Twin Cities campus
Twin Cities Campus

Plant Biology B.S.

Plant Biology
College of Biological Sciences
  • Program Type: Baccalaureate
  • Requirements for this program are current for Spring 2012
  • Required credits to graduate with this degree: 120
  • Required credits within the major: 73 to 87
  • Degree: Bachelor of Science
Plant biologists study all aspects of biology as they pertain to plants or fungi and make important contributions to analyzing and preserving biodiversity worldwide. They work to enhance the nutritional value of crops as well as their resistance to disease, pests, and drought while working to reduce the need for pesticides, fertilizer, and irrigation. Current faculty research interests include genomics, gene expression, chromosome structure, plant growth substances, signal transduction, plant responses to stress, the plant cytoskeleton and cell morphogenesis, metabolic activities during development, cellular structure and ultrastructure of vascular and nonvascular plants, aquatic biology, lichenology, molecular evolution and systematics, fungal/plant interactions, biological rhythms, and fungal diversity. Plant biology majors follow one of two tracks. One track fits the needs of students who are primarily interested in environmental biology, evolution, or other aspects of whole organisms; the other track is appropriate for students interested in molecular, cellular, and development biology. All plant biology majors are guaranteed experience in a research laboratory as long as they show satisfactory progress toward their degree and make arrangements by the middle of their junior year.
Program Delivery
This program is available:
  • via classroom (the majority of instruction is face-to-face)
Admission Requirements
Freshmen are usually admitted to pre-major status before admission to this major.
A GPA above 2.0 is preferred for the following:
  • 2.50 transferring from another University of Minnesota college
  • 2.50 transferring from outside the University
For information about University of Minnesota admission requirements, visit the Office of Admissions website.
General Requirements
All students are required to complete general University and college requirements including writing and liberal education courses. For more information about University-wide requirements, see the liberal education requirements. Required courses for the major or minor in which a student receives a D grade (with or without plus or minus) do not count toward the major or minor (including transfer courses).
Program Requirements
Chemical Principles I
CHEM 1021 {Inactive} [PHYS] (4.0 cr)
Chemical Principles II
CHEM 1022 {Inactive} [PHYS] (4.0 cr)
Additional Chemistry
BIOC 2331 - Chemical Mechanisms in Biology (3.0 cr)
or CHEM 2301 - Organic Chemistry I (3.0 cr)
CHEM 2302 - Organic Chemistry II (3.0 cr)
CHEM 2311 - Organic Lab (4.0 cr)
or BIOC 4025 - Laboratory in Biochemistry (2.0 cr)
Quantitative Requirement
Quantitative I
MATH 1271 - Calculus I [MATH] (4.0 cr)
Quantitative II
Take exactly 1 course(s) from the following:
· BIOL 3272 - Applied Biostatistics (3.0 cr)
· MATH 1272 - Calculus II (4.0 cr)
· STAT 3011 - Introduction to Statistical Analysis [MATH] (4.0 cr)
· CSCI 3003 - Introduction to Computing in Biology (3.0 cr)
PHYS 1201W - Introductory Physics for Biology and Pre-medicine I [PHYS, WI] (5.0 cr)
or PHYS 1301W - Introductory Physics for Science and Engineering I [PHYS, WI] (4.0 cr)
PHYS 1202W - Introductory Physics for Biology and Pre-medicine II [PHYS, WI] (5.0 cr)
or PHYS 1302W - Introductory Physics for Science and Engineering II [PHYS, WI] (4.0 cr)
General Biology
BIOL 2002 - Foundations of Biology for Biological Sciences Majors, Part I [BIOL] (6.0 cr)
or BIOL 2002H - Foundations of Biology for Biological Sciences Majors, Part I [BIOL] (6.0 cr)
BIOL 2003 - Foundations of Biology for Biological Sciences Majors, Part II (3.0 cr)
or BIOL 2003H - Foundations of Biology for Biological Sciences Majors, Part II (3.0 cr)
BIOL 3004 - Foundations of Biology for Biological Sciences Majors, Part II Laboratory (3.0 cr)
or BIOL 3004H - Foundations of Biology for Biological Sciences Majors, Part II Laboratory (3.0 cr)
General Plant Biology
BIOL 3007W - Plant, Algal, and Fungal Diversity and Adaptation [WI] (4.0 cr)
or BIOL 3002 - Plant Biology: Function (2.0 cr)
with BIOL 3005W - Plant Function Laboratory [WI] (2.0 cr)
Biology Core
BIOC 3021 - Biochemistry (3.0 cr)
or BIOC 4331 - Biochemistry I: Structure, Catalysis, and Metabolism in Biological Systems (4.0 cr)
