Education

Best Botany Degree Programs of 2022

Learn more about the top Botany programs, what to expect, job prospects, and how to choose the program that’s right for you.

Botany is the study of plants. Botanists study the structure, function, and diversity of plants. They may also study the ways in which plants interact with their environment, and the ways in which they are used by humans. Botany degrees can prepare students for a variety of careers in botany, including plant science, horticulture, and forestry.

Botany degrees offer a broad overview of the study of plants, covering topics such as plant anatomy, physiology, and ecology. Students in botany degree programs learn about the different aspects of plant life, and how to study and classify plants. They also learn about the ways in which plants are used by humans, and the ways in which they can be managed and conserved.

How to Choose the Right Botany Program

When it comes to choosing the right botany degree program, there are many things to consider. The first step is to decide what type of botany you want to study. There are two main types of botany: plant science and horticulture. Plant science focuses on the study of plants and their ecology, while horticulture focuses on the cultivation of plants.

Once you have decided what type of botany you want to study, you need to choose a program that offers the courses you need. Most programs will offer a mix of both plant science and horticulture courses, but some may be more focused on one or the other. You should also make sure that the program you choose is accredited by the American Society for Horticultural Science.

Another important factor to consider is the cost of the program. Tuition and fees can vary significantly from one school to another, so it is important to do your research. You should also consider whether you want to study on-campus or online. Online programs are often more affordable, but they may not offer the same hands-on learning opportunities as on-campus programs.

Finally, you need to decide where you want to study. Some programs may be offered in multiple locations, while others may be offered in only one. Consider your lifestyle and career goals when making your decision.

Choosing the right botany degree program can seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. By taking the time to research your options and consider your goals, you can find a program that is right for you.

Best Bachelor’s in Botany Programs

The best programs for Botany ranking is based on key statistics and student reviews using data from the U.S. Department of Education. Some of the metrics influencing how the rankings are determined include graduation rate, average salary for graduates, accreditation, retention rate, and cost.

Rank 1
University of Wisconsin
Madison, WI

The Bachelor of Science in Botany from University of Wisconsin is a comprehensive program that covers all aspects of plant life, from the subcellular to the ecosystem level. Students will acquire a detailed knowledge in genetics, physiology, structural biology, ecology, systematics, evolution, and cryptogamic biology, and have the opportunity to explore these core areas in the laboratory and/or field. Students will also engage in plant biology research, developing hypotheses, acquiring scientific information, and interpreting results in the context of the historical scientific literature.

Rank 2
Clemson University
Clemson, SC

Clemson University’s Bachelor of Science in Horticulture program is a flexible program that allows students to choose courses that fit their goals and interests. The program includes foundational science coursework in biology and chemistry, as well as upper-level classes in plant biology, landscape plants, plant propagation, and soil science. Students can also choose from a variety of related courses such as field botany, ecology, landscape design, turfgrass physiology, urban tree care, vegetable crops, genetics, insect diversity, and plant disease.

Rank 3
Arizona State University
Tempe, AZ

The Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences from Arizona State University is an online degree that helps students develop a broad understanding of many disciplines in biology. The key areas of focus include genetic and environmental causes of diversity and evolution. This online biology degree prepares students for further education and a variety of science-focused career paths. The program offers four concentrations: Environmental Biology and Ecology, Genetics and Cell Biology, Microbiology and Immunology, and Neuroscience and Physiology.

Rank 4
Oregon State University
Corvallis, OR

The Bachelor of Science in Botany from Oregon State University provides a foundation in plant biology, biodiversity and ecology. The curriculum includes core classes in plant structure, systematics, ecology and physiology, along with courses in biochemistry, cell biology and genetics. The program also includes a customizable option that allows students to tailor their learning experience to their specific interests.

Rank 5
Florida International University
Miami, FL

The Bachelor of Arts in Biological Sciences, Bachelor of Arts in Biological Sciences, Bachelor of Arts in Biological Sciences degree from Florida International University is a unique combination of studies that provides students with a wide range of exposure to different areas of biology.

