Bachelor in Ethnobotany

Explore the scientific wonders of the human-plant relationship

Frostburg State University’s bachelor of science in ethnobotany is one of only two such undergraduate programs available anywhere in the United States. FSU’s interdisciplinary approach to ethnobotany allows you to integrate science and culture as a means to better understand our human reliance on plants and the environment. As a recipient of the Open Science Network in Ethnobotany grant, our degree program is able to take advantage of cutting-edge teaching materials and resources that deeply enrich your learning opportunities.

  • Join an ethnobotany program that offers state-of-the-art facilities and resources to enhance your research and learning.
  • Complete an ethnobotany major with 71 credit hours or a minor in 20-21 credit hours.
  • Prepare for a career as a field researcher, nature guide, research technician, naturopathic doctor, conservation scientist, plant taxonomist or teacher (with teaching certification).

Bachelor in Ethnobotany Highlights:

  • Study ethnobotany on a campus that is located near Nature Conservancy lands, state parks and forests, set amid the plant-rich Allegheny Mountains, ideal for scientific exploration.

  • Take part in service learning programs that help Cherokees maintain a sustainable source of plants for dyes, trees for basket weaving and other resources to continue their time-honored craft traditions.

  • Complete an ethnobotany internship with local or regional organizations such as state parks, farms or botanical gardens, if desired.

  • Join the Society for Economic Botany, the leading research society for ethnobotany, or our campus chapter of the Sierra Student Coalition.

  • Present your research findings at conferences, such as the Maryland Native Plant Society and the Society for Economic Botany, recently hosted by FSU.

  • Learn about ethnobotany using FSU’s exceptional labs and facilities, including an arboretum, herbarium, plant physiology lab and the plant taxonomy and dendrology lab that will aid your studies.

About Our Ethnobotany Faculty:

  • Study with faculty members who are passionate about their science and use it to preserve cultural keystone species including rare, threatened and endangered plants.

  • Learn in small classes that hold most lab sessions out in nature where students work side by side with their highly experienced instructors.

  • Engage with faculty members who are excellent teachers as well as published scientific authors on a wide range of ethnobotany topics.

Sample Ethnobotany Courses You May Take:

Dendrology – Collect, identify and study native and introduced woody plants in summer and winter conditions.

Plant Evolution and Diversity – Explore the origin, evolution and diversity of algae, bryophytes, ferns, gymnosperms and angiosperms. Study the comparative life history, morphology and representatives of major groups.

Economic Botany – Study the link between plant structure and human’s use of plants. Students will gain an understanding of the form and function of the plant body; plant nomenclature; history of plant use; origins of economically important plants; use of flowers and fruits for food and other purposes; and use of roots, stems and leaves for food and other purposes.

Find out more about Frostburg State University’s ethnobotany program requirements (PDF).

Also see: Frostburg State University’s master of science in applied ecology and conservation biology degree program.

Career Outlook for Ethnobotanists:

A degree in ethnobotany prepares graduates for work in government and non-government organizations focused on resource management, conservation and related areas where human communities and natural environments interact. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, biological technicians can anticipate job growth of 10 percent through 2022, which is the average across all occupations. For more information, visit www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/biological-technicians.htm (U.S. Government Occupational Outlook Handbook - Biological Technicians).

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