Current Student Resources

Current Student Resources

Agricultural Science & Technology | Landscape Architecture | Plant Sciences

We are happy you are part of our PSLA family!

Plan your academic future!


Welcome to the Department of Plant Science & Landscape Architecture!

Thank you for your interest in one of our undergraduate programs! We are excited to have you join our department. In order to prepare ahead we've prepared some information below for you to familiarize yourself with. Of course, if you have any questions please feel free to email us or write them down for when you visit during orientation!

Our Office Location: 2139 Plant Sciences Building, 4291 Fieldhouse Drive, College Park MD 20742

General Questions: Diana Cortez -

UMD Email Address: Have you set up your directory ID? Visit the Division of Information Technology's New Incoming Students page! This ID is important as it will establish your UMD email, and allow you to register for classes, view your financial account, and so much more!

Orientation: Please visit the new student orientation website for information for first-year students, transfer students, and parents and families. 

Advising: The Department has mandatory faculty advising for each of its majors and minor programs. Students are initially directed to the appropriate advisor in PSLA during Orientation. Subsequently, students will meet at a minimum of once each semester with their advisor. That meeting will occur during pre-registration. Advising sessions will focus on appropriate major and course selection, benchmarks, a four-year plan with progress toward a degree, internships and employment opportunities. Landscape Architecture students please visit LARC Advising.


Undergraduate Advising

The Department has mandatory faculty advising for each of its majors and minor programs. Students are initially directed to the appropriate advisor in PSLA during Orientation. Subsequently, students will meet at a minimum of once each semester with their advisor. That meeting will occur during pre-registration. Advising sessions will focus on appropriate major and course selection, benchmarks, a four-year plan with progress toward a degree, internships and employment opportunities.

Change your Major. If you are interested in declaring your major to AGST, PLSC, or LARC please sign up for a Change Your Major Workshop. Also, set-up a time to meet with the faculty advisor for that major. If you have additional questions, please email Diana Cortez at

Sign up for a Change Your Major Workshop

Prepare for Advising

  1. Check your assigned registration appointment. This is the earliest you can register for classes after meeting with your advisor. This does not indicate when you will meet with your advisor; you should meet with your advisor prior to this date and time. 

  2. Set-up an appointment with your faculty advisor prior to your assigned time from previous step.

  3. Review your 4-year plan, including your CORE GENED requirements to make sure you are on track. Please confirm any exceptions with your faculty advisor. 

  4. Review your Degree Audit to ensure that you are on track. Please make note of any questions/exceptions required so your advisor can review/edit as needed. You can also find your unofficial transcript by visiting Testudo.

  5. You can also use Venus which is a very useful interactive scheduling and registration system. It helps you find the best schedule for you!

  6. Highly recommended: You may also meet with AGNR Peer Mentors

  7. Complete a Schedule Request Form to indicate which classes you need.

  8. Print out schedule form. Reminder: Class and advising blocks will not be lifted until after you see your faculty advisor so plan ahead. Bring to your advising form completed. You must bring in your schedule request form filled out; if not you will have to reschedule.

  9. At your appointment the faculty advisor will handle exceptions, answer unique advising questions, and discuss your progress, goals, and academic direction. It will be useful if you prepare a list of questions and concerns before your advising meeting. This will ensure all your questions are answered promptly.

  10. Get approval and advising block removed by your faculty advisor. Please let your advisor know if you are planning on dropping a course. This might have an impact to your time to graduation so it is important that you discuss this with your advisor prior to dropping the course.


  1. Do not take courses outside of campus without first getting permission to do so. Contact your faculty advisor for more information. 

  2. If you are planning to graduate next semester, please apply to graduate through Testudo's "Graduation - Apply Here" option.

  3. Discuss any potential exceptions requests with your faculty advisor. For more information, please visit the Undergraduate Catalog for university policies, fee information, and much more!

  4. Don't forget that you have at your disposal many Tutoring & Academic Success Support services on campus!

Additional Questions?

For general questions, you can contact Diana Cortez, You may also check out the Student Success Office website for useful resources. 


Faculty Advisors

Major/Concentration Faculty Photo Faculty Advisor

General Questions

Diana Cortez

Diana Cortez | 301-405-4359 | PLS 2139


*Please note that if you are using your phone to schedule an appointment be sure the calendar is set to EST and not GMT.

