Botany, College of Letters & Science
A student worker tends to a fruit plant in a greenhouse.
Xia Lee, a senior studying biology, picks fruit to encourage further blooming of Fuschia plants growing inside the Botany Greenhouse. 
(Photo by: Jeff Miller)

Advisor: Carmela Diosana ( Departmental Office: 132 Birge Hall, 608-262-1057,

Field of Study: The study of plants, including algae, bacteria, fungi, lichens, mosses, ferns, conifer and flowering plants.  Our curriculum is comprised of courses in plant structure (anatomy and morphology), ecology, genetics, cryptogamic botany, molecular biology, physiology, systematics, and ethnobotany.

Possible Careers: Research or technical positions at universities, biotechnology firms, pharmaceutical companies, or seed and nursery companies; museum curator of regional flora; naturalists, conservationists, and resource managers in federal, state and private agencies, such as the US Park Service, Department of Natural Resources and The Nature Conservancy.

Special Opportunities & Additional Information

  • Botany Club: a student organization open to undergraduates and graduate students with an interest in plants.
  • Independent Study or Senior Thesis Research required of all majors. Through research opportunities with faculty members, students acquire skills in current techniques that will prepare them well for graduate school or employment.
  • Student employment opportunities in the Botany Greenhouses, Herbarium and research labs.
  • Summer research fellowships and travel grants available for outstanding botany majors.
Selected Required Courses
  • Intro Biology: Botany 130 (plus Zoology 101-102 recommended), or Biology 151-152, or Biocore
  • Calculus: Recommended Math 211 or 221
  • General Chemistry: Chem 103-104; or Chem 109
  • Organic Chemistry: Chem 341 or 343 (Chem 343, 344 and 345 recommended)
  • Physics: One semester required-Physics 115 not Physics 107 or 109. Two semesters recommended (Physics 103/104; 201/202; or Physics 207/208
  • Statistics:  Stats 301 or 371