Plant Science (PLSC)

Graduate Degree Program
College: Agriculture and Natural Resources

Abstract

The Plant Science (PLSC) graduate program is a diverse and dynamic program that prepares graduates for careers that address issues facing modern-day society. The program offers training in diverse concentrations that include Agronomy, Cell Biology, Functional Genomics, Molecular Physiology, Conservation Biology and Ecology, Pathology, Food Safety and Quality, and Landscape Ecosystems Management. Students are trained and mentored by graduate faculty that focus on interdisciplinary education, mastery and application to their chosen area of study. All PLSC graduate training is thesis-based, and an emphasis is placed on research, discovery learning and critical thinking, rather than coursework. Students work directly with internationally-recognized graduate faculty who are leaders in their disciplines. Students are guided in their studies by a major professor as well as a graduate advisory committee selected by the student from experts on campus, at nearby research institutions, and at other universities. The program offers Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees. The goal of the Plant Science graduate program is to (1) provide students with the skills in analyzing and interpreting quantitative and qualitative information; using inductive and deductive reasoning; and communicating in both verbal and written form;  (2) train the next generation of plant science researchers using cutting edge methodologies and approaches to lead public and private efforts to provide a secure, safe and nutritious food and fiber supply, maintain and restore ecosystems, combat the challenges of climate change on our food and fiber supply, and provide high quality plant science education; (3) advance knowledge in plant sciences that is critical to the improvement of the efficiency, profitability and sustainability of global and national agricultural and natural resources. The Plant Science graduate program seeks to maximize the close association of the many national laboratories (USDA, FDA, NASA, NIST, NIH, DOE, etc.) through collaborations and cooperative agreements with the department and the University of Maryland. As a result, graduates of the program are particularly well trained for employment in public and private sector research and leadership positions.

Financial Assistance

A limited number of research assistantships and teaching assistantships are available for qualified applicants. There is strong competition for these awards, and candidates are encouraged to submit their applications as early as possible in the semester preceding anticipated enrollment in the Department.

Contact

Shirley Micallef, PhD
PLSC Graduate Admission and Examination Review Committee Chair
Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture

2126 Plant Sciences Building
4291 Fieldhouse Drive
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742
Telephone: 301.405.4369
Fax: 301.314.9308
Email: plscgradadmissions@umd.edu

OR

Jianhua Zhu, PhD
PLSC Academic Program Director
Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture

6123 Plant Sciences Building
4291 Fieldhouse Drive
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742
Telephone: 301.405.0920
Fax: 301.314.9308
Email: jhzhu@umd.edu

OR

D. Diana Cortez
Academic Advisor & Lecturer
Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture

2139 Plant Sciences Building
4291 Fieldhouse Drive
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742
Telephone: 301.405.4359
Fax: 301.314.9308
Email: dcortez@umd.edu

Website:   https://psla.umd.edu/graduate/prospective-students

Courses:  PLSC 

Relationships: Landscape Architecture (LARC), Extension Education (AEED)

General Requirements

Program-Specific Requirements

  • Letters of Recommendation (3)
  • CV/Resume
  • Description of Research/Work Experience
  • Faculty of Interest
  • Writing Sample 1
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) (optional)
  • GRE Subject (optional)
  • Portfolio PDF Upload  (optional)
  • Writing Sample 2 (optional)

Admission to the program requires a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited College or University in the United States or the equivalent in a foreign country. Applicants are expected to have a 3.0 cumulative grade point average (4.0 scale) in all previous academic work, or equivalent. All applicants are encouraged to contact prospective advisors ahead of application

For more admissions information or to apply to the program, please visit our Graduate School website.

Application Deadlines

Type of Applicant Fall Deadline Spring Deadline
Domestic Applicants
US Citizens and Permanent Residents Fall 2022: January 11, 2022 September 29, 2021
International Applicants
F (student) or J (exchange visitor) visas; A,E,G,H,I and L visas and immigrants Fall 2022: January 11, 2022 September 29, 2021

Other Deadlines: Please visit the program website at  https://psla.umd.edu/graduate/prospective-students