The program requires a total of 120 credits for completion, and students must earn a grade of “C” or higher in all courses required for the major.

Rank 6
San Francisco State University
San Francisco, CA

The Bachelor of Science in Biology from San Francisco State University is a four-year program that prepares students for careers in the biological sciences. The curriculum provides a solid foundation in the principles of biology, with coursework in areas such as ecology, taxonomy, physiology, and genetics. The program also includes upper-division work in the biological sciences, giving students a well-rounded education in the field. Students in the program have the opportunity to take courses at the Sierra Nevada Field Campus and the Estuary and Ocean Science Center, and can choose to concentrate their studies in botany, ecology, or zoology.

Rank 7
Millersville University of Pennsylvania
Millersville, PA

The Bachelor of Science in Botany from Millersville University of Pennsylvania is designed for students who want to specialize in the study of plants. The curriculum provides students with a depth of knowledge in botany and a broad background in biology. The program also incorporates extensive coursework in chemistry, physics and mathematics.

Rank 8
Humboldt State University
Arcata, CA

The Bachelor of Science in Botany from Humboldt State University is a diverse program that prepares students for a variety of careers in the field of biology. The program is focused on hands-on learning and personal interaction with faculty members. There are many opportunities for independent and faculty-mentored studies. The coursework is designed to prepare students for active careers and graduate study.

Rank 9
Oklahoma State University
Stillwater, OK

The Bachelor of Science in Plant Biology at Oklahoma State University is a great choice for students interested in the biological sciences, chemistry, and mathematics. The department prepares students for government and industry jobs, and entry into graduate, medical and other professional schools. The Pre-Pharmacy program at OSU is uniquely suited for preparing students for pharmaceutical school. The OSU Botanical Society on campus is also a great resource for our students who may have an aptitude for the biological sciences, chemistry and mathematics.

Rank 10
Texas Tech University
Lubbock, TX

The Bachelor of Science in Plant and Soil Science from Texas Tech University is a platform for successful careers in agronomic crops, soils, horticulture, entomology and other related fields. This program makes it possible for students to turn a love of plants and fresh air into a lucrative career. With a degree in Plant and Soil Science, students may focus on their desired concentration area including: Crop Science, Horticulture, Horticulture and Turfgrass, Soil and Water, and Viticulture and Enology.

What to Expect From a Bachelor’s in Botany Program

Students in a bachelor’s degree program in botany study plant life and the environment. The coursework emphasizes the identification, classification and study of plants, as well as the role of plants in the ecosystem. Students also learn about plant physiology, ecology and taxonomy. In addition, they take classes in general biology, chemistry and physics. Most programs require students to complete a research project or thesis.

Botany degree programs prepare students for careers in research, teaching, environmental consulting and management. They also provide a foundation for further study in graduate programs in botany, biology or environmental science.

Common Botany Courses

The courses taken for a degree in botany will depend on the school and program, but there are some common courses that are often included. The following is a list of five courses that are frequently found in botany degree programs.

Plant Ecology

This course covers the interactions of plants with their physical and biological environment. Emphasis is placed on the abiotic and biotic factors that affect plant distribution and abundance, plant-animal interactions, and the role of plants in ecosystem processes. Upon completion, students should be able to apply the principles of plant ecology to understand the distribution and abundance of plant species, the dynamics of plant communities, and the role of plants in ecosystem processes.

Diversity of Plants

This course covers the diversity of plant life on Earth, including the major groups of plants, their evolutionary history, and their ecological importance. Topics include plant structure and function, photosynthesis, plant nutrition and physiology, plant reproduction, plant ecology, and the economic importance of plants. Upon completion, students should be able to identify the major groups of plants, describe their basic structure and function, and explain their ecological and economic importance.

Plant Systematics

This course covers the identification, nomenclature, and classification of plants. Emphasis is placed on the study of plant diversity, the use of keys to identify plants, and the development of plant identification skills. Upon completion, students should be able to identify common plant families and genera, and apply the International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants.

