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Plant Biology

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Plant Biology

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What is Plant Biology?

Plants are critical to our very existence on the planet. Not only do plants supply us with the oxygen atmosphere we need to survive but they also regulate the planet's water cycle, impact global climate, provide the habitats necessary for wildlife to thrive, and provide us with essential products such as foods, medicines, and biofuels. Understanding how plants function and interact with their environment provides us with new knowledge to approach scientific problems in agriculture, the environment, and even human health. The OU Plant Biology program offers students a comprehensive classroom experience with hands-on training in both laboratory and field work. The strong skill sets obtained through this program of study allows OU Plant Biology students to be extremely competitive in the scientific job market or when applying to postgraduate degrees including those in the health profession.

So, what's my degree?

A plant biology student graduates with a standard Bachelor of Science degree or a Bachelor of Science in plant biology degree, which is designed to prepare students for professional botanical employment or postgraduate study. Master of Science, Master of Natural Science, and Doctor of Philosophy degrees are also offered to plant biology students.

Do my interests fit?

Plant Biology students typically have interests in:

  • Global issues
  • Agriculture
  • Environmental sustainability
  • Biotechnology
  • Scientific research
  • Problem solving
  • Creativity
  • Innovation

High school preparation should include biology and chemistry.

How can OU Plant Biology help me?

OU Plant Biology students not only have the opportunity to engage with faculty in a small classroom setting but are also exposed to cutting-edge laboratory techniques and practical field-based studies through collaborations involving the OU Biological Survey and the Kessler Atmospheric and Ecological Field Station. In addition, the departmental greenhouses contain an impressive collection of over 100 species of plants. This resource provides students with key hands-on experience and potential student employment opportunities during the semester. Overall, the knowledge and technical skills obtained by OU Plant Biology students allow them to be highly competitive when applying for employment in the scientific job market or when pursuing acceptance into graduate or professional school programs such as medical school. The range of job opportunities for plant biology graduates is wider than ever before!  

How can I get involved?

Pre-Medical Professionals Club
Pre-Dental Club
Pre-Pharmacy Association
Pre-Veterinary Club
Society for Advancement of Chicanos, Hispanics & Native Americans in Science
Society of Asian Scientists & Engineers (S.A.S.E)

Alpha Sigma Kappa- Women in Technical Studies
Triangle Fraternity
American Indian Science & Engineering Society (A.I.S E.S.)
Association for Women in Science
Minority Association of Pre-Health Students

What courses will I take?

Plant biology courses include:

  • General Botany
  • Economic Botany
  • Flowering Plants
  • Practical Bioinformatics
  • Biotechnology Applications
  • Methods in Plant Ecology
  • Principles of Plant Physiology
  • Biowriting

How can I study abroad?

OU has numerous study abroad opportunities for students of all majors. Whether you want to take electives, lower-division courses, or major requirements, be sure to check out what education abroad opportunities are available to you through the College of International Studies. 

What kind of career could I pursue?

Botanical gardens and arboreta
Ecological consulting companies
Petrochemical industries
Biotechnology firms
National forestry agencies
Horticulturist
Laboratory manager
Research technician
Biology instructor
National park service employee

How much will I make?

Visit the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ website to explore the median pay for jobs you can pursue with this degree. 

Contact Us

Department of Microbiology & Plant Biology
Phone: (405) 325-4321  
Email: mkelley@ou.edu
Website: mpbio.ou.edu