Summer is for Botany 
Make the most of your summer! The UW-Madison Botany Summer Program offers a diversity of online, blended, and in-person courses including field and lab offerings.

How do I sign up?

Current students should talk with your advisor or view the course guide. Enrollment begins March 27. Details at

Non-traditional students should contact UW-Madison Continuing Studies about the many options that are available.


Summer courses listed below. Click on the titles for times, instructors and prerequisites.


(open to non-majors)

Survey of Botany

BOTANY 100 May 30 - June 13 3 credits
Botany 100 is a three week course introducing non-biology majors to the world of plants, the environments in which they grow, and closely associated microbial organisms such as those growing in the soil. This course counts toward the Biological Science requirement of most undergraduate degree programs. In addition to daily lectures and laboratories held in Birge Hall, there will be several short outdoor excursions and laboratory experiments to illustrate biological processes (such as how beer is made).

Forests and Humans:
From the Midwest to Madagascar

BOTANY 575 May 30 - Jun 25 online 2 credits
This online course provides an overview of the geography, ecology, and economic importance of the world’s forest biomes. Students of this course will explore the main aspects and different types of forests, why humans depend on them, how climate influences vegetation, and in-turn how forests impact global climate. Participants will have the opportunity to meet scientists working to understand the astounding biodiversity and ecological complexity of forest ecosystems, and how these ecosystems support human life. 


(college-level introductory biology required)

Vascular Flora of Wisconsin

BOTANY 401 May 30 - Jul 23 4 credits
This is a primarily field-based course emphasizing the identification of wild Wisconsin plants.  Students travel the state visiting numerous habitat types and learning hundreds of plants, both native and exotic.  Weekly field trips are used to immerse students in learning the key characteristics of the most prominent plant families and genera in the Midwest.  Lab sessions include lectures as well as hands-on work dissecting flowers, keying plants, and making a plant collection.



BOTANY 402 Jul 10 - Aug 06 online + field days 2 credits
Dendrology covers identification, ranges, uses, and ecological characteristics of evergreen and deciduous woody plants, native and cultivated. The course is primarily online, with several weekend field days. 


Midwestern Ecological Issues:
A Case Study Approach

BOTANY 450 June 5 - July 2 online 2 credits
A 4-week, all online course exploring ecological issues significant to the Great Lakes region. Topics include land use, water resources, invasive species, a changing climate, and the ecological approach to mitigating these problems.

Ecological Techniques for Field Monitoring

BOTANY 459 Aug 21 - Aug 27 1 credit
This course examines field techniques to inventory and census plant and animal species and ecological processes, how to record, document, and organize your data, and how to be a biologist in the field. There is an emphasis on ‘keystone’ and invading exotic species. We will monitor the spread of invasive “jumping worms,” mark and recapture beetles, find out what biological hitchhikers are on the boots of Arboretum visitors, and much more. Instructor: Daniel Levitis


General Ecology

BOTANY 460 May 30 - Jul 23 4 credits
In this class, we will explore how environmental processes and biological interactions combine to affect individual organisms, populations, communities and ecosystems across the globe. We will survey and practice the tools and thinking processes used by ecologists to conduct ecological studies. Many of our lab sections will be spent in the field, practicing ecology!



BOTANY 474 Jul 10 - Aug 20 3 credits
Ethnobotany is the study of relationships between human cultures and plants. This course includes: traditional ecological knowledge, plant medicine, wild edible foods, domestication, plants in spirituality and other topics. We will have a combination of lectures, guest speakers, hands-on activities, and plant walks.