Fenn Bruns | Mustang News

The Cal Poly College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences (CAFES) Department announced May 5 in an email to faculty, staff and students that the Horticulture and Crop Science Department will now be called the Plant Sciences Department, effective earlier this month.

This change comes after over a year of research and consideration with input from people in all areas of the department, according to the email. 

“It was determined that the name Plant Sciences better reflects the interests of prospective students, predominant employment opportunities for graduates, and the department’s academic mission,” according to the email. 

This change will affect searching for classes. Like the department name, the Agricultural & Environmental Plant Sciences major will be changed to Plant Sciences. Fall 2022 classes will be under the new prefix of PLSC (Plant Sciences), and the AEPS (Agricultural and Environmental Plant Sciences) prefix will no longer be searchable. 

In addition, students following the current catalog will graduate with a degree in AEPS, while those following the newest catalog (2022-2025) will graduate with a PLSC degree. 

Plant Sciences better reflects the curriculum and the careers students enter after graduation. According to the Cal Poy Graduate Status Report, the top employers for the Horticulture and Crop Sciences Department are Wilbur-Ellis, Driscoll’s and E. & J. Gallo Winery. The top job titles are account manager, administrative assistant and associate account manager. 

These job opportunities align with the curriculum the department offers, which is “designed to train plant scientists who are ready upon graduation to make informed decisions and recommendations regarding sustainable farming or horticultural practices,” according to the email. 

Plant science junior Jillian Gipson said the name change creates a more inclusive environment for prospective students. 

“I think that’s cool they’re changing the plant sciences major to be more inviting to others and be less intimidating to non-agriculture students,” Gipson said. 

Editor’s note: This article has been updated to clarify the date the department changed its name.