Skip to main content

Plant Science

This major is designed for students who are interested in the biology of plants: how they grow, develop and evolve; the interactions of plants with other organisms and their role in the environment; how to manage plants that are grown for food, fiber and fuel.

Students prepare for careers in fields such as biotechnology and environmental management, and move forward to advanced graduate studies.

Purdue Agriculture Experience: Ariana Myers

portrait of Ariana Myers

Ariana Myers grew up on an Indiana farm with an adjacent woodlot. She watched science shows on TV and spent entire days in the woods, playing and digging up plants and learning about the world. "I found that wildflowers had bulbs on them, which I didn't know before," she said. It was an interest that would grow into a career path.

My Purdue Path

Ariana Myers grew up on an Indiana farm with an adjacent woodlot. She watched science shows on TV and spent entire days in the woods, playing and digging up plants and learning about the world. "I found that wildflowers had bulbs on them, which I didn't know before," she said. "I tried out new ways of preserving wildflowers and explored the woods." By high school, she gravitated toward science classes. That interest would grow into a career path.

People or Plants?

"In high school I was trying to decide between nursing and plant science. I became a CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant) and realized nursing was not for me. Once I decided that, it was obvious: something to do with plants was the major for me," she said. Ariana visited Purdue's Fort Wayne campus and looked at agronomy, horticulture, and botany. Originally, she considered majoring in plant genetics, breeding, and biotechnology — but plant science was a better fit — that plus two minors, one in plant biology and the other in entomology.

The "Aha!" Moment

Ariana has held several jobs that give her experience in her major. She has worked as a teaching assistant for the Floral Design and Interior Plant Management course in the Horticulture Department and as a student trainee in the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. During her sophomore year, she worked as an undergraduate research assistant in Dr. Damon Lisch's Epigenetics lab. This was her first experience working in a laboratory. "Faculty were super encouraging. I enjoyed it and realized I was good at research," she said. "It was my 'Aha!' moment" — the moment she knew that this was what she wanted to do.

Salsa, Anyone?

When she's not focused on plants and work, Ariana gets involved in clubs at Purdue. "There are a lot of opportunities at Purdue. I’ve done things I never thought of. You can try things you want," she says.

Ariana tried lots of activities. As a freshman she was in Purdue's Lab Jazz Band, playing trumpet. She tried fencing but decided she didn't like it. She joined the Salsa Dance Club's performance group, something she'd always wanted to try, but didn't have the chance before coming to Purdue. She also tried ballet to get some exercise, and the Purdue Swing Dance Club. She's a runway model for Purdue's Modeling Club's fashion show, which is part of a capstone course for student fashion designers. She also she hikes trails in the county to get out of the city.

Look Forward — and Back

Her lab experience also got Ariana thinking about graduate school, trying to decide if she'd want to go to industry or stay in academia. She's talking with professors, gathering information as she decides.

"Professors help you identify graduate school possibilities. They take you under their wing, are very patient, and help you fix your mistakes," she said. "I learned so much working in labs. It gives me a leg up, knowing I got the hands-on experience early-on. At the time I appreciated it, but now I realize just how special it was."

Original Article

Plan of Study

Plant Science Webpage

Transfer to Plant Science

Purdue admits to individual majors. Transfer students must meet Purdue's overall transfer criteria, as well as any major-specific requirements. Before you apply, check the closed programs page to confirm this major is open to transfer students. If it is, refer to the information below for major-specific transfer criteria.

Minimum GPA: 2.5


Contact Information

Botany and Plant Pathology
(765) 494-4615
plants@purdue.edu

College of Agriculture
Loading...

Careers in Plant Science

This major is a good choice for a career with biotechnology and genetics companies, research-oriented companies and universities, crop consulting companies, or to continue your post-graduate education.

Share this page:

Purdue University Office of Admissions, 475 Stadium Mall Dr., West Lafayette, IN 47907, (765) 494-1776, Hearing impaired only: 1-800-743-3333

© 2019 Purdue University | An equal access/equal opportunity university | Copyright Complaints | Maintained by the Office of Admissions

Trouble with this page? Disability-related accessibility issue? Privacy Policy. Please contact the Office of Admissions at 765-494-1776 and/or admissions@purdue.edu