Department facilities for conducting research in plant science are located at the College Park campus in the Plant Science Building and Research Greenhouse Complex. Modern laboratories are equipped for genomic, molecular genetic, cell biological, physiological, microbiological and biochemical research in plant science. Equipment and expertise for next generation sequencing, life science imaging, bioinformatics, genomics, proteomics, and metabolomics are available either in the department or on campus. Extensive controlled-environment facilities, including growth chambers and a large and modern greenhouse complex are complemented by a large network of field research facilities located strategically across the state representing various environments with different climates and soil types. Students have access to computer labs and shared processing arrays and a comprehensive computer center located on campus. The University Libraries on campus and both the National Agriculture Library and Library of Congress located nearby make the library resources accessible to students among the best in the nation. Many of the Department’s projects are conducted in cooperation with other departments on campus and with professionals at the Food and Drug Administration facility near the campus and the headquarters of the USDA Agricultural Research Service located three miles from campus in Beltsville. Scientists at the Geologic Survey, the National Academy of Sciences, NASA, National Institutes of Health, Department of Energy, Smithsonian, and National Park Service, as well as other agencies, have cooperated with the Department’s faculty on various projects. Scientists from some of these agencies have adjunct appointments in the Department, have taught special courses at the University, and participate on graduate committees.

Last Name First/Middle Name Graduate Faculty Status Academic Credentials Positions
Carroll Mark J. Full Member B.S., California Polytechnic State University, 1979; M.S., Michigan State University, 1982; Ph.D., Cornell University, 1989. Associate Professor, Plant Science
Chang Caren Full Member B.A.,University of California-Berkeley, 1982; Ph.D.,California Institute of Technology, 1988. Professor, Biological Sciences
Affiliate Professor, Plant Science
Cochran Diana Associate Assistant Clinical Professor, Plant Science
Coleman Gary D. Full Member B.S., Colorado State University, 1978; M.S., 1986; Ph.D., University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 1989. Associate Professor, Plant Science
Cooke Todd J. Full Member B.S.,Antioch College, 1974; Ph.D., Cornell University, 1979. Professor, Biological Sciences
Affiliate Professor, Plant Science
Culver James N. Full Member B.S.,Oklahoma State University-Stillwater, 1985; M.S., Oklahoma State University, 1987; Ph.D., University of California-Riverside, 1991. Professor, Plant Science
Affiliate Professor, Biological Sciences
Ellis Christopher D Full Member B.S., University of Massachusetts, 1988; M.L.A., Cornell University, 1993; Ph.D., University of Illinois Urbana/Champaign, 1998 Professor, Landscape Architecture
Professor, Plant Science
Erwin John E. Full Member B.S., Delaware Valley College of Science & Agriculture, 1983; M.S., Michigan State University, 1986; Ph.D., 1989. Chair, Plant Science
Professor, Plant Science
Everts Kathryne L. Full Member B.S., Colorado State University, 1981; M.S., 1984; Ph.D., Michigan State University, 1989. Director, Plant Science
Professor, Plant Science
Farcuh Macarena Full Member B.S., Universidad de Chile, 2005; M.S., 2007; Ph.D, University of California-Davis, 2017. Assistant Professor, Plant Science
Fiorellino Nicole Full Member B.S., Rutgers University, 2008; M.S., University of MD College Park, 2010; Ph.D., 2015. Assistant Professor, Plant Science
Hu Mengjun Full Member B.S., China Agricultural University, 2008; Ph.D., Huazhong Agricultural University, 2013. Assistant Professor, Plant Science
Jones Kristal Associate 2014 Ph.D., Rural Sociologyand International Agriculture and DevelopmentThe Pennsylvania State University 2011 M.S., Rural SociologyThe Pennsylvania State University 2005 B.A. with Highest Honors,International PoliticsUniversity of North Carolina-Chapel Hill Assistant Research Scientist, Plant Science
Kratochvil Robert James Full Member B.S., Montana State University, 1972; M.S., University of Maryland-College Park, 1988; Ph.D., 1994. Associate Professor, Plant Science