Agricultural Science & Technology: Agronomy Specialization

(Major code: 0101A, previously 01010)

Dr. Bill Phillips

Dr. Bill Phillips | 301-405-1061 | PLS 2131 

*Please note that if you are using your phone to schedule an appointment be sure the calendar is set to EST and not GMT.

Agricultural & Extension Education

Agricultural Science & Technology: Secondary Education (0101E)

Dr. Melissa Welsh

Dr. Melissa Leiden Welsh | 301-405-6969 | PLS 2130

Agricultural Science & Technology: Environmental Horticulture 

(Major code: 0101B)

PREVIOUSLY: Plant Sciences: Horticulture & Crop Production (Major code: 0107B)

Dr. Diana Cochran

Dr. Diana Cochran, Environmental Horticulture

Assistant Clinical Professor & Advisor for Environmental Horticulture

301-405-6244 | 

Sign up

Environmental Science and Policy: Environment and Agriculture (ENSP)

(Major code: 2299T)

Dr. Deni Ruggeri

Dr. Deni Ruggeri | 301-405-0229 | PLS 2136

Fermentation Science

(Major code: 01131)


Learn more!

Landscape Architecture

(Major code: 02040)

Dennis Nola

Dennis Nola | 301-405-0066 | PLS 2138

Plant Sciences: Landscape Management

(Major code: 0107C; Minor code: #AG05)

Dr. Mark Carroll

Dr. Mark Carroll | 301-405-1339 | PLS 2132

Plant Sciences: Plant Biology

(Major code: 0107D)

Dr. Gary Coleman

Dr. Gary Coleman | 301-405-4371 | PLS 2128 

*Please note that if you are using your phone to schedule an appointment be sure the calendar is set to EST and not GMT.

Plant Sciences: Turf & Golf Course Management

(Major code: 0107E)

Dr. Mark Carroll

Dr. Mark Carroll | 301-405-1339 | PLS 2132

Plant Sciences: Urban Forestry

(Major code: 0107F) 

Dr. Joseph Sullivan

Dr. Joseph Sullivan | 301-405-1626 | PLS 2122

Four Year Plans

Four Year Academic Plans

Below you will find the 4-year plans for our majors/concentrations/specializations. If you have any questions please feel free to contact us and set up a meeting with us! 

Agricultural Science & Technology (AGST)

Landscape Architecture (LARC)

Plant Sciences (PLSC)


We thank our local and national partners for supporting the growth of young professionals. 

We e-mail all internship and job opportunities that we receive from private industry, state, federal and municipal government offices, and non-profit organizations out to students on our list serves. 


If you are interested in sharing any job opportunities you have available with our students, please email Please include: 1) your contact information, and 2) an ad for the job opportunity. If you wish to post campus wide, please visit Career4Terps. Thank you!

Internship Course

Students: Don't forget to enroll in PLSC389/LARC389 Internship class! For approval of your internship please contact your faculty advisor or Dr. Mark Carroll,

Other Resources

Check out AGNR's Internships & Careers page for more resources. You may also want to check out Sustainability Internships and Opportunities on the Sustainable UMD website. Or the University Career Center & The President's Promise page that has resources on how to make a career plan, find internship opportunities, and career exposure opportunities.


Minors Available

There are over 80 terrific minors at Maryland. Some of the most popular minors that undergraduate students in the Department of Plant Science & Landscape Architecture take are:*

*Minor courses may conflict with courses required for your major.

Advising for your minors goes directly through the minor program.

For a full list of minors please visit the Minors page: Minors by College/School | Minors Alphabetically.

For policies regarding to Minors you may visit the Undergraduate Catalog. Go under 4. Registration, Academic Requirements, and Regulations, then Degree Information, and finally Minors.

Study Abroad

Get your passport ready!

For questions about the application, registration and pre-departure logistics, please contact the Study Abroad Office at 301-314-7746. Applications should be submitted through the Education Abroad Office.   



Terrapin Take Off: Italy: Public Spaces: Then and Now

LARC188A. Investigate public spaces of the ancient and modern world using Sorrento and Rome as a base of study! We will explore how people perceive space, what makes a successful outdoor space, how people have historically used space, and how modern life adapts and utilizes spaces from antiquity.

We will visit and investigate many piazzas, town centers, and historic monuments. Discover the ruins of Herculaneum and Pompeii, the Greek temples at Paestum, the Amalfi coast, Florence, the Spanish Steps of Rome, the Campidogliio, the Forum, the Coliseum, St. Peter's Square, the Vatican Museum, the Ara Pacis, the Piazza Novana, the Piazza Popolo, the Pantheon, the Campo di Fiori, and the Villa D'Este.

