CAHNRS Undergraduate Programs

The Science of Wine

Viticulture and enology combines the study of cultivating juice and wine grapes with the study of wines and winemaking.

The Viticulture and Enology major in Integrated Plant Sciences is for students interested in wine grape-growing and winemaking, as well as contributing to critical research and development opportunities in the wine industry.

Make a major discovery…

Meet Colin

Colin Hickey fell in love with wine making at WSU Tri-Cities. As part of his undergraduate work, he took part in the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange, a German study abroad program. Shortly after he accepted a position as the assistant winemaker at the Ste. Michelle Estates WSU Wine Science Center. This place has taught me a lot,” he said of WSU. “I’m working in this amazing facility … but it’s only the beginning. I plan to use everything I’ve learned here to keep growing.” Read more…

As a Viticulture and Enology major, you will take core classes that will introduce you to:

  • grapevine physiology
  • grape production, irrigation and nutrient management
  • microclimate and soils
  • grape and vine diseases and pests
  • the chemistry, biochemistry, and microbiology of fruit and wine,
  • wine production, and
  • vineyard and winery management systems.

All students have the opportunity to obtain research experience and complete internships in a vineyard and a winery to acquire practical skills.

This interdisciplinary program is offered through the University’s Integrated Plant Sciences degree program, and draws on the expertise of WSU’s departments of horticulture, food science, crop and soil sciences, plant pathology, entomology, and biological systems engineering.

Check out the WSU Catalog for Major Requirements.

V&E majors are required to fulfill 2 credits of Internship or professional experience prior to graduation. These experiences will allow you to:

  • Apply your classroom knowledge to actual work
  • Discover you strengths and explore your interests
  • Earn money while in college – most internships are paid
  • Network with professionals
  • Increase your chances of being hired at the time of graduation

You can earn credit for your internship by registering for VIT_ENOL 399 Professional Work Experience or VIT_ENOL 496 Internship in a Winery.

Check regularly for internships and job openings in the wine industry.

While the majority of students’ courses and credits are completed within the major, the UCORE curriculum provides courses that are the foundation basic skills that all WSU students must develop no matter their major.

The University Common Requirements (UCORE) is the center of the undergraduate curriculum and you will start taking these courses starting your first semester at WSU Tri-Cities. If you took AP, IB, or Running Start courses in high school, then you may already have met some of the requirements.

The UCORE curriculum is designed to be flexible enough to work for all majors. The program offers a wide variety of course choices and provides many individual pathways through the curriculum.

Not admitted yet? Talk with an Admissions Counselor and learn how easy it is to apply.

Transfer students who have completed an approved Associate of Arts and Science (DTA) degree at a Washington or Oregon community college will have fulfilled most of the lower-division UCORE requirements. Because students have to also meet the College of Arts & Sciences requirements, some students must take additional courses in a foreign language in order to complete the degree. Otherwise, transfer students will have their transcripts evaluated for UCORE requirements.

Use the transfer credit equivalency guide to learn how your credits will transfer.

If you are currently enrolled at Columbia Basin College and intend to transfer to WSU Tri-Cities, then check out our Bridges Program that provides a direct academic path.

Students who have already earned a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university, must complete a minimum of 30 credits of WSU coursework and fill the major requirements to earn a second degree. UCORE requirements are not required as they are met by coursework from the first bachelor’s degree.

Not admitted yet? Talk with an Admissions Counselor and learn how easy it is to apply.

Undergraduate advising is a partnership between you, your professional advisor, and your faculty mentor and it goes beyond course selection. Whether you plan to enter the workforce or continue on to earn an advanced degree, your academic advisors and professional mentors will guide you toward that goal. This holistic approach ensures that you are engaged in your academic plan, connected to the campus community and resources, and earn your degree as efficiently as possible.

Meet your advisor and get started on your academic path.

Minoring in a discipline outside your major field of study, allows you to focus elective credits, expand your perspective, and increase your skills. A minor will make you stand out to potential employers because it demonstrates an eagerness to learn and emphasizes your willingness to go above and beyond minimum expectations.

Viticulture and Enology minor

The minor in Viticulture and Enology requires at least 16 credits of course work outlined below. Nine of those credits must be taken at the 300-400 level and taken in residence at WSU or through WSU-approved education abroad or educational exchange courses. No more than 4 credits of VIT_ENOL 399, 495, 496, 497, or 499 may be used toward this minor.

Required Courses:

  • VIT_ENOL 113 Introduction to Wines & Vines
  • VIT_ENOL 313 Viticulture (BIOLOGY 106, 107, 120 or HORT 202)
  • VIT_ENOL 422 Sensory Evaluation of Food & Wine (STAT 212, FS 110 or VIT_ENOL 113)

Elective Courses:

In addition to the nine credits of required Viticulture and Enology coursework, students will also select an additional seven credits of coursework to fulfill the 16 credit requirement for the minor. At least three of these seven credits must be upper division. Courses not on this list may be used with advisor approval.

Possible Elective Courses:

  • SOIL_SCI 201: Soil: A Living System (3 cr.)
  • PL_P 300: Diseases of Fruit Crops (2 cr.; BIOLOGY 120, HORT 310 or HORT 313)
  • HBM 350: Beverage Management (3 cr.)
  • BIOLOGY 420: Plant Physiology (3 cr.; BIOLOGY 106 or 120)
  • FS 460: Food Chemistry (3 cr.; CHEM 345, MBIOS 303)
  • Any course with the VIT_ENOL prefix (varies)

Horticulture Minor

Horticulture is the science and art of growing plants for food, personal enjoyment, and environmental enhancement. Horticulture includes the production, marketing, and utilization of fruit and vegetable products that improve health and well-being, shade trees that reduce the urban heat island effect, bedding plants that increase business profits, and interior plants that reduce stress and enhance productivity.

See what other minors and certificates are available at WSU Tri-Cities.

The Viticulture and Enology major in Integrated Plant Sciences is for students interested in wine grape-growing and winemaking, as well as contributing to critical research and development opportunities in the wine industry.

Graduates of WSU Tri-Cities leave campus fully ready to enter the workforce. The Career Development Office offers workshops on how to develop a job search strategy, write a compelling résumé and cover letter, and sharpen interview skills – all of which will help students land a job in today’s competitive market.

The Career Development Office posts on- and off-campus positions for student employees and also work with students to identify internships, cooperative work experience, and post-graduation career opportunities.

See how you can become career-ready with a major in Wine Science.

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