The Department of Botany and Plant Pathology offers programs leading to B.S., M.A., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees that prepare our graduates for a variety of future employment opportunities. Our graduates are employed in both the public and private sector by local, state, national or international employers. Professional opportunities exist in numerous fields including:

  • plant disease research and management    
  • plant physiology, biochemistry, molecular biology
  • plant genetics
  • marine and aquatic botany
  • plant ecology
  • botanical taxonomy, structure, evolution, biogeography
  • plant product monitoring, program administration, sales

The Department of Botany and Plant Pathology, in the College of Agricultural Sciences at Oregon State University, provides a special environment in which to pursue undergraduate or graduate training in plant biology. We are one of a small number of universities that maintain and foster a formal link between plant pathology and botany. Our departmental structure facilitates interdisciplinary research and training opportunities and makes it possible for students to address fundamental questions in plant biology as well as applying this knowledge to practical problems related to natural or commercial plant resources.

Faculty members in the department have diverse research interests, expertise, perspectives, and approaches. Our programs range from molecular and cellular processes to the global ecosystem levels of organization and include research in such areas as gene regulation, plant metabolism, pathogenic processes, evolution of plant species, and mathematical modeling of ecosystems and plant disease development. Interactions between plants and microorganisms, a major focus in our interdisciplinary research, link the department's basic and applied research interests and create a stimulating atmosphere for education and research.

Our faculty teach and advise students enrolled in the undergraduate Biology, Environmental Sciences, and Bioresource Research majors and in the graduate programs of Environmental Sciences, and Molecular and Cellular Biology.

Prospective undergraduate botany majors should obtain a strong background in the biological and physical sciences at the high school level. Specifically recommended are a minimum of three years of high school mathematics, including algebra, geometry, and some exposure to trigonometry; one year of chemistry; one year of biology; one year of physics; and courses designed to develop computer and writing skills. Students without an adequate background in mathematics and science may make up these deficiencies early in their college careers.

The undergraduate program in the Department of Botany and Plant Pathology is designed for students who wish to receive a B.S. in Botany degree and for students pursuing degrees in other fields that require a knowledge of plant biology. For example, students who have an undergraduate major in biology or environmental science may wish to emphasize botany courses in their upper division course work.

We offer graduate programs in the following areas of concentration: ecology, genetics, genomics and computational biology, molecular and cellular biology, mycology, plant pathology, plant physiology, systematics, and applied systematics.

Please contact us for additional information about our programs and student services. Inquiries may be directed to the Department Chairperson or to any faculty member.