This course visits architectural monuments and public open spaces to gain a better understanding of sustainable built, natural, and cultural systems. Included are tours of museums, archeological ruins, galleries, natural sites, farms, botanical gardens, and music venues. We travel by train, boat, and bus. The course ends with an Italian chef's cooking class and meal.

New Zealand

New Zealand: Environmental Sustainability

Course Instructor: Dr. Andrew Ristvey

PLSC 489Z (3 credits). This course introduces students to New Zealand, a country of islands with an interesting geologic history. Originally part of the southern super continent Gondwana, which consisted of Australia, South Africa, India and Antarctica, until earth movements created today's New Zealand islands.

Although it consists of relatively small islands, it has the distinction of being biogeographically defined as a land mass in which birds and mammals can achieve completed speciation. Its geologic past resulted in plants and animals being distributed over water and land throughout New Zealand. Today the biota of New Zealand are excellent examples of high biodiversity and the endemism of island biogeography.  This study-abroad experience highlights the natural history of New Zealand and the role that humans have had on its recent history as well current efforts to achieve sustainability on the islands.

Learn more

New Zealand: Sustainable Transformation and Adaptation: Culture and Earth 

Course Instructor: Dennis Nola, PLA, ASLA.

LARC489N (3 credits). This program investigates the unique land forms and geology of the stunningly beautiful country of New Zealand and its unique and varied geologic forms, including thermal springs, geysers, caves, glaciers, plant life, fjords, and beaches. This course explores the country and its culture, engaging students in tours, hikes, excursions, and visits to museums, universities, and farm demonstrations. Of equal importance will be an investigation of cultural issues related to the colonization of the Maoris by the English settlers. Students will track the history of colonization from the introduction of English settlers to the present through the influences and challenges that have unfolded. New Zealand is the land of extreme sports and remarkable natural beauty. Time and opportunity will be given to individual pursuits such as bungee jumping, sky-diving, and whitewater rafting. A special visit will be provided to the Hobbit village movie set that was used in the filming of The Lord of the Rings. Students will also explore Auckland, Queenstown, Milford Sound, Franz Josef glacier, Rotorua, Matamata, Hobbiton, Waitangi, 90 mile beach, and Waitomo.

Read what Chris Chima experienced during their respective trips to New Zealand!

 Learn more

Latin America

Medicinal Plants of the Amazon and the Andes

Faculty Instructor: Dr. Andrea Ottesen

PLSC489X (3 credits). Medicinal Plants of the Amazon and the Andes uses one of the most biologically diverse regions on the planet as a classroom setting to expose students to the incredible biochemistry of the flora of primary and secondary tropical rainforest. Students will learn about local medicinal plants and local Peruvian uses of plant properties to treat a wide range of ailments. Local healers will demonstrate preparation and use of specific plants. Toxic components of tropical plants will be examined and drugs that have been derived from rainforest biochemistry will be discussed. Sustainability issues will be introduced and examined from pharmaceutical "food pharmacy" and global health perspectives.
Learn more

Sustainable Futures - Monteverde, Costa Rica

This ten-week summer course of study is designed to offer students the opportunity to live and work on ecological and social projects in a rural, but rapidly developing region in Costa Rica. This is a multi-disciplinary program designed for students from various disciplines, including architecture, planning, landscape architecture, resource management, and international development. Students participate in a seminar on sustainable development, enroll in Spanish language classes, and take an intensive studio/internship with one of the many organizations in the Monteverde zone working toward sustainability. There is a final report, plans or design scheme, or actual environment intervention, depending on the nature of the work. In addition, there is a series of lectures and field trips to local cooperatives, ecologically managed farms, and various forest reserves.

This is a semester's worth of credits (12-13 credits) in a small rural community next to the Monteverde Cloud Forest Preserve in Costa Rica. Students work with community residents on various projects jointly defined. Participating programs hosted by the Monteverde Institute include University of Maryland Landscape Architecture Program, University of New York at Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning, University of Illinois Department Urban and Regional Planning and University of New York ESF at Syracuse. Fluency in Spanish is encouraged but not required.

For more information, contact David Myers, PhD, PLA, ASLA.

Support Services

Safety & Other Resources

There are many resources available to you as a University of Maryland student. Check out the Student Life page for a list of the many services on campus.

Below are examples of some of the many resources available on campus for students.