PLSC Major & Minors

PLSC Major and it's concentrations

All students in Plant Sciences begin with core courses that provide a foundational knowledge and skills for further learning and application.  The curriculum can be found at BS Plant Sciences. Students then select from three concentrations: Environmental Horticultural Science, Fruit and Crop Science, and Plant Protection Science. Each concentration, in turn, has required courses. In the first year, students explore curriculum and professional opportunities to enable them to choose a concentration. In consultation with their advisor, students have the flexibility to select electives within the concentrations according to their career goals and interests. Graduates in Plant Sciences will meet specific learning objectives.

Environmental Horticultural Science Concentration

Picture Of A Green House

The Environmental Horticultural Science concentration offers students a comprehensive preparation for positions in the nursery, turf, greenhouse, landscape, and floriculture industries, including public horticulture. Graduates are employed as business owners, growers, managers, researchers, educators, arboreta and botanical garden directors, landscape contractors and designers, landscape management professionals, pest control advisors, and park, sports field and golf course superintendents. The curriculum stresses production and marketing of nursery plants, fresh flowers, and flowering and foliage plants, landscape contracting, design, installation and management, turf installation and management, integrated pest management, and horticultural education, native plant restoration, green roofs and walls, and the public display of plants.

Environmental Horticultural Science Concentration Courses

Fruit and Crop Science Concentration

The Fruit and Crop Science concentration provides students with detailed knowledge of the production of tree fruits and nuts, grapes, small fruits, vegetables and other row crops, and forages. The concentration details factors influencing the growth, development, and productivity of these crops (e.g., site selection, cultivar selection, field and plant establishment, pest management, harvesting, and postharvest handling). The concentration also focuses on ongoing and newly emerging specialty industries and concerns such as beekeeping, postharvest technology, plant breeding and biotechnology, integrated pest management, and precision agriculture.

Fruit and Crop Science Concentration Courses

Plant Protection Science Concentration

In the Plant Protection Science concentration, students learn a broad range of pest management subjects including entomology, plant pathology, weed control and vertebrate pest management. Approximately one-third of the world's food crops are destroyed each year by these pests and finding ways to reduce these losses is the challenge of the plant protection specialist. Students develop an understanding of crop production principles, soil and crop ecology, biological control, biotechnology, and environmental toxicology. As environmental conditions and consumer demands change and regulations increase, employment opportunities will grow for those holding professional licenses such as the California Pest Control Advisor (PCA) and Certified Crop Advisor (CCA) license.  Cal Poly SLO trains more PCAs than any other university in California. 

Plant Protection Science Concentration Courses


PLSC Minors

Crop Science

Designed for students majoring in related academic disciplines who desire careers in crop production or its associated industries. The minor offers a broad-based knowledge of the science and technology of agronomy and vegetable production, especially as practiced in California. Not open to PLSC majors concentrating in Fruit and Crop Science or Plant Protection Science. 

Crop Science Minor Coordinator: Dr. Jeff Wong, Bldg. 11, Rm. 222

Crop Science Minor Courses

Fruit Science

The minor is designed for students majoring in related academic disciplines who desire to seek careers in fruit production or its associated industries. The minor offers a broad-based knowledge of the science and technology of fruit and nut production. Not open to PLSC majors concentrating in Fruit and Crop Science or Plant Protection Science.  

Fruit Science Minor Coordinator: Dr. Lauren Garner, Bldg. 11, Rm. 237

Fruit Science Minor Courses

Landscape Horticulture

The minor provides students with an understanding of the landscape horticultural industry and provides basic skills to understand the design, installation, and maintenance of landscapes. Students develop a knowledge of landscape plants and plant care as well as the basics of landscape contracting, including construction processes and materials used in the landscape industry. Students may learn advanced skills and concepts in the areas of turfgrass for golf course/sports field applications, design/build, plant care and arboriculture. Not open to PLSC majors concentrating in Environmental Horticultural Science.

Landscape Horticulture Minor Coordinator: Dr. Benjamin Hoover, Bldg. 11, Rm. 251 

Landscape Horticulture Minor Courses

Plant Protection

This program emphasizes both plant protection and plant production. Within the plant protection field of study, the student is exposed to a broad range of pest management subjects including entomology, plant pathology, and weed control. Within the production area the student may emphasize fruit production, crop production, ornamental horticulture, or natural resource management. Not open to PLSC majors.  

Plant Protection Science Minor Coordinator: Dr. David Headrick, Bldg. 11, Rm. 235 

Go To Plant Protection Minor

Sustainable Agriculture Minor

Approach modern agricultural problems from a holistic perspective

A minor in Sustainable Agriculture is open to all Cal Poly students. In it, students approach modern agricultural problems from a holistic perspective, emphasizing agricultural planning integrated with ecological principles. Through experience in sustainable agricultural practices, students learn about a farm in the context of an agro-ecosystem: a system whose processes and relationships can be manipulated to allow production with fewer adverse environmental impacts and external inputs. Students develop knowledge and skills involving holistic management, crop production, and adaptive decision-making in a hands-on environment

Sustainable Agriculture Minor Coordinator: Dr. Ashraf Tubeileh, Bldg. 11, Rm. 238

Sustainable Agriculture Minor

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Department Facilities

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Plant Sciences Program Overview

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