The plant biology major is for students who love plants and science. You can explore plants at the molecular, cellular, organismal, whole plant, and ecological levels. The coursework in plant biology is flexible, so it's all about helping you discover the right career path. Students are required to fulfill one of the two options offered: biotechnology or ecology and management.

Students in greenhouse

Planning Your Degree

Creating an individual development plan is important to make sure you get all the courses, experiences and knowledge you want while in college. Some students complete extended internships (6-, 9-, or 12-month) and take an extra semester or two to graduate, while other students have a lot of dual credit from high school and graduate in 3 or 3.5 years. Each student has their own goals and timeline, and these may change as you progress in your academic program and discover new paths. Whenever your target graduation date is, make sure you work with your advisor to get the courses and experiences you want while hitting your target graduation date.

scholarships

Scholarships

The Department of Agronomy and Horticulture offers scholarships to students enrolled in the agronomy, plant and landscape systems, or plant biology majors (CASNR). Each year approximately 80 students receive departmental scholarships that total more than $120,000.

Scholarships

Morgan McPherson
Garrett Snodgrass, a junior agronomy major (left), works with Tauana Ferreira de Almeida, an agronomy doctoral student, to process corn seedlings

Careers

While the major offers many career opportunities after graduation, most students choose to continue their education and go on to earn graduate degrees. Careers are possible as a(n):

  • Educator/Researcher
  • Ecosystem manager
  • Plant breeder
  • Field biologist
  • Environmental consultant
  • Plant ecologist
  • Genetic engineer

Experiential Learning Opportunities

Internships

Internships and research experiences are key components of your academic experience. They allow you to explore different areas of plant biology, make connections with future employers, and experience a professional environment. One research experience and one internship are required for graduation. Plant biology internships and research experiences are available across Nebraska and the United States. Recent student internships include:

  • Dow Agro Sciences, York, Nebraska
  • Buffalograss breeding, University of Nebraska–Lincoln,
    Lincoln, Nebraska
  • Plant pathology, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Lincoln, Nebraska
  • Corn genetics and breeding, University of Nebraska–Lincoln,
    Lincoln, Nebraska
  • Evolutionary ecology in sunflower, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Lincoln, Nebraska
  • Molecular genetics and abiotic stresses in crops, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Lincoln, Nebraska
  • Crop diseases, Pioneer Hi-Bred, Johnston, Iowa
  • Eastern filbert blight resistance on Hazelnut, Nebraska Forest Service, Plattsmouth, Nebraska
  • Maize breeding, Monsanto, Lincoln, Nebraska
  • Drought in maize, Pioneer Hi-Bred, Woodland, California

Meet Our Student Ambassadors

Undergraduate Student Services

David Holding

David Holding

Plant Biology Director

Professor
Associate Department Head
dholding2@unl.edu
402-472-1357
E323 Beadle Center
Bio Information

Cheryl Dunn

Cheryl Dunn

Academic Advisor
New Student Advisor

Lecturer, Herbarium Curator
cdunn3@unl.edu
402-472-1953
304 Keim Hall, East Campus
Bio Information

Christian Elowsky

Christian Elowsky

Academic Advisor
New Student Advisor

Assistant PROFESSOR OF PRACTICE
celowsky@unl.edu
402-472-2848
168 Keim Hall, East Campus
Bio Information

Plant Biology Steering Committee

NameRoleUnit
David Holding Program Director Professor, Associate Department Head, Department of Agronomy and Horticulture
Christian Elowsky Academic Advisor, New Student Advisor Assistant Professor of Practice, Department of Agronomy and Horticulture
Cheryl Dunn Academic Advisor, New Student Advisor Research Manager and Herbarium Curator, Department of Agronomy and Horticulture
Rebecca Roston Mentor/Member Ralph and Alice Raikes Chair in Plant Sciences Associate Professor, Biochemistry
Brandi Sigmon Mentor/Member Assistant Professor of Practice, Department of Plant Pathology
Joe Louis Mentor/Member Harold W. Eberhard Professor of Agricultural Entomology, Department of Entomology
Yeyin Shi Mentor/Member Associate Professor and Agricultural Intelligence Engineer, Biological Systems Engineering
Sabrina Russo Mentor/Member Professor, School of Biological Sciences

Plant Biology Steering Committee, Standard Operating Procedure