, M.S. - Plant Sciences
The Department of Plant Sciences offers graduate studies leading to M.S. degrees in Plant Sciences and Horticulture, and to a Ph.D. degree in Plant Sciences. Specialized academic and research training in Plant Sciences is available in plant breeding and genetics, weed science, biotechnology, field and forage crop production and management, and sports and urban turfgrass management. Areas of specialization in Horticulture and Forestry include breeding and genetics, biotechnology, physiology, propagation, and production and management of horticultural crops such as woody plants, potatoes, vegetables, and herbaceous ornamentals. The Department of Plant Sciences is located in Loftsgard Hall, completed in 1991, with modern and well-equipped research laboratories, offices for faculty and graduate students, and classrooms. As part of the Plant Science Complex, Loftsgard Hall provides a state-of-the-art facility for interdisciplinary research in plant sciences, ranging from basic studies and biotechnology to the more traditional applied areas. State-of-the-art greenhouses and extensive growth chamber facilities are also available. One hundred acres of field research land adjacent to the Plant Science Complex, and an additional 500 acres of research land are located near the North Dakota State University campus. A horticultural farm only 35 miles west of campus has an extensive arboretum and seven Research Extension Centers located throughout North Dakota offer field trial plots and research specific to the soil and climate conditions. Excellent supporting disciplines located nearby, or in the Plant Science Complex, include Soil Science, Botany, Cereal and Food Sciences, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Entomology, and Plant Pathology. The Department of Plant Sciences encourages interdisciplinary research, and students frequently tailor their research program to meet their interests by working with faculty in one or more of the supporting disciplines. Graduate student numbers per faculty member are limited, so the student gets adequate personal attention and works closely with their adviser in research. Final selection of the adviser will be made on the basis of the student's interest, availability of space in the researcher's laboratory, and a common desire of the student and professor to work together. The Department of Plant Sciences graduate programs are open to all qualified graduates of universities and colleges of recognized standing. To be admitted with full status to the program, the applicant must meet the Graduate School admission requirements. Students who do not meet all requirements for admission, but show potential for successful graduate study, may be admitted under a conditional status. Evidence must be provided, showing that the applicant's potential is not adequately reflected by his/her record. Research assistantships (half-time) are provided on a competitive basis, usually based on scholarship and potential to undertake advanced study and research. As of the 2014-15 academic year, the annual stipend generally is $17,000 for an M.S. candidate and $18,200 for a Ph.D. candidate, but this may vary based on the research project. Graduate tuition is waived for all students with research assistantships. A limited number of graduate fellowships are available. The information provided for the application to the Graduate School is also used to assign available assistantships to applicants. The Department of Plant Sciences also has numerous annual scholarships of $500 to $1000 each for outstanding Plant Sciences graduate students. The M.S. program (Thesis Option) requires completion of at least 30 credits; this includes 10 credits of thesis research. For each M.S. or Ph.D. candidate, a plan of study will be developed in the first year that meets the disciplinary requirements as well as the individual needs of the student. The faculty adviser and other members of the student's supervisory/advisory and examining committee assist in developing the plan of study as well as the student's research plan. An M.S. Program (Comprehensive Study Option) is also offered in Plant Sciences. This option requires completion of at least 30 credits, including 3 credits of a Master's Paper.