Plant Science (PLSC)

Plant Science (Plant Biology) 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 and Instructions for Online Application

  • 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).

  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test: a combined score of 300 on the Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning portions is desirable.

  • TOEFL (minimum 100) or IELTS (minimum 7.0) (for international applicants only).

Instructions for online application of PLSC program

  1. General description about the PLSC program can be found here:

  2. Online application system

    Apply Now
  3. Application deadlines for PLSC program can be found here:

  4. Required documentsfor PLSC program

    1. Statement of Purpose (< 500 words)

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

    3. Graduate Record Examination (GRE)

    4. Transcript(s)

    5. Letters of Recommendation (3)

    6. CV/Resume

    7. TOEFL/IELTS (international graduate students)

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

    9. (optional) Publications/Presentations


Click on the names below for more information on the faculty that teach in this program

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


Dr. Vijay Tiwari Dr. Vijay Tiwari  Dr. Kate Tully
Dr. Kate Tully
  Dr. Bill Phillips Dr. Bill Phillips Dr. Yiping Qi Dr. Yiping Qi
  Dr. Nidhi Rawat Dr. Nidhi Rawat    


Environmental Horticulture

Dr. Christopher Walsh Dr. Christopher Walsh Dr. Joseph Fiola Dr. Joseph Fiola
  Dr. Kathryne Everts Dr. Katheryn Everts Dr. John Lea-Cox Dr. John Lea-Cox
  Dr. Angus Murphy Dr. Angus Murphy Dr. Karen Rane Dr. Karen Rane
  Dr. Andrew Ristvey Dr. Andrew Ristvey Bryan Butler Bryan Butler


Plant Biology

Dr. Gary Coleman Dr. Gary Coleman Dr. James Culver Dr. James Culver
  Dr. Shirley Micallef Dr. Shirley Micallef Dr. Angus Murphy Dr. Angus Murphy
  Dr. Maile Neel Dr. Maile Neel Dr. Joseph Sullivan Dr. Joseph Sullivan
  Dr. Shunyuan Xiao Dr. Shunyuan Xiao DR. Jianhua Zhu Dr. Jianhua Zhu
  Dr. Vijay Tiwari Dr. Vijay Tiwari Dr. Kate Tully Dr. Kate Tully
  Dr. Yiping Qi Dr. Yiping Qi Dr. Nidhi Rawat Dr. Nidhi Rawat
  Dr. Zhongchi Liu Dr. Zhongchi Liu Dr. Wendy Peer Dr. Wendy Peer