As a cannabis and natural medicinals major, you’ll get to harness your curiosity about the multiple aspects of naturally occurring chemical compounds and their uses as therapeutics in traditional and holistic medicinal practices. Through core coursework spanning various aspects of the field, this interdisciplinary degree integrates the science behind cannabis and medicinal plants, the business and regulatory aspects of medicinal plants, and the social and cultural aspects of medicinal plant use.

This major provides a strong emphasis on transferable skills that can be applied effectively inside and outside the industry. Critical thinking, problem solving, communication, ethics, cultural literacy, and scientific methods are fundamental to this degree experience.

Career Paths

The cannabis and natural medicinals major prepares you for multiple career paths in the burgeoning medicinal plants industry including scientist, business leader, medical ethicist, health care advocate, and many more. You can also apply agricultural knowledge to other aspects of plant cultivation, including hydroponics, or pursue graduate study in law, the sciences, public policy, and other topics.

Areas of Study

When you pursue the cannabis and natural medicinals major, you have the flexibility to choose the area of study that matches your professional goals and interests.

Analytical Science

  • chemical principles
  • organic chemistry
  • chemical analysis

Society and Philosophy

  • psychology
  • ethics
  • philosophy and religion


  • horticulture
  • plant nutrition
  • soil science
  • plant anatomy
  • plant physiology
  • genetics

Business and Entrepreneurship

  • accounting
  • data analytics
  • marketing
  • finance
  • agricultural entrepreneurship
  • organizational behavior

Featured Courses

Examine the role of plants and other natural medicinals in traditional and modern medicines in cultures throughout the world, including the historical and cultural aspects of natural medicinals, therapeutic uses of plant extracts, psychoactive compounds, natural extracts associated with religious ritual, and the future of natural medicinals.
Examine the history of regulation of natural medicinals, with a focus on cannabis, within the United States and globally. You will examine current enacted regulation at state and federal level, with emphasis on Missouri.
Study topics related to breeding, growing, and processing cannabis covering multiple strains of cannabis for various uses including seed, fiber, medicinal and recreational. Specific topics will include indoor and outdoor growth conditions, light requirements, growth media, nutrition, care schedules, harvest timing, pests, diseases and an introduction in to processing such as drying and curing. The laboratory component uses non-THC containing hemp plants throughout.
This introductory course with lab focuses on the underlying principles that are common to all chemistry disciplines. Topics covered include: stoichiometry, equilibrium, kinetics, thermodynamics, quantum mechanics and simple approaches to bonding (Lewis dot structures and VSPER theory).
Explore issues of biomedical ethics as presented in the papers of contemporary philosophers.
Study economic and social roles of entrepreneurship and small business using a framework built around financing, marketing, and managing the business.
Explore how prescription and social drugs interact with the body and the brain. You’ll study sedative-hypnotic drugs, drugs used to treat psychological disorders, drugs that stimulate brain function, analgesic drugs and psychedelics, herbal medicines, and anabolic steroids.

Experiential Learning Opportunities

Students studying test tubes in a lab


You have access to multiple labs on campus where you can conduct experiments alongside expert faculty.

Students working on research in greenhouse at University Farm

University Farm

The University Farm has a greenhouse and research plots where you can explore the complex field of medicinal plants.

Student in lab


Research projects can cover topics ranging from essential oils and medicinal herbs to teas and fungi.

Students in greenhouse


Internships allow you to get hands-on training in the areas of production, research, application, regulation, or other areas related to the field.