Graduate Programs

Graduate programs offer research degrees in horticulture and plant science. Graduate programs include: Master of Horticulture, Doctor of Horticulture, and the Integrated Plant Science Program.

  • Master and Doctor of Horticulture: Provides tailored Assistantships opportunities in research to prepare students for academic, governmental, and private careers. Graduate students work under professors in horticultural fields that best suit their interest.
  • Integrated Plant Science Program: The IPS program is a cooperation among eight departments, focused on recruiting PhD students with an interest in Plant Sciences. PhD students admitted to the IPS program rotate through three different labs in their first semester, before transferring to a departmental graduate program and starting their PhD work with a particular faculty member.

Horticulture graduate students interested in future academic positions can also pursuit an Interdisciplinary Certificate in University Teaching (upon approval of their graduate advisor), while working on their graduate education. Watch this video to learn more about it.

All applications to the horticulture graduate program are reviewed by a five-member departmental committee, which makes a recommendation about whether the applicant meets the departmental standards. Since each applicant is reviewed individually, we do not simply look at test scores and grade point averages. The statement of purpose and letters of recommendation are equally important.

Foreign applicants may also have to take the TOEFL (Test Of English as a Foreign Language); minimum scores for this test are 80 for the internet-based test, 213 for the computer-based test and 530 for the paper-based test.

We do not accept students without an MS degree into our PhD program, unless the applicant can show that he or she has experience that is equivalent to that of an MS degree.

Keep in mind that meeting the departmental standards for admission does not mean that you will be accepted into our graduate program. The biggest obstacle for many applicants is to find a faculty member who has an assistantship available. We get many more applications than we have graduate assistantships, so many qualified applicants may not be admitted. Therefore, we recommend that you contact faculty members who could serve as potential advisors before applying to our graduate program.

For potential graduate students who do not need financial assistance, there generally are more options. Those students are encouraged to contact faculty members who are active in an area of interest to see if they would be willing to serve as their advisor.

A list of our graduate faculty and their research expertise can be found in the Horticulture Graduate Program Handbook.

Finally, it is important to realize that the horticulture department does not make the final decision regarding admission of potential graduate students. The graduate coordinator sends a recommendation of admission or non-admission to the Graduate School. The Office of Graduate Admissions has the responsibility of reviewing the recommendation and notifying the applicant whether he or she is either approved or denied admission. The Dean of the Graduate School makes the final decision of acceptance or non-acceptance. Upon acceptance by the Graduate School and notification of the Department, a letter will be sent to the successful candidate by the Graduate Coordinator indicating the name of his or her advisor and other pertinent information.