MREC and Teaching Programs
Within the University of Florida is the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) and within IFAS, lies the Mid-Florida Research and Education Center (MREC). IFAS and MREC have three focuses: research, teaching, and Extension.
The University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) is a federal-state-county partnership dedicated to developing knowledge in agriculture, human and natural resources, and the life sciences, and enhancing and sustaining the quality of human life by making that information accessible.
Undergraduate and graduate programs available at MREC are offered by the University of Florida’s renowned College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS).
The Mid-Florida Research and Education Centers serves an array of students with varying levels of professional and educational experience. Here, traditional students, those who enroll in post-secondary education after completing their high school degree, and non-traditional students, those with professional career experience, work alongside each other to earn their undergraduate and graduate degrees.
Our facilities support hands-on learning through one-on-one relationships with faculty in over 40,000 square feet of space devoted to plant science research. Faculty at MREC specialize in plant production, breeding, entomology, pathology, economics, water conservation, and Extension programming to support the changing landscape of central Florida’s agriculture sector. Our goal is to prepare the next generation of horticultural professionals for exciting careers in the everchanging field of plant science.
The Mid-Florida Research and Education Center connects students to scholarship and internship opportunities from the university, local community, and greater Orlando area to support academic endeavors. Research opportunities with MREC faculty support professional development by attending academic conferences, networking, and academic publications—all strengthening a resume while preparing students for exciting careers in horticulture.
Students at MREC can earn undergraduate degrees in plant science and geomatics. Courses offered at MREC are often a mixture of online and face-to-face instruction, otherwise commonly referred to a hybrid course format. This allows students flexibility in watching lectures while still offering opportunities for traditional hands-on learning in laboratory settings.
MREC specializes in the plant science program due to its proximity to the industry, but we also equip geomatics students with the necessary computer programs, tools and resources to successfully complete this major.
What is plant science?
Plant science is the combined expertise and experience in a wide array of exciting disciplines to include: agronomy, entomology and nematology, environmental horticulture, plant pathology, and soil and water sciences. With such a mix of disciplines, the plant science program allows students flexibility to design an educational program to match their interests and career aspirations. Students can choose a general plant science program or specializations to focus on specific interest areas.
Students may earn a bachelor of science (BS) or a bachelor of the arts (BA) degrees, depending on their specialization.
BS specializations include:
- General plant science
- Greenhouse and landscape industries
- Native plant conservation
- Greenhouse and landscape industries
- Plant breeding and genetics
- Plant health and protection
- Soil management and plant productivity
- Sustainable crop production
- Turfgrass science
The BA specialization is Community Food Systems.
For more information, about the plant science degree follow this link.
For more information about the major and course requirements, check out the UF Undergraduate Catalog.
Schedule an appointment
To schedule an academic advising appointment, contact the MREC academic and outreach coordinator Angela Colonna at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is geomatics?
Geomatics addresses land information development and management through field survey, photogrammetry, remote sensing, satellite positioning and other techniques. Spatial information collected is then integrated into digital land or geographic information systems and made suitable for use and analysis.
Geomatics students learn how the Earth is measured, how Earth-based data are analyzed and how these data are integrated into forms and systems that people can use. Students gain hands-on experience working with field equipment and in high tech classrooms. Present land values, rates of urban development and environmental concerns require a broadly educated person to develop, manage and apply land information. Surveyors and mappers, the practicing component of geomatics, provide these professional services to society. This major is accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology.
In addition to being offered at MREC, this major is also available at the Fort Lauderdale Research and Education Center in Ft. Lauderdale, FL and at the Gulf Coast Research and Education Center in Plant City, FL.
For more information, contact the undergraduate academic advisor for the UF/IFAS School of Forest Resources and Conservation, Kristina Haselier at email@example.com.
The College of Agricultural and Life Sciences has a tradition of working closely with community and state college students to ensure a smooth transfer to the University of Florida.
As a transfer student, you will be welcomed into a community of plant enthusiasts who are eager to share their knowledge and experience with you, and help you prepare for an exciting career.
Here are the five things you need to know to transfer to UF and earn a BS in plant science in one of our eight specializations:
1. Have a G.P.A. of 2.0 overall
2. Complete these prerequisites with a G.P.A. of 2.0 or better:
- General Chemistry 1 and Lab
- General Biology 1 and Lab, or Intro Botany 1
- General Biology 2 and Lab, or Plant Diversity (Botany 2) and Lab
- Precalculus: Algebra and Trigonometry*
- General Chemistry 2 and Lab**
3. Have 60 or more semester hours from:
- A regionally accredited institution; or
- An in-state public community college, with an AA degree; or
- A Florida nonpublic postsecondary institution, with course work listed in the Florida Statewide Course Numbering System
4. Apply by these deadlines (and no more than a year in advance):
- October 15 for spring semester
- February 1 or March 1 for summer semesters
- March 1 for fall semester
5. Become part of the UF/MREC community by joining the Environmental Horticulture Club, a social committee, or become a CALS ambassador. Get research experience and attend or present at professional meetings. It’s up to you!
*Not required for Soil Management & Plant Productivity
**Not required for General Plant Science, Greenhouse & Landscape Industries, Sustainable Crop Production, Turfgrass Science
Schedule an appointment
For questions about transferring to MREC and verify deadlines, contact MREC’s academic and outreach coordinator Angela Colonna at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Advanced Placement (AP) exam credits
Many students have Advanced Placement (AP) exam credits that transfer to our program. To see how many credits each AP exam is worth to transfer in the UF system, follow this link.
For more information, check out the College of Agricultural and Life Science (CALS) Transfer Guide. In this guide you can find the requirements for transfer for all majors in CALS. Plant science major information begins on page 39.
The CALS Transfer Guide also contains the contact information for all the personnel who can help you with any major in CALS that you have interest in. Please don’t hesitate to contact us — we are here to help!
For more information about transferring or you are a transfer student from outside of Florida, please contact the UF Admissions office for details on admission requirements.
MREC has graduate students from a diverse array of countries and cultures. We offer graduate study programs in environmental horticulture, pathology, entomology, and food and resource economics. Graduate degrees offered at MREC prepare students for rewarding careers in research, adult education, Extension, and other exciting career opportunities in academia and private industry.
We offer graduate programs through the Environmental Horticulture Department under the Horticultural Science (HOS) Graduate Program.
These graduate programs offered are:
For more information, go to the Environmental Horticulture Department graduate program webpage.
If you have questions, contact the Environmental Horticulture Department graduate coordinator Amy Vasquez at email@example.com.