May 22, 2024  
2014-2015 Graduate Catalog 
2014-2015 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Plant Sciences Major, MS

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Both thesis and non-thesis options are available for the major in plant sciences, each guided by a graduate committee consisting of the major professor and two or more other faculty members. Studies are possible in a wide variety of commodities and subject areas, including fruits, vegetables, weeds, cereals, grains, turfgrass, woody ornamentals, and public horticulture. Students may specialize in one or more disciplines, including plant protection, molecular biology, breeding, genetics, biotechnology, physiology, ecology, culture and management.


Students should have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with evidence of ability to do work of graduate quality. Applicants are expected to have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.7 on a 4.0 scale.

To the Office of Graduate Admissions submit online application, application fee, official transcripts, and scores from the general portion of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). The online application procedure will direct the applicant to submit a separate application to the department, along with an updated resume, and a statement of professional goals and reasons for applying to the program. Applicants will also be asked to submit contact information for three individuals who will be asked to provide a reference letter. The reference contact should be capable of assessing the applicant’s suitability for graduate work in plant sciences.


  • Approval of the academic program by the master’s committee.
  • Successful completion of 12 hours of course work in the major at the graduate level (400 or above), exclusive of Plant Sciences PLSC 502  and PLSC 503 .
  • With agreement of the graduate student’s committee, six of these hours may be satisfied by ART 481 ; BCMB 522 , BCMB 523 ; EDPY 559 ; EEB 414 , EEB 433 , EEB 560 ; ESS 434 , ESS 544 , ESS 511 , ESS 516 ; GEOG 439 ; INSC 560 ; or SOCI 633 .
  • If approved by the graduate student’s committee, graduate level courses taken at another institution (that were not used to meet degree requirements for a previous degree) may be used to meet specific coursework requirements.

For additional information on degree requirements, please see Academic Policies and Requirements for Graduate Students  link.

Thesis Option

  • Satisfactory preparation of a written thesis proposal and its oral defense to the student’s committee.
  • Successful completion of 30 hours of graduate credit, which must include 6 hours of PLSC 500 . At least 14 of these hours must be numbered 501 or above.
  • Preparation of a written thesis and its oral defense.

Non-Thesis Option

  • Successful completion of 34 hours of graduate credit, which must include 2-4 hours of PLSC 503 . At least 22 of these hours must be at the 500 level or above.
  • Completion of a project and preparation of a written report summarizing the project.
  • Passing written and oral examinations covering the project and course work.


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