Biology (concentration in Plant Biology), B.Sc. | Duke University | Durham, United States
B.Sc. On Campus

Biology (concentration in Plant Biology)

48 months
62941 USD/year
62941 USD/year
Tuition fee
Apply date
Start date


Specialists are needed in all groups of plants, flowering plants as well as the less heavily studied algae, mosses, ferns and fungi (including lichens). The Bachelor of Biology (concentration in Plant Biology) program offered by Duke University is appropriate for students planning graduate studies in these areas. 


Pressures of development, particularly in tropical countries, are causing an alarming increase in the rate of species extinction, making the current resurgence in systematics especially timely. Given the reasonable estimate that systematists have only discovered and named perhaps 10% of the species on earth, and the fact that only a tiny fraction of those species have been studied in any detail, there is much work to be done in a short time. Many species will go extinct before we even know them; it is no wonder that systematists feel as though they are watching a huge, diverse library burn down before a card catalog has been prepared (or before anyone has read even 1% of the books!). 

Newly developed methods for data gathering and analysis of phylogenetic relationships position us on the threshold of a deep understanding of the history of the biological world. Loss of biological diversity is thus a disaster, both from an economic standpoint (How many organisms useful for food, medicine, or technology will go extinct?) and from a broader intellectual standpoint (How did the diversity of species come to be the way it is?).

Systematists must have technical skills to extract information at all levels of inquiry (e.g., morphology, cytology, genetics, DNA sequences, organic chemistry, anatomy, ecology) and the theoretical background to interpret it correctly. Modern biological systematics integrates a diverse array of disciplines ranging from molecular, cell and developmental biology, to ecology and evolutionary biology. Data-gathering techniques include DNA sequencing, protein electrophoresis, electron and light microscopy, controlled growth experiments, and field studies of ecology and distribution. Analytical methods are computer intensive: hardware such as digitizing tablets and video cameras are used for automated description of morphology (morphometrics), multivariate statistics are used to describe and compare species and other taxa, numerical cladistic programs are used for phylogeny reconstruction.

Employment possibilities

More immediate employment possibilities, after graduation of the Bachelor in Biology (concentration in Plant Biology) program at Duke University, are: 

  • in the National Park Service
  • state and natural heritage 
  • endangered plant programs
  • private consulting firms
  • conservation organizations
  • botanic gardens
  • herbaria

Systematic biology is a good way to indulge urges to travel, do science, and contribute to society, all at the same time.

Students fulfilling the requirements of the Concentration in Plant Biology will receive a note on their official transcript.

Programme Structure

Courses include:

  • Organismal Diversity
  • Food and Fuel for a Growing Population: Nuts and Bolts of Plant Growth and Production
  • People, Plants and Pollution: Introduction to Urban Environments
  • Fundamentals of Tropical Biology
  • South African Ecosystems and Diversity
  • Biogeography in an Australian Context
  • Plant Communities of North Carolina
  • Plant Systematics and Evolution
  • Plant Diversity: a Field Approach
  • Plants and People
  • Field Ecology
  • Mycology
  • Entomology
  • Systematic Biology
  • Microbial Ecology and Evolution
  • Macroevolution

Key information


  • Full-time
    • 48 months

Start dates & application deadlines


120 SCH


On Campus

Academic requirements

We are not aware of any academic requirements for this programme.

Other requirements

General requirements

  • Official transcripts for all academic work completed in high school are required and must be submitted by your school counselor or another school official
  • All applicants must complete either the ACT or SAT
  • If you are a non-native English speaker or if you are not currently studying in an English-medium curriculum, we recommend but do not require that you take an English proficiency test (DUOLINGO, IELTS, PTE, TOEFL)
  • A one-page personal essay as well as short essay questions specific to Duke
  • We require three letters of recommendation for each applicant: one from your school counselor and two from teachers who have taught you in major academic courses (English, mathematics, social studies, sciences, foreign languages)
  • A nonrefundable $85 application fee
  • To obtain an F-1 visa for study in the United States, a foreign citizen must furnish his or her home country’s U.S. consulate with proof of ability to meet educational expenses, along with the I-20 form.

Tuition Fee

To alway see correct tuition fees
  • International

    62941 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the tuition of 62941 USD per year during 48 months.
  • National

    62941 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the tuition of 62941 USD per year during 48 months.

Living costs for Durham

990 - 1670 USD /month
Living costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

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Biology (concentration in Plant Biology)
Duke University
Biology (concentration in Plant Biology)
Duke University


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