50 Best Universities for Plant Science

Dr. Vijayalaxmi Kinhal

March 20, 2023 at 4:02 pm | Updated March 20, 2023 at 4:02 pm | 9 min read

Plant science refers to various research subjects investigating plants, their characteristics, growth, and environmental interaction. Diverse disciplines, from plant systematics, anatomy, genetics, plant biochemistry, microbiology, molecular biology, physiology, ecology, crop science, forestry, nature conservation, and climate change, fall into this category.

Students who want to learn state-of-art plant sciences should consider studying at universities recognized for their research. To this end, a few institutions like academic Research.com and Scimago ranked universities based on the cumulative scores of all faculty in a department for the number of papers they published and citations. Based on these rankings, we have prepared a list of some of the top universities globally that offer graduate programs in plant sciences.

1. University of Western Australia (UWA)

Location: Perth, Australia

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UWA offers several courses on plant sciences, including Plant Biology, Botany, Agricultural sciences, etc. UWA is considered the number one university in Australia and the world for plant science research and programs.

2. University of California, Davis

Location: Davis, California, USA

UC Davis Department of Plant Sciences Graduate Program conducts research and teaches “all aspects of plant science, from lab to field, forest, rangeland and beyond.” The graduate and undergraduate courses are one of several approaches to meeting global agricultural and environmental needs.

3. Wageningen University & Research

Location: Wageningen, Netherlands

Study program – MSc Plant Sciences has 120 credits, lasts two years, and includes academic internship and consultancy training. The university offers nearly 20 Bachelor’s programs in agriculture and living environment.

4. University of Florida

Location: Gainesville, Florida, USA

Master’s and Doctoral programs in agriculture, natural resources, life sciences, forest and geospatial sciences, and preprofessional studies are provided by the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences.

5. Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

Location: Uppsala, Sweden

Undergraduate education and Ph.D. education focus on teaching and researching, respectively, on “cell biology, genetics, molecular biology, virology, plant physiology, plant breeding, and plant pathology” for the interdisciplinary study of development and defense processes in plants for agriculture and forestry.

6. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Location: Twin cities of Urbana and Champaign, USA

Master of Science (MS) program and Undergraduate Research program from the department of Plant Biology offer education and research possibilities in the “biology of plants from the biochemical and molecular to the ecosystem scale.” Their strengths are plant physiology, photosynthesis research, biochemistry and genetics, evolution, ecology, and climate change.

7. University of Sydney

Location: Sydney, Australia

Plant Science major builds knowledge in plant diversity, anatomy, and growth from genes and organisms to ecosystems. Plant biochemistry and physiology focus allows students to have careers in various jobs in agriculture, conservation, and biotechnology.

8. Cornell University

Location: Ithaca, New York, USA

SIPS MS/Ph.D. Graduate Fields by Cornell’s School of Integrative Plant Science has five disciplines – Plant Biology, Horticulture, Plant Breeding, Plant Pathology, Plant-Microbe Biology, and Soil & Crop Sciences, that connect complex systems to prepare graduates for careers as professional leaders.

9. University of Queensland

Location: Brisbane, Australia

The university offers multidisciplinary plant science education in three undergraduate and honors programs- Bachelor of Science (3 years with a major in Plant Science), Bachelor of Science (Honours) (1 year specializing in Plant Science), and Bachelor of Advanced Science (Honours) (4 years with a major in Plant Science). Postgraduate courses include Master of Conservation Biology and Master of Conservation Science.

10. Nanjing Agricultural University

Location: Nanjing, Jiangsu province, China

The university offers master’s Degree/Postgraduate/PG Programs in English Medium in several plant science subjects. All the postgraduate programs are three years long.

11. Australian National University

Location: Canberra, Australia

ANU College of Science offers plant science specialization through two degrees, educating students in plant function from the molecular to ecosystem scales: Bachelor of Science (BSC) and Bachelor of Science (Advanced) (Honours) (ASCAD).

