May 28, 2024  
2021-2022 General Catalog 
2021-2022 General Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

School of Plant, Environmental & Soil Sciences

OFFICE 104 M. B. Sturgis Hall
TELEPHONE 225-578-2110
FAX 225-578-1403

For information regarding the GRADUATE PROGRAM, click here.  


  • Environmental Management Systems (Environmental Analysis and Risk Management; Policy Analysis; Resource Conservation)
  • Plant & Soil Systems (Crop Science; Environmental Horticulture; Horticultural Science; Landscape Management; Medicinal Plant Sciences; Soil Science; Sustainable Production Systems; Turfgrass Management)

The School of Plant, Environmental & Soil Sciences offers degree programs in environmental management systems and plant and soil systems curricula. These curricula provide students with preparation for careers in management, consulting, regulatory and public relations, or sales and services in agricultural, natural resources, or environmental industries. Some students use these science-based curricula as foundations to pursue graduate studies in agronomic, horticultural or environmental sciences, or professional degrees in medicine or law.

Students are given opportunities to gain valuable experience through internships in the agronomic, horticultural or environmental business communities, special research projects with faculty members, and/or part-time student employee positions.

Environmental Management Systems

Louisiana has developed one of the strongest professional environmental communities in the world to protect public and ecological health, and to restore air, soil, and water quality. Environmental Management Systems students vary widely in their interests and career goals, but they all share a commitment to a professional career and a passion to preserve our natural resources and protect environmental quality.

The Environmental Management Systems curriculum is partitioned into three areas of concentration: (1) environmental analysis and risk management, (2) policy analysis, and (3) resource conservation. Each concentration includes a variety of elective courses that allow students to gain expertise in specific areas that interest them. Particularly in their junior and senior year, students interact with a wide range of accomplished environmental professionals to refine their program of study and career goal, and focus on specific career paths within the broad environmental management field. However, the environmental management systems curriculum is designed to be sufficiently flexible to allow students to prepare for positions in the public or private sectors working in the office, laboratory, or field.

Graduates with a concentration in environmental analysis and risk management will have a knowledge and practical understanding of: analytical chemistry, organic chemistry, soil and water chemistry; land use planning; site investigation principles and collection methods; human and ecological risk assessment and federal and local regulations governing site assessment, evaluation, and remediation.  Career possibilities include air quality control specialist, environmental analyst/manager, environmental project coordinator, environmental scientist. Graduates with a concentration in policy analysis will have a knowledge and practical understanding of the role and scope of state and federal regulatory agencies; environmental laws and regulations; mechanisms for implementation of regulations, compliance with regulations, permits, audits, etc.; environmental auditing systems; environmental permitting; the role of risk assessment in decision-making; and land use planning. Career possibilities include environmental regulator, environmental project coordinator, and sustainability manager.

Graduates with a concentration in resource conservation will have a knowledge and practical understanding of chemical, physical, and biological properties of soil; soil and water conservation and associated federal programs; coastal restoration; soil-plant relationships; fundamentals of forestry, wildlife, and agricultural management; land use planning ; and soil and water assessment and remediation principles. Career possibilities include conservationist, environmental analyst/manager, and environmental project coordinator. This concentration is designed for students interested in working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Students who complete the Associates of Science in General Science with a concentration in Environmental Management Systems at Baton Rouge Community College and who have been admitted to LSU with a declared major in Environmental Management Systems in the College of Agriculture, can enter the Environmental Management Systems program at junior-level standing.

Plant & Soil Systems

Plant & Soil Systems is an interdepartmental curriculum in areas of agronomy, entomology, horticulture, plant pathology, and crop physiology. All students in this curriculum take core courses that provide a basic knowledge required for specialization in one of eight areas of concentration: (1) agricultural pest management, (2) crop science, (3) horticultural sciences, (4) medicinal plant sciences, (5) turf and landscape management, (6) soil science, (7) sustainable production systems, and (8) urban entomology. Each area is further individualized by the addition of approved and free electives. For information about the agricultural pest management concentration see the section for the Department of Entomology or the Department of Plant Pathology and Plant Physiology. For the urban entomology concentration see the Department of Entomology. 

The crop science concentration focuses on the science behind healthy farming. Students will apply basic agronomic information to radical situations or problems by studying weeds, soils, crop physiology, insects, genetics, precision agronomy, and experimental statistics. The concentration provides a good background for students in a variety of career paths; such as, crop scientist, consultant, extension and state regulatory agencies, farm manager, landscape manager, nursery manager, plant breeder, public health, graduate or professional school.

Students selecting the horticulture sciences area of concentration will be prepared for careers in ornamental crop production, the production and processing of fruits, nuts, and vegetables or graduate studies in horticulture and related sciences. Careers include interior and exterior landscape managers, horticulture educations, wholesale production of horticulture plants, retail managers and owners, arboreta, botanical gardens, and tissue culture propagation. Career opportunities in vegetable and fruit science include jobs as field representatives and farm consultants, food processors, agricultural chemical suppliers, and produce brokers. Horticultural scientists may also conduct research in areas such as crop culture and management; molecular biology; plant breeding and genetics; plant growth and development; plant metabolism and nutrition; propagation; post-harvest and stress physiology; and tissue culture.

Students selecting the medicinal plant sciences area of concentration are prepared to grow a variety of plant species in highly controlled environments for medicinal uses. This science-based education will encompass courses focused on plant identification, propagation, growth, processing, as well as courses in entomology, plant pathology, and chemistry. Careers within this area would include owning or working for intensive plant growing operations, professional employment by the urban agricultural products industry, or prepares students for graduate education.

The soil science concentration focuses on soil and its importance in agricultural production and environmental sustainability. Students in this concentration learn about physical, chemical, and biological factors that affect crop production, soil fertility, air and water quality, and soil conservation. The soil science concentrations prepares students for careers across a variety of ecological systems as soil scientist, soil conservationist, field and lab technicians, extension and state regulatory agencies, and graduate or professional school. The sustainable production systems concentration is a blend of applied agronomy and horticulture, with less emphasis on science and more focus on economics than the other concentrations. It prepares students for careers in management, consulting, agricultural sales, and other production-related occupations.

Students selecting the turf and landscape management area of concentration are prepared to construct landscape sites, plant and maintain woody and herbaceous plants, turfgrass, ornamental bulbs, and related crops. Careers include owning and operating landscape management companies, sports field management, golf course superintendents, or professional employment by the urban agricultural products industry. In addition to the basic core courses in the curriculum, students study pest identification and control, pesticide application techniques, and landscape design.