Plant science holds a special place at Connecticut College. Here, botany is its own department, distinct from biology. Major in botany and you have unparalleled study and research opportunities. Teaching and research are inextricably linked, and the department has an international reputation in coastal, marine and estuarine studies. We have an exceptionally strong program in freshwater botany, as well as courses in such diverse areas as terrestrial ecology, plant systematics, ethnobotany and plant cell biology. You focus on your areas of interest while developing a strong background in all aspects of plant biology.

Research opportunities

Thanks to a low student-faculty ratio and ample funding, you are able to conduct research with a botany faculty member, often as early as your first or sophomore year. In recent years, students have worked on projects in many parts of New England and the continental U.S., as well as Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, Venezuela and Peru. Faculty-student collaborations often lead to presentations at conferences and co-authorship of papers in top journals.


We offer top-flight transmission and scanning electron microscopes as well as light microscopes. You get hands-on experience in our extensive greenhouses and learn plant identification and classification in our Graves Herbarium, a renowned resource for scholars. Another unusual resource for a small college is our 750-acre Arboretum, a living laboratory with hundreds of species of native trees and shrubs and a large variety of wetland and upland habitats.