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Plant Biology Degree Requirements and Focal Areas

Plant Biology Degree Requirements

Please go to this link to view the Plant Biology Degree Requirements. To access these requirements, you will need to select Agriculture and Life Sciences from the list on the left hand menu. This will then open up all the degrees offered through CALS, from this list scroll down and select Plant Biology (11PBBS).

Focus Your Degree

This website is intended to help you to select which PB Elective and Restricted/Free Elective courses fit within your chosen focal area of Plant Biology to complete your degree requirements.

Focal Areas

Plant Biology is a diverse discipline that ranges in scope from molecules to ecosystems to the many ways in which plants are used. Many Plant Biology students choose to focus their major and elective coursework in one of three areas: Plant Physiology and Molecular Biology, Plant Systematics and Ecology, or Ethnobotany. A focal area is not required. Students may choose courses from across areas to get a broad perspective depending on their objectives.

When completing your degree requirements we recommend taking at least one advanced (300-level or higher) course in another plant science discipline (CS, FOR, HS, PP). Multiple advanced courses in another discipline are encouraged for all plant biology focal areas.

Plant Physiology and Molecular Biology

PB Major Electives

Course Number Course Name Hours
PB 413/513 Plant Anatomy

2

BIO 414 Cell Biology

3

PB 421 Plant Physiology

3

PB 422* Methods in Plant Molecular Biology & Physiology

3

PB 480/580 Introduction to Plant Biotechnology

3

*Course currently listed as Plant Physiology – 1 hour.

 

Restricted/Free Elective Choices

Course Number Course Name Hours
BCH 351 General Biochemistry OR

BCH 451 Principles of Biochemistry

4

BCH 452 Intro. Biochemistry Lab

2

BCH 453 Biochemistry of Gene Expression

3

BIT 410 Manipulation of Recombinant DNA

2

BIT  Modules

2 each

CS 413 Plant Breeding

2

CH 201/202 Quantitative Chemistry / Lab

3+1

CH 223/224 Organic Chemistry II / Lab

3+1

GN 312 Elementary Genetics Lab

1

GN 421 Molecular Genetics 3
MB 351/352 General Microbiology / Lab 3+1
MB 455 Microbial Biotechnology 3
PB 215 Medicinal Plants 3
PB 488/588 Systems Biology Modeling of Plant Regulation 3

 

Other Courses
CS 224 Seeds, Biotechnology, & Society – 3

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What is Plant Physiology and Molecular Biology?

Students interested in learning about plants at a molecular level are encouraged to consider courses that provide them with the background and rigor needed to work in biotechnology or pharmaceutical companies.

Plant Systematics and Ecology

PB Major Electives

Course Number Course Name Hours
PB 220 Local Flora

2

PB/AEC 360 Ecology

4

PB 400 Plant Diversity and Evolution

4

PB 403/503 Systematic Botany

4

PB 450/550 Plant Ecology

3

PB 464/564 Rare Plants of North Carolina

3

 

Restricted/Free Elective Choices

Course Number Course Name Hours
AEC 400 Applied Ecology

3

AEC 460 Field Ecology and Methods

4

CS 230 Introduction to Agroecology

3

FOR 221 Conservation of Natural Resources

3

FOR 261 Forest Communities

2

FOR 330 NC Forests

3

FOR 339 Dendrology

4

GIS 280 Introduction to GIS

3

NR 406 Conservation of Biological Diversity

3

PB 321 Intro. Whole Plant Physiology

3

PB 445 Paleobotany 4
SSC 200/201 Soil Science / Lab 3+1
SSC 452 Soil Classification 4
SSC 470 Wetland Soils 3
ST 312 Introduction to Statistics II 3

 

Other Courses
IDS 201 Environmental Ethics – 3
IDS 303 Humans and the Environment – 3

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What is Plant Systematics and Ecology?

Students interested in floristics, plant-plant and plant-environment interactions, and conservation typically complete courses that equip them will skills and training for positions in government agencies, conservation organizations, and land management groups.

Ethnobotany

PB Major Electives

Course Number Course Name Hours
PB 213 Plants & Civilization OR

PB 219 Plants in Folklore, Myth, & Religion

3

PB 215 Medicinal Plants

3

PB 345/346 Economic Botany / Lab

3+1

PB 403/503 Systematic Botany

4

PB 325 Culinary Botany OR

PB 407/507 Medical Ethnobotany

3

 

Restricted/Free Elective Choices

Course Number Course Name Hours
BCH 351 General Biochemistry

4

PP 222 Kingdom of Fungi 3
PB 421 Plant Physiology

3

 

Other Courses
ANT 252 Cultural Anthropology – 3

At least two additional course in Cultural Anthropology

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What is Ethnobotany?

Ethnobotany is the study and documentation of the dynamic interactions between plants and people, including traditional knowledge and customs of plant use by diverse cultures. It is sometimes called the “science of survival”. Ethnobotanists may pursue a number of different career paths depending on their specialized training and experience.