Plant Biology Option

In addition to fulfilling University and College (Agricultural & Life Sciences or Letters & Science) requirements, students must complete the following:

1. Mathematics

Math 171: Calculus with Algebra & Trigonometry I (5 cr) and Math 217: Calculus with Algebra & Trigonometry II (5 cr) OR Math 221: Calculus & Analytic Geometry I (5 cr)


Math 222: Calculus & Analytic Geometry 2 (4 cr) OR Stat 301: Intro to Statistical Methods (3 cr) OR Stat 371: Intro to Applied Statistics for the Life Sciences (371 recommended) (3 cr)

2. Chemistry

a. General Chemistry
Chem 103 and 104: General Chemistry (4 cr, 5 cr) OR Chem 109: Advanced General Chemistry (5 cr)

b. Organic Chemistry
Chem 343: Intro Organic Chemistry (3 cr), Chem 344: Intro Organic Chemistry Lab (2 cr) and Chem 345: Intermediate Organic Chemistry (3 cr)

3. Physics

Physics 103 and 104: General Physics (4 cr each) OR Physics 201 and 202: General Physics (5 cr each) OR Physics 207 and 208: General Physics (5 cr each)

BIOLOGY COURSESThe total number of credits in sections 4, 5, 6, and 7 must equal at least 31. Fulfilling minimum credits under each section does not guarantee reaching 31.

4. Introductory Biology. If you have an AP/IB Biology exam score of 4 or 5, you may be able to place out of some introductory courses.

Option A:

Biology/Botany/Zoology 151 and 152: Intro Biology (5 cr each) plus one foundational course.

Option B:  Effective Fall 2017 (see FAQs for previous policy)

Biocore 381: Evolution, Ecology & Genetics (3 cr)
Biocore 382: Evolution, Ecology & Genetics Lab (2 cr)
Biocore 383: Cellular Biology (3 cr)
Biocore 384: Cellular Biology Lab (2 cr)
Biocore 485: Organismal Biology (3 cr)

 Biocore courses fulfill both introductory and foundational requirements.

Option C: recommended

Biology/Zoology 101: Animal Biology (3 cr), Biology/Zoology 102: Animal Biology Lab (2 cr), Biology/Botany 130: General Botany (5 cr) plus one foundational course.

Foundational Courses  The course used to satisfy this requirement does not count toward requirement 5. A second course taken from this list will count toward category “A.”

Agronomy/Hort 338: Plant Breeding & Biotechnology OR
Biochem 501: Introduction to Biochemistry OR
Biochem 508:  General Biochemistry II OR
Genetics 466: Principles of Genetics OR
Genetics 468: General Genetics II

5.  Intermediate/advanced courses (13 cr minimum)

A minimum of three courses at the Intermediate/advanced level, selected from three of the five areas listed, is needed to satisfy the biology breadth requirement.  One course must be from category “A” or “B”, one must be from “C” or “D”, and one must be from “E.”  The course(s) used to satisfy any category must be at least, or add up to, 2 credits. These courses must include one approved lab course.

For the Plant Biology option, students are required to meet the 13 credit requirement using the plant-based courses listed below (a subset of those listed for the general Biology major).    Additional credits over and beyond the three required courses of 13 credits can come from any approved Biology Major course and will count towards the 31 credits of the major.

a.  Cellular and Subcellular Biology

b.  Organismal Biology

c.  Ecology

d.  Evolution and Systematics

e. Applied Biology, Agriculture and Natural Resources

6. A Laboratory or Field Research Experience (2 cr minimum)

This requirement can be fulfilled with an approved laboratory course beyond that done for requirement 5. Two credits of directed study or research-based senior thesis in a plant science discipline can also count.

With advisor approval, students may count any directed study or research-based senior thesis credits offered through one of the four participating plant science departments (Agronomy, Botany, Horticulture, Plant Pathology) for this section. Students wishing to count courses similar in spirit and content from another UW-Madison department or university should make such requests in writing to the Chair of the Plant Biology Option Committee (Professor Goldman) before their final year. 699 credits received simultaneously or prior to introductory biology (section 4 above), such as those received for Biology 152, cannot fulfill these requirements. Also, experiences that are focused on teaching assistance, even if the course number used is a 699 course, are not appropriate.

With advisor approval, 699 courses can also fulfill the CALS requirement for a capstone experience. However, only a subset of the lab/field courses automatically fulfills the CALS requirement for a capstone experience. See capstone policy and list of approved courses.

The credits taken for requirements 5 and 6 must equal at least 15 and satisfy college requirements for 15 course credits in the major in residence.

7. Undergraduate Plant Science Seminar (1 cr minimum)

Botany/Pl Path 575/375: Frontiers in Plant Biology.   Prerequisites: Junior standing and completion of an Introductory Biology sequence. Can be taken more than once for credit. Initially to be offered in Spring semester; will expand to a second Fall semester offering if warranted by demand.