The Washington State University Catalog

Program in Integrated Plant Sciences

The online catalog includes the most recent changes to courses and degree requirements that have been approved by the Faculty Senate, including changes that are not yet effective.

Program in Integrated Plant Sciences
Hulbert Hall 423

Crop and Soil Sciences Department Chair and Professor, R. Koenig; Viticulture and Enology Director and Professor, T. Henick-Kling; Plant Pathology Department Chair and Professor, T. Murray; Horticulture Department Interim Chair and Professor, D. Main; Entomology Department Chair and Professor, L. Lavine; Regents Professors, J. Poovaiah, J. Reganold; Professors, I. Burke, L. Carpenter-Boggs, A. Carter, A. Felsot, M. Flury, G. Grove, P. Jacoby, M. Neff, H. Pappu, C. Peace, M. Pumphrey, N. Rayapati; Associate Professors, B. Bondada, D. Crowder, L. DeVetter, M. Kumar, K. Murphy, C. Neely, J. Owen, K. Sanguinet; Assistant Professors, T. Collins, D. Griffin, G. LaHue, H. Neely; Teaching Associate Professor, C. Perillo; Instructors, J. Holden, C. Kawula; Adjunct Faculty, C. Campbell, D. Cobos; Farm Manager and Instructor, B. Jaeckel.

The science of plant life from molecule to market is the focus of the Integrated Plant Sciences (IPS) degree program.  The degree is delivered collaboratively by departments within the College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences.  The IPS degree provides students with an exciting depth and breadth of knowledge that encompasses a variety of plant science disciplines, including crop and soil sciences, horticulture, entomology, plant pathology, and food science.

Students pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Integrated Plant Sciences may choose among five majors highly sought by employers in the state and nationally: Agricultural Biotechnology; Field Crop Management; Fruit and Vegetable Management; Landscape, Nursery, and Greenhouse Management; or Turfgrass Management. 

The program also offers the BS in Viticulture and Enology degree on the Tri-Cities campus.

Bachelor of Science in Integrated Plant Sciences

IPS majors explore the science of plant development and production from the perspectives of a variety of disciplines. All students in the program take a core set of interdisciplinary courses selected specifically to give them a solid foundation on which they can build expertise in a specific area.

A student may be admitted to an IPS major upon making their intention known to the department. For complete information about all majors within the IPS degree programs, please see the IPS webpage at:

In addition to WSU’s Six Learning Goals of the Baccalaureate, successful IPS graduates also will be able to:

  1. Plant Systems: Evaluate how cultivar differences, management practices, environmental changes, and emerging technology affect the plant system to influence productivity, environmental impact, and end-use quality.
    • Use expert plant science vocabulary appropriately to describe the structure and functions of plant components and explain how major genetic and environmental factors influence plant growth and development.
    • Evaluate the various contributions of plant-based systems from local to global systems, including the impact on human health, economics, and the environment.
    • Analyze the breadth and depth of various roles plant science professionals play in contemporary plant systems, society, government, education, and industry
  2. Scientific Reasoning: Integrate traditional and emerging scientific disciplines, knowledge resources, and technologies via the scientific method to understand the plant system.
    • Integrate basic science skills (biology, chemistry, math, etc.) and scientific disciplines (physiology, genetics, pathology, entomology, weed science, soil science, etc.) to describe how experiments are designed, conducted, and interpreted to test hypotheses about plant responses.
    • Develop testable hypotheses and design targeted experiments.
    • Obtain and analyze data, demonstrate competence in statistics, and assign a degree of confidence to conclusions.
  3. Critical Thinking: Address real-world plant science challenges that integrate contextual factors and stakeholder perspectives.
    • Identify compelling research problems, critically evaluate current knowledge, and explain contextual factors that influence assumptions or perspectives.
    • Evaluate the suitability and limitations of methods and technologies for obtaining evidence.
    • Interpret evidence in the context of current knowledge, evaluate alternative interpretations, draw conclusions, and make recommendations relevant to real-world practice.
    • Compare and contrast multiple stakeholder perspectives on methods and outcomes of horticultural and agronomic practices.
  4. Science and Professional Communication: Demonstrate interpersonal skills to effectively collaborate and communicate scientific knowledge to diverse target audiences.
    • Deliver effective oral and written communications across genres and media to various plant science stakeholders.
    • Demonstrate and refine interpersonal communication skills in collaborative teams and projects.
    • Critique the effectiveness of presentation options for communicating plant science research outcomes.
  5. Depth (Major-Level Outcome): Demonstrate major-specific mastery of a topic with specialized knowledge and skills in at least one area of inquiry within the IPS degree.
    Agricultural Biotechnology
    • Evaluate and apply effective technologies in genetics and molecular biology for crop improvement.
    • Demonstrate knowledge and application of “big data” collection, management, and analysis.
    Field Crop Management
    • Assess the impact and effectiveness of management on field crop production.
    • Implement efficient, economic, and sustainable management practices for field crop production.
    Fruit and Vegetable Management
    • Apply efficient and sustainable management practices for fruit and vegetable crops.
    Landscape, Nursery, Greenhouse Management
    • Design and manage horticultural production strategies for landscapes, nurseries, and greenhouses.
    Turfgrass Management
    • Being developed by the curriculum committee.

The hands-on possibilities within the IPS degree are numerous. Students are required to participate in Experiential Education which includes undergraduate research projects, work as part-time employees with research and extension personnel, study abroad, and/or participate in professional internships to put their classroom training to work. Student clubs also provide a variety of ways to interact with peers, faculty, and staff within the college, yet another way to enrich the educational experience. (

Bachelor of Science in Viticulture and Enology

The BS in Viticulture and Enology degree was created for students interested in wine-grape growing and winemaking, as well as contributing to critical research and development opportunities in the wine industry. Pullman students may work with a V&E advisor, and begin taking courses, but require acceptance to WSU Tri Cities before admission to the major is granted.


Scholarships for IPS majors are available on a competitive basis and are awarded based on ability, need, and interest in a career path in plant sciences. (

Transfer Students

Students planning to transfer into the IPS program should take courses that meet the University Common Requirements (UCORE) and the IPS core requirements when possible. Transfer articulation agreements have been developed with several Washington community colleges degree programs.  More information can be found on our Transfer Student website: Prospective transfer students are strongly encouraged to consult with an advisor within the IPS program for further guidance.

Graduate Studies

Master of Science in Agriculture (Pullman and Global Campus)

This advanced degree program focuses on the agricultural professional, practitioner, and educator to meet the growing need for prepared individuals to apply new and emerging technologies and science to the advancement of agriculture. This degree offers professionals already working in the field the opportunity to continue their education while they continue employment either inside or outside of the Pullman area. Students may elect to customize their program or choose from three options:  General Agriculture, Food Science and Management, or Plant Health Management (online only). Access complete program description on-line at:

Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees are also offered in Crop Science, Economics, Entomology, Food Science, Horticulture, Plant Pathology, and Soil Science. More information can be found on the CAHNRS Graduate Studies website:


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