United States Master Degrees in Botany & Plant Science
A masters degree in plant science explores the science of plant life, including fungi, algae, and viruses. Botanists study a range of plant structure and function, including growth, reproduction, and disease.
This area of study may also be known as plant biology and conservation, biology, plant science, soil science, or plant protection, depending upon the focus of the particular school.
Ideal applicants to botany and plant studies graduate schools should possess the following qualifications:
- Strong background in biology and chemistry
- Interest in research
- Curious about plant life
Botany and Plan Science Graduate Program Application Requirements
Applicants to graduate botany and plant science programs are usually required to submit a personal statement, letters of recommendation, GRE scores, transcripts, and TOEFL scores, if applicable. Each graduate school may have its own particular requirements, so be certain to check with the admissions department for details. A strong background in the sciences, volunteer, work, and/or internship experience in the field (or a closely related one) will also enhance a resume.
Botany and Plant Studies Graduate Programs and Curriculum
A master’s degree in botany and plant studies generally takes an average of one to three years to complete, while a Ph.D. in botany and plant studies can take between four and seven years. Ph.D. students may need to complete oral and written exams, as well as a dissertation based on original research. Master’s students may be required to complete a thesis.
Students at botany and plant studies graduate programs might encounter the following courses:
- Weed science
- Plant classification
- Plant ecology
- Plants and civilization
- Biology of fungi
- Plant-bacteria interaction
- Biotechnology in agriculture
- Plant anatomy
- Plant disease management
In addition, they may focus their research on a
particular area. Some of these include:
- Plant Growth and Development
- Genetics and Evolution of Plants
- Plant Cell Biology and Physiology
- Plant Genomics and Bioinformatics
- Plant-Pathogen Interactions
- Fungal genetics and biology
- Infection-related morphogenesis
- Physiology, genetics and molecular aspects of host-pathogen interactions
- Plant disease management
- Biological control
- Mechanisms of disease resistance
- Molecular Virology
Botany and Plant Studies Career Paths
Botanists may find work at private industries, educational institutions, and state and federal agencies. In addition, botanists and plant scientists might also find potential career opportunities in industries ranging from pharmaceuticals to biotechnology, from food companies to lumber companies. Many governmental agencies, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of the Interior might employ botanists. Botanist and plant scientists might also pursue careers in teaching at the high school level, or at community colleges, or universities. Those working at universities might work as researchers, teachers, professors, laboratory managers, laboratory directors, department heads, and upper administration.
- Columbus, OHColumbus, OH
Ohio State University
The Department of Entomology at The Ohio State University is one of the best in the nation. It has a rich history and reputation for preparing entomologists for the future through a highly diverse graduate research, teaching and extension program. While...
- Columbus, OH
- Athens, OHAthens, OH
Graduate Programs We offer programs leading to the master's (MS) and doctoral (P...
- Baton Rouge, LABaton Rouge, LA
Louisiana State University
The Department of Plant Pathology and Crop Physiology has a long history of internationally recognized basic and applied research in agriculture. Climatic conditions in Louisiana allow cultivation and research of semitropical crop species-such as rice,...
- Baton Rouge, LA
- Blacksburg, VABlacksburg, VA
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
The plant pathology, physiology, and weed science department has programs leading to the M.S. (thesis and non-thesis) and Ph.D. degrees in plant pathology and in plant physiology and weed science. The M.S. programs usually require two years while a Ph.D...
- Blacksburg, VA
- University Park, PAUniversity Park, PA
Pennsylvania State University
Graduate study in the Entomology program seeks to develop students to assume leadership roles in science upon graduation. Students are encouraged to write research proposals, give professional presentations, and publish research articles. Emphasis is pl...
- University Park, PA
- Iowa City, IAIowa City, IA
University of Iowa
- Laramie, WYLaramie, WY
University of Wyoming
- Clemson, SCClemson, SC
The Entomology graduate program offers exciting opportunities for their MS and PhD degrees, both of which are research based degrees. The Entomology graduate programs are recognized for their leadership in environmental entomology. Research programs...
- Seattle, WASeattle, WA
University of Washington
The Department of Botany offers graduate studies leading to the Ph.D. and M.S. degrees, with emphasis in the areas of plant molecular biology, plant physiology, population biology, ecology, paleobotany, and systematics. The range of the faculty interest...
- Madison, ILMadison, IL
University of Wisconsin - Madison
The Department of Botany at the University of Wisconsin has an active graduate program leading toward the Masters and Ph.D. degrees. Faculty and graduate students work on a wide range of projects in plant biology at all levels of organization, from mole...
- Tallahassee, FLTallahassee, FL
Florida State University
The Department of Biological Science offers both Ph.D. and MS. degrees. Students can specialize in a wide range of subdisciplines within the biological sciences including plant biology and botany. Visit our department's website, and click on "Faculty an...
- Tallahassee, FL
- Lawrence, INLawrence, IN
University of Kansas
Kansas University has a tradition of pioneering excellence in entomology that has been recognized nationally and internationally for the past 120 years. In fact, "Entomology at the University of Kansas is as old as the University itself." As the result...
- Saint Louis, MOSaint Louis, MO
Washington University in St Louis
The Program in Plant Biology is one of eleven interdepartmental programs leading to the degree of Doctor of Philosophy within the Division of Biology...
- Fargo, NDFargo, ND
North Dakota State University
Specialized academic and research training is available in plant breeding and genetics, weed science, biotechnology, field and forage crop production and management, and crop physiology. Each study area is designed to provide students with a comprehe...
- Fargo, ND
- Stillwater, OKStillwater, OK
Oklahoma State University
The graduate programs in the Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology lead to Master of Science (M.S.) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degrees. The Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology conducts research on arthropods of entomological import...
- Stillwater, OK
- Morgantown, WVMorgantown, WV
West Virginia University
- Evanston, ILEvanston, IL
Northwestern University School of Continuing Studies
The joint plant biology and conservation graduate program between Northwestern University and the Chicago Botanic Garden offers a strong curriculum and research-based thesis to prepare students for future leadership positions in botanical science and...
- Chicago, IL