Overview of Department

Plant and Microbial Biology at North Carolina State University

The Department of Plant and Microbial Biology is one of three biology departments within the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) at NC State University, along with the Departments of Molecular and Structural Biochemistry and Applied Ecology. The department focuses on the biology of plants and of microorganisms, and collaborates with the Biological Sciences Department in the College of Sciences (COS) in supporting graduate and undergraduate programs in Biological Sciences, Microbiology, and Genetics. The department offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in Plant Biology and administers the inter-college Microbiology graduate major.  The department also has strong academic and research ties with agricultural departments including Crop Science, Food, Bioprocessing, and Nutrition SciencesHorticultural Science, and Plant Pathology, as well as with the interdepartmental Biotechnology Teaching Program. The department supports an Herbarium, a Cell and Molecular Imaging Facility, and an Environmental Plant Growth Facility.


Faculty Research

The faculty members within the department teach and conduct research in a broad array of plant biology and microbiology disciplines, including biotechnology, cell biology, molecular biology, genetics, systems biology, biochemistry, ecology, conservation, and systematics.  Our faculty work with model plants and microorganisms, with plants and microbes found in natural ecosystems, and with agriculturally important crop plants. Additional information can be found through our research and graduate programs pages.


Our departmental teaching philosophy underscores our commitment to a student-centered education, the interdependence of research and teaching, and a dedication to extending our educational mission beyond the borders of the department to a diverse audience of learners. Our students have extensive opportunities for interdisciplinary education through our participation in interdisciplinary training grants and programs, which allow students to design an interdisciplinary course of study and to conduct research that calls on the expertise and labs of faculty in multiple departments.

Award-winning department

We are an internationally recognized department with faculty that have won numerous awards for teaching and scholarly excellence. Our graduates have gone on to distinguish themselves in the discipline and to hold positions in academia, government, large and small industry, and environmental and public service organizations, to name just a few.