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
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.
- 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...
- 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...
- Bloomington, INBloomington, IN
As one of the top Plant Biology programs in the United States, IU brings together faculty, students, and postdoctoral fellows in the study of plants from the molecular to community level. With more than 20 faculty members participating in the program...
- Austin, TXAustin, TX
University of Texas at Austin
Over the years, the Plant Biology Program (formerly the Department of Botany) has earned an international reputation for excellence in research and teaching in the plant sciences.
- Bozeman, MTBozeman, MT
Montana State University - Bozeman
Entomology: Current research in the department focuses on insect pests of agricultural importance, biological control of insects and weeds, integrated...
- Albuquerque, NMAlbuquerque, NM
University of New Mexico
Master's and doctoral degrees are offered at the Department of Biology at UNM with emphases in the areas of arid land ecology, behavioral ecology, botany, cellular and molecular biology, community and ecosystem ecology, computational biology, evolutiona...
- Clarksville, TNClarksville, TN
Austin Peay State University
Includes coursework, seminar series, oral examination, & research experience culminating in a presentation and written document.
- East Lansing, MIEast Lansing, MI
Michigan State University
MSU has long been recognized for excellence in the plant sciences. Graduate studies are offered through ten plant-science related departments and programs spanning the full range from basic biochemistry and molecular biology, to physiology, genetics, br...
- East Lansing, MI
- Stillwater, OKStillwater, OK
Oklahoma State University
The Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology occupies two state-of-the-art office and laboratory wings in the Noble Research Center. Additional facilities include: Scanning and Transmission Electron Microscopes at the College of Veterinary Medicine,...
- Stillwater, OK
- Ames, IAAmes, IA
Iowa State University
Plant pathology is the study of plant diseases. Our goal is to enhance the productivity, profitability, and sustainability of agriculture and natural resources by conducting research on the biology andmanagement of plant pathogens and the interactions o...
- Ames, IA
- Raleigh, NCRaleigh, NC
North Carolina State University
Provides leadership in the generation and dissemination of knowledge on insects and related arthropods that affect the quality of life of all North Carolinians. The department is committed to improving the quality of life by promoting the beneficial asp...
- Raleigh, NC
- Manhattan, KSManhattan, KS
Kansas State University
Plant pathology is the study of plant diseases, their cause, effects, and control. The discipline is closely integrated with the other biological sciences, with unique strengths in basic and applied research.We have personnel working on the major cro...
- Manhattan, KS
- Normal, ALNormal, AL
Alabama A & M University
- Corvallis, ORCorvallis, OR
Oregon State University
The Department of Entomology offers qualified candidates excellent opportunities for graduate study and research leading to the Master of Arts, Master of Science, and Doctor of Philosophy degrees with concentrations in various basic and applied fields w...
- Corvallis, OR
- University Park, PAUniversity Park, PA
Pennsylvania State University
The objective of this program is to educate and train plant biologists using the most modern techniques available today. Graduates from this program have gone on to a diverse range of careers, including positions in colleges and universities, research i...
- University Park, PA
- Tuskegee, ALTuskegee, AL
- Morgantown, WVMorgantown, WV
West Virginia University
- Lincoln, NELincoln, NE
University of Nebraska - Lincoln
Study in: Biological Control; Field Crops Entomology; Forest Entomology; Horticultural Entomology; Insect Biochemistry and Physiology; Insect Ecology; Insecticide/Environmental Toxicology; Insect Genetics; Insect Pest Management; Insect Systematics and...
- Lincoln, NE
- Pocatello, IDPocatello, ID
Idaho State University
M.S. program requires a substantial, original research project, 30 credits of graduate work, and a research tool. Ph.D. program is primarily a research degree. There is no fixed total credit requirement. Our graduate programs are committee driven and fl...