Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology












Home of Bioenvironmental Sciences

Our Mission:
Conduct leading edge research on plant diseases and plant-microbe interactions that directly and indirectly impact: Our ability to feed the world; Human and animal health; Environmental stewardship and sustainability. Educate and prepare leaders in the STEM fields of plant and environmental health through a creative and challenging educational environment that integrates scholarship, fundamental knowledge, and experiential learning. Convey information relevant to society through effective outreach and services that address plant health, food safety and environmental health to the citizens of Texas, the United States and the World.

An extension of this mission is to train the next generation of environmental professionals by providing them both the analytical and biological understanding to successfully protect the environment while promoting economic vitality.

Our Vision:
Positively impact our ability to “Feed the World”, “Protect our Environment”, and ”Improve our Health” by excelling in the education and preparation of students in the fields of Plant Health and Disease, Plant-Microbe Interactions and Bioenvironmental Sciences.


Undergraduate Graduate
A  B.S. in the STEM field of Bioenvironmental Sciences equips you to play a direct role in developing and implementing solutions to environmental problems. Our graduates often enter careers in industry or government associated with prevention and remediation of environmental hazards, such as microbial threats, toxic wastes, and other damage to fragile ecosystems.

Use of hands-on experiences in our classrooms, laboratories, and excellent internship opportunities ensure that you gain experience with the concepts and the technology essential for prevention, assessment, and abatement of environmental problems. Students in BESC have the unique opportunity to build their networking skills prior to graduation by participating in our student chapter of the National Association of Environmental Professionals, which hosts speakers from industry and government agencies involved in environmental careers.

Our BESC Professional Board is composed of environmental professionals from across Texas eager to help you succeed. We host an annual BESC Symposium and career expo.


Plant Pathology is the STEM field focused on science on plant health and disease, including the organisms, vectors, “-omics” and environmental conditions that influence  the outcome of the interactions.  We train  the next generation of professional phytopathologists.

We emphasize  fundamental organismal, physiological, molecular and genomic concepts associated with fungal, bacteriological, viral, mycoplasmal and physiogenic diseases.

Faculty programs focus on a diversity of plant-microbe interactions, from plant innate immunity, biocontrol, host-pathogen interactions (signals, volatiles), mycotoxins, pathogenicity mechanisms, control of programmed cell death, to biofuels. and bioinformatics.

The department encompasses projects that attack applied problems like plant disease control with both classical and modern approaches.

The department  is associated with various other Texas A&M departments and the network of AgriLife Research & Extension Centers.

We address the educational plant health needs in Texas of crop agriculture, green industry, homeowners, and other clientele with plant health issues. We provide accurate, state-of-the-art plant disease diagnostics, participate in national plant diagnostic networks, and train first responders.

We support Texas Extension agents through county-based Extension programs as plant pathology resources are requested. We contribute to the applied, field research responsibilities of the Texas AgriLife Extension Service.


Groundwater well demonstration at Texas A&M on March 11, 2021. (Laura McKenzie/Texas A&M AgriLife Marketing and Communications)

All Undergraduate Programs

We offer an undergraduate BESC degree along with a thriving honors program and minor

Bioenvironmental Sciences Degree

Our featured degree program for undergrad students

Dr. Brian Shaw with a grad student looking at an image from his microscope

Graduate Program

Offering a M.S. and Ph.D. customized to your desired focus

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Contact Us

To learn more about our programs or to talk to an advisor, Contact Us.

Plant Pathology and Microbiology
496 Olsen Blvd., 2132 TAMU
College Station, Texas 77843-2132
Phone: (979) 845-7311
Fax: (979) 845-6483