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Weed Science

  • Overview

    This certificate will be offered starting in Fall 2020. The weed science certificate is designed to train students to make effective and environmentally responsible management decisions for agricultural weeds and invasive plants. Students will learn about the interrelations of weed ecology, management techniques, and environmental considerations in agronomic, upland, and aquatic systems. Completion of the certificate will provide students with the training to understand how weed management techniques and environmental science should be integrated into an overall management plan.

    The certificate is awarded by the University of Florida and also designated on student’s UF transcript. 9 hours of coursework is required, as well as a final comprehensive exam.

    All courses are offered online, giving students the flexibility to study from anywhere in the world to earn a graduate certificate from the University of Florida. The program maintains the high academic standards of the University of Florida. This certificate program is ideal for natural resource managers, government agency employees, industry personnel, agricultural managers, extension agents, scientists, consultants, and others for professional development and continued education.

    Applicants must have earned a Bachelor of Science degree from an accredited institution or equivalent and have taken one prior course related to plant science.

    For more information on the program, please contact:

    Dr. Candice Prince:; 352-392-9614

    Lorraine White:; 352-294-1586

  • Weed Science

    What is an Online Graduate Certificate?

    A graduate certificate provides students with an opportunity for further education and professional development. Graduate certificates have fewer courses than a traditional graduate degree program and are designed to focus on a specific topic or skillset, such as weed management. Many graduate certificates, such as the Graduate Certificate in Weed Science, are offered 100% online – there is no requirement to come to Gainesville for coursework or exams, making it ideal for students with full-time jobs.

    Options for studying Weed Science with UF Agronomy

    • M.S. and Ph.D. Programs:
      • Conduct original weed science research under the guidance of experienced faculty, and receive thorough training in the laboratory, field, and greenhouse.
      • Explore weed science topics through coursework. Credit requirements are 30 for the M.S. program and 90 for the Ph.D. program.
    • Weed Science Graduate Certificate:
      • This program is 100% online, making it ideal for working professionals looking for further education on weed science topics. It is a 9 credit (3 courses) program with no research requirement. 

    Learn about the biology, physiology, and ecology of nuisance plant species, as well as how to manage them in an environmentally.

    Graduate Certificate in Weed Science

    The Graduate Certificate in Weed Science is offered through the Agronomy Department in UF’s College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS). It is a graduate program that is ideal for:

    • Natural resource managers
    • Industry personnel
    • Government agency employees
    • Agricultural managers
    • Extension agents
    • Students considering graduate school or a career change

    Students in this program will learn about the biology, physiology, and ecology of nuisance plant species. They will also learn about the science behind management techniques and herbicide use, including how to control species in an environmentally responsible way.

    To complete the certificate, students must:

    • Complete 9 credits (3 courses) with a minimum 3.0 GPA
    • Pass a final exam with a minimum score of 75%

    There is one required core course (PLS 5632C Integrated Weed Management) and several electives that students can choose from to learn more about herbicides, plant management in aquatic and upland systems, or plant restoration.

    Requirements for Admission:

    • Bachelor of Science degree and one prior course in plant science
    • Students with a Bachelor of Arts degree may be accepted if they have work experience in plant management or related fields
    • No requirement for the GRE!

    Applications can be submitted online ( 

  • Why Weed Science?
    1. Job security and diverse professional opportunities
      • Nuisance plants are a problem in agriculture, natural areas, turfgrass management, and more. There is a need across industries for skilled employees that can manage weedy and invasive species. With the knowledge gained through Agronomy’s Weed Science program, our alumni have gone on to work as agricultural managers, R&D scientists in industry, biologists at the state and federal level, and as university professors.
    2. We are a solution driven science.
      • We don’t stop with simply defining the problem – we work hard to find practical solutions to help manage weeds and invasive plants. Once we find the right solution, the results of our work can be rapid and dramatic. Whether your passion is in agriculture or natural resource management, with a career in Weed Science you are able to make an immediate and noticeable difference.
    3. Innovative faculty and cutting-edge facilities.
      • We have faculty members at 7 locations across the state, placing them on the front lines where our most troublesome plants are found. Our Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants (CAIP) is the only group of its type in the world, with a cutting-edge mesocosm facility and field sites across the state. Work with our experts to pioneer solutions for agricultural and natural areas management.
    4. We are interdisciplinary
      • As a science, we combine principles of plant physiology, chemistry, molecular biology, and ecology. We use a mix of laboratory, greenhouse, and field work to solve a wide variety of problems, and frequently interact with a large and passionate stakeholder base. Every day is different with a career in Weed Science!
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