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Plant Sciences

Plants are the foundation of agricultural systems and will be increasingly utilized as renewable energy resources. A major in plant sciences will provide you a scientific understanding of how plants grow and develop in managed ecosystems and how plant products are utilized for food, fiber, fuel and environmental enhancement. Advances in science and technology are providing new options for using plants to support a growing global population, while minimizing adverse impacts on our natural resources.

Graduates with a plant sciences degree from UC Davis are well-prepared to work in a wide range of areas related to food and fiber production and marketing, renewable energy resources, environmental conservation and restoration, and agribusiness. The combination of science and practical experience prepares graduates to be innovators in sustaining agricultural productivity and environmental quality.

Real World Outcomes: 

Plant sciences graduates are prepared for diverse technical and management positions in agricultural and business enterprises involving plants, crops, and renewable food, fiber and energy resources. Potential careers include farming, plant breeding, marketing, consulting, Cooperative Extension, international development, education, research and working with public, private, and non-profit agencies. Graduates are qualified to pursue advanced degrees in the natural and agricultural sciences.


Students in the plant sciences major will gain a solid foundation in the biological and physical sciences. This foundation is followed by advanced courses to develop an understanding of how plants obtain and utilize resources from their environment to sustain their growth and development.

Students will learn how genetics, management systems and environmental inputs influence crop development and productivity along with the technologies for post-harvest preservation and marketing of plant products.

The plant sciences major offers optional specializations in crop production; plant genetics and breeding; and postharvest biology and technology. Students in the major can also design an individual option to match specific interests or career goals in the plant sciences. This major offers valuable practical experience in the plant sciences through a combination of laboratory courses and internships, leading to successful careers in a wide variety of plant related fields.

Major Advisor
Advisor Name: 
Nancy Thurlow
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