How To Become A Botanist? Education & Scope

By Varsha Pappachan

If you are eager and passionate about studying plants and working with them makes you happy, then the right career choice for you would be in the field of botany. Also called plant science, phytology or plant biology, botany is a branch of biology. It refers to the science of plant life and a study of the physiology, genetics, reproduction, metabolism, classification, structure, evolutionary changes, chemical properties, etc. of plants. Traditionally, the study of algae and fungi by phycologists and mycologists respectively is also termed as a part of botany.


The word botany is derived from the Greek word "botanē" which means "fodder, grass or pasture". A scientist who is an expert in this field is called a botanist, a plant scientist or a phytologist.

How To Become A Botanist

Do you have the following skills to be a botanist?

• Keen interest in plants and plant-related research
• Potential in mathematics, biology and chemistry
• Attention to detail
• Skills for study and research
• Patience
• Ability to work independently as well as in a team
• Strong analytical skills
• Eagerness and willingness to work outdoors
• Problem-solving skills
• Creativity and good comprehension while working on scientific procedures and research
• Ability to communicate clearly (verbal and written both)
• Mentally strong to be able to work for long hours
• Computer aptitude

How To Become A Botanist?

The minimum required qualification for you to establish a career as a botanist is a bachelor's degree in science. Moreover, if you wish to go for higher studies, then you would be required to specialise in one of the areas of botany. The levels of courses offered are bachelor's, master's and doctoral.

Various botany-related courses in India:

• Bachelor of Science in botany (available as an honours degree too)
• Master of Philosophy in botany (available as an honours degree too)
• Master of Philosophy in life science (zoology/botany)
• Master of Science in applied botany
• Master of Science in botany and forestry
• Master of Science in botany (available as an honours degree too)
• Master of Science in herbal science
• Doctor of Philosophy in botany
• Doctor of Philosophy in life science (zoology/botany)
• Diploma in applied botany
• Postgraduate Diploma in life science
• Postgraduate Diploma in medical botany
• Postgraduate Diploma in plant biodiversity
• Postgraduate Diploma in plant tissue culture

Some of the specialisations in the field of botany on the master's or doctorate levels:

• Plant Taxonomy (classification of plants)
• Agronomy (applying plant science to crop production)
• Phycology (algae related)
• Ethnobotany (related to medicinal or edible plants)
• Economic Botany and Weed Science (science of weeds)
• Plant of Ecology (related to the relationship between plants with the environment)
• Phytopathology (related to diseases in plants)
• Plant Genetics (study of genetics in plants)
• Palaeobotany (study of fossils)
• Forestry (forest management related)
• Plant Systematics (involves classification and naming of plants)

Some of the colleges/institutes in India which provide courses in botany:

PhD in botany

• Assam University - Silchar, Assam
• Annamalai University - Cuddalore, Tamil Nadu
• Bharati Vidyapeeth - Pune, Maharashtra
• Bhavnagar University-Bhavnagar, Gujarat
• Central University of Gujarat- Gandhinagar, Gujrat
• Cochin University of Science & Technology - Cochin, Kerala
• Dibrugarh University - Dibrugarh, Assam
• Fergusson College - Pune, Maharashtra
• Gulbarga University - Gulbarga, Karnataka
• Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) - New Delhi
• Jamia Hamdard - New Delhi
• Kurukshetra University - Kurukshetra, Haryana
• Madras Christian College (MCC) - Chennai, Tamil Nadu
• Manipur University - Imphal, Manipur
• MATS University - Chhattisgarh, Raipur
• University of Delhi - New Delhi
• V. G. Vaze College of Arts, Science & Commerce - Mumbai, Maharashtra

MSc in botany

• A. Veeriya Vandayar Memorial Sri Pushpam College (Autonomous) - Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu
• Abhilashi Institute of Life Sciences (AILS) - Mandi, Himachal Pradesh
• Acharya Nagarjuna University - Guntur, Andhra Pradesh
• Adarsh Mahavidyalaya - Osmanabad, Maharashtra
• Agra College - Agra, Uttar Pradesh
• Christ University - Bangalore, Karnataka
• Fergusson College - Pune, Maharashtra
• Hindu College - New Delhi
• Sri Venkateswara College - New Delhi
• Hansraj College - New Delhi
• Ramjas College - New Delhi
• St. Teresa's College - Cochin, Kerala
• Sacred Heart College - Cochin, Kerala
• Loyola College - Chennai, Tamil Nadu
• Miranda House - New Delhi
• Madras Christian College (MCC) - Chennai, Tamil Nadu

BSc in botany

• Aligarh Muslim University, AMU - Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh
• Banaras Hindu University, BHU - Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh
• Gargi College - New Delhi
• Fergusson College - Pune, Maharashtra
• St. Francis College - Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh
• St. Teresa's College - Cochin, Kerala
• Sacred Heart College - Cochin, Kerala
• Loyola College - Chennai, Tamil Nadu
• Miranda House - New Delhi
• Madras Christian College (MCC) - Chennai, Tamil Nadu
• Hindu College - New Delhi
• Sri Venkateswara College - New Delhi
• Hansraj College - New Delhi
• Ramjas College - New Delhi

Diploma in applied botany

• Rashtrasant Tukadoji Maharaj Nagpur University - Nagpur, Maharashtra

Postgraduate Diploma in medical botany

• The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda - Vadodara, Gujarat

Postgraduate Diploma in plant tissue culture

• Faculty of Life Sciences - Mysore, Karnataka
• Gujarat University - Ahmedabad, Gujarat
• St. Philomena's College - Mysore, Karnataka

Postgraduate Diploma in plant biodiversity

• Atal Bihari Vajpayee Hindi Vishwavidyalaya - Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh
• Gujarat University - Ahmedabad, Gujarat

Career Prospects For A Botanist

Being a vast field of study of plant science with numerous specialities, botany offers multiple career options to choose from. The job prospects can be really good for you, with the option to apply within India or even abroad for relevant opportunities.

Depending on your qualification, experience or training, you may have a varied range of job-related choices available in botany. While it is advisable for you to stay abreast with all the recent developments in your field of study, it is also highly recommended for you, as a botanist, to gain a PhD, since it would increase the value of employability for you.

Various studies or researches on plants as well as on the environment, medicines or genetic advancements related to the plant-family are required for the overall benefit of people and the society as a whole.

Botanists are able to contribute to all these fields and therefore, are mainly employed with educational institutions, government or public sectors or companies in industries, such as agriculture or forestry, oil, chemical, biotechnology, geological survey, environmental protection, drugs, genetic research, plant resources laboratories, plant health inspection services, lumber and paper, food, fermentation, nursery, fruit and so on.

Types of jobs available for you as a botanist:

• Taxonomist
• Plant Physiologist
• Plant Biochemist
• Researcher
• Mycologist
• Ecologist
• Weed Scientist
• Palaeobotanist
• Conservationist
• Fruit Grower
• Morphologist
• Cytologist
• Ethnobotanist
• Plant geneticists
• Palynologist

Pay Scale For A Botanist

The remuneration of a botanist entirely depends on the qualification, skills, experience and job profile of the person. Also, it may be different for the government and private sectors.

In a nutshell, it may be a continuous journey of learning, study, research and development for you in the field of botany. With the vast fields to choose from, you could opt for a speciality of your choice and pursue it.

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