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Advising Guidelines for the Undergraduate Major in Botany

These guidelines provide explanation for the form "Program for Botany Majors". Requirements change from time to time. Generally, a student may choose to fulfill either those requirements that applied when the student entered OSU, or the new requirements. Check with your advisor to be sure in specific cases. We will try to keep you informed via e-mail of changes that might allow you to graduate earlier than with existing requirements. Keeping a copy of the requirements given you when you entered will be helpful. 



1. Courses that fulfill Writing II, III are listed in the OSU General Catalog, the College of Science student handbook that you received as a new student, and the quarterly Schedule of Classes.

2. Math courses required for the Botany major will fill this requirement.

3. See the back side of the Botany Program sheet for a list of Writing Intensive Courses (WIC) courses accepted for the Botany major. 


1. The 3 science items are automatically fulfilled by courses required for the Botany major.

2. The 5 liberal arts areas are fulfilled by any one of the courses for each area listed in the General Catalog and the Schedule of Classes. Notice also the requirement that you can use only 2 courses from a single department to fulfill this group of 5.


1. Courses that fulfill these requirements are listed in the General Catalog and the Schedule of Classes.

2. Check the list of Synthesis courses against the list of possible WIC courses on the back of the Botany Program sheet. Any acceptable WIC course that is also on the Synthesis list will fulfill both requirements with the single course. This may save your taking one course. 

3. Note that synthesis courses must come from different departments.


1. Biology-If you have had a year of only general botany, or a year of college level biology that did not require chemistry, we will accept that for credit, but we will ask you to take at least one further course to strengthen your general biology training; discuss with your advisor what would be the most effective way to strengthen your training. If you have had botany only, we ask for a course in zoology or entomology. 

2. General Chemistry-If you have had chemistry in high school, and do not have serious problems with math, take the CH 2xx sequence. If you experience problems in the 2xx series, you may change to the 1xx courses. If you get less than a C in chemistry (or another course that is part of a sequence), consider retaking the course before proceeding further in the sequence. Complete your chemistry early! It is prerequisite to both organic and biochemistry. 

3. Mathematics-For students whose placement test scores do not allow them to take the required courses directly, MTH 251 requires one more prerequisite (MTH 112) than do MTH 241, 245. MTH 251, 252 serve as prerequisites for further math courses and may be required for graduate study in some areas of botany and related subjects. MTH 241, 245 are not accepted as prerequisites to further study in mathematics. If you are sure you want no further math and do not plan to attend graduate school, MTH 241, 245 will be adequate. 

4. Biochemistry-

a. BB 350 alone is sufficient for graduation.

b. BB 450, 451 is the sequence required for the Biology major and for some Botany options. The sequence will fulfill our requirements, but 450 alone will not. BB 450, 451 together cover the same subjects as the 350. If you are planning to go to graduate school, BB 450, 451 may be a better choice. 

5. Physics: You may wish to take this after math and chemistry requirements are fulfilled. Some students find it convenient to complete physics at a community college or in summer. 

6. Required BOT courses:

a. You can take the following without prerequisites beyond BI 213: BOT 321, 413, 416, 461, 465

b. Complete BOT 321 before taking BOT 341

c. It may help if you complete biochemistry before taking BI 311 and BOT 331. However, students who have done well in chemistry should have no major problems taking BOT 331 before biochemistry.

d. You may select any one of the four courses that cover non-vascular plants: BOT 416 Aquatic botany, BOT 461 Introductory mycology, BOT 465 Lichens and BOT 466 Bryophytes.

e. The usual scheduling for required Botany courses is (but check a current Schedule of Classes to be sure):

Fall: BOT 331, 341,350,341,416,461,BI 311

Winter: BOT 413, BI 314

Spring: BOT 321, 331, 341, 465, BI 311, 314

7. Writing Intensive Courses. Some of the acceptable WIC courses fulfill a synthesis requirement, and, if so, a single course can be used for both requirements, Synthesis and WIC. The HSTS courses are not all taught every year; inquire before planning which one to use. 

8. Other recommended courses: Students interested in ecology and plant pathology should consider CSS 305 Principles of Soil Science. 

9. Other BOT courses: You are welcome to select as electives any additional 400-level BOT course for which you have the prerequisite. See the Schedule of Classes for the current listing; note, however, that not all courses listed in the catalog are offered every year. 

10. Other ways to earn academic credit in Botany: Also consider attending Botany seminar for 1 hr credit (BOT 407); the advantages for working closely with Botany faculty in some area of interest to you, for credit as Reading and Conference (BOT 405) or as Research (BOT 401); and the opportunity to earn credit related to work experience outside the university in BOT 410 Internship. You may also receive academic credit by serving as a teaching assistant in a course you have completed. 

11. If you wish to include summer session in your education, plan to take chemistry, mathematics, physics or genetics then. Statistics and Microbiology are often available. None of the required BOT courses is offered during summer but research and internship credits are; see your advisor if interested in summer enrollment. See a current summer session catalog for course availability this year. You may also use courses from a community college to meet some requirements for OSU; check with your advisor if you plan to do so, as advisors have access to a list of course equivalencies for OSU and all community colleges in Oregon.


Most students, especially transfers, will take longer to fulfill the upper division hours (60 total, 24 major) than the total hours requirement. Carefully count the upper division hours in your record and your planned program. If you will have less than 60, select upper division baccalaureate core courses that will increase your upper division hours. Otherwise you will have to take enough upper division electives just to accumulate the 60 hours. 

Completing the Botany major requirements as listed will automatically provide you with the necessary 24 upper division hours in the major. This occurs because we count BI 311, Genetics, as major hours for the Botany major, and, when taken as an alternative to BOT 350, MB 302 is counted as a major course. 

Note that we cannot accept any required science course taken for an Satisfactory/Uunsatisfactory grade. 

When to consult your advisor:


-If you think that you cannot maintain a C average for a term, talk to your advisor about withdrawing from a class you are failing before the deadline for withdrawals, in order to avoid academic warning or probation.

-We suggest that you make out a tentative course schedule to cover at least the next two years of classes. AFTER YOU MAKE OUT A SCHEDULE, HAVE YOUR ADVISOR CHECK IT.

-Your advisor may be able to help you with career planning, graduate school information and application, employment in the department, and finding sponsors for Research or Reading and Conference credit.

-Your advisor can help you find the most appropriate place on campus to go with concerns about physical and mental health, employment, financial aid, and learning or writing problems.