Plant Biotechnology and Improvement

Horticultural Science graduates have a foundation of knowledge in the science behind fruit and vegetable production, including commodity production, cropping systems, basic plant science, and molecular biology. Horticultural Science students study genetics, crop nutrition, plant physiology, chemistry, physics, entomology and nematology, and soil and water sciences.

About this Program

To graduate with this major, students must complete all university, college, and major requirements.

Department Information

The Horticultural Sciences Department is a team of faculty, staff, and students dedicated to improving fruit and vegetable production for the benefit of farmers and consumers. Florida’s climatic diversity and the facilities at UF provide opportunities for cutting-edge research in plant breeding & genetics, plant and environmental physiology, fruit & vegetable production, postharvest physiology, biochemistry, and other disciplines.
Website

CONTACT

Email | 352.392.1928

P.O. Box 110690
2550 Hull Road
FIFIELD HALL
GAINESVILLE FL 32611-0690
Map

 Curriculum

The department offers three specializations: science and technology of horticultural crops, organic horticultural systems, and plant biotechnology and improvement. These options provide a strong science background and flexibility when choosing elective courses. An academic advisor will help develop the curriculum that best suits your career and educational goals.

Organic Horticultural Systems

This specialization emphasizes the cultural practices that maintain ecological and economical balance in horticultural crop production systems. This is a flexible option with many electives available to meet education and career objectives. Graduates will be prepared for a range of careers related to conventional, sustainable and organic crop production.

Plant Biotechnology and Improvement

This is a comprehensive program focusing on the molecular aspects of crops, including crop growth, development and cultivar improvement. This specialization is geared toward preparing for careers in laboratory research and is also an excellent preparation for pursuing graduate studies.

Science and Technology of Horticultural Crops

This specialization offers a generalized program, covering growth and development of horticultural crops. This is a flexible option that can be tailored to individual interests and career objectives, ranging from applied production to basic biology. Career options include commodity production and management, research biologist, marketing, agricultural chemical sales, fertilizer sales, produce buyer for grocery stores or restaurants, retail flower sales, and a number of other opportunities.

Critical Tracking records each student’s progress in courses that are required for progress toward each major. Please note the critical-tracking requirements below on a per-semester basis.

Equivalent critical-tracking courses as determined by the State of Florida Common Course Prerequisites may be used for transfer students.

Semester 1

Semester 2

  • Complete 1 additional critical-tracking course, excluding labs
  • 2.0 GPA required for all critical-tracking courses
  • 2.0 UF GPA required

Semester 3

  • Complete 2 additional critical-tracking courses, excluding labs
  • 2.0 GPA required for all critical-tracking courses
  • 2.0 UF GPA required

Semester 4

  • Complete 2 additional critical-tracking courses, excluding labs
  • 2.0 GPA required for all critical-tracking courses
  • 2.0 UF GPA required

Semester 5

  • Complete all critical-tracking courses, including labs
  • 2.0 GPA required for all critical-tracking courses
  • Complete 1 of 4 upper division critical-tracking courses: HOS 3020C, HOS 4933, HOS 4304, HOS 4921
  • 2.0 upper division GPA required
  • 2.0 UF GPA required

Semester 6

  • Complete 1 additional upper division critical-tracking course
  • 2.0 upper division GPA required
  • 2.0 UF GPA required

Semester 7

  • Complete 1 additional upper division critical-tracking course
  • 2.0 upper division GPA required
  • 2.0 UF GPA required

Semester 8

  • Complete all upper division critical-tracking courses
  • 2.0 upper division GPA required
  • 2.0 UF GPA required

To remain on track, students must complete the appropriate critical-tracking courses, which appear in bold. These courses must be completed by the terms as listed above in the Critical Tracking criteria.

This semester plan represents an example progression through the major. Actual courses and course order may be different depending on the student's academic record and scheduling availability of courses. Prerequisites still apply.

