College of Agriculture & Natural Resources
Plant Science & Landscape Architecture

General Information about the PLSC Graduate Program

PLSC Graduate Program Overview

The Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture (PSLA) directs the graduate program in Plant Science (PLSC).  The program’s faculty members provide training in a wide variety of plant science related disciplines including plant functional genomics and molecular physiology, plant conservation biology and ecology, plant protection and management, and landscape resource management.  The program offers graduate study leading to the Master of Science (M.S.) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degrees.

The objectives of the Plant Science Graduate Program are as follows:

  1. Assist students in developing scholarship of plant science sufficient to allow them to make professional contributions and to be leaders in plant sciences, management and in the plant-based industries. 
  2. Advance knowledge in plant sciences critical to improving the efficiency, profitability and sustainability of global and national agricultural and natural resources.
  3. Provide students with the skills in analyzing and interpreting quantitative and qualitative information; using inductive and deductive reasoning; and communicating verbally and in writing.

The Department’s aspiration is to strengthen its position as a national leader in plant science graduate training.  The Plant Science Graduate Program aims to establish a program focused on plant-based sciences and management along with application of research to help solve the pressing problems in agriculture, urban and natural ecosystems and plant conservation.  The program advances graduate training and research at all levels of organization from the genomic and molecular level, to the whole organism, to agricultural systems and to natural and designed ecosystems.

Facilities and Special Resources

The majority of laboratory space and offices for faculty in the PSLA Department are located at the College Park Campus in the Plant Sciences Building and the Research Greenhouse Complex.  Laboratories are equipped for chemical, biochemical, molecular, genomic, and physiological research in plant science.  Extensive controlled-environment facilities, a state-of-the-art greenhouse, and a series of network of commodity-oriented field research farms (Western Maryland Research and Education Center, Keedysville MD; Central Maryland Research and Education Center, Beltsville MD, Clarksville MD, and Upper Marlboro MD; Turfgrass Research and Education Center, Beltsville MD; Wye Research and Education Center, Queenstown MD; Lower Eastern Shore Research and Education Center, Salisbury MD) provide a rich array of facilities and resources to the program.

For more information about the PLSC graduate program, please visit the following website: or read our PLSC graduate program handbook. You can send inquiries to Dr. Jianhua Zhu, the program coordinator, by email ( or through phone (301-405-0920). 

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