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Plant and Wildlife Sciences

Department of Plant and Wildlife Sciences


Chair: Neil C Hansen

Department Information: 

4105 LSB



Advisement Center: 

2060 LSB




Admission to Degree Program

All degree programs in the Department of Plant and Wildlife Sciences are open enrollment.

The Discipline

Disciplines in the Department of Plant and Wildlife Sciences focus on four of the great dilemmas facing mankind in the twenty-first century: harnessing biological technology to meet the needs of an expanding human population in the developing world; assessing and minimizing the impact of human activities on an increasingly vulnerable environment; management and conservation of wildlife and wildlands; and managing landscapes to meet increasing water, space, and other resource limitations while enhancing the aesthetic quality of urban environments.

Majors offered provide a flexible education for directly entering the job market or preparing for graduate or professional schools in business, engineering, the health professions (medical and dental schools), landscape architecture, law, natural resources, public administration, or science.

Career Opportunities

Genetics and Biotechnology

The discipline of genetics and biotechnology focuses on applications of molecular biology and genomics to solve problems related to health, crop and animal production, forensics, and environmental remediation. This field holds tremendous promise for meeting food sustainability needs in the developing world, delivering medical treatments customized to each patient's genomic makeup, and reducing human impacts upon the environment. The major program educates students in scientific principles and current biotechniques through a combination of classroom instruction and mentored laboratory experience on original research projects with faculty and graduate students. Graduates are prepared for immediate employment in the biotechnology industry or for graduate study in biotechnology, molecular genetics, or the health professions. An optional, integrated track in biotechnology business affords students the option of obtaining a management minor through the Marriott School of Management in preparation for management careers in life sciences industries or for law school and subsequent careers as biological patent attorneys.

Environmental Science

Students majoring in environmental science learn fundamental principles of ecology; biodiversity; conservation; chemistry; engineering; geology; geography; and plant, animal (invertebrate/vertebrate), and soil sciences to help them solve environmental problems. They are prepared for graduate study and direct employment in fields dealing with assessing and remediating human-induced environmental impacts, as well as for careers in law, business, and the health professions.

Landscape Management

This program is accredited by the Professional Landcare Network (PLANET), the leading professional organization in landscape contracting. The major combines practice and instruction in horticultural science, business, and landscape design to prepare students for employment as managers in landscape contracting or for graduate studies in business, law, landscape architecture, and horticulture.

Wildlife and Wildlands Conservation

Wildlife and wildlands conservation is directed at managing wildland ecosystems-optimizing the function and services of natural ecosystems. Students are educated in wildland plants, animals, soils, and ecology, as well as wildlife and land management techniques. Graduates are well prepared to deal with complex issues involving wildlife and wildlands management and the overall conservation of natural resources.

This degree program qualifies students to work for a wide array of government and private land-management and conservation agencies. Students can qualify for federal job series employment in wildlife biology, range conservation, ecology, zoology, and botany. Common employers of these students include the U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, Natural Resource Conservation Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, Park Service, and state wildlife management agencies. Graduates are well prepared to deal with complex issues involving wildlife and wildlands management and the overall conservation of natural resources.

Graduation Requirements

To receive a BYU bachelor's degree a student must complete, in addition to all requirements for a specific major, the following university requirements:

  • The University Core, consisting of requirements in general and religious education.

  • At least 30 credit hours must be earned in residence on the BYU campus in Provo as an admitted day student

  • A minimum of 120 credit hours

  • A cumulative GPA of at least 2.0

  • Be in good standing with the Honor Code Office

Students should see their college advisement center for help or information concerning the undergraduate programs.

Graduate Programs Available

This department also offers graduate degree programs. For more information, see Graduate Studies.