Undergraduate Catalog Link
Additional information about the botany major, its degree requirements, critical
tracking, and recommended semester plans can be found in the
Academic advising for the botany major is provided by the Life Sciences Advisors in the CLAS Academic Advising Center. Refer to the Dept. of Biology Undergraduate Advising page for more information.
The botany curriculum provides a broad background in the biology of plants - from
the molecular to the organismic level. Students who major in botany will take courses
in ecology, genetics, physiology, taxonomy, anatomy, molecular biology of plants
and biochemistry. These small-sized classes are taught by faculty who enjoy teaching
and have a commitment to undergraduate education. Opportunities also exist for students
to do independent or assist in faculty research projects on campus and abroad. The
major prepares students for careers in industry, government agencies and teaching
jobs in high schools.
Present day botany is an exciting, ever-changing, diverse field with many different
career opportunities. Because the field is so broad, there are many kinds of plant
biologists engaged in a variety of plant biology disciplines, including ecology,
systematics, genetics, physiology, biochemistry, molecular biology, biophysics,
ethnobotany, conservation and biodiversity, anatomy, cell biology, genomics and
biotechnology. Botany, indeed, offers something for everyone, which is appropriate
given that plants underpin life on our planet.
Today the world is beset with many problems, such as global climate change, world
hunger, and the daily loss of tropical rainforests. As the world's population grows
so does the need for more and better food supplies. In addition, air, soil and water
pollution increase, and habitats are lost, all of which threaten life. The search
for new drugs, medicines, and useful genes continues with exploration in the tropical
rainforests of the world. Plant biologists more than ever are in demand to meet
these challenges and help to solve these problems. So, if you want an exciting,
challenging and satisfying career that will make the world a better place, become
a plant biologist!
Faculty in the Department of Biology at the University of Florida are
involved in collaborative research projects from Alaska to the tropical rainforests
of the New and Old Worlds. As an undergraduate major you will receive a world-class
education from a broad curriculum, and enjoy close working relationships with internationally
renowned faculty. In addition to the classroom setting, majors have exciting opportunities
to participate in independent research projects in state-of-the-art faculty research
laboratories, or research field sites from Alaska to the tropics.
Refer to the undergraduate catalog for the specific degree requirements of the botany
the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the
College of Agricultural and Life Sciences.
Comparison of Botany Undergraduate Programs
Agricultural and Life Sciences
Liberal Arts and Sciences
120 credits required.
120 credits required.
AEB 3103 (Principles of Food and Resource Economics -4 cr.) or
ECO 2023 (Microeconomics- 3 cr.) Required.
No such requirement
No foreign language required.
10 semester hours of one foreign language.
No limit as to number of semester hrs. that can be taken outside the College of
Agriculture and Life Sciences and applied toward the degree.
Only 21 semester hrs. can be taken outside the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
and applied toward the degree.
6 semester hours of communications from the following courses:
- ENC 2210 Technical Writing And Business communication (3cr.)
- ENC 3310 Advanced Exposition (3 cr.)
- ENC 3312 Advanced Argumentative Writing (3 cr.)
- ENC 4260 Advanced Professional Writing (3 cr.)
- SPC 2600 Introduction to Public Speaking (3 cr.)
- AEE 3030 Effective Oral Communications (3 cr.)
- AEE 3033 Research & Business Writing in Agricultural & Life Sciences(3 cr.)
- MMC 2100 Writing for Mass Communication (3 cr.)
No such requirement
There are two tracks for students who wish to pursue a B.S. degree in botany:
This option is intended for students who do not plan to attend graduate or professional
school. Refer to the
for course requirements in this track and a recommended
This option requires a strong background in the basic sciences and is intended for
students who plan to attend graduate school, medical school or dental school. Refer
for course requirements in this track and a recommended
Students in this specialization are strongly encouraged to
participate in supervised research
through Individual Studies in Botany
(BOT 4905, three or more credit hours) beginning in the junior year or earlier.
Students intending to apply to graduate (M.S. and Ph.D.) programs should take the
Graduate Record Examination in the fall of the senior year, and should complete
applications to graduate schools by January before an expected fall-term admission.
Students intending to apply to medical or dental schools should contact the Office of Health and Legal Professions Advising
assistance in preparing for professional school.
