In its simplest terms, a plant science emphasis teaches you to grow plants while you grow as a person. Getting an emphasis in plant science will prepare you to work in agronomy, pest management, horticulture, and more. You’ll develop the skill set to plant and grow seeds—both literally and spiritually.Request Info
With an emphasis in plant science, you’ll discover the rewarding power of planting seeds for God’s kingdom in your daily work. Our agriculture program offers courses that teach you the importance of God’s handiwork in agriculture. You’ll also practice your talents in the fields as well as in a beautiful on-campus greenhouse.
What You'll Learn
As an agriculture major, you’ll learn the fundamentals of how to succeed in the ag industry. By getting an emphasis in plant science, you’ll take courses in agro-ecology, plant physiology, agriculture genetics, and forage crop management. You won’t just learn how to grow plants—you’ll learn how to grow and manage plants that thrive.
What You Can Do With A Plant Science Emphasis
An Agronomist, Horticulturist, Crop consultant, Soil scientist, and Plant engineer are just a few of the types of career opportunities you can pursue with a plant science emphasis.
A Landscape Technician is responsible for managing, redesigning, and maintaining properties.
Plant Scientists work to develop improvements to crop yields and the enhancement of crop production.
A Crop Consultant performs a variety of tasks that are related to the production of agricultural plants.
Students who choose the plant science emphasis will complete courses in agriculture, chemistry, and biology in addition to completing the general requirements for an agriculture degree. Although students have some flexibility about which courses they take, students will complete at least nine credit hours of lab work and are encouraged to perform an internship.
- General Chemistry: A first course in the fundamental principles of chemistry for students in all science disciplines. Topics include measurement, the mole and reaction stoichiometry, atomic and molecular structure and bonding, intermolecular forces, gases, types of reactions, and energy in chemical reactions. An introduction to laboratory safety and chemical hygiene is included in the laboratory. Three hours of lecture and one three-hour laboratory period per week.
- Organic and Biological Chemistry: Organic molecules and their functional groups and biomolecules and their function in living cells will be studied. Three lectures and one three-hour laboratory period per week. The laboratory will include experiments in organic and biological chemistry.
- Principles of Chemistry: A study of the fundamental principles of chemistry and an introduction to foundational issues in science. Topics include atomic and molecular structure, chemical equilibria, chemical kinetics, chemical thermodynamics, and electrochemistry. An introduction to laboratory safety and chemical hygiene is included in the laboratory. This is the first course in chemistry for majors in the physical and life sciences. Three lectures and one three-hour laboratory period per week.
- Organic Chemistry: Structure and Mechanism: In this foundational organic chemistry course, students will learn the foundational topics and problem-solving skills needed to understand the plethora of chemical reactions that involve compounds containing carbon. A working knowledge and application of topics such as nucleophiles, electrophiles, acids, bases, stereochemistry, mechanism, kinetics, substitution reactions, elimination reactions, carbonyl chemistry, and conformational analysis will be developed. Through a detailed understanding of the chemistry, an honest discussion of ethical implications, and a thoughtful interaction with the material we will develop an understanding of how God reveals himself through his creational structure.
- Cell and Molecular Biology: An introduction to molecular mechanisms in living organisms. Topics include structure and functions of cellular components, gene structure and expression, and recombinant DNA technology. Concepts of reductionism and evolutionary theory will be addressed. Three lectures and one laboratory period of three hours per week.
- Plant Physiology: A study of the basic functional aspects of plant growth, development, and reproduction. Lecture topics will include water relations, nutrient relations, translocation, photosynthesis, flowering, fruiting, seed germination, growth, development, and phytohormones. Two or three lectures and/or one three-hour laboratory period per week.
- Nature and Properties of Soils: A comprehensive introduction to the field of soil science with an emphasis on scientific principles and their application in solutions to practical soil management problems. Two lectures and one three-hour laboratory per week.
- Soil Fertility: Even An integrated discussion of soil-crop yields relationships with emphasis on the soil as a source of mineral nutrients for crops and the role of fertilizers and manure in crop production. Three lectures per week.
- Agriculture Genetics: The current understanding of genetics will provide the basis for molecular and population genetic applications in plant and animal breeding systems. The role of genetic change in agriculture production has been, and will continue to be, an influential part of yield, quality and efficiency of production. Two lectures and one three-hour laboratory per week.
- Horticultural Plants: The study of greenhouse, vegetable, and ornamental plants. The aesthetics, culture, physiology, and propagation of horticultural plants will be examined. Two lectures and one three-hour laboratory per week.
- Forage Crop Management: The production and management of crops for livestock feed are considered, and the establishment, growth, harvesting, preservation, and quality of these crops are examined. Primary emphasis is given to the value of major temperate region grasses and legumes as livestock feed, and the energy, protein, and other nutritional components they supply. The identification of common and alternative forage species is an important component of the course. Two lectures and one three-hour laboratory per week.
- Entomology and Pest Management: An introduction to entomology and insect-pest management including insect biology, taxonomy, ecology, life cycles, and integrated pest management. Three lectures per week.
- Plant Protection - Weed Science and Plant Pathology: A study of the major weed and plant pathology principles and theories and their application to the field of pest management. The course will include identification, physiology, ecology, life cycles, and stewardly management practices for important pest species. Three lectures per week.
- Special Topics: Courses vary from year to year and are designed to meet special student interests and utilize staff strengths and the talents of experts in the community. Each course covers material not usually treated in regularly scheduled courses.
- Field Crop Production and Management: Grain and forage production in the North Central Region of the U.S. is investigated using lectures, group projects, field trips, and production and research experiences at the ASC. The role of grains in world food production is examined, and students are challenged to find solutions to the problems frequently associated with grain production. Students collect and analyze field crop data and explore sustainable crop production methods and systems. The investigation of new and innovative crop production strategies is an important component of the course. Two lectures and one three-hour laboratory per week.
- Internship: Students are given the opportunity to apply the principles of agriculture and business in an off-campus assignment. Prerequisite: sophomore, junior or senior standing.
Ready to take the next step?
With experience in a variety of fields, our faculty members are equipped and ready to help you succeed.
Agriculture Stewardship Center
With a plant science emphasis from Dordt, you’ll have the opportunity to spend time in Dordt’s Agriculture Stewardship Center. This unique location includes 200 acres where students will raise livestock and grow crops, small grains, and produce.Learn more
Braden was immediately embraced by the culture of Dordt which allowed him to overcome his feelings of uncertainty and develop relationships and memories that would last a lifetime.
Braden KonynenbeltRead More
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