12. University of Copenhagen

Location: Copenhagen, Denmark

The Faculty of Life Sciences offers Bachelor, Master’s, or Ph.D. degrees at the Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences. Danish BSc programs are in biotechnology and natural resources, and English MSc programs are in agriculture, biotechnology, environmental science, and environment.

13. University of Tasmania

Location: Hobart, Australia

The Bachelor of Science – Plant Science is one of the most sought-after courses in the university, and graduates can find jobs in teaching, research, government departments, and industry by specializing in biotechnology, botanical gardens, forestry, horticulture, and herbaria.

14. University of Sheffield

Location: Sheffield, England

Plant Sciences BSc gives students insight into fundamental plant biology to solve the food crisis, energy shortages, and climate change and develop sustainable, green technologies.

15. China Agricultural University

Location: Beijing, China

College of Biological Science, one of 14 Colleges in the university, includes the departments of Plant Science, Biochemistry and molecular biology, and Microbiology, among others, and offers a BSc degree. The “Masters and Doctoral Programs are conducted under the direction of the Graduate School.”

16. University of Adelaide

Location: Adelaide, Australia

There are undergraduate and postgraduate programs in plant science emphasizing food, agriculture, and wine research and innovation. The university boasts the “largest concentration of agricultural research and teaching expertise in the Southern Hemisphere.”

17. University of Agriculture Faisalabad

Location: Faisalabad, Pakistan

B.Sc.(Hons) for four years, M.Sc.(Hons) for two years, and Ph.D. in Plant Breeding and Genetics, and B.Sc.(Hons) for four years and M.Sc.(Hons) for two years in Seed Science and Technology are offered by the university. Plant breeding and genetics are the core agricultural subjects for the university.

18. Utrecht University

Location: Utrecht, Netherlands

UU Plants offers a Master of Science in Environmental Biology through the Department of Biology and aims to find the genetic, molecular, and physiological mechanisms of plants’ interaction and adaptation to the biotic and abiotic environments.

19. University of Buenos Aires

Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina

Master’s degrees in Agribusiness, Biotechnology, Plant Production, and Natural Resources, and undergraduate degrees in Agriculture, Environmental Sciences, Landscape Planning and Management, and Agri-Food management are some of the many courses UBA teaches.

20. University of Göttingen

Location: Göttingen, Germany

The university offers around ten master’s programs in Agriculture, Forest, and Geosciences, including The International Master Program Integrated Plant and Animal Breeding, Forest and Ecosystem Sciences (M.Sc.), International Master of Science in Soils and Global Change (IMSOGLO), etc. Bachelor’s degree is possible in Ecosystems Sciences.

21. Zhejiang University

Location: Hangzhou, China

Graduate programs for M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in plant pathology and biochemistry & molecular biology are offered by the Institute of Biotechnology.

22. Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Location: Jerusalem, Israel

The International School of Agricultural Sciences offers MSc in Plant Sciences for national and international students. The courses are based on the latest research findings and teach theoretical and practical skills.

23. ETH Zurich

Location: Zurich, Switzerland

Students can enroll in one of three courses to study plant sciences: Master of Science in Biology, Major in Plant Science, Master in Environmental Sciences, Major in Ecology and Evolution, and Master of Agroecosystem Science, Major in Crop Science. The students will benefit from courses offered by the Zurich-Basel Plant Science Center in the three programs.

24. Tohoku University

Location: Sendai, Japan

The Graduate School of Agricultural Science offers eight semester-long courses on plant-level crop production, molecular-level gene manipulation, and field and global-level environmental analysis.

25. University of Hohenheim

Location: Hohenheim, Germany

Crop Sciences (Master’s) trains students to develop high-yielding, ecological, and sustainable cultivation systems and undertake scientific work in research institutions and the private sector.

