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BSc Sustainable Plant Systems – Agronomy Option

Students in the Sustainable Plant Systems – Agronomy Option program from University of Arizona learn fundamental plant and soil science principles and techniques aimed at developing improved crop plants, and best practices for managing field-, greenhouse-, and agricultural crops, as well as urban landscapes.

Quick Facts

Full-time Duration: 4 years
Starting in: August, January, May
Tuition Fee: $37,116 per year
Location: Tucson, United States

The School of Plant Sciences (SPLS) and Department of Soil, Water and Environmental Science (SWES) provide instruction for this interdisciplinary undergraduate degree. Their joint efforts prepare students for a broad array of careers in modern agriculture, land management, and agronomic crop production in the Western United States and throughout the world.

The Sustainable Plant Systems – Agronomy Option program from University of Arizona combines studies of plant, soil and water science principles and practices aimed at developing sustainable crop production systems that reduce production inputs (like water, fertilizer and pesticides) while maximizing yields of crops such as, cotton, soybeans, and cereal grains. This program also promotes the development of low water use and disease resistant plants toward the same goal of maximizing crop yield and plant health in field production where marginal lands often constrain plant production.

The academic program in Agronomy provides practical training and a rigorous foundation in basic sciences to prepare students to enter graduate degree programs and be competitive for industry positions.

Courses include:

  • Salt Affected Soil Management
  • Plant Propagation and Production
  • Plant Physiology
  • Plant Biology
  • Soil Physics

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“Choosing the Master’s program for Physiological Sciences at the University of Arizona was one of the best decisions I could have made in my education. Our department is warm and collaborative, offering an array of research topics and techniques underneath a vast and integrative umbrella of physiology. Beyond my research experience, I was presented with teaching opportunities, which I feel honed my skill of scientific communication. Having the dynamic research/teaching/class schedule not only kept me active but helped me reinforce material in multiple contexts. Overall, this program was exactly what I wanted in my segway into the medical sciences… and with my teaching assistantship paying for my tuition, how could I say no?”​

Andrew Wojtanowski // MS 2016


  • Ecologist: Study the interrelationships between organisms and their environments through research about how creatures and habitats interact with each other and the environment.
  • Wildlife manager/technician: Inventory wildlife populations and collect samples of water, soil, and plants to evaluate the health of animals and habitats.
  • Horticulturist: Work in garden centers and greenhouses, advise growers on chemical-free methods of pest management, or consult landscape designers about ecologically sustainable grounds and practices.
  • Microbiologist: Work for government agencies, universities, agricultural companies, food safety organizations and research institutes to study microorganisms that live in the soil and their effects on the environment.
  • Soil and plant scientist: Study the physical and chemical properties of soil as well as the distribution, origin, and history of soils and the species that comprise them.
  • Forester: Manage vegetation, timber, reforestation and fuels for the government and companies involved with wood product production.
  • Agronomist: Expertly manage soil and field crop production, conduct research, and develop new crop hybrids and varieties for the public and private sectors.
  • Botanist: Study plants and their environment and support their identification and classification.
  • Research assistant: Conduct research for food, pharmaceutical, and pest management organizations.
  • Science teacher: Develop and teach science curriculum and guide the next generation through experiments and field experiences that advance understanding of the natural world.
  • Naturalist: Research and develop educational programming for national and state parks.
  • Plant geneticist: Research and work to isolate genes to develop certain plant traits. Jobs available in the public and private sectors.
  • Conservationist: Manage the use and development of forests and other natural resources.
  • Education and advocacy: Educate decision-makers and communities about the importance of plants and thoughtful stewardship of the world’s natural resources.
  • Advanced degree: Deepen your understanding and expand your career options through graduate school that may lead to leadership positions in research and field settings.

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