Accelerated Master's in Plant Science

Landscape design

Research plant production and usage

The Master of Science in Plant Science program further focuses your education on the issues surrounding plant production, usage and economics with a dominant research component. The accelerated program allows you to begin working toward your graduate degree while completing the senior year of your undergraduate education. Therefore, you will be able to complete your master’s degree in as little as two semesters following your undergraduate graduation, although this may depend on the length of time you take to complete your thesis.

Accelerated Master's Degree option

Missouri State University majors in Agriculture, Biology, and Chemistry have the option to apply for preliminary acceptance into the MS in Plant Science program if they meet the requirements of the accelerated master’s option.  This option is tailored to those undergraduates who have acquired considerable plant science-related research experience in a laboratory through the departments of Agriculture, Biology or Chemistry at Missouri State University.  Students who are accepted to the accelerated program will be able to count a maximum of 12 credit hours of 600-or higher level course towards both their undergraduate and graduate degrees.  The courses must be in the area of economic botany, plant physiology, plant genetics, crop management systems, plant nutrition, soils, chemistry, ecology, fruit production, viticulture, enology, or ornamental plants and landscaping.  Courses to be counted toward both degrees must be identified jointly in agreement with the undergraduate advisor, the student’s research mentor, and the Plant Science Program Director.  This option will enable Agriculture, Biology or Chemistry majors to potentially meet the requirements for the MS in Plant Science degree within two semesters following the completion of the undergraduate degree.  Contact the Plant Science Program Director for details and additional information.

To be allowed to enroll in a course which is counted toward both the undergraduate and graduate degree, the student must be accepted as an advisee by a graduate faculty member and must be admitted into the accelerated program and have the permission of his/her undergraduate advisor, the Plant Science Program Director and the Dean of the Graduate College.  These signature approvals are shown on the Mixed Credit Form which is required prior to the end of the Change of Schedule Period for the selected semester.

Admission Requirements for the Accelerated Master’s option

  1. Junior or senior standing and a GPA of 3.25 or higher.
  2. A minimum of 25 credit hours of undergraduate hours relevant to plant biology (as determined by the undergraduate advisor, the student’s research mentor, and the Plant Science Program Director) with a GPA of 3.50 or higher.
  3. Laboratory research experience relevant to plant science under the direction of a faculty member in Agriculture, Biology or Chemistry at Missouri State University.
  4. Acceptance of the student as an advisee by a member of the MS in Plant Science Graduate Faculty.
  5. Approval by the MS in Plant Science Graduate Advisory Committee.

Mixed credit registration

Once admitted into the accelerated master’s program, you may take up to 12 credit hours in courses numbered 600 and above for both undergraduate and graduate credit. You must complete a mixed credit form prior to registering for courses that will satisfy both undergraduate and graduate requirements. Please note that mixed credit registration must be completed in person at the office of the registrar, Carrington 320.

Your dual credit courses must be in the area of economic botany, plant physiology, plant genetics, crop management systems, plant nutrition, soils, chemistry, ecology, fruit production, viticulture, enology, ornamental plants or landscaping.

Transitioning into full master’s program

You will be fully admitted into the plant science graduate program once you have fulfilled all the requirements for your bachelor’s degree. You must also meet all the requirements for admission into the Graduate College.

Research thesis

The completion of a thesis is a requirement for students in the plant science graduate program. During your first semester, you declare an area of specialization and begin to pursue a research project under the supervision of your graduate faculty advisory committee.

Based on faculty expertise and facility features, you will find many possible research areas to pursue:

  • Agronomy 
  • Crop management systems
  • Economic botany 
  • Enology and viticulture (study of grapes) 
  • Entomology
  • Fruit production
  • Horticulture/pomology
  • Ornamental plants and landscaping
  • Plant genetics and molecular biology
  • Plant physiology/ecology
  • Plant protection

Comprehensive exam

In addition to completing a thesis, all plant science graduate students must pass a comprehensive exam, which is taken during your second year in the program.