College of Agriculture & Natural Resources
Plant Science & Landscape Architecture

Plant Science (Plant Biology) Graduate Studies

The program offers Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees.

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 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 the 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.) which 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.

Check out previous students' Plant Science Theses and Dissertations!


The PLSC graduate program seeks highly qualified applicants for the program. Admission to the PLSC graduate program is competitive. All applicants to the PLSC graduate program must submit Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test scores.  A combined score of 300 on the Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning of the GRE are desirable. Foreign applicants must demonstrate proficiency in English. A minimum TOEFL score of 100 or 7 for IELTS (paper) is required admission (more information can be found at the International Student & Scholar Services). Students who are awarded a degree from the U.S., United Kingdom, Anglophone Africa, Anglophone Canada, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, and the Commonwealth Caribbean prior to enrolling in the University of Maryland are not required to submit TOEFL or IELTS.

If you would like more information about the Plant Science graduate program, please contact the PLSC Graduate Director, Dr. Jianhua Zhu and also visit the admissions requirements page on the Graduate School's website.

Faculty Members

For more information on the faculty that teach in this program, please click on the name below.


Environmental Horticulture 

Plant Biology

Management Programs in Plant Science

Maintained by the IET Department of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. © 2019. Web Accessibility