Plant Biology Graduate Programs

Plant Biology

Contact Us

For more information about the plant biology graduate programs, contact:

Larry Blanton
Director of Graduate Programs

Dwayne Barnes
Graduate Coordinator

We offer three graduate degrees in plant biology: a doctorate (Ph.D.), a thesis master’s degree (M.S.), and a non-thesis master’s degree (M.R.).

The plant biology graduate faculty is a diverse, active, collegial, and well-funded group representing vast research approaches in plant biology, from molecules to ecosystems. We engage in interdisciplinary research projects and collaborate with faculty members in many departments across NC State. Our plant biologists (including USDA-ARS scientists) can be found the Departments of Crop and Soil Sciences, Horticultural Science, Molecular and Structural Biochemistry, Entomology and Plant Pathology, and Forestry and Environmental Resources. We also have several associate faculty members from agricultural biotechnology companies located in the Research Triangle.

Our graduate students benefit from this wide scope of plant biology research at NC State and the broader research community at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and Duke University. They have the opportunity to conduct research in diverse areas of contemporary plant biology such as plant genomics, cell biology, plant-microbe interactions, and conservation biology, among others.


Emphasizes developing research scientists to become scholars in academia or leaders in industry or government.


A non-thesis, course-intensive degree suitable for students interested in increasing their knowledge or complementing prior research experience.


A research degree for students interested in environmental consulting or natural resource inventory, or in management positions.

Would you like more information about our program? Please fill out the interest form with your contact information and we will shortly get back to you.

Plant Biology Interest Form


Interested in pursuing a graduate degree in plant biology? 

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Minor in Plant Biology

Graduate students in other degree programs may obtain a minor in Plant Biology after declaring the minor to the Director of Graduate Programs, including the minor on the plan of work submitted to the graduate school and completing the following requirements:

  • One member of the student’s thesis advisory committee must be a graduate faculty member from the Department of Plant Biology.
  • The student must complete one of the three required Plant Biology courses: PB 795-003 (Functional Plant Biology), PB 570 (Plant Functional Ecology), or PB 503 (Systematic Botany) plus six other hours of PB coursework at or above the 500 level with a grade of B or above.