Go to content

Undergraduate Catalog 2013-2014

Plant Sciences (PLSC)

College of Agriculture and Natural Resources
2102 Plant Sciences Building, 301-405-4355
www.psla.umd.edu/
khunt@umd.edu
Chair: A. Murphy (Prof & Chair)
Director: J.H. Sullivan (Prof and Coordinator)
Professors: S. Cohan (Prof Of Practice), J. Costa, J. Culver, P. Dernoeden, K. Everts, J. H. Sullivan, J. Lea-Cox, M. McIntosh, C. Walsh
Associate Professors: M. Carroll, G. Coleman, D. Glenn, R. Kratochvil, M. Neel, L. Slaughter, T. Turner, S. Xiao
Assistant Professors: Y. Balci, P. Chaverri, S. Micallef, J. Zhu
Lecturers: K. Petroff

The Major

Plant Sciences combines basic science courses with applied technical classes to prepare students for the many and varied careers in this growing field.  Students seeking a Plant Sciences degree must complete a series of requirements in one of the following Areas of Concentration:  Horticulture and Crop Production, Landscape Management, Plant Science, Turf and Golf Course Management, or Urban Forestry.

  • Horticulture and Crop Production prepares students for advisory and managerial positions in agronomic, greenhouse, nursery, orchard and vegetable crops.  Students in this Area focus their studies on plant growth and development and plant protection.
  • Landscape Management trains students for management positions in the landscape industry. The curriculum combines plant science, design and business management courses enabling graduates to meet the challenges of careers in the green industry.
  • Plant Science is designed to prepare students for a research career.  Whether students are interested in working in plant biotechnology, breeding, conservation, genomics, or plant protection, this area provides a strong foundation for postgraduate education.
  • Turf and Golf Course Management provides the skills needed to succeed as a turfgrass professional, stressing an interdisciplinary approach to this career. 
  • Urban Forestry, a relatively new program and  candidate for accreditation by the Society of American Foresters (SAF) exposes students to a wide range of skills needed for managing urban forests and seeking employment in the tree-care industry. 

The Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture also offers two additional degrees:  the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Agricultural Sciences and Technology and the Bachelor of Landscape Architecture (BLA).  These programs are described elsewhere in this catalog under "Agricultural Sciences and Technology" and "Landscape Architecture."

Courses offered by this department may be found under the following acronyms:  PLSC and LARC.

Program Learning Outcomes

  • Students will develop technical and knowledge-based skills in the required areas of study.
  • Students will use technical and basic learned knowledge to collaborate, solve problems and then articulate conclusions.
  • Students shall develop effective communication skills and demonstrate the ability to present ideas with clarity to an appropriate audience.
  • Students will connect and build relationships with external groups in the appropriate fields of study.

Requirements for the Major

Requirements for all Areas of Concentration    Credits
CHEM131/132    General Chemistry I 4
ENGL101 Introduction to Writing 3
ENGL393 Technical Writing 3
ENST200 Fundamentals of Soil Science 4
MATH113 College Algebra with Applications, OR 3
  MATH115 Precalculus  
PLSC100 Introduction to Horticulture, OR  
  PLSC101 Introductory Crop Science 4
PLSC398 Senior Seminar 1
  With the exception of ENGL101 and ENGL393, a grade of 'C-' or better is required in the courses above.  

Area B:  Horticulture and Crop Production  
Requirements Credits
AREC250 Elements of Agricultural and Resource Economics 3
AREC306 Farm Management  3
BSCI337 Biology of Insects 4
CHEM105 Fundamentals of Organic and Biochemistry 3
ENST411 Principles of Soil Fertility 3
PLSC201 Plant Structure and Function 4
PLSC202 Management of Horticultural Crops, OR 3
PLSC203 Plants, Genes and Biotechnology, OR  
PLSC271 Plant Propagation  
PLSC389 Internship  1-3
PLSC400 Environmental Plant Physiology 3
PLSC420 Principles of Plant Pathology 4
PLSC453 Weed Science 3
     
Advanced Production Electives (Select four of the following)  
BSCI497 Insect Pests of Ornamentals and Turf 4
ENST4xx Soils Courses (Minimum of two)  6-8
PLSC305 Introduction to Turf Management 3
PLSC432 Greenhouse Crop Production 3
PLSC433 Technology of Fruit and Vegetable Crop Production 4
PLSC452 Principles of Landscape Establishment and Maintenance 3
PLSC456 Nursery Crop Production 3
PLSC474 Physiology of Maturation and Storage of Horticultural Crops 3
PLSC4xx Crops Courses (Minimum of two) 6-8 
     
Total General Education, PLSC and Horticulture and Crop Production Area  104-108
University Electives  12-16

