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College of Agricultural and Life Sciences

Plant Pathology

Requirements for the Major
Courses

290 Russell Labs, 1630 Linden Drive, Madison, WI 53706; 608-262-1410; www.plantpath.wisc.edu

Professors Allen (chair), Ahlquist, Bent, Clayton, Havey, Jiang, S. Kaeppler, Keller, MacGuidwin, McManus, Rouse, Stanosz, Yu; Associate Professors Ané, Charkowski, Groves, Jansky, Willis; Assistant Professors Barak, Gevens, Kerns, Rakotondrafara, Smith

This major can be earned through the Bachelor of Science degree program.  

Plant pathology is the study of plants and their pathogens, the process of disease, and how plant health and disease are influenced by factors such as the weather, nonpathogenic microorganisms, and plant nutrition. It encompasses fundamental biology as well as applied agricultural sciences. 

Plant pathology involves the study of plants and pathogens at the genetic, biochemical, physiological, cellular, population, and community levels, and how the knowledge derived is integrated and put into agricultural practice. Prerequisite to effective research, teaching, and extension in plant pathology is a breadth of interdisciplinary interest and knowledge, in a department and in its individual members, reaching from ecology to microbiology, from meteorology to applied mathematics, and from molecular biology to communication skills.

Plant pathology is a field that thrives in, and makes its greatest contribution to, comprehensive institutions like the University of Wisconsin-Madison where the proximity and complementarity of basic sciences and the other applied agricultural sciences are exceptionally strong.

Undergraduates in plant pathology can choose between two tracks. The plant-microbe biology track has courses in basic math and sciences; including biology, chemistry and physics, along with upper-level courses in plant pathology, biochemistry and microbiology. This track is geared toward students who have an interest in receiving a broad education in the basic science or plan to pursue a graduate degree. The plant health and industry track includes some courses in basic math and sciences, as well as additional courses in agriculture and economics/management and upper-level courses in plant pathology, entomology and other agricultural sciences. This track is designed for students who intend to work in industry after receiving their undergraduate degree. More information about careers in plant pathology is available from the department.

For those interested in graduate studies, the Department of Plant Pathology offers a broad program leading to M.S. and Ph.D. degrees, which is described in the Graduate School Catalog. Contact the department for more information.

Requirements for the Major

Plant–Microbe Biology Track

Mathematics

Math 112/113, or 114, or 171 AND
Math 211, or 217, or 221 AND
Math 222 or Stat 301 or Stat 371 [catalog update 8/23/13]

Chemistry

Chem 103/104 or 109 AND
Chem 343/344/345 or 341/342 [catalog update 8/23/13]

Biology

Biology 151/152, or Zoology 101/102 and Botany 130, or Biocore 301/302/303/304 (381/382/383/384, effective spring 2014) AND
Micro 303/304 & Genetics 466, or two of three from: Biocore 323, 324, 333 (Biocore 485, 486, 587, effective spring 2014)
[catalog update 8/23/13]

Physics

Physics 103/104, or 201/202, or 207/208

Plant Pathology Core

Pl Path 300 AND
Pl Path/Botany 332 AND
Botany 500 AND
Pl Path course above 300 (not including special topics or independent study)

Track Electives

5 credits from:
or any Pl Path course above 300

Capstone (3 credits)
Pl Path 590

Plant Health and Industry Track

Mathematics

Math 112/113, or 114, or 171 OR
Students have the option or completing Math 112 and another math course above 200, a statistics course or computer science.

Chemistry

Chem 103/104 or 109

Biology

Biology 151/152, or Zoology 101/102 and Botany 130, or Biocore 301/302/303/304 AND
Genetics 160 or 466

Physics

Physics 103 or 201 or 207

Plant Pathology Core

Pl Path 300 AND
Pl Path/Botany 332 AND
Pl Path 558 or 559 AND
Pl Path course above 300 (not including special topics or independent study)

Track Electives

Complete both sets:
24 credits of Plant health and industry electives from departments such as Agronomy, Botany, Forest & Wildlife Ecology, Horticulture, Microbiology, Soil Science and Plant Pathology
6 credits of business/economics electives

Capstone (3 credits)

Pl Path 590