Forest Pathology3
or PP 315 Principles of Plant Pathology
or PP 318 Forest Pathology

Business Electives

ACC 280Survey of Financial and Managerial Accounting3
ARE 215Small Business Accounting3
ARE 306Agricultural Law3
ARE 309Environmental Law & Economic Policy3
ARE 311Agricultural Markets3
ARE 312Agribusiness Marketing3
ARE 332Human Resource Management for Agribusiness3
MIE 310Introduction to Entrepreneurship3
MIE 413New Venture Planning3

Advised Electives Categories

Broad-Scope Electives
BIO 414Cell Biology3
BIT 402Biotechnology Networking and Professional Development1
CS 411Crop Ecology3
HS 403Plant Micropropagation and Tissue Culture3
HS 451Plant Nutrition3
HS 462Postharvest Physiology3
HS 476Crop Physiology and Production in Controlled Environments 3
HS 491Sustainable Agriculture Entrepreneurship Study Abroad3
PB 413Plant Anatomy2
Breeding Elective
BCH 453Biochemistry of Gene Expression3
BIT 465Real-time PCR Techniques2
BIT 467PCR and DNA Fingerprinting2
BIT 471RNA Interference and Model Organisms2
BIT 474Plant Genetic Engineering2
BIT 481Plant Tissue Culture and Transformation2
BIT 476Applied Bioinformatics2
BIT 501Ethical Issues in Biotechnology1
GN 423Population, Quantitative and Evolutionary Genetics3
GN 425Advanced Genetics Laboratory2
GN 427Introductory Bioinformatics3
GN 451Genome Science3
GN 461Advanced Bioinformatics3
Biotechnology Electives
BIT 410Manipulation of Recombinant DNA4
BIT 471RNA Interference and Model Organisms2
BIT 474Plant Genetic Engineering2
FS 402Chemistry of Food and Bioprocessed Materials4
GN 421Molecular Genetics3

Semester Sequence

This is a sample.

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
Fall SemesterHours
ALS 103
Freshman Transitions and Diversity in Agriculture & Life Sciences
or Transfer Transitions and Diversity in Agriculture & Life Sciences
BIO 181 Introductory Biology: Ecology, Evolution, and Biodiversity 4
ENG 101 Academic Writing and Research 4
HS 201 The World of Horticulture: Principles and Practices 3
HS 290 Horticulture: Careers and Opportunities 1
MA 121
Elements of Calculus
or Calculus for Life and Management Sciences A
Spring Semester
BIO 183 Introductory Biology: Cellular and Molecular Biology 4
CH 101 Chemistry - A Molecular Science 3
CH 102 General Chemistry Laboratory 1
COM 110
Public Speaking
or Interpersonal Communication
or Small Group Communication
ST 311 Introduction to Statistics 3
GEP Health and Exercise Studies 1
Second Year
Fall Semester
ARE 201
Introduction to Agricultural & Resource Economics
or Principles of Microeconomics
or Fundamentals of Economics
CH 221 Organic Chemistry I 3
CH 222 Organic Chemistry I Lab 1
HS 303 Ornamental Plant Identification I 3
GN 311 Principles of Genetics 4
GN 312 Elementary Genetics Laboratory 1
Spring Semester
Advised Elective 3
CH 223 Organic Chemistry II 3
CH 224 Organic Chemistry II Lab 1
Environmental Elective 3
HS 304
Ornamental Plant Identification II
or Systematic Botany
SSC 200 Soil Science 3
SSC 201 Soil Science Laboratory 1
Third Year
Fall Semester
Advised Elective 3
BCH 351
General Biochemistry
or Principles of Biochemistry
CS 413 Plant Breeding 3
Select one of the following: 3
Horticulture Internship
Research Experience in Horticultural Science
Teaching Experience in Horticultural Science
Plant Protection Elective 3
Spring Semester
Advised Elective 3
Free Elective 3
GEP Humanities 3
GEP Interdisciplinary Perspectives 2
HS 301 Plant Propagation 4
Fourth Year
Fall Semester
GEP US Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion 3
PB 421 Plant Physiology 3
GEP Social Sciences 3
PB 480 Introduction to Plant Biotechnology 3
GEP Health and Exercise Studies 1
Spring Semester
Advised Elective 3
Business Elective 3
Free Elective 2
GEP Humanities 3
Plant Protection Elective 3
 Total Hours120

Career Opportunities

Horticulture graduates fill positions in production, processing, sales, service, and outreach. Among these are:

  • County extension agents
  • Vocational agriculture teachers
  • Plant breeders
  • Landscape designers and landscape contractors
  • Floral crop grower or floral designer
  • Fruit and vegetable growers
  • Business owners
  • Orchard, nursery, greenhouse, and garden center managers
  • Research, production, and promotional specialists with commercial seed, fertilizer chemical, and food companies
  • Urban horticulture specialists
  • Garden writers
  • Quality control technologists
  • USDA specialists
  • County and state government planners
  • Leaders in other phases of agricultural and industrial developments
  • Students also prepare for careers in research, teaching or extension in horticulture