University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
College of ACES
ACES Academic Programs
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Plant Protection

Learn how to protect plants from the effects of disease, pests, and weeds through courses in crops, soils, plant diseases, pest management, and weed sciences.

  • Plant Protection students act as “investigators” working to solve problems related to plant health. From pests to diseases, students are well equipped to identify causes of stress to crops and work to minimize their damage.
  • Students have the opportunity to work alongside faculty through undergraduate research projects and independent study.
  • Graduates often pursue advanced degrees in weed sciences, plant pathology, orentomology.
  • Potential employers include crop consulting firms, chemical and seed companies, state and federal research laboratories, and agronomic and horticultural production companies.
See current requirements

Questions about this concentration can be directed to

Dr. Fred Kolb
Undergraduate Teaching Coordinator
AE-120 B Turner Hall
(217) 333-4256

Career Opportunity Spotlight

Farm Service Agency Program Technician

Rachel Vandenbergh

Rachel Vandenbergh, a 2012 Crop Sciences graduate, is now a program technician for the Montgomery County Farm Service Agency. Growing up in a rural community sparked her interest in agriculture and led her to pursue a degree in crop sciences.

“My agriculture background as well as my communication and organizational skills have allowed me to excel in my profession,” she says. “My U of I experience furthered my knowledge of the agriculture industry and practices and has enabled me to better communicate with farmers.”

Rachel developed her skills in the classroom and through her participation in a variety of clubs on campus. She was a member of the Sigma Alpha professional agricultural sorority, Field and Furrow Club, the Illini Poultry Club, and Collegiate FFA. Her club involvement allowed her to learn more about different areas of agriculture while making lasting connections with her peers.

“The classes at the U of I allow for a lot of hands-on participation and discussion to help students get a better understanding of all areas of agriculture and to open their minds to different viewpoints,” Rachel says. “The extracurricular activities offered give you another opportunity to gain even more knowledge, while meeting others who share the same passion for agriculture.”

CPSC Opportunities

Imagine where ACES can take you!