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Abstract

Admissions Information

Application Deadlines

Degree Requirements

Facilities

Financial Assistance

Contact

Website

Courses

Keywords

Faculty

Professor

Culver, James N., Full Member

Everts, Kathryne L., Full Member

Lea-Cox, John D., Full Member

Murphy, Angus S., Full Member

Sullivan, Joseph H., Full Member

Walsh, Christopher S., Full Member

Associate Professor

Carroll, Mark J., Full Member

Chaverri, Priscila, Full Member

Coleman, Gary D., Full Member

Kratochvil, Robert James, Full Member

Neel, Maile, Full Member

Turner, Thomas R., Full Member

Xiao, Shunyuan, Full Member

Zhu, Jianhua, Full Member

Assistant Professor

Cook, Kelly, Full Member

Johnson, Lea, Full Member

Micallef, Shirley, Full Member

Schulz, Burkhard, Full Member

Swett, Cassandra L., Full Member

Tully, Katherine, Full Member

Agent

Ristvey, Andrew, Adjunct Member

Adjunct Professor

Cregan, Perry B., Adjunct Member

Affiliate Professor

Chang, Caren, Full Member

Cooke, Todd J., Full Member

Liu, Zhongchi, Full Member

Sze, Heven, Full Member

Affiliate Assistant Professor

Peer, Wendy A., Full Member

Assistant Clinical Professor

Phillips, William Henry, Full Member

More PLSC Faculty Information




Plant Science (PLSC)   

Program Title and Classification

Plant Science

Graduate Degree Program

College: Agriculture and Natural Resources

Abstract

The Plant Science (PLSC) graduate program offers training with concentrations in Agronomy, Cell Biology, Functional Genomics, Molecular Physiology, Conservation Biology and Ecology, Pathology, and Landscape Ecosystems Management. Students are trained by graduate faculty with an emphasis on interdisciplinary education and mastery of their chosen area of study. All PLSC graduate training is thesis-based, and an emphasis is placed on research and discovery learning rather than coursework. Students work directly with internationally-recognized graduate faculty who are leaders in their disciplines. Students are guided in their studies by a major professor as well as a graduate advisory committee selected by the student from experts on the campus, nearby research institutions, and other universities. The program offers Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees. Tuition, fees, and stipends of Ph. D students are generally supported by extramural funding or by the department through teaching or graduate research assistantships. M.S. students can be extramurally or self-funded. The objectives of the Plant Science graduate program are: - To provide students with the skills in analyzing and interpreting quantitative and qualitative information; using inductive and deductive reasoning; and communicating in both verbal and written form. - To train a next generation of plant science researchers to lead public and private efforts to provide a secure and nutritious food supply, maintain and restore ecosystems, and provide high quality plant science education. - To advance knowledge in plant sciences that is critical to the improvement of the efficiency, profitability and sustainability of global and national agricultural and natural resources. The Plant Science graduate program seeks to maximize the close association of the many national laboratories (USDA, FDA, NASA, NIST, NIH, DOE, etc.) with have cooperative agreements with the department and the University of Maryland. As a result, graduates of the program are particularly well trained for employment in public and private sector research positions.

Admissions Information

General Requirements:

Program-Specific Requirements:

  • Letters of Recommendation (3)
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE)
  • CV/Resume
  • Publications/Presentations
  • Description of Research
  • Faculty of Interest

Admission to the program requires a baccalaureate from an accredited college or university in the United States or the equivalent in a foreign country. Applicants are expected to have a 3.0 cumulative grade point average (4.0 scale) in all previous academic work. All applicants must submit Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores and an acceptable combined score of 300 on the verbal and quantitative portions of the GRE are desirable.

Equipment and expertise for next generation sequencing, laser scanning confocal, life science imaging, bioinformatics, genomics, proteomics, and metabolomics are available either in the department or on campus. Extensive controlled-environment facilities, including state-of-the-art growth chambers and a large and modern greenhouse complex are complemented by a large network of field research facilities located strategically across the state representing various environments with different climates and soil types. Students have access to computer labs and shared processing arrays and a comprehensive computer center located on campus.

