To enable students earning the M.S. and Ph.D. in Plant Pathology to understand and apply the scientific method to plant pathological problems, to develop critical thinking and professional skills needed for successful careers in public and private sectors, the program provides training and coursework to help students develop the following skills:
- Understanding, interpretation, and synthesis of scientific literature pertaining to plant pathology and related disciplines.
- Formulating hypotheses; developing experimental designs to test these hypotheses; establishing and maintaining experiments.
- Collecting data in an objective way and conducting appropriate statistical analyses.
- Interpretation and presentation of research results in oral and written formats.
- Presentation of research at professional meetings and local commodity meetings.
- Publication of research in peer-reviewed scientific journals and other discipline-appropriate outlets such as commodity newsletters.
To maintain a leadership role in plant pathology and related disciplines at the state, national and international levels, the program aims to:
- Attract, retain, and train high quality graduate students.
- Place students earning the M.S. into positions including extension agents, state and federal plant pathologists, instructors at the community college level, support scientists in public or private sector research programs, and PhD programs.
- Place students earning the Ph.D. as leaders of scientific research programs in the public or private sector including industry and faculty positions at the University level.