Plant Physiology

This course covers the study of how plants work. Topics include water relations, mineral nutrition, photosynthesis, respiration, plant hormones, growth and development. Emphasis is placed on the integration of these topics as they relate to the whole plant. Upon completion, students should be able to explain how individual plant cells work together to allow the plant to carry out its basic functions.

The Microbial World

This course covers the biology of microorganisms, including bacteria, archaea, viruses, and eukaryotic microorganisms such as protozoa and fungi. Topics include microbial structure and function, metabolism, growth, reproduction, and ecology. The role of microorganisms in biotechnology, food production, and human and animal health is also discussed. Upon completion, students should be able to describe the structure and function of microbial cells, identify the major groups of microorganisms, and explain the role of microorganisms in biotechnology and human and animal health.

Career Options for Botany Graduates

Graduates of botany programs work in a variety of fields and industries, including agriculture, horticulture, and environmental science. They may also work in fields such as education, research, and product development.

Greenhouse Manager

Greenhouse managers are responsible for the day-to-day operations of a greenhouse, which may include tasks such as planting, watering, and fertilizing; maintaining equipment; and keeping records. They may also be responsible for managing a team of workers and ensuring that the greenhouse runs smoothly and efficiently. Greenhouse managers typically work for plant nurseries, florists, garden centers, or agricultural businesses.

Botanist

Botanists study plants—from the smallest algae to the tallest trees. They may work in a lab, in the field, or in a greenhouse. Botanists collect plant specimens and study their structure, function, disease, and evolution. They may also work on developing new plant products or ways to improve plant growth. Botanists typically work in research or academia, but they may also work for the government or for private companies.

Horticulturist

Horticulturists are plant experts. They work with all kinds of plants—from flowers to trees to vegetables—and often specialize in a particular type of plant, such as fruits or ornamentals. Horticulturists may work in a nursery, garden center, or greenhouse; on a farm; or for a landscaping company, golf course, or other business that maintains outdoor spaces. They might also work in a research capacity for a university, government agency, or private company. In this role, they might develop new plant varieties or study how different growing conditions affect plant health.

Conservationist

Conservationists work to protect and preserve natural resources, such as forests, rivers, and wildlife. They may work in the public or private sector, for the government or for NGOs. Conservationists typically have a background in biology, ecology, or environmental science. Their work may involve conducting research, developing policy, managing land or resources, or working with the public.

Arborist

Arborists are tree experts who care for trees by providing various services, such as planting, pruning, removing, and fertilizing. They work in a variety of settings, including urban and suburban areas, parks, and arboretums. Arborists typically have a background in horticulture, forestry, or arboriculture (the study of trees).

Insights From a Botany Graduate

Gwendolyn Lloyd is a Plant Pathologist at the University of California, Davis. She has a bachelor’s degree in botany from the University of California, Berkeley. Gwendolyn has over 20 years of experience in plant pathology and research.

ClimbtheLadder: What would you recommend that students do in addition to their degree program, in order to stand out to employers?

Gwendolyn Lloyd: I would recommend that students get involved in research projects and/or internships related to their field of interest. This will not only help them stand out to potential employers, but it will also give them the opportunity to gain experience and learn new skills.

ClimbtheLadder: What are the most rewarding aspects of your career? What are the most challenging aspects of your career?

Gwendolyn Lloyd: The most rewarding aspects of my career are the ability to help farmers and gardeners solve problems with their plants, and the opportunity to conduct research that can improve our understanding of plant diseases. The most challenging aspects of my career are the long hours during busy times of the year, and the need to constantly update my knowledge as new diseases emerge.

ClimbtheLadder: What was the most challenging course you took? What advice would you give to students who are about to start this course?

Gwendolyn Lloyd: The most challenging course I took was plant pathology. The reason it was so challenging is because there is a lot of material to cover and it is very detail-oriented. My advice to students who are about to start this course is to be prepared to study a lot and to take good notes. Also, make sure to ask questions in class and to get help from the professor if you need it.

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