The University Libraries on campus and both the National Agriculture Library and Library of Congress located nearby make the library resources accessible to students among the best in the nation. Many of the Departments projects are conducted in cooperation with other departments on campus and with professionals at the Food and Drug Administration facility near the campus and the headquarters of the USDA Agricultural Research Service located three miles from campus in Beltsville. Scientists at the Geologic Survey, the National Academy of Sciences, NASA, National Institutes of Health, Department of Energy, Smithsonian, and National Park Service, as well as other agencies, have cooperated with the Departments faculty on various projects. Scientists from some of these agencies have adjunct appointments in the Department, have taught special courses at the University, and participate on graduate committees.

For more admissions information or to apply to the program, please visit our Graduate School website: www.gradschool.umd.edu/admissions

Application Deadlines

Type of Applicant FallSpring
Domestic Applicants:
US Citizens and Permanent Residents
12 Jan29 Sep
International Applicants:
F (student) or J (exchange visitor) visas
A,E,G,H,I and L visas and immigrants.
12 Jan29 Sep


Other Deadlines: Please visit the program website at http://www.psla.umd.edu

Degree Requirements

Master of Science (M.S.)

Total CreditsCore Requirements

Thesis only: 30 credits

PLSC 608: Research Methods (2 credits)

PLSC 618: Advances in Research: Critiquing Primary Plant Science Literature (1 credit)

PLSC 619: Seminars in Plant Science and Landscape Architecture (1 credit)

PLSC 799: Master's Thesis Research (6 credits)

 

A program of study approved by the Advisor must be completed prior to the second semester of enrollment. This plan must be filed with the Graduate Director. The program requires a minimum of 30 semester hours of course work beyond the B.S. degree, including 6 hours of thesis research credits (799). A minimum of 12 credit hours must be earned in course-work at the 600 level or higher. Students are also required to complete one semester hour of PLSC618: Advances in Research: Critiquing Primary Plant Science Literature and one semester hour of PLSC619: Seminar in Plant Science and Landscape Architecture. Students must also complete one semester each of 400-level (or higher) biochemistry, plant physiology, and statistics which may be completed as part of a B.S. or M.S. degree program.

A thesis must be submitted to the Graduate School. This thesis is approved by the Thesis Examining Committee appointed by the Dean of the Graduate School upon the recommendation of the student's advisor. The advisor serves as the chairperson of the examining committee and the student's advisory committee typically serves as members of the examining committee. Committee membership must comply with Graduate School requirements for membership. The submitted thesis must comply with the University of Maryland Thesis and Dissertation Style Guide.

It is the responsibility of the Advisor and Student to ensure that all University Research Assurances are followed. Research involving human subjects must be approved in advance by the Institutional Review Board (IRB). Research involving the use of vertebrate animals must be approved in advance by the Animal Care and Use Committee. Research using hazardous materials (chemical or biological), recombinant RNA/DNA must be approved in advance by the appropriate University committee

 

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Core Requirements

1. Doctoral students without an M.S. degree in Plant Science or closely related discipline are required to complete 24 credits of coursework, in addition to 12 credits of Doctoral Dissertation Research (PLSC 899). 

2. Doctoral students with an M.S. degree in Plant Science or closely related discipline are required to complete 16 credits of coursework, including 12 credits of Doctoral Dissertation Research (PLSC 899). 

3. All doctoral students are required to take two credits of PLSC 608: Research Methods.

4. All doctoral students are required to take one credit of PLSC 618: Advances in Research: Critiquing Primary Plant Science Literature and one credit of PLSC 619: Seminars in Plant Science and Landscape Architecture. 

 

 

A program of study approved by the Advisor must be completed by the end of the third semester of enrollment. This plan must be filed with the Graduate Director. The Graduate School requires that every student seeking the Ph.D. satisfactorily complete a minimum of 12 semester hours of dissertation credits (899). Students are also required to complete one semester hour of PLSC618: Advances in Research: Critiquing Primary Plant Science Literature and one semester hour of PLSC619: Seminar in Plant Science and Landscape Architecture. Students are also required to complete 2 semester hours of PLSC608 (Research Methods). In addition students admitted to the PhD program that lack the MS degree must complete the course requirements of the MS degree (24 credit hours of coursework). Students must also complete one semester each of 400-level (or higher) biochemistry, plant physiology, and statistics which may be completed as part of a B.S. or M.S. degree program and an additional graduate level course in biochemistry or statistics.

