Plant Science and Landscape Architecture

College of Agriculture and Natural Resources
2139 Plant Sciences Building
Phone: 301-405-4359

The Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture seeks to solve pressing worldwide issues such as mitigating climate change, maximizing crop yield sustainably to feed our growing population, improving nutritious food access for all, and creating landscapes to benefit human and environment health. Specifically, our students learn how to 1) sustainably grow food (fruit, vegetable, and grain), ornamental crops, feed and fiber crops and crops used to make plant-based fuels, 2) design environmentally sustainable landscapes that benefit human health and our environment, 3) educate the agricultural and extension educators of the future, and 4) conduct cutting edge plant-based research aimed at solving critical issues challenging the world today. We seek to offer every student a diverse curriculum aimed to ensure they gain expertise in an area they are passionate about, that offers many rewarding job opportunities, and that allows them to contribute to making our world a better place in their own way. For instance, we offer course options in horticulture, agronomy, controlled environment agriculture (including hydroponic), urban agriculture, plant molecular biology and genetics, plant breeding, plant pathology and microbiology, ecology, food safety, landscape design and construction, winemaking, beer brewing, and urban agriculture, among many others. These courses are organized in the three programs our department offers: Agricultural Science and Technology, Landscape Architecture, and Plant Sciences. We are also very excited about our new major in Fermentation Science that is jointly offered with the Department of Nutrition and Food Science focusing on how to use the fermentation process to produce a variety of products including beer, wine, yogurt, silage, cheese, and phytopharmaceuticals, among others.


Chair: J. Erwin (Professor & Chair)


Field Crop Production, Fruit, Vegetable and Ornamental Crop Production, Controlled Environment and Urban Agriculture and Food Safety

Faculty members in Plant Science and Landscape Architecture may also teach courses for this degree program. Courses taught under Plant Sciences (PLSC) may be prerequisites.

Director: M. Leiden Welsh

Professors: C. Beyrouty, J. Erwin, K. Everts, J. Lea-Cox, A. Murphy, J. Sullivan, S. Xiao

Assistant Professors: B. Phillips, D. Cochran, M. Farcuh, N. Fiorellino, M. Hu, N. Rawat, VJ Tiwari

Instructor: A. Ristvey (Affiliate Senior Agent)

Professors Emeriti: S. Cohan, C. Walsh


Faculty members in Agricultural Science & Technology, Plant Science and Landscape Architecture may also teach courses for this degree program. Courses taught under Plant Sciences (PLSC) and Landscape Architecture (LARC)  may be prerequisites.

Director: M. Welsh (Assistant Clinical Professor)


Ecological Design, Urban Design, Community Design, Creative Design, Urban Agriculture Design, Therapeutic Landscapes

Faculty members in Agricultural Science & Technology and Plant Sciences may also teach courses for this degree program. Courses taught under Plant Sciences (PLSC) may be prerequisites.

Directors: C. Ellis (MLA Program Chair & Associate Professor), D. Ruggeri (BLA Program Chair & Assistant Professor)

Professor: C. Ellis

Associate Professors: B. Kweon, D. Myers, J.B. Sullivan

Assistant Professors: D. Ruggeri, N. Sachs

Lecturers: J. Baker, B, Iraola, R. Jawin, R. Mabadi, T. Mateya, S. Russell, R. Sessoms, C. Vacelet, S. Wang, J. Wray IV, J. Wu, C. Yglesias


Plant Biology, Plant Pathology, Plant Molecular Genetics, Ecology, Plant Breeding, Landscape and Turf & Golf Course Management, Urban Forestry

Director: J. Zhu (Associate Professor) 

Professors: C. Beyrouty, J. Culver, J. Erwin, K. Everts (Director-Wye Research Center), J. Feijo (Affiliate Professor), J. Lea-Cox, A. Murphy, M. Neel, J. H. Sullivan, S. Xiao

Associate Professors: M. Carroll (Director, ENSP), G. Coleman, S. Micallef, W. Peer (Affiliate Associate Professor), Y. Qi, K. Tully, J. Zhu

Assistant Professors: M. Farcuh, M. Hu, B. Phillips, N. Rawat, V. Tiwari

Lecturers: D. Cortez, K. Petroff

Professors Emeriti: S. Cohan, C. Walsh

The department has mandatory faculty advising for each of its major and minor programs. Students are required to meet with their faculty advisor at least twice a year.

Faculty Advisors

Concentration Faculty Advisor
AGST: Agronomy Bill Phillips,
AGST: Agricultural and Extension Education Melissa Welsh,
AGST: Environmental Horticulture Diana Cochran,
Landscape Architecture Deni Ruggeri,
PLSC: Plant Biology Gary Coleman,
PLSC: Turf & Golf Course Management Mark Carroll,
PLSC: Urban Forestry Joseph Sullivan,
Agricultural Science & Technology (Minor) Bill Phillips,; Diana Cochran,
Landscape Management (Minor) Mark Carroll,
General Inquiries Diana Cortez,

See Diana Cortez, Lecturer & Academic Advisor for Undergraduate Studies, in 2139 Plant Sciences Building (301-405-4359), or email for additional information.

Undergraduate Research Experiences

Students have abundant opportunities to conduct research with faculty from this department as well as related programs on campus. Research opportunities are also available at government laboratories such as USDA, NIH, etc.


A great variety of internships are available that range from with scientists at nearby federal and state agencies, to working with farmers, greenhouse growers and fruit and vegetable producers, to working with landscape architecture and urban planning professionals.

Student Societies and Professional Organizations

Students from the majors as well as any interested students on campus may participate in the Horticulture, Agronomy, and Student Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (SASLA) clubs sponsored by the Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture.

Scholarships and Financial Assistance

Many scholarships and awards are available to PSLA students. Contact the Associate Dean's office at 301-405-2078 for additional information. The department also maintains a listing of scholarships. Contact the executive administrative assistant in 2104A Plant Sciences, 301-405-4356 for additional information on these scholarships.

The Office of Student Financial Aid (OSFA) administers all types of federal, state and institutional financial assistance programs and, in cooperation with other university offices, participates in the awarding of scholarships to deserving students. For information, visit: