Plant Science

Plant Science Graduate Studies

General Information

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:

  • 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. 

  • Advance knowledge in plant sciences critical to improving the efficiency, profitability and sustainability of global and national agricultural and natural resources.

  • 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.


Admission Requirements

Admission Requirements for PLSC Applicants

  • A baccalaureate from an accredited college or university in the United States or the equivalent in a foreign country.

  • A minimum B average (3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale) for all undergraduate courses (at least 16 credit hours of prior course work in science and mathematics that includes calculus, physics, organic chemistry, biochemistry, microbiology, plant science, ecology and genetics or statistics).

  • TOEFL (minimum 96) or IELTS (minimum 7.0) (for international applicants only). For latest requirements, please visit the Graduate School page.

Apply now!

Program logo

For more information about Graduate Admissions, please contact: Dr. Shirley Micallef



Application Instructions and Resources

Required Documents

  • Statement of Purpose (< 500 words)

  • Description of Research/Work Experience (1,000-1,500 words)

  • Transcript(s)

  • Letters of Recommendation (3)

  • CV/Resume

  • TOEFL/IELTS (international graduate students)

  • Faculty of Interest & Area of Interest (applicants without this information will be delayed for evaluation)

  • (optional) Publications/Presentations


Application | Program Description | Application Deadlines | Tuition | 

Fee Waiver Information and Eligibility 

For questions regarding graduate application fee waivers, email The Graduate School:

If you have not participated in one of these programs, you may still be eligible through the Big Ten Academic Alliance FreeApp program, and can email the UMD FreeApp Coordinator with any questions:



PSLA Research Areas

For more information on the faculty that teach in this program, please visit our Faculty page.

  • Agriculture Production and Information Systems

  • Food Safety of Fresh Fruits and Vegetables 

  • Invasives and Weed Science

  • Landscape Architecture and Studies

  • Plant Ecology and Conservation Biology

  • Plant Pathology and Food Security 

  • Plant Physiology and Development 

Contact us today!

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Department of Plant Science & Landscape Architecture. For a tour of the Department of Plant Science & Landscape Architecture, please fill out a webform. We look forward to your visit!

University of Maryland Tours. Don’t forget to schedule a campus tour! Also, check out the AGNR Prospective Students page for useful resources including information on financial aid and scholarships. 

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