Major in Sustainable Plant Systems

A program created in partnership with

The School of Plant Sciences

and the Department of

Soil, Water and Environmental Science


Bachelor of Science (B.S) in Sustainable Plant Systems.

The Department of Soil, Water, and Environmental Science (SWES) and the School of Plant Sciences combined expertise and jointly created the Sustainable Plant Systems major as an interdisciplinary field of study for undergraduate students interested in a career in modern agriculture and crop production. The degree offers a solid foundation in basic sciences and requires coursework from the plant sciences (PLS) as well as soils, water and environmental sciences (SWES). Students are expected to obtain and apply fundamental principles of sciences to develop plant production systems, and land management programs locally, regionally, and globally. Graduates from this program will be well prepared academically to enter graduate degree programs or pursue employment in agricultural and related, green industries.

Specifically, this degree prepares students to work in agronomic and horticultural field and greenhouse crop production, including controlled environmental agriculture, permanent tree crop production, turf grass systems, and urban horticulture.


Sub-Plans in Sustainable Plant Systems

Students majoring in Sustainable Plant Systems are required to select one sub-plan (often referred to as an area of emphasis). Information about each sub-plan offered in this program is detailed here:

Controlled Environment Agriculture

Develop technologies to efficiently produce plants and plant-based products, with optimized resource consumption, using environmentally, socially and economically sustainable growing systems in arid lands and urban settings.

Environmental Horticulture

Develop methods for producing and managing edible and ornamental plants while minimizing inputs and environmental impact and promoting human health and economic well-being.


Develop crop production systems on several levels of operation that maximize crop yield and plant health in field production where marginal lands often constrain plant production. The appropriate management of the crop ecosystem and critical aspects of soil-plant relationships are emphasized..

Fresh Produce Safety

Establish Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) in the field and harvest as they relate to the production of leafy green/fresh vegetable food safety. This includes food safety issues, field risk assessments, and concerns in the manufacturing facility including: facility sanitation, recognizing potential hazards, analysis of problems in the production, harvest and processing chain which includes:  Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) principles, employee training, and field, harvest and processing inspection process.


Course Requirements

Course requirements for the Sustainable Plant Systems major are selected from those offered through the School of Plant Sciences and The Department of Soil Water, Environmental Science. Students may also choose additional additional courses available in these academic units to fill free electives.


SPLS Courses

SWES Courses


Department of Soil, Water and Environmental Science

The University of Arizona
1177 E. 4th Street | P.O. Box 210038
Tucson, Arizona 85721-0038
Phone: (520) 621-1606

University of Arizona Campus Room 429 Shantz Building #38

School of Plant Sciences

The University of Arizona
P.O. Box 210036
Tucson, AZ 85721-0036
Phone (520) 621-1977


University of Arizona Campus Room 303 Forbes Building #36