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What can I do with this major?

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Plant Biology

  • Anatomy
  • Biochemistry
  • Biophysics
  • Cytology
  • Ecology
  • Genetics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Morphology
  • Paleobotany
  • Physiology
  • Systematics
  • Systems Ecology
  • Taxonomy
  • Research organizations
  • Colleges and universities
  • Museums
  • Botanical gardens and arboretums
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture branches including Medical Plant Resources Laboratory, Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, National Arboretum, U.S. Forest Service
  • Federal agencies including Departments of Interior and State, U.S. Public Health Service, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Smithsonian Institution, and Environmental Protection Agency
  • State agencies
  • Environmental and biotechnical regulatory agencies
  • Ecological consulting companies
  • Industries including petrochemical, chemical, and lumber and paper
  • Companies including pharmaceutical, food, seed and nursery, fruit growers, biological supply houses, and biotechnology firms

Applied Plant Science

  • Agronomy
  • Biotechnology
  • Breeding
  • Economic Botany
  • Food Science and Technology
  • Forestry
  • Horticulture
  • Natural Resource Management
  • Plant Pathology
  • Colleges and universities
  • Research organizations
  • Agriculture industry including lumber and paper, seed and nursery, fruit and vegetable growers, fermentation, food industry, and supply houses
  • Biotechnology firms
  • Industries including petrochemical, pharmaceutical, and chemical
  • Ecological consulting companies
  • Federal, state, and local government agencies
  • Environmental and biotechnical regulatory agencies

Organismic Specialties

  • Bryology
  • Lichenology
  • Microbiology
  • Pteridology
  • Mycology
  • Phycology/Marine Botanists
  • Colleges and universities
  • Research organizations
  • Federal and state government laboratories including Agriculture, Health, etc.
  • Pharmaceutical companies
  • Food and beverage industries including brewing and fermentation
  • Hospitals
  • Related industries


  • Teaching
  • Research
  • Administration
  • Public and private high schools
  • Colleges and universities
  • Museums, botanical gardens and herbaria


  • Writing
  • Editing
  • Botanical Illustration
  • Publishing companies including newspapers, magazines, books, and textbooks
  • Professional associations
  • Scientific and educational software companies
  • Non-profit organizations


  • Agricultural
  • Environmental
  • Biotechnological
  • Law firms with environmental focus
  • Government agencies and regulatory agencies
  • Biotechnical regulatory firms or agencies


  • Sales/Marketing
  • Administration/Management
  • Pharmaceutical companies
  • Seed companies
  • Biotechnology firms
  • Scientific publishers
  • Biological supply houses

Computer Programming

  • Scientific and educational software companies

General Information and Strategies

  • Bachelor's degree qualifies one for work as a laboratory technician or technical assistant in education, industry, government, museums, parks, and gardens.
  • Master's degree opens some opportunities in research and administration.
  • Ph.D. is required for advanced research and administrative positions or college teaching. Most plant scientists work in higher education.
  • Build good relationships with science professors and secure strong recommendations. Maintain a high g.p.a. for graduate school admission.
  • Obtain part-time, summer, co-op, volunteer, or internship experience with government agencies, college/university labs, agricultural experiment stations, freshwater and marine biological stations, or private companies.
  • Complete an undergraduate research project to decide on a specific area of interest in botany.
  • Enjoy outdoor activities if planning to conduct research in an outdoor environment.
  • Join organizations concerned with the world food supply and other related areas. Read scientific journals related to botany.
  • Develop an excellent background in mathematics and strong verbal and written communication skills.
  • Select a broad range of courses in English, social sciences, arts, and humanities.
  • Become proficient with computers.

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