Plant Biology

Aerial shot of greenhouses on campus
The plant biology major is designed for those with a passion for plants and science. Explore plants at the molecular, cellular, organismal, whole plant and ecological levels as you engage in flexible coursework that will prepare you for an exciting career. Students are required to fulfill one of the two options offered: biotechnology or ecology and management.

The Nebraska Difference

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1-to-1 Individualized Advising

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Undergraduate Research Opportunities

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Hands-On Collaborative Learning

Student in field checking on plantings

Program Features

Career Opportunities

Our alumni are University extension educators, specialists, agronomists, crop consultants, co-op managers, farmers, seed, fertilizer or chemical sales or technical representatives, field or lab researchers, plant breeders, soil conservationists and professors. 

Real-World Experiences 

Students are required to complete two internships as part of their graduation requirements. You are encouraged to complete these internships with different businesses to experience various facets of the ag industry and boost your professional network. 

Scholarships

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

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Notable Courses

Fantastic Fungi–The Fatal and the Friendly (PLPT 110)

A survey of the impact of fungi on human history and welfare. Topics include fungal toxins, fungi as food and medicinal fungi.

Plant Pathogens and Disease (PLPT 210)

Introduction to fungi, bacteria, nematodes and viruses that cause plant diseases. Strategies used in managing plant diseases in agricultural and landscape environments.

Biological Invaders (PLPT 270)

Impact of exotic species and invasive organisms in agricultural and medical emerging disease, predicting biological invasions, biological control and ecological impact.

Introductory Plant Pathology (PLPT 369)

Learn about the relation of plant disease to crop production, the environment and society. Organisms that cause disease and strategies for disease management.

Corn Diseases (PLPT 415)

Introduction to the important diseases affecting corn in Nebraska and other areas of the United States. Emphasis on pathogen biology, favorable conditions and disease diagnosis.

Microbial Genetics & Genomics (PLPT 418)

Inheritance, exchange and regulation of genes in prokaryotic microorganisms, including gene structure and function, gene transfer and the elements involved, DNA mutations and genome sequencing.

Huskers Do Big Things

Internships

  • Pioneer sales associate intern, Theisen Seed LLC, Atkinson, Nebraska
  • Eastern filbert blight resistance on hazelnut, Nebraska Forest Service, Plattsmouth, Nebraska
  • Intern, Grassland Ecology, Wood River, Nebraska
  • Cover crop research intern, University of Nebraska–Lincoln
  • Drought in maize intern, Pioneer Hi-Bred, Woodland, California

Careers

  • North American trait integration breeder, Monsanto, Chesterfield, Missouri
  • Plant protection technician, United States Department of Agriculture, Lincoln, Nebraska
  • Data analyst, Zoex Corporation, Houston, Texas
  • Site manager, Sustainable Agriculture Education, Berkeley, California
  • Groundskeeper, Burr Oak Lodge, Eagle, Nebraska
  • Associate sales manager, Theisen Seed LLC, Atkinson, Nebraska

Graduate Schools

  • Ph.D. Genetics, Iowa State University
  • M.S. Plant Breeding and Genetics, University of Nebraska–Lincoln
  • M.S. Entomology and Plant Pathology, Colorado State University
  • Ph.D. Agronomy and Horticulture, University of Nebraska–Lincoln
  • Ph.D. Plant Breeding and Genetics, Purdue University
  • Ph.D. Entomology, University of Arkansas

Have Questions? We're Here to Help

If you have questions about the Plant Biology major or navigating the application process, contact us.

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Tyler Quick
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Recruitment Specialist
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Meet Our Student Ambassadors

Undergraduate Student Services

Anne Streich

Anne Streich

PROFESSOR OF PRACTICE
PLAS Undergraduate Adviser
astreich2@unl.edu
402-472-1640
362D Plant Sciences Hall, East Campus
Bio Information

MeghanSindelar

Meghan Sindelar

ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF PRACTICE
Agronomy Undergraduate Adviser
msindelar3@unl.edu
402-472-1740
377N Plant Sciences Hall, East Campus
Bio Information

ChristianElowsky

Christian Elowsky

ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF PRACTICE
Plant Biology Undergraduate Adviser
celowsky@unl.edu
402-472-2848
168 Keim Hall, East Campus
Bio Information