Cal Poly Pomona



The mission of the Plant Science major is to educate and train competent future leaders in horticulture and agronomic careers along with the associated disciplines of agricultural biology, soils, and irrigation.  This is accomplished by a quality curriculum that features a combination of strong science background along with experiential, student learning centered opportunities which the department provides via classroom and laboratory activities.

Program Goals

  • The program will provide science based knowledge of plant growth and development in a variety of climatic conditions, focusing on a quality end product.

  • The program will educate our students to provide the critical thinking skills necessary to solve a variety of complex, interdisciplinary problems which impact plants and their environment.  This includes the economic and business aspects impacting marketing.

  • The program will provide experiential learning opportunities for students to enhance the classroom and laboratory experience.

  • The program will provide students a thorough understanding of agriculture’s impact on our environment and instill stewardship of land, landscapes, and natural resources.

  • The program will promote professionalism and leadership skills preparing our graduates for diverse careers in plant science and related industries.

  • The program will instill the virtues of lifelong learning and continuing education to maintain relevancy within a graduates chosen field.

Student Learning Outcomes

Student Learning Outcome #1 – Students will have knowledge of the biotic and abiotic factors that affect plant growth and development.

a.   Outcome #1

Describe California’s water resource base and water cycle.  Recognize variations in consumptive use patterns in specific plant species (eg. landscape turfgrass, irrigated crops, rangeland, etc.).

b.   Outcome #2

Identify basic concepts of plant physiology in relation to climatic variables (eg. temperature, day length, air quality, etc.).

c.   Outcome #3

Describe basic soil physical concepts (eg. morphology, texture, structure), chemical concepts (eg. salinity, Ph, nutrient availability) and measures of soil productivity (eg. organic matter, tilth, permeability).

d.  Outcome #4

Recognize and identify negative components (eg. weeds, diseases, insects, pests) and positive components (eg. biological N fixation, composting, soil microbes) in plant and soil systems.

e.   Outcome #5

Recognize the natural genetic variability within and between species of plants.  Describe basic concepts of genomics, plant biotechnology and plant improvement.


 Student Learning Outcome #2 – Students will learn management techniques of modify and control factors that affect plant growth and development.

a.   Student Learning Outcome #1

Synthesize and implement irrigation strategies that optimize plant growth and conserve water in multiple diverse situations.

b.   Student Learning Outcome #2

Develop and utilize management strategies and calendars of operations to grow plants under given climatic parameters of an area.

c.   Student Learning Outcome #3

Analyze and create a recommendation for control of a pest situation (eg. weeds, insects, pathogens) within their given area of emphasis.

d.   Student Learning Outcome #4

Analyze soil nutrient tests and determine an appropriate strategy to remedy deficiencies.

e.   Student Learning Outcome #5

Synthesize, implement and demonstrate management, cultural and breeding techniques to produce agronomic and ornamental crops.


Program Assessment