Students majoring in most other disciplines (except biology, see below) can minor in botany. The botany minor requires a total of 15 credit hours of botany coursework. See the course catalog here for details.
Majors in botany can minor in most other disciplines, and this is a good way to organize students' electives around areas of interest. Note that botany majors cannot minor in biology, nor can biology majors minor in botany (the curricula for the botany and biology majors are too similar). ;
Academic Learning Compact
The botany major provides a foundation on knowledge in the life sciences with emphasis
on plant systems. You will learn the diversity of life, the structure of organisms
and ecosystems and how they function (i.e., the acquisition, flow, organization
and uses of information, energy and nutrients in living systems). You will learn
the scientific method and how it facilitates the discovery of new knowledge in botany
and biology, including how to critically evaluate hypotheses and conclusions.
Refer to the
Botany Major Academic Learning Compact in the Undergraduate Catalog for
specific requirements and student learning objectives.
Incoming students (including transfer students) do not apply directly to the
Department of Biology, but rather to the University of Florida. The Department
of Biology does not have input into which students are admitted, and therefore
our faculty do not "select" particular students for our majors.
For students who want to transfer from a two-year junior college, the
minimum transfer requirements are:
- Biology (BSC 2010/2011 plus lab)
- Chemistry (CHM 2045/2046 plus lab) and
- Math [Calculus (MAC2311) for the BOT track or Precalculus, Algebra and
Trigonometry (MAC1147) for the Basic BOT track].
In addition to these courses we recommend that students complete the following
"core" science coursework in their first two years: Organic Chemistry (CHM
2210/2211 plus lab), Physics (e.g., PHY 2048/2049 or PHY 2053/2054 plus lab),
and Statistics (STA 2023). A detailed list of recommended steps for transfer
students is available here
Frequently Asked Questions
for answers to frequently asked questions about majors in the Department
Directory of career opportunities in the life sciences.
New positions for plant biologists are expected to increase at an above-average
rate given that the 21 st century has been termed the century of biology, because
of growing environmental and food concerns, and the explosion in plant biotechnology.
The major employers of plant biologists are educational institutions, federal and
state agencies and industry. In addition, a degree in botany provides a foundational
science education that employers find useful in a variety of careers unrelated to
plants. For example, graduates from our program have gone on to such diverse occupations
as flying jets in the military and entering the clergy. Other graduates have become
physicians, dentists, health technicians, lawyers, biological illustrators and computer
Educational institutions that employ plant biologists range from high schools and
community colleges to universities. In addition to teaching, educational institutions
employ botanists as research associates, technicians, museum curators, and administrators.
Federal and state agencies employ botanists in many different fields. Plant biologists
work in various branches of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, including the Medicinal
Plant Resources Laboratory, the Animal and Plant Inspection Service, the National
Arboretum and the U.S. Forest Service. The U.S. Department of the Interior, the
National Park Service, the Bureau of Land Management, and the U.S. Geological Society
also hire botanists. Plant biologists work for the Public Health Service, the State
Department, Customs, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the
Smithsonian Institution and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). State agencies
in all fifty states, such as the Departments of Natural Resources, Parks and Recreation
Services, Forest Services, Water Management Districts, Fish and Game Commissions,
Utility Companies, Environmental Protection Agencies employ plant biologists. Cities
and municipalities employ botanists as arborists, consultants and ecologists involved
with city planning. Environmental organizations like the Nature Conservancy also
Industry and the private sector employ plant biologists in a variety of capacities.
Pharmaceutical companies, chemical companies, the oil industry, lumber and paper
companies, plastics industry, fruit growers, food and beverage companies, biological
supply houses, museums, botanical gardens, publishing companies and biotechnology
firms all hire graduates with a degree in botany. The career opportunities for plant
biologists are diverse, exciting, interesting, and can involve trips to exotic places.
They are very satisfying, and afford biologists the opportunity to make a real difference
in the world.
For additional career resources, click here.
We are located on the University of Florida campus with our main office at 220 Bartram
Hall and our teaching and faculty labs are located in Bartram, Carr, Dickinson and Rolfs Halls.
Undergraduate Coordinator: Dr. Ed Braun.
Dr. Braun can be reached at: