Plant and Environmental Sciences (B.S.)

ABOUT

As our world continues to change, the science of protecting our environment and developing new agricultural practices must continue to evolve as well. A major in plant and environmental sciences covers topics in plant biology, soil science, ecology, applied genetics and biotechnology. Our graduates play a significant role in bringing sustainable approaches and modern technologies to agricultural and environmental practices. As a plant and environmental sciences student, you’ll be able to choose a focus area from our three concentrations — agricultural biotechnology, agronomy, or soil and water science. This degree is the only four-year program in South Carolina that offers comprehensive management of biological systems in plant agriculture, and it is one of the few in the nation that reflects the scientific complexity and sophistication of modern agronomic practices.

FAST FACTS

  • A handful of soil contains millions of microorganisms that work to provide nutrients that are essential for plant growth and health.
  • Clemson’s Student Organic Farm is ranked as one of the top university farms in the U.S.
  • The first bioengineered soybean plant stock was introduced into the field at the Clemson Edisto Research Station in the late 1980s.
  • Clemson’s soil judging team competes in the regional soils competition every year and played host in 2014.

WHAT YOU'LL STUDY

As a freshman, you'll start with a solid foundation in biology, chemistry and math and will take a required introductory course for the major. Then, you’ll be prepared to tackle advanced coursework in plant sciences, soils, pest management and agricultural biotechnology.

This degree program is lab intensive and prepares you well for your career as well as possible graduate studies. Coursework was carefully designed to be a multidisciplinary science-based program with high academic expectations, but it is also easily adaptable to your interests and needs. You can also choose a more specific focus of study from our three concentrations.

Agricultural Biotechnology Concentration: Study the scientific advances that are helping production agriculture keep up with the demands of a growing global population while balancing the constraints on our natural resources. Learn to use advances such as drought- or pest-resistant plant varieties.

Agronomy Concentration: Within this concentration, you'll learn how to manage and adapt farming systems to cope with the intense demands of population growth as well as the instability of markets and weather. You’ll understand the environmental and social concerns of modern-day farming and implement practices designed to enhance the future of agriculture.

Soil and Water Science Concentration: Soil and water quality impacts all agricultural disciplines. In the classwork for this concentration, you'll learn how to address management of agricultural and industrial wastes, reduction of contamination of ground and surface waters, and soil and water use in production of food and fiber crops.

Popular Minors

  • Agricultural Business Management
  • Biological Sciences
  • Entomology
  • Environmental Science and Policy
  • Genetics
  • Horticulture
  • Plant Pathology

EXPERIENCES BEYOND THE CLASSROOM

Whether in the lab, the greenhouses or the field, students in plant and environmental sciences gain experiences outside the classroom. These applied skills make our students competitive for graduate programs and careers.

 Clemson’s Student Organic Farm began as a small market garden in 2001 in a section of campus with a deep agricultural heritage. The farm — now ranked as one of the nation’s best — was certified organic in 2005 and covers 15 acres.
 Join your peers and classmates as part of the Clemson Agronomy Club, which focuses on activities and community service on and off campus to promote sustainable agriculture and agronomy.
 Our students are strongly encouraged to take on an internship, which allows you to take knowledge from the classroom and apply it to relevant projects in the workforce.
 The first bioengineered soybean plant stock was introduced into the field at the Clemson Edisto Research Station in the late 1980s. This Clemson innovation led to the future technology to produce Roundup Ready Soybeans and BT Cotton.

AFTER GRADUATION

Your college decision isn't really about the next four years. We get it. It's about what doors are opened by your degree and whether those opportunities are what you had envisioned for yourself. Here's a snapshot of what life after graduation looks like for some of our most recent students.

WHERE OUR RECENT GRADUATES HAVE GONE

KEY
  • 41-100%
  • 21-40%
  • 11-20%
  • 0-10%

RECENT EMPLOYERS

  • IPM Specialist

    Bartlett Tree Experts
  • Field Liaison Representative

    Amy’s Kitchen
  • Farmer

    Family-owned farm operation
  • Owner

    Self-owned farm operation
  • Interpretation Coordinator

    Denali National Park
  • Environmental Educator

    Peace Corps

RECENT POSTGRADUATE STUDIES

  • Master of Science

    Virginia Tech
  • M.S. Plant and Environmental Sciences

    Clemson University
  • Master of Science

    Pennsylvania State University
  • Ph.D.

    University of California, Davis

COMMON CAREER AREAS

  • Research
    • Biochemistry
    • Biofuel
    • Ecology
    • Mycology
    • Plant Biology
    • Pathology
    • Physiology
    • Plant Breeding and Genetics
    • Taxonomy
  • Production
    • Consulting
    • Greenhouse or Nursery
    • Plant Biotechnology
    • Sales and Marketing
    • Soil Scientist
  • Extension and Education
    • Administration
    • Consulting
    • Extension Agent
    • Research
    • Teaching
  • Communication
    • Outreach and Education
    • Sales and Marketing
    • Writing and Editing
  • Government and Law
    • Conservationist
    • Consulting
    • International 
    • Lobbying
    • Planning and Policy
    • Regulatory

Used with permission from the University of Tennessee.

FIND OUT MORE

Have more questions or want more information? Fill out the form below, which goes directly to the following department contact. If you’d also like to receive general University information from Clemson’s admissions office, please follow the link to the right and sign up to join our mailing list.

Katie Black

Student Recruitment Coordinator
888-472-5433
hulse@clemson.edu

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