Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science | College of Arts and Science

What is Botany?

Botany is not just about flowers and trees. Nearly all natural science disciplines involve plant biology in some way. Botanists study organisms ranging in size from microscopic algae in thermal springs to giant redwood trees in California and fungal organisms an acre or more in size. Botanical science ranges from the molecular to the organismal, and from individual organisms to the world biosphere.

What are the features of Miami’s program?

Recently, the Department of Botany and the Department of Zoology have merged to create the new Department of Biology, one of the largest programs at the university. The Department of Biology offers the Bachelor of Arts (BA) and Bachelor of Science (BS) degrees in BiologyBotany and Zoology.

More than one-third of all the Young Botanist Awards made by the Botanical Society of America since 1979 have gone to Miami undergraduates. The botany program produces approximately 15 percent of all the students in the United States who ultimately go on to receive a Ph.D. in botany or a related discipline.

Undergraduate research

Students have unique opportunities to do hands-on research with faculty members. A full internship program is available, and students are supported with funding to do research and to travel to professional meetings. In addition, students have the opportunity to study in many locations around the world, including the Bahamas, Belize, Mexico, Kenya, and Nova Scotia. Students also publish their research in scientific literature and present their papers at national conferences.

Interdisciplinary approach

Miami's botany program has strong ties with the programs in biology, zoology, and microbiology. The Department of Biology and the Department of Microbiology are located in the same building, Pearson Hall, and feature cross-disciplinary areas of study and research. This gives a disciplinary depth and a student learning environment typically found only in much larger research universities.

Excellent employment rate

More than 90 percent of our graduates are employed in major-related positions within six months of graduation, and placement into graduate programs approaches 100 percent.

Top-notch facilities

The facilities supporting study in botany at Miami include three greenhouses; the Turrell Herbarium, one of the best university herbaria (collections of preserved plants) in the United States; and a plant growth chamber facility. Our 25 teaching laboratories are located in Pearson Hall, which houses more undergraduate botany majors than any other biological sciences unit in the state of Ohio. Pearson Hall also contains the best electron microscope and molecular biology facilities in the country.

Study abroad

Outdoor study can be done not only at the Ecology Research Center, the Bachelor Wildlife Reserve, nearby Hueston Woods State Park, or the campus itself, but in many locations around the globe. Our programs of study and summer research workshops give you opportunities to learn and work in diverse geographic locales. These workshops are sometimes integrated with affiliated programs in other majors, such as geology and geography. The tropical flora of the Bahamas and the biodiversity of Kenya are courses offered during the summer. 

What are the special admission requirements, if any?

There are no additional admission requirements for this program.

What courses would I take?

In general, the B.A. degree is designed for students who desire more flexibility or wish to take more courses outside of the natural sciences.  All Miami Plan Foundation (MPF) and College of Arts and Science (CAS) requirements apply to this degree.  The Departmental requirements are more flexible for the B.A. than for the B.S. degree and leave more room for customizing your program; you can use that flexibility to focus more on certain subdisciplines within biology, to take courses in other branches of science, or to take a variety of nonscience electives.  This flexibility is also helpful if students have transferred to Miami from other colleges or from nonscience majors.

What can I do with this major?

Botany majors are highly successful at gaining admission into graduate and professional schools or entering the profession in education, industry, government, and non-governmental organizations. Many of our graduates become teachers, researchers, or park naturalists upon graduation, or enter graduate schools in ecology and molecular biology, among other fields. They have a high success rate of entry into medical and law schools (with some of the latter specializing in environmental or patent law).

Who can I contact for more information?

Department of Biology
212 Pearson Hall
Oxford, OH 45056