Jan 28, 2023  
2022-2023 University of Wyoming Catalog 
2022-2023 University of Wyoming Catalog

Plant Production and Protection, B.S.

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The Plant Production and Protection degree prepares students for careers in agriculture, natural resources, environmental and life sciences, and advanced graduate studies in the plant sciences.

Program Information

The Department of Plant Sciences offers a Bachelor of Science degree in Plant Production and Protection, with four optional concentrations and four minors. Optional concentrations for Plant Production and Protection majors are: 

  • Agronomy
  • Horticulture
  • Integrated Pest Management
  • Agroecology and Evolution

Minors available for students pursuing other majors at UW are:  Agronomy, Agroecology, Horticulture, and Plant Protection. These minors allow students within many bachelors programs to obtain an added emphasis in areas that enjoy strong employment opportunities.

A B.S. degree in Plant Production and Protection prepares students for careers in agriculture, natural resources, environmental and life sciences and for advanced graduate studies in specific subdisciplines within these areas. It is a broad, interdisciplinary, undergraduate curriculum that combines and integrates courses in the crop, horticulture, disease, weeds, soil, and insect sciences and is supported by a science-based curriculum and general education. Flexibility is built into the curriculum to readily accommodate students seeking to pursue an emphasis or obtain a minor in a specific discipline. To that end the breadth of the curriculum is balanced with greater depth in biology, chemistry, crop science, entomology, environmental studies, natural resource management, soil science, plant pathology, weed science, horticulture, turf management, pre-veterinary medicine, rangeland ecology and watershed management, animal science, microbiology, and molecular biology. A liberal number of electives permits design of a program that best meets individual career and educational objectives. The Plant Production and Protection program is well suited for students who possess a strong interest in, and an aptitude for, science, agriculture, the environment, life sciences, or natural resources.

The core curriculum is comprised of freshman- through senior-level courses that illustrate dynamic and complex interactions of plants, soils, and plant pests (diseases, insects, weeds) with the environment. Academic training is enhanced with experiential learning through research apprenticeships, internships, field studies, and a special Plant Sciences Capstone course. Special emphasis is given to development of critical thinking and communication skills, problem solving, and application of science. It is an interdisciplinary and highly practical degree program designed to prepare students for “real world” situations.

Plant Production and Protection B.S. degree recipients are prepared for careers with private and public institutions and agencies in such areas as: agricultural consulting, production or sales, research, product development, education, extension education, international programs, and scientific and technological support. These careers include but are not limited to: soil scientist, conservationist, entomologist, consultant, plant scientist, integrated pest management specialist, ecologist, research associate or technician, agronomist, biotechnician, and agroecologist. Degree recipients are also prepared for graduate education in biological and environmental sciences.

The combined Plant Sciences, B.S./M.S. QuickStart  program enables highly-qualified students to be admitted to the M.S. program during the junior year of their B.S. program, and to work thereafter toward both the B.S. and M.S. degrees. Accepted students would earn a B.S. degree in Plant Production and Protection and the M.S. degree in Plant Sciences. Please see additional information under the Plant Sciences Graduate Study section or online at http://www.uwyo.edu/plantsciences/.

Course Requirements

Plant Sciences Electives: 15 Hours

(Select 15 credit hours from PLNT courses, at least 12 of which are upper division)

Supporting Electives: 9 Hours

Select 9 hours of upper division courses from those with the following course prefixes:

  • AGEC (Agricultural Economics)
  • ANSC (Animal Science)
  • BIOL (Biology)
  • BOT (Botany)
  • ENR (Environment and Natural Resources)
  • ENTO (Entomology)
  • FDSC (Food Science)
  • GIST (Geospatial Information Science and Technology)
  • LIFE (Life Sciences)
  • MICR (Microbiology)
  • MOLB (Molecular Biology)
  • REWM (Rangeland Ecology and Watershed Management)
  • SOIL (Soil Science)

Additional University Studies: 15 Hours

  • First-Year Seminar (FY):  3
  • U.S. and Wyoming Constitutions (V):  3
  • Communications 1 (C1):  3
  • Communications 2 (C2):  3
  • Human Culture (H):  3

Free Electives: 25 Hours

Total Required: 120 Hours

Optional Concentrations

Although not required, students may choose to specialize in any of the four optional concentrations below as part of their B.S. in Plant Production and Protection.  In order for the concentration to be official, students must “opt in” and add the desired concentration to their degree evaluation.

Agronomy Concentration: 24 Hours

The Agronomy concentration focuses on the intricacies of agronomic crop production along with pest management, genetics, soil science, and other related topics. This is a broad area of study that can be tailored to the student’s particular interests. Careers in production, consulting, and pest management abound in the public and private sectors of agriculture. Students learn the ultimate goal of promoting more efficient and sustainable agronomic crop production practices. Skills learned include written and oral communication; sciences such as ecology, chemistry, and genetics; and practical applications such as computer technologies, geographic information systems, soil and water analyses, plant health diagnostics, and general best management practices.

Horticulture Concentration: 21 Hours

Students in the Horticulture concentration learn about the various horticultural commodities and growing operations. Choose from classes including greenhouse crop production, plant propagation, seed technology, organic food production, plant breeding, and allied subjects such as irrigation technology and pest management including plant pathology and weed science. Students may be surprised at the number of career opportunities available in horticulture! These include vegetable and small fruit production, greenhouse management, controlled environment crop production, landscape plants and management, new variety breeding and production, and urban tree care, among many others.

Integrated Pest Management Concentration: 25 Hours

IPM as it is commonly known, melds all aspects of plant pest management under one umbrella. It uses the sciences of plant pathology, entomology, and weed science under the broader plant diagnostics field. The IPM concentration emphasizes understanding pest biology and ecology of the ecosystem as the foundation for making pest management decisions that minimize negative impacts on health and the environment. Students in the IPM concentration will find careers in private consulting, field diagnostics, research and demonstration, and product sales, as well as public sector work in invasive species management.

Agroecology & Evolution Concentration: 21 Hours

Students in this concentration are trained in the ways plants and associated organisms evolve in response to human-impacted environments, and how agroecosystems may change as a result of plant management. Courses include genetics, plant breeding, agroecology, and crop production along with ecology, soil sciences, and others. This concentration provides excellent preparation for graduate school in plant sciences, and also prepares students for careers in conservation, sustainable agriculture, and crop production.

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