The Plant Biology Program offers a well-balanced graduate program leading to the degrees of Master of Science, Master of Science in Biological Sciences, Master of Science in Education in Biological Sciences, and the Doctor of Philosophy. The first Master's degree was granted in 1948, and the first Ph.D. degree in 1965. All areas of plant biology have been represented during the course of the department's history, with some shifts in emphasis according to both changing interests within the scientific disciplines and changes in faculty composition. The current areas of emphasis are those of the broadly diversified faculty which characterizes the department and faculty members of other departments who participate in joint programs. The departmental Master's programs and the Doctoral program are based on a combination of course work, teaching and research. Together, a student and his/her advisory committee can design an individualized program to meet the specific student's educational goals and career aspirations.
Graduate degrees in plant biology will be awarded to students in recognition of their ability to do independent research as evidenced by the acceptance of a thesis or dissertation and by the demonstration of competent scholastic ability. Teaching experience in undergraduate courses is expected as part of the Ph.D. degree program.