An oral qualifying examination must be completed satisfactorily before a student is admitted to candidacy. At the discretion of the advisor and advisory/examining committee a written exam may also be conducted. The examination must be attempted by the end of the fifth semester of study. Under extenuating circumstances and with written permission of the Program Director, this time frame may be extended. The examining committee corresponds to the student's Advisory committee. To be eligible to take the candidacy examination, the student must have submitted a research proposal that has been approved by the student's advisor and Advisory Committee prior to the formal qualifying examination. The completed proposal must be given to the committee at least two weeks before the scheduled date for the qualifying examination. The qualifying examination focuses principally on the written proposal. However, the student's mastery of general knowledge of Plant Science may also be examined. At the end of the examination, all members of the committee vote on the student's performance. Two negative votes constitute failure. Upon successful completion of the examination, the committee recommends to the Director that the student by admitted to candidacy based on satisfactory performance during the examination. It is the responsibility of the student to submit an application for admission to candidacy when all the requirements for candidacy have been fulfilled. Students failing the qualifying examination may be re-examined once within 6 months of the first examination date. Students may be re-examined only once. Failure to pass the qualifying examination a second time will result in termination of the student's program.

A dissertation based on independent, original research must be submitted to the Program and the Graduate School. This dissertation is approved by the Dissertation Examining Committee appointed by the Dean of the Graduate School upon the recommendation of the student's advisor. The advisor serves as the chairperson of the examining committee and the student's advisory committee typically serves as members of the examining committee. Committee membership must comply with Graduate School requirements for membership. The submitted dissertation must comply with the University of Maryland Thesis and Dissertation Style Guide.

It is the responsibility of the Advisor and Student to ensure that all University Research Assurances are followed. Research involving human subjects must be approved in advance by the Institutional Review Board (IRB). Research involving the use of vertebrate animals must be approved in advance by the Animal Care and Use Committee. Research using hazardous materials (chemical or biological), recombinant RNA/DNA must be approved in advance by the appropriate University committee.

 

Facilities and Special Resources

State-of- the-art facilities for conducting research in plant science are located at the College Park campus in the Plant Science Building and Research Greenhouse Complex. Modern laboratories are equipped for genomic, molecular genetic, cell biological, physiological, and biochemical research in plant science. Equipment and expertise for next generation sequencing, life science imaging, bioinformatics, genomics, proteomics, and metabolomics are available either in the department or on campus. Extensive controlled-environment facilities, including state-of-the-art growth chambers and a large and modern greenhouse complex are complemented by a large network of field research facilities located strategically across the state representing various environments with different climates and soil types. Students have access to computer labs and shared processing arrays and a comprehensive computer center located on campus. The University Libraries on campus and both the National Agriculture Library and Library of Congress located nearby make the library resources accessible to students among the best in the nation. Many of the Department’s projects are conducted in cooperation with other departments on campus and with professionals at the Food and Drug Administration facility near the campus and the headquarters of the USDA Agricultural Research Service located three miles from campus in Beltsville. Scientists at the Geologic Survey, the National Academy of Sciences, NASA, National Institutes of Health, Department of Energy, Smithsonian, and National Park Service, as well as other agencies, have cooperated with the Department’s faculty on various projects. Scientists from some of these agencies have adjunct appointments in the Department, have taught special courses at the University, and participate on graduate committees.

Financial Assistance

A limited number of research assistantships and teaching assistantships are available for qualified applicants. There is strong competition for these awards, and candidates are encouraged to submit their applications as early as possible in the semester preceding anticipated enrollment in the Department.

Contact Statement

For more specific information on the program, contact:

Website

http://www.psla.umd.edu

Contacts

Dr. Jianhua Zhu,PLSC Graduate Program Chair

Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture,University of Maryland,2130 Plant Sciences Building

MD, 20742

Telephone: 301.405.0920

Fax: 301.314.9308

jhzhu@umd.edu

 

Associated Information

Courses

PLSC

Keywords

Functional Genomics and Molecular Physiology, Plant Conservation Biology and Ecology, Plant Protection and Management and Landscape Management Breeding and Genetic Engineering; Crop Management and Protection; Ecology and Environmental Physiology; Physiology and Molecular Biology.