Plan of Study Grid
Semester OneCredits
Quest 1 (Gen Ed Humanities) 3
BSC 2010
2010L
Integrated Principles of Biology 1
and Integrated Principles of Biology Laboratory 1 (Critical Tracking; State Core Gen Ed Biological and Physical Sciences)
4
MAC 1147 Precalculus Algebra and Trigonometry (State Core Gen Ed Mathematics) 4
State Core Gen Ed Composition; Writing Requirement 3
 Credits14
Semester Two
Quest 2 (Gen Ed Physical or Biological Sciences OR Gen Ed Social and Behavioral Sciences) 3
BSC 2011
2011L
Integrated Principles of Biology 2
and Integrated Principles of Biology Laboratory 2 (Critical Tracking; Gen Ed Biological Sciences and Physical Sciences)
4
Select one: 4-5
Physics 1
and Laboratory for Physics 1 (Critical Tracking; Gen Ed Biological Sciences and Physical Sciences)
Physics with Calculus 1
and Laboratory for Physics with Calculus 1 (Critical Tracking; Gen Ed Biological Sciences and Physical Sciences)
State Core Gen Ed Social and Behavioral Sciences 3
 Credits14-15
Semester Three
AEC 3033C Research and Business Writing in Agricultural and Life Sciences (Writing Requirement) 3
CHM 2045
2045L
General Chemistry 1
and General Chemistry 1 Laboratory (Critical Tracking; Gen Ed Biological Sciences and Physical Sciences)
4
MAC 2311 Analytic Geometry and Calculus 1 (Critical Tracking; Gen Ed Mathematics) 4
State Core Gen Ed Humanities 3
Elective 2
 Credits16
Semester Four
Select one: 3-4
Economic Issues, Food and You (Gen Ed Social and Behavioral Sciences)
Principles of Macroeconomics (Gen Ed Social and Behavioral Sciences)
Principles of Microeconomics (Gen Ed Social and Behavioral Sciences)
AEC 3030C Effective Oral Communication 3
CHM 2046
2046L
General Chemistry 2
and General Chemistry 2 Laboratory (Critical Tracking)
4
Gen Ed Composition; Writing Requirement 3
Elective 3
 Credits16-17
Semester Five
AGR 3303 Genetics 3
CHM 2210 Organic Chemistry 1 3
HOS 3020C Principles of Horticultural Crop Production (Critical Tracking) 4
STA 2023 Introduction to Statistics 1 3
Approved elective 2
 Credits15
Semester Six
AGR 4320 Plant Breeding 3
CHM 2211
2211L
Organic Chemistry 2
and Organic Chemistry Laboratory
5
HOS 4933 Professional Development in Horticulture (Critical Tracking) 1
STA 3024 Introduction to Statistics 2 3
Approved elective 3
 Credits15
Semester Seven
BCH 3025
Fundamentals of Biochemistry
or Introduction to Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
4
HOS 3305 Introduction to Plant Molecular Biology 3
HOS 4304 Horticultural Physiology (Critical Tracking) 3
HOS 4313C Laboratory Methods in Plant Molecular Biology 2
HOS 4918 Capstone Planning in Horticultural Sciences 1
Approved elective 2
 Credits15
Semester Eight
HOS 4241C Genetics and Breeding of Vegetable Crops 3
HOS 4921 Horticultural Sciences Capstone (Critical Tracking) 2-4
Approved electives 10
 Credits15-17
 Total Credits120

The horticultural science major prepares students for a career in plant science, including management, production, research, marketing and sales. Students will gain knowledge ranging from commodity production and cropping systems to basic plant science and molecular biology. They will develop skills to describe how plant physiology and genetics relate to plant growth and development as well as developing knowledge of plant diseases and other factors that affect horticultural crops.

Before Graduating Students Must

  • Pass the horticultural sciences competency test, given in three parts. One part will be given in each of these required courses:
    HOS 3020CPrinciples of Horticultural Crop Production4
    HOS 4304Horticultural Physiology3
    HOS 4341Advanced Horticultural Physiology3
  • Achieve minimum grades of C in AEC 3030C and AEC 3033C. These courses are graded using rubrics developed by a faculty team.
  • Complete requirements for the baccalaureate degree, as determined by faculty.

Students in the Major Will Learn to

Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)

Content

  1. Describe fundamental concepts, skills and processes in horticultural science.
  2. Apply fundamental concepts, skills and processes in horticultural science.

Critical Thinking

  1. Critically analyze and interpret data in horticultural science.
  2. Solve problems in horticultural science.

Communication

  1. Communicate effectively in written form in a manner appropriate in the field of horticultural science.
  2. Communicate effectively orally in a manner appropriate in the field of horticultural science.

Curriculum Map

I = Introduced; R = Reinforced; A = Assessed

Courses SLO 1 SLO 2 SLO 3 SLO 4 SLO 5 SLO 6
AEC 3030C I, R, A
AEC 3033C I, R, A
AGR 3303 I I
HOS 3020C I, R, A I I I
HOS 3430C I, R I, R R R
HOS 4304 R A A A
HOS 4341 R R R R
HOS 4933 R R

Assessment Types

  • Class project
  • Writing assignments
  • Exams
  • Final grades