26. University of British Columbia

Location: Vancouver, Canada

Plant Science graduate programs leading to M.Sc. or Ph.D. degrees offer advanced study in various aspects of plant science like biology, productivity, plant protection, biotechnology, physiology, biochemistry, and plant-environment interactions.

27. University of Pretoria

Location: Pretoria, South Africa

There are five bachelor’s programs, 12 Master’s programs, and nine doctoral programs offered by the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, including B.Sc Plant Science, MSc (Plant Science), and Ph.D. (Plant Science). 

28. University of Alberta

Location: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Master of Science with a Specialization in Plant Biology and Doctor of Philosophy with a Specialization in Plant Biology is the postgraduate programs in plant sciences. The university covers plant biosystems for Research and teaching about plant physiology, pathology, biochemistry, breeding, weed management, and rangeland management.

29. Technical University of Munich

Location: Munich, Germany

TUM has several undergraduate and graduate programs in individual subjects in plant sciences. The undergraduate programs are Forest Science and Resource Management B.Sc., Agricultural and Horticultural Sciences B.Sc., and Landscape Architecture and Planning B.Sc.

The postgraduate programs are Forestry and Wood Science M.Sc. (also part-time), Sustainable Resource Management M.Sc., Ecological Engineering M.Sc. (also part-time), Conservation and Landscape Planning M.Sc. (also part-time), Agrosystem Sciences M.Sc., and Agricultural Biosciences M.Sc.

30. University of Turin

Location: Turin, Italy

Programs offered are Undergraduate degrees in Biotechnology, Undergraduate degrees in Agricultural Science and Technology, Undergraduate degrees in Forestry and Environmental Sciences, and Viticulture and Enology. Postgraduate degrees are also available in Agricultural Science, Forest Land and Systems Science and Technologies, Plant Biotechnology, and Viticulture and Enology Sciences.

31. University of Reading

Location: Reading, United Kingdom

University of Reading Plant Biology Ph.D. Programs and two postgraduate programs: MSc in Agriculture and Development and an MSc in Research in Agriculture, Ecology, and the Environment, take a multidisciplinary approach involving several departments for the courses.

32. University of Helsinki

Location: Helsinki, Finland

Master’s Programme in Integrative Plant Sciences teaches an understanding of plants as the primary producer and basis of ecosystem functioning. The Doctoral Programme in Plant Sciences (DPPS) produces world-class experts in basic and translational plant sciences, including plant biology, biotic interactions, plant production, and applications.

33. Miguel Hernandez University

Location: Elche, Spain

Bachelor’s in Agro-Food and Agro-Environmental Engineering is offered by the Department of Plant Science and Microbiology in plant production, exploitation systems, and crop protection.

34. University of Tokyo

Location: Tokyo, Japan

Plant science programs are provided by the Department of Agricultural and Environmental Biology, Department of Biotechnology, Department of Forest Science, Department of Ecosystem Studies, and Department of Global Agricultural Sciences. They are part of twelve departments in the Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences (GSALS) that offer Master of Science and Ph.D.

36. University of Guelph

Location: Guelph, Canada

Plant Science (PLSC) program teaches students about plant diversity, development, growth, environmental interactions, and their economic uses. B.Sc. Plant Science graduates have careers as biotechnologists, biosafety officers, ecosystem biologists, horticulturists, and field and laboratory researchers.

37. University of Arizona

Location: Tucson, Arizona

Graduate Program: Plant Science (MS) trains students in plant science topics through core and elective coursework and research to prepare them for industry, agency, and academic careers.

38. Lancaster University

Location: Lancaster, Lancashire, England

Plant Sciences MSc by Research is for students who do not wish to attend taught courses and can take “induction courses, an eight-month research project, and a period to write it up.”

39. University of Saskatchewan

Location: Saskatoon, Canada

The Department of Plant Sciences offers research-based M.Sc.and Ph.D. programs in plant ecology, agronomy, horticultural Science, crop science, and rangeland studies. The university boasts of being the only one in Canada to provide a “well-rounded experience in plant studies.”

