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What preparation is needed to study Plant Pathology at Washington State University?

Admission is based on assessment of a student’s potential for performing at the graduate level as determined by scholastic record, letters of recommendation, and additional information. Superior students with a bachelor’s degree in the biological, agricultural, or physical sciences will be well-prepared to begin graduate study in Plant Pathology. Coursework should include organic chemistry and biochemistry, statistics, botany, genetics, microbiology, and plant physiology. It is possible to take a limited number of such courses during an M.S. degree program if they are lacking at the time of admission. Applicants may be admitted with either a bachelor’s or master’s degree. A minimum grade point average of 3.00 (B) is required for admission and continuation of a graduate student.

How do I start the application process?

The first step is to complete an application using the WSU Graduate School online application. In addition to the Graduate School’s application, you will need to provide a Personal Statement, describing research interests and career goals, as well as transcripts from all colleges and universities attended.

See the Application Checklist for complete information.

When is the application deadline?

The application deadline for Fall is January 10 and for Spring is July 1.

Do I need to take the GRE?


Are assistantships available?

Yes, see list of those currently available in the Department.

Are international students eligible for assistantships?

Yes, all students having a 3.0 GPA (or higher) are eligible for an assistantship.

Do I need an MS in order to apply for a PhD?

Applicants with a B.S. may apply for direct admission to a PhD 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 PhD program instead of first completing an MS degree, your interests in pursuing a PhD, 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.

Do faculty at Research and Extension Centers supervise graduate students?


What is the minimum TOEFL or IELTS score required?

If you graduated from another US institution within 2 years of coming to WSU, the TOEFL will be waived. Otherwise, the minimum required scores are below (Department would prefer to see higher scores):

Paper-based TOEFL: 550

Computer-based TOEFL: 213

Internet-based TOEFL: 80

IELTS: 7 (Department would prefer 8)

More information can be found at the English Proficiency Requirements section.

Where do I send the TOEFL or IELTS score

Your official TOEFL/IELTS scores must be sent to the WSU Graduate School (address above). The institution code for WSU is 4705.

What comes next?

Once your application is complete, and determined to meet the minimum qualifications, your application packet will be made available to faculty members for consideration.  Positions are limited and students are individually selected by faculty members with matching interests who have an opening for a graduate student.  Graduate students are supported primarily on research assistantships, and we only accept students for whom we have support or who come with their own support.

Who can I contact if I have additional questions:

Contact Lisa Lujan, Academic Coordinator at 509-335-9542 or