Area C:  Landscape Management Requirements Credits
AREC250 Elements of Agricultural & Resource Economics, OR 3/4
ECON200 Principles of Micro-Economics  
BMGT220 Principles of Accounting I 3
BMGT350 Marketing Principles and Organization 3
BSCI337 Biology of Insects 4
CHEM105 Fundamentals of Organic and Biochemistry 3
LARC140 Graphic Fundamentals Studio 4
LARC160 Introduction to Landscape Architecture 3
PLSC200 Land Surveying 2
PLSC201 Plant Structure and Function 4
PLSC202 Management of Horticultural Crops 4
PLSC253 Woody Plants for Mid-Atlantic Landscapes I 3
PLSC254 Woody Plants for Mid-Atlantic Landscapes II 3
PLSC255 Landscape Design and Implementation 4
PLSC271 Plant Propagation 3
PLSC305 Introduction to Turf Management, OR 3
ENST411 Principles of Soil Fertility  
PLSC320 Principles of Site Engineering 4
PLSC321 Landscape Structures and Materials 3
PLSC361 Commercial Principles of Landscape Management 3
PLSC389 Internship 1-3 
PLSC420 Principles of Plant Pathology 4
PLSC452 Environmental Horticulture 3
     
Total General Education, PLSC and Landscape Management Area  105
University Electives 15

Area D: Plant Science Requirements Credits
BSCI337 Biology of Insects 4
BSCI442 Plant Physiology, OR  
PLSC400 Environmental Plant Physiology 3
CHEM231/232 Organic Chemistry I  4
CHEM241/242 Organic Chemistry II 4
MATH140 Calculus I, OR 3
MATH220 Elementary Calculus I  
PHYS121 Fundamentals of Physics I 4
PLSC201 Plant Structure and Function 4
PLSC202 Management of Horticultural Crops 4
PLSC203 Plants, Genes and Biotechnology 3
PLSC271 Plant Propagation 3
PLSC399 Special Problems in Plant Science 3
PLSC420 Principles of Plant Pathology 4
     
Advanced Plant Science Electives (Select one of the following)  
PLSC403 Crop Breeding 3
PLSC430 Water and Nutrient Planning for the Nursery & Greenhouse Industry  3
PLSC432 Greenhouse Crop Production 3
PLSC433 Technology of Fruit and Vegetable Production 4
PLSC452 Principles of Landscape Establishment and Maintenance 3
PLSC456 Nursery Crop Production 3
PLSC474 Physiology of Maturation and Storage of Horticultural Crops 3
     
Advanced Science Electives (Select one of the following)  
BCHM261 Elements of Biochemistry, OR 4
  BSCI461 Biochemistry  
ENST411 Principles of Soil Fertility 3
ENST417 Soil Hydrology and Physics 3
ENST421 Soil Chemistry 4
PHYS122 Fundamentals of Physics II 3
     
Total General Education, PLSC and Plant Science Area  101-104
University Electives 16-19

Area E:  Turf and Golf Course Management Requirements Credits
BSCI105 Principles of Biology I 4
BSCI106 Principles of Biology II 4
BSCI337 Biology of Insects 4
CHEM104 Fundamentals of Organic and Biochemistry 3
COMM100 Foundations of Oral Communication, OR  
COMM107 Oral Communication: Principles and Practices  3
ENBE237 Design of Irrigation Systems 1
ENST411 Principles of Soil Fertility 3
PHYS117 Introduction to Physics, OR 4
PHYS121 Fundamentals of Physics I  
PLSC305 Introduction to Turf Management 3
PLSC389 Internship 1-3 
PLSC400 Environmental Plant Physiology 3
PLSC401 Pest Management Strategies for Turfgrass 3
PLSC402 Sports Turf Management 3
PLSC410 Commercial Turf Maintenance and Production 3
PLSC420 Principles of Plant Pathology 4
PLSC453 Weed Science 3
     
Total General Education, PLSC and Turf and Golf Course Management Area  99
University Electives 21

Area F:  Urban Forestry Requirements Credits
AREC240 Introduction to Economics and the Environment 3
BMGT220 Principles of Accounting I 3
BSCI337 Biology of Insects, OR 4
  BSCI497 Insect Pests of Ornamentals & Turf 4
CHEM105 Fundamentals of Organic and Biochemistry, OR 3
  CHEM231/232   Organic Chemistry I 3
ENST411 Principles of Soil Fertility 3
LARC160 Introduction to Landscape Architecture 3
PLSC171 Introduction to Urban Ecosystems 3
PLSC201 Plant Structure and Function 4
PLSC253 Woody Plants for Mid-Atlantic Landscapes I 4
PLSC254 Woody Plants for Mid-Atlantic Landscapes II 3
PLSC272 Principles of Arboriculture 3
PLSC361 Commercial Principles of Landscape Management  3
PLSC389 Internship  1-3
PLSC400 Environmental Plant Physiology  3
PLSC420 Principles of Plant Pathology  4
PLSC471 Forest Ecology 3
PLSC472 Capstone - Urban Forest Project Management 3
     
