Plant Biology BS/Plant Pathology MS

Career and Academic Opportunities

Career opportunities for plant pathologists are diverse and plentiful. Employers include national and international companies, public agencies, non-profit organizations, and universities. A plant pathologist needs an understanding of the organisms and agents that cause disease as well as an understanding of how plants grow and are affected by disease. Through college courses in plant biology, microbiology, crop science, soil science, ecology, genetics, biochemistry, molecular biology, and physiology, students receive the necessary background for exciting careers in plant pathology.

The expanding interest in the quality of our global environment and increasing global demand for high-quality food, fiber, tree and ornamental plants provides many opportunities for plant pathologists. These professionals often are sought by government and nonprofit organizations and corporations to participate in teams of specialists addressing international agricultural development.

Plant pathologists are employed by:
- Colleges and universities (research, teaching, and extension)
- Agricultural consulting companies
- Agrichemical companies
- Seed and plant production companies
- Tissue culture laboratories
- Diagnostic laboratories
- International agricultural research centers
- Botanical gardens and arboreta
- Biotechnology firms
- Biological control companies
- Private practice
- Nurseries and garden centers
- Public policy organizations
- Lawn and landscape maintenance firms
- USDA-Agricultural Research Service
- USDA-Forest Service
- USDA-Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service
- EPA (Environmental Protection Agency)
- State departments of agriculture
- Environmental, agricultural, and patent law firms