Plant Science, Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

A program of study approved by the Advisor must be completed by the end of the third semester of enrollment. This plan must be filed with the Graduate Director. The Graduate School requires that every student seeking the Ph.D. satisfactorily complete a minimum of 12 semester hours of dissertation credits (899). Students are also required to complete one semester hour of PLSC618 and one semester hour of PLSC619. Students are also required to complete 2 semester hours of PLSC608. In addition students admitted to the PhD program that lack the MS degree must complete the course requirements of the MS degree (24 credit hours of coursework). Students must also complete one semester each of 400-level (or higher) biochemistry, plant physiology, and statistics which may be completed as part of a B.S. or M.S. degree program and an additional graduate level course in biochemistry or statistics.

An oral qualifying examination must be completed satisfactorily before a student is admitted to candidacy. At the discretion of the advisor and advisory/examining committee a written exam may also be conducted. The examination must be attempted by the end of the fifth semester of study. Under extenuating circumstances and with written permission of the Program Director, this time frame may be extended. The examining committee corresponds to the student's Advisory committee. To be eligible to take the candidacy examination, the student must have submitted a research proposal that has been approved by the student's advisor and Advisory Committee prior to the formal qualifying examination. The completed proposal must be given to the committee at least two weeks before the scheduled date for the qualifying examination. The qualifying examination focuses principally on the written proposal. However, the student's mastery of general knowledge of Plant Science may also be examined. At the end of the examination, all members of the committee vote on the student's performance. Two negative votes constitute failure. Upon successful completion of the examination, the committee recommends to the Director that the student by admitted to candidacy based on satisfactory performance during the examination. It is the responsibility of the student to submit an application for admission to candidacy when all the requirements for candidacy have been fulfilled. Students failing the qualifying examination may be re-examined once within 6 months of the first examination date. Students may be re-examined only once. Failure to pass the qualifying examination a second time will result in termination of the student's program.

A dissertation based on independent, original research must be submitted to the Program and the Graduate School. This dissertation is approved by the Dissertation Examining Committee appointed by the Dean of the Graduate School upon the recommendation of the student's advisor. The advisor serves as the chairperson of the examining committee and the student's advisory committee typically serves as members of the examining committee. Committee membership must comply with Graduate School requirements for membership. The submitted dissertation must comply with the University of Maryland Thesis and Dissertation Style Guide.

It is the responsibility of the Advisor and Student to ensure that all University Research Assurances are followed. Research involving human subjects must be approved in advance by the Institutional Review Board (IRB). Research involving the use of vertebrate animals must be approved in advance by the Animal Care and Use Committee. Research using hazardous materials (chemical or biological), recombinant RNA/DNA must be approved in advance by the appropriate University committee

Course Title Credits
Required courses:
PLSC608Research Methods2
PLSC618Advances in Research; Critiquing Primary Plant Science Literature1
PLSC619Seminars in Plant Science and Landscape Architecture1
Select one of the following:16-24
Doctoral students without an M.S. degree in Plant Science or closely related discipline are required to complete 24 credits of coursework
Doctoral students with an M.S. degree in Plant Science or closely related discipline are required to complete 16 credits of coursework
Dissertation Research Requirements
PLSC899Doctoral Dissertation Research12
Total Credits32-40