Genetics and Plant Biology

Undergraduate Program

Introduction to the Major

The Genetics and Plant Biology major is a broad based program emphasizing the study of plants from the molecular and genetic to organismal levels. The lower division coursework provides students with a foundation in biological and physical sciences as preparation for advanced study at the upper division level and in their concentration. The Department of Plant and Microbial Biology provides a rich and supportive environment for learning, and coursework from the department can be used as a foundation for applications to medical school.

Major Concentrations 

Students in the Genetics and Plant Biology major have the opportunity to pursue one of four concentrations through their elective coursework: (1) biotechnology and bioenergy, (2) plant diversity and evolution, (3) plant genetics, genomes, or (4) bioinformatics, and plant microbe interactions. 

Amplify Your Major

GPB is technical information that’s applicable to real post-grad jobs! I've learned about so much that directly translates to lab work, research, and real life.
Julia Sherman, GPB Junior

Four-Year Student Timeline

First Year

Explore Your Major

Connect and Build Community

Discover Your Passions

Engage Locally and Globally

Reflect and Plan Your Future

Second Year

Explore Your Major

Connect and Build Community

Discover Your Passions

Engage Locally and Globally

Reflect and Plan Your Future

Third Year

Explore Your Major

  • Focus elective courses on a concentration

  • Explore approved electives from outside departments for a more interdisciplinary experience, or build an emphasis by taking interrelated classes.

  • Ask your college advisor about the Rausser College Honors program.

Connect and Build Community

  • Help other students as a Rausser College Peer Advisor

  • Become a Golden Bear Orientation Leader and welcome new students to UC Berkeley.

  • Seek mentorship from your professors, faculty, and graduate student instructors.

Discover Your Passions

Engage Locally and Globally

Reflect and Plan Your Future

Fourth Year

Explore Your Major

  • Do a degree check to ensure you are on track to graduate.

  • Complete any “bucket list” courses.

  • Finish remaining major, college, and campus requirements.

Connect and Build Community

  • Join a professional association related to your interests.

  • Connect with alumni groups and build your network as you prepare to graduate.

Discover Your Passions

  • Teach your own DeCal course

  • Undertake an optional honors thesis or independent study.

  • Present your research at a college poster session or submit it to the Berkeley Scientific Journal.

  • Keep pursuing your interests through a fellowship or gap year after graduation.

Engage Locally and Globally

Reflect and Plan Your Future

What Can I Do With My Major?

Jobs and Employers

  • Analyst, Cornerstone Research

  • Lab Tech, Foriphyte

  • Research Asst., LBNL 

  • Research Assoc., Innovative Genomics Inst.

Graduate Programs

  • Biochemistry, PhD

  • Horticultural Science, Masters

  • Molecular Biology, PhD

  • Plant Biology, PhD

  • Soil Science & Agronomy, Masters 

Examples gathered from the First Destination Survey of recent Berkeley graduates.

Learn More

Connect With Us

Cal Day 

Come to Berkeley’s annual Open House in April for information sessions, campus tours, special talks, and more.

Golden Bear Orientation 

Join your peers in the campus-wide UC Berkeley orientation program for all new students.


Attend department events with students, staff, and faculty. Visit for news and updates.


The Undergraduate Advisors for all Rausser College majors are located in the Office of Instruction and Student Affairs in 260 Mulford Hall. 

Visit for detailed office hours and appointment booking links. You may email general advising questions to

How to Use this Map

Use this map to help plan and guide your experience at UC Berkeley, including academic, co-curricular, and discovery opportunities. Everyone’s Berkeley experience is different and activities in this map are suggestions. Always consult with your advisors whenever possible for new opportunities and updates.