Major Information

Contact Info

    Allee Hochmuth
Allee Hochmuth
Academic Advising Manager
(608) 262-9926


In This Section

Current Students: 

Your info is on the Hub site.

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How to Declare

To declare the Plant Pathology major students must meet with CALS Advising Services, the Russell Labs Academic Advising Manager Allee Hochmuth in particular. 

If you have questions about the field of Plant Pathology, please contact Dr. Jeri Barak.

For general information on admissions to the University of Wisconsin-Madison please visit the Undergraduate Admissions website.

+Major & Degree Requirements

University General Education Requirements

  • Breadth – Humanities/Literature/Arts: 6 credits
  • Breadth – Natural Science: 4 to 6 credits, consisting of one 4- or 5-credit course with a laboratory component; or two courses providing a total of 6 credits
  • Breadth – Social Studies: 3 credits
  • Communication Part A & Part B
  • Ethnic Studies
  • Quantitative Reasoning Part A & Part B

CALS BS Degree Requirements

  • First Year Seminar
  • International Studies
  • Physical Science Fundamentals – CHEM 103, 108, or 109: 4-5 credits
  • Biological Science: 5 credits
  • Additional Science: 3 credits
  • Science Breadth: 3 credits

There may be overlap between University, CALS, and Plant Pathology major requirements.  Students are strongly encouraged to work with their advisor to understand how these sets of requirements work together.

+Plant Pathology Major Requirements

The Plant Pathology major is composed of two tracks; Plant-Microbe Biology and Plant Health & Industry.

Track Plant-Microbe Biology Plant Health & Industry
Mathematics -alegbra and trig: MATH 112/113, 114, or 171
-calculus: MATH 211, 217, or 221
-additional calculus or statistics: MATH  222, STAT 301, or 371
-algebra and trig: MATH 112/113, 114, or 171
or students have the option or completing MATH 112 and another math course above 200, a statistics course or computer science
Chemistry -general chemistry: CHEM 103/104 or 109
-organic chemistry: CHEM 341/342 or 343/344/345
-general chemistry: CHEM 103/104 or 109
Biology -introductory biology: BIOLOGY 151/152, ZOOLOGY 101/102 & BOTANY 130, or BIOCORE 381/382/383/384
-genetics and microbiology: MICRO 303/304 & GENETICS 466 or two of three from BIOCORE 485, 486, and/or 587
-introductory biology: BIOLOGY 151/152, ZOOLOGY 101/102 & BOTANY 130, or BIOCORE 381/382/383/384
-genetics: GENETICS 466
Physics -general physics: PHYSICS 103/104, 201/202, or 207/208 -general physics: PHYSICS 103, 201 or 207
Plant Pathology Core -introductory plant pathology: PL PATH 300
-mycology: PL PATH/BOTANY 332
-plant physiology: BOTANY 500
-advanced plant pathology: another PL PATH course above 300 (not including special topics or independent study)
-introductory plant pathology: PL PATH 300
-mycology: PL PATH/BOTANY 332
-advanced plant biology: PL PATH 559 or BOTANY 500
-advanced plant pathology: another PL PATH course above 300 (not including special topics or independent study)
Track Electives -5 credits from BIOCHEM 501, BOTANY 300, 400 or 401, 460, ENTOM 302 or any PL PATH course above 300 not used elsewhere -24 credits of Plant health and industry electives from departments such as ARONOMY, BOTANY, ENTOM, F&W ECOL, HORT, MICRO, SOIL SCI, and/or PL PATH
-6 credits of business/economics electives
Capstone -independent study/research: PL PATH 590 -independent study/research: PL PATH 590

Additional information regarding general education requirements and a sample 4-year plan can he found in the UW-Madison Guide.

+Undergraduate Capstone Experience

The goals of the capstone experience are to:

  • build interdisciplinary connections;
  • build skills for teamwork;
  • develop skills in problem solving and critical thinking;
  • develop communication skills.

A faculty member will act as a capstone advisor and work with students to develop the details and strategy for the project. It is up to the student and advisor to narrow the focus of each specific project.

To receive credit for the capstone experience students must register for Plant Pathology 590 Capstone for at least 3 credits with their capstone advisor.  Once a student has come to an agreement with their capstone advisor regarding the project details the advisor should contact the Academic Advising Manager to get the student authorized for the correct section of Plant Pathology 590.

Students, their capstone advisor and their major advisor will all also need to fill out the  Capstone_Agreement_Form.  Approval of the capstone will not be submitted to CALS until this form is filed with the Plant Pathology major advisor.

Examples of experiences students could participate in include:

  • participation in a faculty members research program;
  • one or more integrated plant disease clinic-like experiences that involve receiving the problem from the client, processing the diagnosis, participating in the decision as to what to proscribe, and participating in the delivery of the recommended procedures or information;
  • demonstrating a knowledge of information sources, types of sources, and their uses and values;
  • demonstrating an understanding of where plant pathology fits in the broader plant and global health scene;
  • attending professional meetings as part of the learning experience.
+Undergraduate Independent Study

Students who wish to receive Plant Pathology 299 Independent Study or 699 Specials Problems credits will need to fill out the Independent Study Agreement Form.  Students should begin the form and then work with their supervisor or instructor on the specific information for their project.  Both the student and faculty member should keep a copy of the form.

+Undergraduate Internship Credits

Students who wish to receive Plant Pathology 399 Coordinative Internship/Cooperative Education credits will need to find a faculty member in Plant Pathology to serve as their internship advisor.  Student will be able to enroll in Plant Pathology 399 with the internship advisor.  Additionally, students will need to complete the following forms, the first is to gain permission to enroll in Plant Pathology 399 and the second is to receive a final grade.

+Undergraduate Advising in Plant Pathology

Students in Plant Pathology are assigned two advisors, the staff advisor and one of our faculty advisors.  Current faculty advisors include:

Undergraduates in Plant Pathology are required to meet with their advisor before they can enroll for the upcoming term.  A hold will be placed on student records until they meet with their advisor.

For more information about the Plant Pathology major or the department in general, please contact either the lead undergraduate advisor, Dr. Jeri Barak, or the Academic Advising Manager. Students with questions regarding lab positions (both paid and unpaid) in Plant Pathology should contact Dr. Jeri Barak.

+Careers and Professional Development

For more information on careers available to Plant Pathology students please visit our Internship & Job Resources page. For more information on other academic, co-curricular, financial aid, and career opportunities and services available to Plant Pathology students, please visit the CALS Career Resources page.

Students are strongly encouraged to participate in the Plant Pathology Undergraduate Club (PPUC).  The emphasis of the club is to help facilitate professional development for students interested in Plant Pathology with an emphasis on industry and academia.


Additional Information

  • Overview – What is Plant Pathology, a brief history of the department, a video on how an undergraduate education in Plant Pathology can help you make an impact on the world around you
  • Major – How to declare your major, major and degree requirements, Plant Pathology requirements, capstone experience, independent study, internship credits, advising in Plant Pathology, careers and professional development
  • Certificate in Organic Agriculture -information on a certificate to go with your degree
  • Courses – list of when classes are scheduled to be held (Course Rotation Schedule), current list of Plant Pathology courses
  • Awards and Scholarships – links to CALS financing your education website, scholarship application system, department scholarships
  • Internship & Job Resources – examples of possible internships, links to campus job and internship resources, links to other job and internship resources