Plant Sciences – Horticulture Science and Production Concentration Major Guide for 2011-2012

What is Plant Sciences – Horticulture Science and Production Concentration

Horticulture Science and Production is designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills needed for production, management and marketing of horticultural crops. This concentration also prepares students with strong interests in science and/or technology to pursue opportunities in research-related fields, including graduate studies.

Horticulture is the branch of agriculture dealing with the production and use of ornamental, fruit and vegetable crops. The list of plants studied by students in this diverse area is an important and exciting one, including the trees, shrubs and flowers we use to enhance our landscapes, as well as most of the foods in the fresh produce section of supermarkets. It is literally an A-Z compendium of the plants that help promote our daily physical and emotional well-being: apples, corn, dogwoods, maples, oaks, peaches, soybeans, strawberries, tomatoes, zinnias, just to name a few of the hundreds of plant species that students in science and production horticulture learn to propagate, culture and market. Careful selection of departmental courses and other electives in consultation with the assigned academic advisor will prepare graduates for the career of their choice. Employment prospects range managing nursery and greenhouse businesses, to consulting and education, to marketing fruits and vegetables for healthier lifestyles.

Career Opportunities in Plant Sciences – Horticulture Science and Production Concentration

Graduates enter a wide variety of productive careers. These include agribusinesses; agricultural extension and outreach; education (community colleges, high schools); professional consulting on horticultural or agronomic topics. Students may continue their education in graduate school earning the MS or PhD to enable them to pursue careers in research and/or higher education.

Salary Trends in Plant Sciences – Horticulture Science and Production Concentration

Salaries for horticulturists depend on the nature of the job as well as the region of the country and its cost of living. Graduates with minimal professional experience should expect starting salaries in the $34,500 to $48,000. If you can demonstrate your value to your employer and are willing to shoulder responsibility, often your salary may increase dramatically within the first two years.

High School Preparation

A student’s high school preparation can have a great impact on pace and success in completing a BS degree in Plant Sciences. Obtain a strong foundation in biology, chemistry and mathematics. Enroll in horticulture and plant agriculture courses, if your high school offers them. Select classes that are ranked as college preparatory or advanced placement (AP). Basic courses in computing (word processing, spreadsheet management, and database management), communications, analytical thinking, and introductory statistics are desirable.

How to Major in Plant Sciences – Horticulture Science and Production Concentration

The Horticulture Science and Production concentration is in the Plant Sciences Department. Our faculty and students enjoy talking with prospective students. A faculty member (or a student, if you prefer) will be happy to guide you through our greenhouses, nursery, plant science farm, and labs as well as answer your questions about the department. It is important to declare the Horticulture Science and Production concentration early (preferably at or before enrollment), to avoid having to make up specific required courses. There are provisions for elective courses to be taken in specific subject areas at various stages of your degree program. Students consult with their faculty advisor each semester about their interests and the appropriate classes to meet their needs.

Requirements for Plant Sciences – Horticulture Science and Production Concentration

The Horticulture Science and Production curriculum builds upon the university-wide general education requirements with critical courses in botany, soils, and business, and adds a set of required departmental courses. Students are able to customize their program by selecting electives. Students are trained to work knowledgeably in general plant culture. Students are encouraged to earn a minor degree in a supportive field, such as soil science or business, to further enhance their academic training and professional competitiveness. While firmly grounding students in the knowledge and skills of the plant sciences, the curriculum emphasizes critical thinking and creative activity.

Special Programs, Co-ops, and Internships

An internship or supervised undergraduate research participation is required of all students. Full-time summer internships are available at selected local, regional, and national companies or institutions. Part-time summer or semester internships and research experiences are available from the Department of Plant Sciences, other university departments and laboratories, and local commercial firms. Future employers do not look just at grades achieved in college. Many emphasize the importance of early experience in the green industry.

Highlights of Plant Sciences – Horticulture Science and Production Concentration

The concentration offer students opportunities to obtain both classroom and hands-on learning experiences with faculty members who are dedicated teachers and accomplished scientists. The faculty of the Department of Plant Sciences are nationally and internationally recognized scholars whose expertise span a wide range of disciplines in horticulture, agronomy, plant breeding, nursery and greenhouse management, plant-microbe interactions, and plant and human nutrition.

Ready for the World logoReady for the World

Students are encouraged to participate in faculty-led study abroad programs sponsored by CASNR, which include Thailand and Jamaica. Other UT faculty-led and semester abroad programs are offered through the Center for International Education. CASNR does offer some scholarships for CASNR students participating in study abroad programs. Students, faculty and staff participate in the annual Unity through Diversity Dinner held each fall. Some students select a minor in Modern Foreign Languages and Literature.

Learn more about UT’s Ready for the World initiative to help students gain the international and intercultural knowledge they need to succeed in today’s world.

Sample Curriculum

Freshman Year Credit Hours
Agriculture and Natural Resources 100 or First Year Studies 101 1
1 Arts and Humanities Elective* 3
Biology 111*, 112* 8
Chemistry 100 and 110*, or 120* and 130* 8
English 101*, 102* 6
1 Quantitative Reasoning Electives* 6
Critical Courses: BIOL 111-112; ENGL 101-102  
Sophomore Year Credit Hours
Agriculture and Natural Resources 290 3
1 Arts and Humanities Elective* 3
Communication Studies 210* or 240* 3
1 Cultures and Civilizations Elective* 3
Environmental and Soil Sciences 210 4
2 Economics Elective* 3-4
Plant Sciences 210 3
Physics 101 3
1,2 Social Sciences Elective* 3
 Critical Courses: CHEM 100 or 120; CMST 210 or 140; PLSC 210; AGNR 290  
Junior Year Credit Hours
Biochemistry and Cellular and Molecular Biology 321 or Forestry 414 3-4
1 Cultures and Civilizations Elective* 3
English 295* or 360* 3
Entomology and Plant Pathology 313 or 321 or 410 3
Environmental and Soil Sciences 334 3
Plant Sciences 220, 230, 290 or 291 3
Plant Sciences 457-458 or 457-459 3
3 Plant Sciences Electives 6
Technical Electives 4-5
Critical Courses: ESS 210, PLSC Elective  
Senior Year Credit Hours
Plant Sciences 331, 353, 410*, 430, 470 13
Plant Sciences 492 or 497 3
3 Plant Sciences Electives 6
Technical Electives 4-5
Unrestricted Electives 5

* Meets University General Education Requirement.
1 Choose from the University General Education lists. Selection should be made in conference with academic advisor.
2 Economics 201 (4) Principles of Economics satisfies the University General Education-Social Science requirement and the major requirement for economics. If the student transfers ECON LD for 3 credits, it will satisfy the major requirement for economics but will not satisfy the General Education-Social Science requirement. In these cases, the student should take two courses from the approved General Education-Social Sciences list.
3 Select any Plant Sciences courses beyond those that are required.

Students must meet the University General Education Requirement Communicating through Writing by selecting a course with a (WC) designation. This course may be in the major or from another discipline. Plant Sciences 448 satisfies the Communicating through Writing requirement.

For More Information

Department of Plant Sciences
2431 Joe Johnson Drive
Knoxville, TN 37996-4561
Phone: (865) 974-7324



The information on this page should be considered general information only. For more specific information on this and other programs refer to the UT catalog or contact the department and/or college directly.