Plant Science - BS

College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences

About This Degree

USU is home to the only agriculturally focused plant science degree in the state.

In this program, students focus on the research, production, and management of economically important plants. Students have access to faculty mentors and the opportunity to receive hands-on experience working side-by-side with research scientists in laboratories, greenhouses, and fields.

What You Will Learn

Plant science majors are able to customize their education and focus on a variety of areas in the plant science field, such as sustainable agriculture, crop physiology and biotechnology, weed control, fertilization, water requirements and application, and the specific production of fruits, vegetables, turf, ornamentals, and agronomic crops.


Horticulture and Cropping Systems:

This emphasis is focused more on applied, hands-on work with plants. It is designed for students interested in applied aspects of plant production and management in the field, nursery, orchard, or greenhouse. Students can also study plant management, preparing them for careers with golf courses, botanical gardens, school campuses, and other landscapes.


This emphasis is designed for students intending to attend graduate school. It is focused on the science of crop production, including plant breeding and genetic engineering. Because of the rapidly changing technologies in the field of plant and food production, plant research scientists are in high demand.

Career And Outcomes

Career Opportunities

  • Plant Research Scientist
  • Agronomy consultant
  • Agribusiness Consultant
  • Plant Breeder
  • Large Farm Manager
  • Government Agency Researcher
  • Golf Course Superintendent
  • Plant Protection Products Researcher
  • International Agricultural Consultant

Horticulture and Cropping Systems Emphasis

  • Horticulturist
  • Nursery Manager
  • Orchard Manager
  • Greenhouse Manager
  • Golf Course Superintendent
  • Botanical Garden Manager
  • Landscape Manager
  • Athletic Field Manager
  • Agricultural Consultant
  • Crop Production Specialist

Research Emphasis

Students pursing this emphasis typically continue on to graduate school to become plant research scientists who work in the following areas:

  • Genetic engineering
  • Agribusiness
  • Plant breeding
  • Research laboratories
  • Government agencies
  • Agriculturally oriented research companies
  • Chemical firms
  • Work abroad through government or philanthropic foundations to help solve world food, soil, and environmental problems
  • Academia

Job Outlook



We will build on your goals and experiences while working together to design an individualized semester-by-semester plan. Your personalized plan will help you see a path from where you are now on to graduation. Even if you are unsure of the major you would like to pursue, we can help with resources and ideas.

Schedule an Appointment

I am not a current USU student

I have not applied or been admitted, even if I've taken a USU Concurrent Enrollment course

I am a current USU student

I have been admitted and plan to attend, or continue attending USU

USU Locations



Admission Requirements

In addition to Utah State University’s admissions requirements, the plant science program has additional requirements:

  • Freshman: New freshmen admitted to USU in good standing qualify for admission to this major.
  • Transfer Students: Transfer students from other institutions and students transferring from other USU majors need a 2.5 total GPA for admission to this major.

International students have additional admissions requirements.

Program Requirements

All students must complete an internship that is between one and four credits.

Take The Next Step

You May Also Be Interested In

Climate Science

This degree takes an interdisciplinary approach — examining math, physics, and the natural sciences — to understand, address, and mitigate issues of climate change to prepare our next-generation of citizens for climate change impacts.

Crop Biotechnology Loading...

Explore how to improve crops and feed the world from the cellular level. This minor covers topics from propagation and weed management as well as covering the basics, like plant structures and functions.


Take advantage of the USU Botanical Center in Kaysville and the greenhouse at USU Salt Lake that serves as the hub of this major as you prepare for careers in arboriculture, nursery production, and other greenhouse industries.

Soil Science Loading...

From ag-related consultant work to farming, this minor provides a fundamental groundwork on principles related to soil, from microbiology and chemistry through environmental management and reclamation.