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Prospective Students

Degrees Offered

Master’s Degree (M.S.) in Plant Pathology

Applicants applying for a graduate program in plant pathology who have earned a bachelor’s degree will be considered for the M.S. program. The M.S. program in plant pathology includes 30 credit hours (minimum), with 21 credit hours (minimum) of graded course work, 15 of which must be at the 500-level. The program includes 2 credit hours of Seminar (Pl P 515). A thesis based on original research and oral defense of thesis are required for the M.S. in plant pathology.

On-line Non-thesis Master’s

Are you interested in an on-line non-thesis Master’s in Agriculture degree with an option in Plant Health Management? WSU has a program for you!
Find out more information about the online degree.

Doctoral Degree (Ph.D.) in Plant Pathology

Applicants admitted to the doctoral program in plant pathology should have a M.S. Degree. The period of study for the Ph.D. is at least 3 years beyond the M.S. The Ph.D. program in plant pathology includes 72 credit hours (minimum), of which 34 hours are in graded course work, 25 of which must be at the 500-level. Only half of the graded coursework is transferable from another university. A minimum of 14 credit hours of Plant Pathology coursework is required (see list of courses), plus a minimum of 2 credit hours of Seminar (Pl P 515). Successful completion of an oral preliminary examination is required. A dissertation based on original research, and oral defense, are required for the Ph.D. in plant pathology.   Students bypassing the M.S. will also be required to submit a research proposal.  For more information on this option, see the Graduate Student Handbook.

Applicants with a B.S. may apply for direct admission to a Ph.D. program and are considered on a case-by-case basis.  These applicants should include the following as part of their application materials to receive full consideration:

  • Documented evidence of research experience: Provide a one-page description of the research project with which you were involved that includes the nature of the research project, duration, your supervisor, your role and involvement in the project, what you learned from the project, and any publications or conference presentations resulting from the project with which you were involved (and your role in the publication and presentation).
  • Statement of Purpose: Address specifically why you want to go directly into a Ph.D. program instead of first completing an MS degree, your interests in pursuing a Ph.D., and your and career goals.
  • Grades: GPA should be no less than 3.25.
  • English proficiency: If you are not a native English speaker, you are required to submit test scores of either TOEFL or IELTS. GRE scores are not required.

Careers in Plant Pathology

A person looking through test tubes. The test tubes contain plants.Explore careers in plant pathology–download a copy of ‘Careers in Plant Pathology‘ from American Phytopathological Society.

What do we look for in a potential graduate student?

We look for motivated, enthusiastic scholars eager to expand their knowledge and apply what they learn to solve problems in a diverse group of agricultural commodities.

Student positions are awarded to the most highly qualified applicants with research interests that match those of faculty with program openings.

What can we offer you?

  • Applied Research (real world problems)
  • Basic research (on-going lab research to further basic knowledge in a particular crop area) experiences in an interdisciplinary environment.
  • Crop Diversity – Washington state is ranked second in the U.S. for the number of crops grown. Ours is the only Plant Pathology Graduate Program in the State of Washington.
  • Facilities – We provide you with the opportunity to specialize in advanced studies for the areas we research in state-of-the art laboratories in the newly completed Orville Vogel Plant BioSciences Building on the Pullman campus. This is the first of 5 bioscience buildings WSU plans to build. Our research in Plant Pathology is also carried out in many locations throughout Washington State.
  • ARCS Foundation, advancing science in AmericaFunding – Opportunities for assistantships ARCS Fellowship – U.S. citizens who have a GPA of 3.5 or above and meet other qualifying conditions may be eligible for a prestigious ARCS fellowship, which provides $7,500 the first year and $5,000 for two consecutive years (in addition to any research or teaching assistantships received).  All eligible applicants will be considered; nominations are limited.

Find out more about life in and around Pullman

Check out the Graduate School’s “Why WSU?” for more information and resources for the area.