Graduate Program: Plant Science

General Information


Plant Science (MS)

Program Description

The Plant Science MS program provides training in the plant sciences through core and elective coursework and research opportunities in molecular, cellular, genetic, genomic, and physiological aspects of plants, including model organisms, crops, and wild relatives. New MS students have the opportunity to rotate through two labs, to gain experience with the scientific questions and techniques employed in each. Following the selection of a permanent lab and a Major Advisor, students deepen their expertise in that lab's research area through participation in all aspects of the lab activities. With guidance from the Major Advisor, students then develop and execute a novel research project and disseminate their results through a Master’s Thesis and potentially a scientific publication.

Core coursework is minimal and includes cross-training in plant microbiology, to ensure a solid foundation in major plant biotic interactions. Elective coursework, chosen in consultation with the student’s advisors, deepens expertise in areas related to the intended direction within plant science research.

The Plant Science MS prepares students for careers in agency, industry, and academic institutions that require a solid background in plant science and experience with research techniques and experimental design.



Department/Academic Unit(s)

The School of Plant Sciences has an international reputation for basic and applied research on plant sciences, plant microbiology, and plant pathology. Our research responds to the urgent question of how to provide plant and microbial-based solutions to sustainably feed and clothe an anticipated ten billion humans by the year 2050. Outcomes of our vision include a broadly trained, job-ready workforce prepared to meet future challenges to agricultural and urban plant systems; robust research and extension programs that support plant improvements through genetics, breeding, and symbioses; novel strategies for mitigating plant disease and improving food safety; and innovative land management strategies to optimize plant growth.

We offer two distinct graduate programs: Plant Science (PhD, MS, and Minor) and Plant Pathology (PhD, MS, and Minor). The Plant Science graduate program prepares students for careers focused on all aspects of plants, including interactions with abiotic and biotic factors, whereas the Plant Pathology prepares students for careers focused on microbes, particularly fungi and plant-associated bacteria and viruses, both beneficial and pathogenic.



College of Agriculture & Life Sciences

Campus where offered

Colorado Heights University- Main - Tucson

Tuition and Fees

Please refer to the CHU Office Tuition and Fees Calculator for up-to-date information about tuition and fees.

Please refer to the CHU Office Special Course Fees for up-to-date information about special course fees.

Completion Requirements
Admissions Information

Minimum Credit Units (33)

Core Coursework Requirements

The following courses are required for the Plant Science MS (20 units):

  • PLS 560,  Advanced Plant Biology, 4 units, minimum grade expected B
  • PLP 550, Principles of Plant Microbiology, 4 units, minimum grade expected B
  • PLS 592, Directed Research,  2 units (1 unit each for two 7.5-week laboratory rotations), minimum grade expected B
  • PLS 596A, School of Plant Sciences Seminar, 2 units (1 unit each for two semesters)
  • PLS 695A, School of Plant Sciences Journal Club, 2 units (1 unit each for two semesters)
  • PLS 910, Thesis, 6 units



Additional Requirements

See required coursework

Student Handbook

Please refer to the Graduate Student Handbook for students who are pursuing this program of study.

Admissions Requirements

We do not accept terminal masters, all applications must be for the PhD program

Standardized Tests

Required test(s): GRE

Funding Opportunities

The Academic Unit has not provided this information.

Funding Opportunities

Domestic & International Applicants

Fall:December 15th

International Conditional Admission

International applicants will not be considered for conditional admission by this program.

Other Information

The GRE Institution Code for The Colorado Heights University is 4832

Last revised 06 Oct 2020