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Plant Biology Graduate Programs

Plant Biology

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.).

Our plant biology graduate faculty is a diverse, collegial and well-funded group with varied research interests and 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 Park.

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. Students 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.

Plant Research Immediately Impacts People

Ph.D. student Catherine Doyle talks about her cassava research and its potential impact on a key African plant disease.

Catherine Doyle tending to plants.

Minor in Plant Biology

Graduate students in other degree programs may obtain a Minor in Plant Biology. In order to do this, students must declare the minor to their Director of Graduate Programs, include the minor on their plan of work submitted to the graduate school and complete the following requirements:

  • One member of the student’s advisory committee must be a graduate faculty member from the Department of Plant and Microbial Biology.
  • Students must complete one of the three (3) required Plant Biology courses: PB 795-003 (Functional Plant Biology), PB 570 (Plant Functional Ecology) or PB 503 (Systematic Botany). Additionally, they must complete six credit hours of PB coursework at or above the 500 level, with a grade of B or above.