Program Requirements

Hanging out after class

The plant science graduate degree is a 32-hour program that can be completed in two years or four semesters. In addition to basic course requirements, you are required to pass a comprehensive exam and complete a thesis to be eligible for graduation.

Degree requirements (32 hours)

  1. Graduate Advisory Committee. Initially, each admitted student will be advised by the graduate coordinator of the Plant Science program. As soon as possible, the student, in conjunction with the graduate coordinator, will select a graduate faculty member from one of the four participating departments to chair a graduate advisory committee. Together with the student, the chairperson of the graduate advisory committee will select a minimum of two additional graduate faculty members from one or more of the participating departments. This committee will supervise the remainder of the candidate’s program.
  2. Program of Study. If not a part of the student’s previous academic experience, courses in plant physiology (BIO 644) and biometry (BIO 650) or applied statistics (MTH 645) must be completed within the first year of the program. The remainder of the candidate’s program will be structured by the advisory committee in consultation with the student. Academic background, professional experience, and career objectives will be considered in establishing the individual’s program.
  3. Course Requirements. The student is required to successfully complete a minimum of 32 hours. Course work taken from the Departments of Agriculture, Biology, Chemistry, Fruit Science, or Mathematics must total at least 23 hours with a minimum of 16 hours from courses numbered 700 through 799 inclusive.
  4. Colloquium. Two hours of credit must be earned in AGP 700, Plant Science Colloquium.
  5. Electives. Upon approval of the advisory committee, graduate courses from related fields may be selected to a maximum of 9 hours within the 32-hour degree requirement.
  6. Research Requirement.

    Thesis Option: The Thesis option requires the completion of a research thesis supervised by the student's advisory committee. The thesis shall be approved by the advisory committee and by the Graduate College before the degree is granted. A maximum of six hours of thesis credit can be applied toward the minimum hours required for the master's degree. An oral defense of the thesis is required.

    Non-Thesis Option: The Non-Thesis option requires the completion of a minimum of one semester course which shall require an extensive research paper or creative work. The student's advisory committee must approve the final research paper and complete a Seminar Report Form that is submitted to the academic department chosen as the major area of concentration and subsequently to the Graduate College for the approval of the Dean.
  7. Qualifying Examination. A written qualifying examination will be administered after most of the course work has been completed. This examination must be passed by the candidate before a degree will be given.