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Plant Biology Master's Degree Requirements

Program | Faculty | Master's | Doctoral | Courses

The M.S. degree program in Plant Biology is designed to accommodate students of diverse academic backgrounds and with varied career plans. All students in the M.S. program are required to perform independent research and prepare a thesis. A minimum of 30 graduate credits are required of which nine must be in 600-level Plant Biology core courses, six to ten in M.S. thesis research, and four or more from journal clubs. The remaining graduate credits are elective. The candidate should select a faculty adviser by the end of the first semester, and thereafter prepare a thesis proposal. It is expected that the thesis will be of sufficient quality, originality, and substance as to warrant its publication in a peer-reviewed scientific journal. A final oral exam is based on the thesis research. It is expected that the student will finish the M.S. degree program in two years; funding is guaranteed for this period of time.

Fifth-Year Master’s Program

The Plant Biology Graduate Program offers the Fifth-Year Master’s Program exclusively for B.S. graduates of the university or any other of the Five Colleges. This accelerated program is open to students who have already begun undergraduate research in the lab of a Plant Biology Graduate Program faculty member before their senior year and intend to develop that project into a master’s degree. Both a thesis and non-thesis option are offered. Students who are interested in this program should meet with their academic and research advisers to discuss this option before the end of their junior year. Students are expected to complete the master’s degree approximately 15 months (including two summers and an academic year) after receipt of their bachelor’s degree.