Ph.D. in Plant Science
North Dakota State University - Graduate School
3 - 5 years
USD 421 / per credit *
02 Oct 2023
Earliest start date
* COST PER CREDIT: North Dakota (and western U.S. states) residents $421 | Minnesota residents $535 | Residents of other U.S. states $632 | International students $737
The Department of Plant Sciences at North Dakota State University offers graduate studies leading to the following degrees:
- M.S. in Cereal Science
- M.S. in Plant Sciences
- M.S. in Horticulture
- Ph.D. in Cereal Science
- Ph.D. in Plant Sciences (optional emphasis in Plant Breeding and Genetics)
Areas of Specialization
Specialized academic and research training in Plant Sciences is available in plant breeding and genetics, weed science, biotechnology, and field and forage crop production and management.
Areas of specialization in Horticulture and Forestry include breeding and genetics, biotechnology, physiology, propagation, sports and urban turfgrass management, and production and management of horticultural crops such as woody plants, potatoes, vegetables, and herbaceous ornamentals.
Areas of specialization in Cereal Science may involve research in the areas of carbohydrates, enzymes, legumes, and other northern-grown crops; barley malting and brewing; wheat milling, baking, and pasta processing.
Each study area is designed to provide students with comprehension of the discipline and of relevant regional and global-community social issues.
The Department of Plant Sciences has a state-of-the-art facility for interdisciplinary research in plant sciences, ranging from basic studies and biotechnology to the more traditional applied areas.
Facilities for cereal science research include analytical laboratories for grain quality research, baking, milling, malting and brewing, and pasta and noodle processing.
State-of-the-art greenhouses and extensive growth chamber facilities are also available, as are 100 acres of field research land adjacent to the Plant Science Complex. An additional 500 acres of research land are located near the North Dakota State University campus. A horticultural farm only 25 miles west of campus has an extensive arboretum.
Excellent supporting disciplines located on campus include Soil Science, Botany, Food Safety, 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. The 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.
Applicants are not required to contact potential advisers prior to application.
Scholarships and Funding
Graduate research assistantships (half-time) are provided on a competitive basis based on scholarship and potential to undertake advanced study and research. Graduate tuition may be waived for students with a graduate research assistantship who meet the hours worked requirement each semester.
To be considered for a graduate assistantship, complete your application file.
A limited number of graduate fellowships are also available.
The Ph.D. Program requires completion of at least 90 credits; this includes 30 credits for an earned M.S. degree (Thesis Option), 2 credits from two teaching experiences (PLSC 892), 2 additional credits of the seminar (PLSC 790), and 20 additional research credits (PLSC 899). An optional Ph.D. Program of Emphasis in Plant Breeding and Genetics is available with additional course requirements as mentioned on the departmental website.
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. Candidates for the M.S. degree programs normally satisfy all requirements within a two-year period. Ph.D. candidates normally require three additional years. For M.S. candidates, an oral examination of academics related to the discipline and the research-based thesis is required. The Ph.D. candidates are required to pass a preliminary written and oral examination of academics related to the discipline and a final oral defense of a research-based dissertation.
A B.S. to Ph.D. program is permitted for students who meet higher admission requirements.