Area of Focus
  • Science & Math
Degrees Offered
  • B.S.
Academic Division
  • Physical and Biological Sciences
  • Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Program overview

The plant sciences major is designed for students with an interest in plant biology and its associated curricular fields such as plant ecology, plant physiology, plant pathology, plant molecular biology, and soil science. The plant sciences curriculum draws from faculty expertise in the departments of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Environmental Studies, and Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology. The close integration of coursework in Biology and Environmental Studies, combined with off-campus internships with diverse agencies, creates the opportunity for outstanding training in applied plant science fields such as agroecology, restoration ecology, and natural resource management.

Students working in plant garden

Learning Experience

A fine natural environment, the campus Arboretum, the facilities under the Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems (especially the Farm and Garden), and an excellent greenhouse collection all enhance the resources that support our botanical programs and the plant sciences major.

The Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Department, including classrooms, laboratory spaces, research facilities, greenhouses, and more, is located in the Coastal Biology Building on the UC Santa Cruz Coastal Science Campus.

Study and Research Opportunities
  • Undergraduate degree available: Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
  • Faculty-directed and/or independent research opportunities.
  • A suite of field courses, including immersive quarter-long field programs, providing unique opportunities to learn and conduct research in a host of ecological systems.
  • Intensive Education Abroad programs including Costa Rica (tropical ecology) and Australia (marine biology), and beyond.

First-Year (Freshman) Requirements

In addition to the courses required for UC admission, high school students who intend to major in plant sciences should take high school courses in biology, chemistry, advanced mathematics (precalculus and/or calculus), and physics.


Student in chadwick garden

Transfer Requirements

The faculty encourage applications from students who are prepared to transfer into the plant sciences major at the junior level. Transfer applicants are screened by Admissions for completion of required equivalents of calculus, general chemistry, and introductory biology courses prior to transfer.  

California community college students should follow the prescribed coursework in the UCSC transfer agreements available at for course equivalency information.



Student with plant

Learning Outcomes

Students who earn a B.A. in Art will gain the skills, knowledge, and understanding that will enable them to:

1. Demonstrate proficiency in a range of techniques and media.

2. Demonstrate the ability to imagine, create and resolve a work of art.

3. Demonstrate communication through familiarity with and ability to analyze, both verbally and in writing, issues and forms of contemporary art with a clear understanding of historical precedents; and

4. Demonstrate critical thinking through the ability to articulate an insightful response and analysis of a work of art in order to participate in discussions and studio critiques.

Student in greenhouse

Internships and Career Opportunities

  • Professional artist
  • Art and law
  • Art criticism
  • Art marketing
  • Arts administration
  • Curating
  • Digital imaging
  • Edition printing
  • Industry consultant
  • Model maker
  • Multimedia specialist
  • Museum and gallery management
  • Museum exhibition design and curation
  • Publishing
  • Teaching



apartment Coastal Biology Building 105A, 130 McAllister Way


phone (831) 459-5358