What can I do with this major?

Area Employer Information/Strategies Plant Biology - Major Subdisciplines

• Colleges and • Develop organizational and laboratory • • Agricultural experiment stations skills, attention to detail and • Bioenergy • Research organizations for successful scientific inquiry. • • National laboratories • Read plant biology journals and • Cytology • , herbaria, botanical articles to stay abreast of current , research in the field. • U.S. Department of • Seek undergraduate field and including • research experiences independently National Germplasm • o or alongside professors. Resources Laboratory • o and Plant Health • Apply for undergraduate research • Molecular Inspection Service fellowships or other student research • Biology o National programs. • Morphology o Forest Service • Learn federal and state government • o Food and Drug job application processes. • Administration • Join related professional associations. • • Federal agencies including • Maintain a high grade point average o Departments of Interior and and develop strong faculty references • State in preparation for graduate school. • o Public Health Service • Obtain a Ph.D. for teaching and • Systems Ecology o National Aeronautics and advanced research positions. • Space Administration o Smithsonian Institution o National Park Service o Environmental Protection Agency o Department of • State environmental agencies • Environmental consulting companies • Industries including o Petrochemical o Chemical o and paper o Pharmaceutical o and nursery o Produce o Biological supply o Bio-technology

Applied Plant

• Colleges and universities • Learn to set up, operate, maintain • • Agricultural experiment stations laboratory instruments and • Economic • Research organizations equipment, and monitor experiments. • Food Science and Technology • Federal, state, and local government • Develop strong communication skills for sharing data with technical and • and regulatory agencies non-technical audiences. • • Agriculture industries including • Seek undergraduate research • Natural Management o Lumber and paper Seed and nursery opportunities independently or with • o o and growers professors. • Plant o Fermentation • Take courses related to your area of o Food and feed interest; consider a minor or double o Biological supply major. • Industries including • Gain relevant experience through o Petrochemical student organizations, volunteer

© 1992 The of Tennessee Prepared by the Career Planning staff of Career Services at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. (1992, Revised 1999, Revised 2004) UTK is an EEO/AA/Title VI/Title IX/ 504/ADA/ADEA Employer o Pharmaceutical positions, part-time work, or o Chemical internships. • Biotechnology firms • Obtain a Ph.D. for teaching, advanced • Environmental consulting companies research positions, and administration. • Learn federal, state, and local government job application processes.

Organismal Plant Biology - Specialties

• Colleges and universities • Become familiar with laboratory • • Agricultural experiment stations procedures and equipment. • Pteridology • Research organizations • Take courses in area(s) of • • State and federal agencies including specialization and/or consider an advanced degree. • / o Departments of Agriculture, • Assist a professor with research or • Interior, and Health find a part-time job in a laboratory. • • Museums, herbaria, botanical gardens, arboretums, aquaria • Seek related experience through part- • Environmental consulting companies time jobs, internships, or volunteering. • Obtain a Ph.D. for teaching and advanced research and management positions.


• Teaching • Public and private high schools • Gain experience working with • Research • Colleges and universities students through tutoring, part-time • Administration • Museums, herbaria, botanical employment, or volunteering. gardens, arboretums • Learn to work well with all types of people. • Develop excellent interpersonal and public speaking skills. • Certification is required to teach in public schools and varies by state. • Master's degrees may be sufficient for teaching at two-year institutions. • Ph.D. is needed for teaching opportunities at colleges and universities.

Plant Biology - Communication

• Writing • Publishing companies including • Develop strong writing skills, • Editing newspapers, magazines, books, and knowledge of photography, and • Botanical Illustration textbooks accompanying technology. • Photography • Professional associations • Pursue courses in photography; • Scientific and educational software courses in illustration and printing may companies be helpful.

• Take advanced courses in technical • Non-profit organizations writing or journalism classes or

consider a minor in either. • Join professional associations like the National Association of Science Writers. • Seek related volunteer or paid experiences with student/local publications, magazines, newspapers, or publishers to increase marketability. • Obtain an advanced degree in

© 1992 The University of Tennessee Prepared by the Career Planning staff of Career Services at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. (1992, Revised 1999, Revised 2004) UTK is an EEO/AA/Title VI/Title IX/Section 504/ADA/ADEA Employer scientific journalism.

Plant Biology - Legal Applications

• Lobbying • Environmental and biotechnology law • Participate on a debate or forensic • Regulatory Affairs firms team. • Science Policy • Government and regulatory agencies • Develop strong research and • Patent Law • Lobbying firms communication skills and attention to detail. • Environmental Law • Take courses in and gain experience • Agricultural Law with mediation and conflict resolution. • Biotechnological Law • Get involved with pre-law organizations. • Obtain part-time work in law firms and/or internships in federal or state government. • Plan to shadow attorneys to learn more about the field and various specialties. • Maintain an excellent grade point average and secure strong faculty recommendations to gain law school admittance. • Plan to take the LSAT. Earn a J.D. degree to practice law.


• Marketing/Sales • Pharmaceutical companies • Develop excellent communication and • Management • Agricultural companies interpersonal skills, along with a high • Consulting • Biotechnology firms energy level. • Scientific publishers • Obtain sales experience and/or a business minor for increased • Biological supply houses marketability. • Join related student associations and seek leadership positions. • Consider an MBA or Professional Science Master's for advanced management and consulting opportunities.


• Colleges and universities • Develop areas of specialization • Private research foundations through coursework, minors, double- • Independent laboratories including majors in mathematics, , agricultural, pharmaceutical, research, computer science, or machine testing, etc. learning. • Federal laboratories and regulatory • Develop strong programming and agencies including National Institutes database management skills; fluency of Health, Food and Drug in several programming languages is Administration, Environmental helpful. Protection Agency, Department of • Learn biological software systems. Agriculture • Complete an internship in area of • companies interest. • National Biological Information • Seek master's degree for increased Infrastructure advancement opportunities.

General Information and Strategies

• Bachelor's degree qualifies one for work as a laboratory technician or technical assistant in education, industry, government, museums, parks, and gardens. © 1992 The University of Tennessee Prepared by the Career Planning staff of Career Services at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. (1992, Revised 1999, Revised 2004) UTK is an EEO/AA/Title VI/Title IX/Section 504/ADA/ADEA Employer • Master's degree opens some opportunities in research and administration. • Ph.D. is required for advanced research and administrative positions or college teaching. Most plant work in higher education. • Build good relationships with science professors and secure strong recommendations. Maintain a high GPA for graduate school admission. • Obtain part-time, summer, co-op, volunteer, or internship experience with government agencies, college/university labs, agricultural experiment stations, freshwater and marine biological stations, or private companies. • Complete an undergraduate research project to decide on a specific area of interest in botany. • Enjoy outdoor activities if planning to conduct research in an outdoor environment. • Join organizations concerned with the world food supply and other related areas. Read scientific journals related to botany. • Develop an excellent background in mathematics and strong verbal and written communication skills. • Select a broad range of courses in English, social , arts, and humanities. • Become proficient with computers.

© 1992 The University of Tennessee Prepared by the Career Planning staff of Career Services at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. (1992, Revised 1999, Revised 2004) UTK is an EEO/AA/Title VI/Title IX/Section 504/ADA/ADEA Employer