Suggested general education courses and electives1  
BIOM301* Introduction to Biometrics 3
BSCI460 Plant Ecology, OR 3
BSCI460/461  (Plant Ecology Lecture and Lab) 5
CHEM241/242*   Organic Chemistry II 4
CHEM271/272*   General Chemistry and Energetics 4
COMM107 Oral Communication: Principles and Practices 3
ENST413 Soil & Water Conservation 3
ENST415 GIS Applications in Soil Science 3
ENST444 Restoration Ecology  3
GEOG201 Geography of Environmental Systems 3
GEOG347 Introduction to Biogeography 3
GVPT170 American Government 3
GVPT273 Introduction to Environmental Politics 3
LARC450 Environmental Resources 3
MATH220* Elementary Calculus I 3
NRMT460 Principles of Wildlife Management 3
NRMT461 Urban Wildlife Management 3
NRMT489B Field Experience: Park Management 1
PHYS121*/122* Fundamentals of Physics I / II, OR 8
  PHYS141*/142* Principles of Physics  
PLSC200 Land Surveying 2
PLSC203 Plants, Genes and Biotechnology 3
PLSC320 Principles of Site Engineering 3
PLSC473 Woody Plant Physiology 3
PLSC475 Silviculture  4
SOCY100 Introduction to Sociology 3
SOCY105 Introduction to Contemporary Social Problems 3
SOCY305 Scarcity and Modern Society 3
SPAN223 United States Latino Culture 3
URSP100 Challenge of the Cities 3
URSP320 Planning of the Contemporary City 3
URSP372 Diversity and the City 3
     
Total General Education, PLSC and Urban Forestry Area 99
University Electives 21

1 Note: Courses with an asterisk are suggested electives for students planning on graduate study in Forestry.

Requirements for the Minor

Minor in Landscape Management

The Landscape Management minor provides students with a foundation in plant sciences and business management.  The required science courses lead to an integrative understanding of plant growth and development and the plant's responses to its environment.  These courses also teach students the skills needed to recommend best management practices and to identify plant abnormalities in the landscape.  The business courses in this minor foster an understanding of the business structure, human resource management and financial management associated with landscape management companies. 

All courses presented in this minor must be passed with a grade of C- or better. To complete this minor, students will be expected to complete an 18-19 credit course sequence. Students should also be aware that many of the courses in this minor list PLSC100, Introduction to Horticulture, as a prerequisite.

Curriculum:

    Credits
PLSC253 Woody Plants for Mid-Atlantic Landscapes I                     3
PLSC254 Woody Plants for Mid-Atlantic Landscapes II       3
PLSC305 Introduction to Turf Management                           3
PLSC361 Commercial Principles of Landscape Management   3
PLSC452 Environmental Horticulture  3
     
  Select one of the following courses:  
AREC240 Introduction to Agriculture and the Environment  4
AREC250 Elements of Agricultural and Resource Economics    3
AREC306 Farm Management                                          3
BMGT220 Principles of Accounting I  3

Total Credits: A minimum of 18 or 19 credits is required to complete this minor. (Depending on which AREC or BMGT course is chosen)

  • A student may use a maximum of six credits (or two courses) to satisfy the requirements of both a major and a minor. In the event that more than six credits of coursework listed above are required in the student's major, he or she should contact the Landscape Management faculty advisor for course substitutions.
  • This minor is particularly relevant to students who are interested in pursuing a career in the landscape industry. Landscape architecture, environmental science and policy, and life science majors can readily complete these minor requirements within their four-year programs.
  • Students from the business school and social sciences who are seeking managerial careers in this rapidly-expanding service industry would also find this minor to be relevant.

Advising

The Department has mandatory faculty advising for each of its major and minor programs.  Students are required to meet with their faculty advisor at least twice a year.  See the Program Management Specialist in Undergraduate Studies in 2102 Plant Sciences Building (301-405-4355) for additional information.

Internships

Internships with scientists are available at nearby federal and state agencies.  Numerous internships also exist and can be readily arranged for students interested in private sector employment.

Student Societies and Professional Organizations

The department sponsors student teams that participate in regional and national contests.  These teams prepare in the following areas: turf, weeds and crops, and landscape contracting.

Scholarships and Financial Assistance

Several scholarships and awards are available to PLSC students. Contact the Associate Dean's office at 301-405-2078 for additional information.  The Department also maintains a listing of scholarships. Contact Kathy Hunt in 2102 Plant Sciences, 301-405-4355.

The Office of Student Financial Aid (OSFA) administers all types of federal, state and institutional financial assistance programs and, in cooperation with other university offices, participates in the awarding of scholarships to deserving students. For information, visit: www.financialaid.umd.edu.

Return to top