Kweon Byoung-Suk Full Member B.S., University of Seoul, Korea, 1985; B.L.A., The City University of New York, 1989; M.L.A., Cornell University, 1992; Ph.D., University of Illinois Urbana/Champaign, 1999 Associate Professor, Landscape Architecture
Associate Professor, Plant Science
Lea-Cox John D. Full Member B.S., University of Natal-Pietermaritzburg South Africa 1983; M.S., 1989; Ph.D., University of Florida, 1993. Professor, Plant Science
Liu Zhongchi Full Member B.S.,Wuhan University, 1982; M.A., Harvard University, 1985; Ph.D., 1990. Associate Professor, Biological Sciences
Affiliate Professor, Plant Science
Micallef Shirley Full Member B.S., University of Malta, 1991; M.S., University of Malta, 1996; Ph.D., University of Massachusetts Boston, 2008 Associate Professor, Plant Science
Affiliate Associate Professor, Plant Science
Affiliate Assistant Professor, Biological Sciences
Murphy Angus S. Full Member B.A., University of California, Santa Cruz, 1993; Ph.D., 1996. Professor, Plant Science
Affiliate Professor, Biological Sciences
Myers David Full Member B.S., Clemson University, 1978; M.L.A., University of Georgia, 1984; Ph.D., 1994. Director, Plant Science
Associate Professor, Plant Science
Neel Maile Full Member B.A., Humboldt State University, 1985; M.S., University of California, Santa Barbara, 1994; Ph.D. University of California, Riverside, 2000 Professor, Entomology
Professor, Plant Science
Associate Professor, Biological Sciences
Peer Wendy A. Full Member B.S., California State University, Bakersfield, 1989; Ph.D. University of California, Santa Cruz, 1996. Associate Professor, Environmental Science and Technology
Affiliate Associate Professor, Plant Science
Phillips William Henry Associate B.S., University of Maryland, 1992; M.S., University of Maryland, 1996; Ph.D., University of Maryland,2005 Director, Plant Science
Assistant Clinical Professor, Plant Science
Qi Yiping Full Member B.S., Nankai University-Tienstsin, 2000; M.S., Shanghai Jiaotong University, 2003; Ph.D., University of Minnesota 2009. Associate Professor, Plant Science
Rane Karen Associate B.S., Delaware Valley College of Science & Agriculture, 1978; M.S., Cornell University, 1983; Ph.D., University of Massachusetts-Amherst, 1985. Director, Plant Science
Rawat Nidhi Full Member B.S., Hemvati Nandan Bahuguna Garhwal University 2002; M.S., 2004; Ph.D., Indian Institute of Technology, 2009. Assistant Professor, Plant Science
Ristvey Andrew Full Member Ph.D. University of Maryland, 2004 Agent, Plant Science
Sachs Naomi Full Member B.A. Women Studies, Brown University, 1992; M.L.A., University of California, Berkeley, 1999; Ph.D., Texas A&M University, 2017 Assistant Professor, Landscape Architecture
Assistant Professor, Plant Science
Schomberg Harry H. Associate •Ph.D. 1989. Agronomy, Department of Soil and Crop Sciences. Texas A&M University, College Station, TX•M.S. 1984. Agronomy, Agronomy Department, University of Georgia, Athens, GA•B.S. 1977. Agronomy, Agronomy Department, University of Georgia , Athens, GA n/a, Plant Science
Sullivan Joseph H. Full Member B.A., Erskine College, 1978; M.S., Western Carolina University, 1980; Ph.D., Clemson University, 1985. Associate Dean, Plant Science
Professor, Plant Science
Sze Heven Full Member B.S.,National Taiwan University, 1968; M.S., University of California-Davis, 1970;Ph.D., Purdue University, 1975. Professor Emerita, Biological Sciences
Affiliate Professor, Plant Science
Tiwari Vijay Full Member B.S., Purvanchal University, 1998; M.S., 2003; Ph.D., Indian Institute of Technology, 2009. Assistant Professor, Plant Science
Tully Katherine Full Member B.A. Kenyon College, 2004; M.S. Ecology, University of Virginia, 2007; Ph.D. Ecology, University of Virginia, 2001 Associate Professor, Plant Science
Walsh Christopher S. Full Member B.A., Middlebury College, 1969; M.S., Cornell University, 1977; Ph.D., 1980. Professor, Plant Science
Welsh Melissa Full Member B.S., Indiana University of Pennsylvania, 1999; M.Ed., Pennsylvania State University, 2009; Ph.D., Purdue University-West Lafeyette, 2014. Assistant Clinical Professor, Plant Science
Xiao Shunyuan Full Member B.Sc., Huazhong Agricultural University, China, 1984; M.Sc., 1987; Ph.D., 1992. Professor, Plant Science
Affiliate Professor, Biological Sciences
Zhu Jianhua Full Member B.S., Anhui Institute of Education, China, 1998; Ph.D., Purdue Univeristy, 2004. Associate Professor, Plant Science