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Online Master’s Degree in Botany

An online masters degree in botany can be an useful graduate degree for anyone with an existing bachelor’s degree who is hoping to gain a mastery of plant life biology and its conservation. While there are number of different career fields that one can enter with the degree, some of the more common include conservation and forestry science, agriculture and food science, or working as a wildlife biologist who studies plant life. In most cases, an online masters degree in botany will take two to three years to complete, although program length may vary depending on how many courses a student takes at once and how many credits are required to complete the program.

Classes for an Online Masters Degree in Botany

For most students, an online masters degree in botany will require that students develop an advanced understanding of plant ecology and evolution, as well as plant cell and molecular biology. Students are usually required to complete a great deal of reading in order to complete original research and writings to reflect an understanding of advanced plant science and biology. Some programs may also require students to pick a specific specialization within the field as well. Some courses you can expect to see include:

  • Plant Diversity and Morphology
  • Plant Taxonomy
  • Field Botany
  • Plant Anatomy
  • Plant Physiology

Most masters degree programs in botany that are available online will not require students to participate in an internship before graduation; however, most will require students to complete lab work on campus. Students are usually required to work towards the completion of a final thesis before graduation. The thesis should reflect the student’s own independent research that makes a contribution to the field of botany. In most cases, the topic of the thesis must first be approved by an advisor or department head.

A Career as a Graduate with an Online Masters Degree in Botany

While an individual possessing an online masters degree in botany may go on to become a biochemist after successfully completing a doctoral program in a related field, a more attainable position for an individual possessing a master’s is an agriculture and food scientist. These scientists play an important role in maintaining the nation’s food supply through agricultural developments, and must understand the biological and chemical processes involved with growing crops. The can specialize in soils, or plant growth and development, and typically work in a laboratory environment for universities, private corporations, or the federal government.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, agriculture and food scientists held about 33,500 jobs in 2010, with 46% being employed by colleges and universities. While only a bachelor’s is required to gain entry to the field, a master’s degree can help an applicant stand out, or allow people to advance within the field. The BLS also reports that employment is expected to increase by 10% through the year 2020.

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