Plant Biology will be one of the most active fields of science in the 21st century. Scientists have begun unlocking the secrets of the plant world and are using that information to fight hunger and disease, improve human health, develop new consumer products and pharmaceuticals, produce biofuels, reclaim damaged and disturbed landscapes, protect biodiversity and fragile ecosystems, and to conserve vital natural resources. This progress has been made possible by basic scientific research in numerous areas of plant science, including anatomy, biochemistry, cell biology, ecology, genetics, molecular biology, physiology, and systematics. While some plant biologists look below the cell level to understand the differences and similarities between plants and other organisms, others work above the cell and organism level by examining the relationships and interaction between plants and their environment. Plant biology is a diverse field of science where you can be intensely focused on a single question, or more interdisciplinary questions, crossing over into other scientific fields (microbiology, chemistry, zoology, human biology, medicine, computer science, physics, anthropology).
There are a variety of opportunities for students trained in the fundamentals of plant biology and who may also have practical laboratory or field experience in plant biology. An undergraduate degree in Plant Biology can lead to careers in education, industry, research, as well as state and federal agencies. The Bachelor of Science option in our undergraduate degree has also been designed to prepare students for advanced graduate study in plant biology and other scientific disciplines. Completing a graduate degree in plant biology can lead to an even wider range of research and career opportunities. Regardless of the career path you choose, you will need a solid foundation on which to build your future. The Plant Biology program at Southern Illinois University Carbondale provides that foundation with a challenging curriculum that offers modern courses in Plant Biology and opportunities for undergraduate research.