BIOL 3407 - Ecology (3.0 cr)
or BIOL 3408W - Ecology [WI] (3.0 cr)
or BIOL 3807 - Ecology (4.0 cr)
or BIOL 3409 - Evolution (3.0 cr)
BIOL 4003 - Genetics (3.0 cr)
BIOL 4004 - Cell Biology (3.0 cr)
Plant Biology Major Electives
One course must be completed from Group A and Group B. Courses from Group C may be used if additional credits are needed to reach 11 total credits. Other Group C electives can be approved by the director of undergraduate studies or a faculty mentor. Approval must be sent to CBS Student Services.
Take 11 or more credit(s) from the following:
Group A: Organismal Biology
Take 1 or more course(s) from the following:
· FNRM 3104 - Forest Ecology (4.0 cr)
· EEB 4068 - Plant Physiological Ecology (3.0 cr)
· PBIO 4321 - Minnesota Flora (3.0 cr)
· PBIO 4511 - Flowering Plant Diversity (3.0 cr)
· PLPA 5203 - Introduction to Fungal Biology (3.0 cr)
· Group B: Cell Biology and Genetics
Take 1 or more course(s) from the following:
· PBIO 4601 - Topics in Plant Biochemistry (3.0 cr)
· PBIO 5301 - Plant Genomics (3.0 cr)
· BIOL 5309 - Molecular Ecology And Ecological Genomics (3.0 cr)
· PBIO 5412 - Plant Physiology (3.0 cr)
· PBIO 5514 - Plant Molecular Genetics and Development (3.0 cr)
· PBIO 4516W - Plant Cell Biology: Writing Intensive [WI] (3.0 cr)
or PBIO 5516 - Plant Cell Biology (3.0 cr)
· Group C: Statistics, Mathematics, and Electives
· EEB 3963 - Modeling Nature and the Nature of Modeling (3.0 cr)
or STAT 3011 - Introduction to Statistical Analysis [MATH] (4.0 cr)
or STAT 3021 - Introduction to Probability and Statistics (3.0 cr)
Lab/Field Requirement
Any course 3xxx or higher offered at the Lake Itasca Biological Station and Laboratories may be used to fulfill the Lab/Field Requirement. BIOL 3002 and 3005W or BIOL 3007W may be used for the Lab/Field Requirement if not used in the General Plant Biology area. Courses that are listed in both Major Electives Group A or B AND the Lab/Field Requirement can count in both areas.
Take 2 or more course(s) from the following:
· BIOC 4025 - Laboratory in Biochemistry (2.0 cr)
· BIOC 4125 - Laboratory in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (3.0 cr)
· BIOC 4794W - Directed Research: Writing Intensive [WI] (1.0-6.0 cr)
· BIOC 4994 - Directed Research (1.0-6.0 cr)
· EEB 4068 - Plant Physiological Ecology (3.0 cr)
· EEB 4794W - Directed Research: Writing Intensive [WI] (1.0-6.0 cr)
· EEB 4994 - Directed Research (1.0-6.0 cr)
· EEB 5605 - Limnology Laboratory (2.0 cr)
· FNRM 3104 - Forest Ecology (4.0 cr)
· GCD 4025 - Cell Biology, Development & Regeneration Laboratory (3.0 cr)
· GCD 4794W - Directed Research: Writing Intensive [WI] (1.0-6.0 cr)
· GCD 4994 - Directed Research (1.0-6.0 cr)
· MICB 3301 - Biology of Microorganisms (5.0 cr)
· MICB 4215 - Advanced Laboratory: Microbial Physiology and Diversity (3.0 cr)
· MICB 4225W - Advanced Laboratory: Microbial Genetics [WI] (3.0 cr)
· MICB 4235 - Advanced Laboratory: Virology, Immunology, and Microbial Genetics (3.0 cr)
· MICB 4794W - Directed Research: Writing Intensive [WI] (1.0-7.0 cr)
· MICB 4994 - Directed Research (1.0-7.0 cr)
· PBIO 4321 - Minnesota Flora (3.0 cr)
· PBIO 4511 - Flowering Plant Diversity (3.0 cr)
· PBIO 4794W - Directed Research: Writing Intensive [WI] (1.0-6.0 cr)
· PBIO 4994 - Directed Research (1.0-6.0 cr)
Program Sub-plans
A sub-plan is not required for this program.
Honors UHP
This is an honors sub-plan.
Students admitted to the University Honors Program (UHP) must fulfill UHP requirements in addition to degree program requirements. Honors courses used to fulfill degree program requirements will also fulfill UHP requirements. Current departmental honors course offerings are listed at: Honors students complete an honors thesis project in the final year, most often in conjunction with an honors thesis course, or with an honors directed studies or honors directed research course. Students select honors courses and plan for a thesis project in consultation with their UHP adviser and their departmental faculty adviser.
BIOL 2960H and 3960H are strongly recommended for CBS sophomores and juniors, respectively. Directed Research is the basis for an honors thesis completed in conjunction with BIOL 4960H.
More program views..
View college catalog(s):
· College of Biological Sciences

View future requirement(s):
· Spring 2015
· Fall 2014
· Spring 2014
· Fall 2013
· Spring 2013
· Fall 2012

View sample plan(s):
· Plant Biology
· Plant Biology (with CHEM 1015)

View checkpoint chart:
· Plant Biology B.S.
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