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Minor in Medicinal and Economic Botany (18–19 credits)

The minor in Medicinal and Economic Botany provides students with a fundamental understanding of the interactions between plants and human culture. The program emphasizes historical and cultural botany, economic botany (the study of the interaction of people and plants), and indigenous and modern medicinal plants. This program requires a basic knowledge of biology and chemistry, but is available to students in a variety of majors, such as anthropology, conservation biology, or environmental education.

The minor is designed for students with an interest in the roles plants play in human health, environmental issues, public policy, or sustainability, within urban or international contexts. This proposed curriculum is planned as a larger program in Natural Products, which includes an option in the Plant Science Major (Natural Products Option) (pending) and an existing certificate (Medicinal and Economic Botany Certificate).

Learning goals for the Medicinal and Economic Botany minor align closely with program goals for the plant science undergraduate program (technical proficiency, context, communication, and critical thinking). Students completing program requirements will be able to:

  1. Describe basic knowledge about plant structure and function, fundamentals of plant growth and physiology, principles of horticulture, and discovery and use of bio-active components of medicinal plants, in particular, for those plants fundamental to the relationship with human culture [technical proficiency];
  2. Summarize broadly the extent of plant-human interactions in agriculture, society, and the environment, and how the evolution of these interactions have shaped both plants (through the process of domestication and breeding) and the humans who use them [context];
  3. Communicate, in written and oral forms, plant science knowledge to peers and others in society [communication]; and
  4. Critically formulate hypotheses, interpret data, and apply basic principles and practices of plant science to solve fundamental and practical problems [critical thinking].

Notice to students seeking to enroll in Plant Biology Minors
A new policy enacted by the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences on February 27, 2021 provides the following guidance on completion of minors. The policy states, “Minors are intended to expand or supplement an educational experience beyond a students’ declared major.” In the spirit of this guidance, students seeking enrollment in one of the Plant Biology Minors, will not be permitted to apply more than 50% of course credits used to fulfill a major, nor will students seeking to declare a second minor be permitted to apply more than 50% of course credits used to fulfill a first minor requirement.
**Students enrolled in minor programs prior to February 27, 2021, will be permitted to complete the program even if it does not comply with this course overlap policy.
[Contact Dr. Patel ( for clarification and/or questions].

Program Requirements

Recommended Prerequisites (depending on requirements for coursework):

  1. One semester of biology or advisor approval
  2. One semester of general chemistry or advisor approval
  3. 11:776:242 Plant Science

Required courses (12 credits)

  1. 11:776:205 Introduction to Ethnobotany (3)
  2. 11:776:211 Introduction to Horticulture (3)
  3. 11:776:312 Medicinal Plants (3)
  4. 11:776:438 Plants and Human Health (3)

Electives (6–7 credits). Any of the following courses for which prerequisites have been satisfied:

  1. 11:776:221 Principles of Organic Crop Production (3)
  2. 11:776:310 Plant Propagation (3)
  3. 11:776:313 Medicinal and Aromatic Plants Laboratory (1)
  4. 11:776:321 Greenhouse Systems Management 3
  5. 11:776:341 Fruit Production (3)
  6. 11:776:390 Hemp and Medical Cannabis (3)
  7. 11:776:400 Fungi in the Environment (3)
  8. 11:776:415 Fungi and Human Health (3)
  9. 11:776:439 Nursery Crop Production (3)
  10. 11:776:442 Agroecology (3)
  11. 11:776:495,496 Special Problems in Plant Science (1–3)
  12. 11:020:255 Special Topics in Ag and Food Systems (1–3)
  13. 11:020:321 Principles and Practices of Small-Scale Organic Farming (3)
  14. 11:020:340 Indoor Cultivation of High Value Crops (4)
  15. 11:020:436 Sustainable Agriculture (3)
  16. 11:020:442 Entrepreneurial Agriculture (Jr./Sr. Colloquium) (3)
  17. 11:216:411 Plant Diversity and Evolution (3)
  18. 01:450:211 Environment, Society, and Justice (3)
  19. 01:450:306 Global Ecosystems and Biodiversity (3)

or other advisor-approved electives

Minor Advisor

Dr. Nrupali Patel
Foran Hall, Rm. 372