Sustainable Plant Systems

B.S. in Sustainable Plant Systems

Leading modern plant production

Apply     Get Info

Median Industry Pay (U.S. BLS 2023)

Fall, Spring, Summer, Winter
Entry Terms

Tucson, Yuma
campus LOCATIONs

Develop sustainable food production systems by applying the latest plant and soil science.

The B.S. in Sustainable Plant Systems prepares you to be a leader in 21st-century agriculture and an expert in agricultural technology, plant improvement and responsible plant production systems. You’ll be able to grow more, improve yields and reduce pest problems, all while using less land, chemicals and water. With this interdisciplinary major and its four possible emphases, you can pursue a career in research, crop marketing, food safety and crop production.

Students in the Sustainable Plant Systems (SPS) major can choose one of 4 emphases:

Agronomy & Horticulture Emphasis: Optimize the production of large-scale crops while protecting ecosystem health. 

Controlled Environment Agriculture Emphasis: Design technologies to grow plants inside controlled-environment structures – like greenhouses.

Fresh Produce Safety Emphasis (Yuma campus only): Specialize in agricultural safety practices from field to facility. 

Urban Horticulture Emphasis: Cultivate plants for landscape design, municipal gardens and urban horticulture.

The College of Agriculture, Life & Environmental Sciences offers $1 million in scholarships to our students! Combine these options with university scholarships and support from privately funded scholarships and you're well on your way to achieving your educational goals at a price you can afford.

Students in the Sustainable Plant Systems program have exclusive access to nearly $42,000 program-specific scholarships, awarded from 27 different scholarships -- in addition to $230,000 in scholarships that are available to all or most CALES students.

A degree in sustainable plant systems prepares you for careers in food production, renewable energy, medicine, agriculture and manufacturing. It also can serve as a springboard for graduate school. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay for careers related to agricultural and food science was $76,400 per year with a faster-than-average job growth overall (2023).

There are a variety of career opportunities available to students who complete a B.S. in Sustainable Plant Systems, including:

  • Agronomist: Manage soil and field crop production, conduct research, and develop production practices and new crop varieties.
  • Horticulturist: Work in fields and greenhouses to cultivate high-value, specialty crops and provide consultation to landscape architects about ecologically sustainable grounds-management practices.
  • Botanist: Study plants and their environment to identify and classify new species.
  • Plant geneticist: Research and work to identify genes useful in developing desirable plant traits, with jobs in public and private sectors.
  • Education and advocacy: Work in museums, public parks or government positions to educate policymakers and communities about the importance of plants and thoughtful stewardship of the world’s natural resources.

Agronomy & Horticulture Emphasis:
Applied Weed Science
Precision Observation with Drones
Plant Breeding
Controlled Environment Agriculture Emphasis:
Controlled Environment Systems
Introduction to Hydroponics
Fresh Produce Safety Emphasis (Yuma campus only):
Fundamentals of Food Science
Crop Production
Agriculture Law
Urban Horticulture Emphasis:
Plant Materials
Green Infrastructure