PLSC Major and Minors

PLSC Major and its Concentrations

All students in Plant Sciences begin with core courses that provide a foundational knowledge and skills for further learning and application.  The curriculum can be found at BS Plant Sciences. Students then select from three concentrations: Environmental Horticultural Science, Fruit and Crop Science, and Plant Protection Science. Each concentration, in turn, has required courses. In the first year, students explore curriculum and professional opportunities to enable them to choose a concentration. In consultation with their advisor, students have the flexibility to select electives within the concentrations according to their career goals and interests. Graduates in Plant Sciences will meet specific learning objectives.


Environmental Horticultural Science Concentration

The Environmental Horticulture Science concentration offers students a comprehensive education in sustainable nursery production and landscape horticulture. Science and hands-on learning meet, as students study field and controlled environment production of ornamental and food crops, landscape installation and management, and integrated pest management. Graduates from Environmental Horticulture Science may be found in a wide range of careers, spanning from landscape restoration to food crop production to plant tissue culture innovation. Our graduates are business owners, entrepreneurs, growers, managers, researchers, educators, artists, designers, contractors, advisors, and professionals. A small sample of job titles held by our graduates include Head Grower, Production Manager, Lead Arborist, Landscape Contractor, Landscape Maintenance Professional, Horticultural Consultant, Pest Control Advisor, Territory Manager, Landscape Designer, Irrigation Manager, Field Research Specialist, Account Manager, Propagation Manager, and Director of Operations.

Environmental Horticultural Science Concentration Courses


Fruit and Crop Science Concentration

The Fruit and Crop Science concentration provides students with detailed knowledge of the production of tree fruits and nuts, grapes, small fruits, vegetables and other row crops, and forages. The concentration details factors influencing the growth, development, and productivity of these crops (e.g., site selection, cultivar selection, field and plant establishment, pest management, harvesting, and postharvest handling). The concentration also focuses on ongoing and newly emerging specialty industries and concerns such as beekeeping, postharvest technology, plant breeding and biotechnology, integrated pest management, and precision agriculture.

Fruit and Crop Science Concentration Courses


Plant Protection Science Concentration

In the Plant Protection Science concentration, students learn a broad range of pest management subjects including entomology, plant pathology, weed control and vertebrate pest management. Approximately one-third of the world's food crops are destroyed each year by these pests and finding ways to reduce their losses is the challenge of the plant protection specialist. Students develop an understanding of crop production principles, soil and crop ecology, biological control, and biotechnology. Our graduates go on to attain professional licenses such as a California Pest Control Advisor (PCA) and Certified Crop Advisor (CCA) license; in fact, Cal Poly SLO trains more PCAs than any other university in California. Additionally, many of our students become involved in plant protection related research while on campus and in their summer internships. Some then continue their education, pursuing advanced degrees in research at major universities in the US and abroad.

As environmental conditions and consumer demands change and regulations increase, employment opportunities abound for our graduates in the world of plant protection.

Plant Protection Science Concentration Courses

PLSC Minors

Crop Science

Designed for students majoring in related academic disciplines who desire careers in crop production or its associated industries. The minor offers a broad-based knowledge of the science and technology of agronomy and vegetable production, especially as practiced in California. Not open to PLSC majors concentrating in Fruit and Crop Science or Plant Protection Science. 

Crop Science Minor Coordinator: Dr. Jeff Wong, Bldg. 11, Rm. 222

Crop Science Minor Courses

Fruit Science

The minor is designed for students majoring in related academic disciplines who desire to seek careers in fruit production or its associated industries. The minor offers a broad-based knowledge of the science and technology of fruit and nut production. Not open to PLSC majors concentrating in Fruit and Crop Science or Plant Protection Science.  

Fruit Science Minor Coordinator: Dr. Lauren Garner, Bldg. 11, Rm. 237

Fruit Science Minor Courses

Landscape Horticulture

The minor provides students with an understanding of the landscape horticultural industry and provides basic skills to understand the design, installation, and maintenance of landscapes. Students develop a knowledge of landscape plants and plant care as well as the basics of landscape contracting, including construction processes and materials used in the landscape industry. Students may learn advanced skills and concepts in the areas of turfgrass for golf course/sports field applications, design/build, plant care and arboriculture. Not open to PLSC majors concentrating in Environmental Horticultural Science.

Landscape Horticulture Minor Coordinator: Dr. Benjamin Hoover, Bldg. 11, Rm. 251 

Landscape Horticulture Minor Courses

Plant Protection

This program emphasizes both plant protection and plant production. Within the plant protection field of study, the student is exposed to a broad range of pest management subjects including entomology, plant pathology, and weed control. Within the production area the student may emphasize fruit production, crop production, ornamental horticulture, or natural resource management. Not open to PLSC majors.  

Plant Protection Science Minor Coordinator: Dr. David Headrick, Bldg. 11, Rm. 235 

Go To Plant Protection Minor

Sustainable Agriculture Minor

Approach modern agricultural problems from a holistic perspective

A minor in Sustainable Agriculture is open to all Cal Poly students. In it, students approach modern agricultural problems from a holistic perspective, emphasizing agricultural planning integrated with ecological principles. Through experience in sustainable agricultural practices, students learn about a farm in the context of an agro-ecosystem: a system whose processes and relationships can be manipulated to allow production with fewer adverse environmental impacts and external inputs. Students develop knowledge and skills involving holistic management, crop production, and adaptive decision-making in a hands-on environment

Sustainable Agriculture Minor Coordinator: Dr. Ashraf Tubeileh, Bldg. 11, Rm. 238

Sustainable Agriculture Minor

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