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Biology, BS - Integrative Biology, Plant Biology Emphasis

Plant Biology Degree

If you have a green thumb — and a green perspective on how crucial plant life is to the health of our planet — consider a career in plant biology. The University of Central Missouri’s Bachelor of Science degree in Biology, with an emphasis on Plant Biology, prepares you for plant biology jobs in agriculture, nutrition, conservation and ecology. 

At the University of Central Missouri, you’ll become especially knowledgeable about the plant species native to our state. 

All facets of research — from proposal development to funding

Plant Biology majors study and conduct fieldwork studies and research projects with student teams in natural environments — such as our unique on-campus nature preserve, greenhouses and working farms — and in UCM’s newly renovated Biology labs and classrooms.

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Dr. Scott Lankford
Chair, School of Natural Sciences
W.C. Morris Science Building, Room 306A
Warrensburg, MO
Tel: 660-543-4933

College of Health, Science and Technology

Department of Biological and Clinical Sciences

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On-campus greenhouses, nursery and farms

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300-acre nature preserve for fieldwork

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Molecular and cellular research labs

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Small classes, labs led by Ph.D. faculty

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Co-curricular research projects

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Hengshui University exchange program

What you will study

Learn the classification systems within the major plant groups and their characteristics. Your Plant Biology program courses start at the molecular and cellular level and by the time you complete your Plant Biology degree, you’ll gain a full perspective of plants’ important role in our global ecological systems.

Plant Biology majors complete core Integrative Biology classes in genetics, investigative biology, physics and experimental design and analysis before diving deeper into specialized courses. You can also choose electives that complement the core requirements and allow you to explore other areas of interest. These electives may include:

  • Soil Science
  • Plant Diseases
  • Entomology
  • Plant Ecology
  • Plant Physiology

Learn to work as part of a plant biology research team 

UCM’s undergraduate Plant Biology courses emphasize lab-based projects. In labs, you’ll work in teams of your peers to study the diversity of plant life. This experience will be a major asset when you’re seeking plant biology jobs.


Excellence in Biology

  • Best Value College for Biological & Biomedical Sciences (College Factual, 2022)


Unique learning opportunities in plant biology

As you earn your Plant Biology degree at UCM, most of your undergraduate program courses will be lab-based and hands-on to develop the practical skills and knowledge required for exciting plant biology jobs.

  • Internships: UCM Biology faculty members have strong relationships with the Department of Natural Resources, the Missouri Department of Conservation and other state and federal agencies, as well as regional nonprofits, biotech firms and businesses. Real-world internships working with these employers prepare you for plant biology careers and can lead to job offers. 
  • Lab and fieldwork: At our on-campus nature preserve, greenhouses, nursery and working farms, you’ll practice lab and research skills in situations like those you’ll encounter in plant biology jobs. The UCM active learning teaching model and our emphasis on peer-centered teams will develop your abilities to identify and solve problems in collaboration with others.
  • Research projects, from design to presentation: The UCM faculty are experts in a range of plant biology specialties. You’ll work directly with them to complete co-curricular research projects in your interest area. The experience you’ll gain in your Plant Biology courses will help you learn how to secure funding for research, as well as how to present findings for publication. 
  • Career opportunities: As a Plant Biology major, you’ll have opportunities to network with private, public and government professionals for internships, research projects and funding and plant biology job openings.


What can you do with a degree in Plant Biology from UCM?

Classes in this Integrative Biology emphasis cover an exciting array of interest areas, and each opens diverse opportunities for plant biology jobs. 

Graduates with a Plant Biology major apply their studies of plant life to food sciences, bioinformatics, plant genetics, regulatory affairs, agriculture and soil science, teaching and many other fields. 

A broad range of plant biology jobs

Many of our graduates are working for the Missouri Department of Conservation, the Department of Natural Resources and other government agencies. Plant biology job opportunities are also available with private research and biotech labs, businesses, educational institutions and nonprofit organizations with an environmental mission.

Another option others choose is to earn certification to teach or continue their studies with an advanced degree to work as a senior scientist or researcher. 

Use the interactive tool below to explore potential career pathways and salaries with a Plant Biology degree from the University of Central Missouri.




Financial assistance options for your Plant Biology degree

The University of Central Missouri offers a variety of resources to help you finance your undergraduate education and keep your costs and student debt low.

Beyond general scholarships available through the University of Central Missouri, numerous others are available specifically for undergraduates earning a Plant Biology degree. These include:

  • Carlos Kays Biology and Earth Science Scholarship
  • Dr. John Beishe Biology Scholarship
  • Steven H. Mills and Stephen W. Wilson Research Award
  • John Hess Health Professions Scholarship
  • Honors Project Research Fund
  • McNair Scholars Program

You can learn more about program-specific scholarships at the UCM Scholarship Finder.


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Take your degree further.

Enhance your Plant Biology major with graduate studies at UCM to work as a senior researcher or scientist or to become a teacher.

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Make yourself more marketable.

Add a certificate or minor to your Plant Biology degree to target plant identification or to focus on ecological perspectives or the farming industry.

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Explore programs related to plant biology.

If you’d like to study plant life, you may also want to explore these UCM undergraduate programs similar to the Plant Biology degree.


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