40. University of Bonn

Location: Bonn, Germany

Master of Science Plant Sciences is an international program that deals with the subject’s fundamental and applied aspects. The program is offered in collaboration with the “Research Center Jülich, the Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding in Cologne, and the Universities of Düsseldorf and Cologne.”

41. University of Eastern Finland

Location: Kuopio, Finland

The Master’s Degree Programme in Biology of Environmental Change is research-oriented and aims to provide students with insights into the biological and biogeochemical aspects of the environment.

42. Kyoto University

Location: Kyoto, Japan

Undergraduate programs and Graduate Programs are available in individual fields of plant science like Agronomy and Horticultural Science, Forest and Biomaterials Science, Environmental Science, and Technology, etc.

43. Universidade de São Paulo

Location: São Paulo, Brazil

Several programs by the university, such as Graduate Program in Genetics and Plant Breeding, Graduate Program in Plant Physiology and Biochemistry, and Plant Cell and Molecular Biology – International Program, offer a Master’s and Doctor in Sciences. Graduate Programs in Soils and Plant Nutrition and Agriculture offer courses for undergraduate students.

44. University of Paris-Saclay

Location: Paris, France

M2 (Master’s Degree) in Plant Sciences has two components, a Research program in English and a Professional program taught in French to give students expertise in plant sciences and plant adaptive mechanisms against abiotic and biotic stresses. Students can also work towards a doctoral degree or Plant Science (SEVE ex-SdV).

45. Lund University

Location: Lund, Sweden

The Master’s program in Plant Science is a two-year course for students interested in plants, their functioning, diversity, ecology, evolution, and application in biotechnology.

Climate & environmental research

46. University of Lleida

Location: Lleida, Spain

Bachelor’s Degrees, such as degrees in Biotechnology, degrees in Food Science and Technology, degrees in Agricultural and Food Engineering, and Double Degrees in Forest Engineering and Nature conservation, are available.

Several Masters’s Degrees are also available in the broader fields of the University Postgraduate Programme in Agricultural and Food Science and Technology and the University Postgraduate Programme In Multifunctional Management of Forest Areas.

47. Aligarh Muslim University

Location: Aligarh, India

B.Sc. (Hons.) Botany, M.Sc. (Botany), and Ph.D. Botany is offered by the Department of Botany, covering subjects such as plant physiology, pathology, breeding, biotechnology, taxonomy, allelopathy, and experimental botany.

48. University of Cambridge

Location: Cambridge, United Kingdom

The university teaches plant science within the Cambridge Natural Sciences Tripos for undergraduate students. The Department of Plant Sciences boasts of providing “unrivaled research and training opportunities” to people working towards MPhil in Biological Science (Plant Sciences) by thesis and Ph.D. in Plant Sciences.

49. Oregon State University

Location: Corvallis, Oregon, USA

OSU’s interdisciplinary programs cover plants from the molecular to the ecosystem levels. Four departments within the College of Agricultural Sciences offer them- Botany and Plant Pathology, Crop and Soil Sciences, Forest Ecosystems and Society, and Horticulture.

50. University of Lisbon

Location: Lisbon, Portugal

The Department of Plant Biology (DBV) has higher education training for “the undergraduate (1st Cycle) and graduate (2nd and 3rd Cycles) level, organizing courses that lead to the corresponding academic degrees.” This is one of the best national universities for plant sciences, and the department covers plant physiology, genetics, cell, and molecular biology, biotechnology (Plant and microbial), and plant ecology.

Technology to Assist Science

Besides the proliferation of new curricula, the other significant development is that of the advanced technology universities use to conduct science and demonstrate and educate undergraduate and graduate students. CID Bio-Science Inc. is a trusted supplier of precision plant science tools that are small, portable, and give a rapid analysis of data in the laboratory and field. Using these sophisticated tools, students and researchers can probe difficult and complex internal physiological or morphological phenomena to better understand the science behind plants.

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