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Application Process

Thesis-based MS degree

Students pursuing a research thesis-based MS degree are required to present the results of original research in the form of a written thesis to a faculty committee as part of completion of the degree. Learn more about faculty research and reaching out to faculty you would like to work with.

Application Due date 

Applications are due February 15th each year for the following fall. Apply here. For more information on the application process, please see The Graduate School website

Entrance Requirements

The following minimum coursework requirements must be met prior to enrollment in the program: 


The PBC Program looks for appropriate preparation for advanced study and considers each application holistically. We no longer accept GRE scores. If English is your second language and you have not previously attended a school where English was the primary language of instruction,  you will need to submit TOEFL scores. Below are suggested minimum scores.

For more information, please see The Graduate School's application requirements.

The Application Process

The Graduate School requires that all applicants submit their materials online through The Graduate School website. The application fee for 2022-2023 is $95 for both domestic and international applications. If you would like to request a fee waiver, learn more here.

Completed applications should contain the following materials:

  1. Completed electronic Graduate School application form, including answers to the following prompts. 
    1. Why do you want to pursue a graduate degree and how does it relate to your
      career goals? (suggested length: 100 - 200 words)
    2. Why are you interested in the PBC program? What opportunities do you
      consider to be unique to the Plant Biology and Conservation program? (suggested length: 100 - 200 words)
    3. What are your research interests, and what might you be interested in studying
      in graduate school? Describe how you came to be interested in research in this field.
      Additionally, please include the names of potential advisors and a brief explanation
      of why you would like to work with them. The Admissions Committee does not
      expect you to know the exact details of your research project and recognizes your
      research interests may evolve. As such, research interests may be broad or specific.
      (suggested length: 200-400 words)
    4. We value students' range of research interests, identities, personal perspectives, and
      backgrounds. We are committed to supporting diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility
      (DEIA) in the sciences and beyond. With this in mind, please explain what diversity, equity,
      inclusion, and accessibility mean to you, the role they play in your life, and/or how you have
      worked or hope to work to advance DEIA. (suggested length: 200–400 words)
    5. Describe any relevant research or related experiences (academic or non-
      academic) that you believe has helped to prepare you for graduate work. Please
      also feel free to use this section to describe skills that might be relevant to your
      planned graduate work. (suggested length: 200-400 words)
  1. Official transcripts from all academic institutions attended (additional information for international students). Unofficial transcripts can be accepted for review, but if accepted into the program, you will be required to submit an official transcript.
  2. Two letters of recommendation from individuals who are familiar with your academic and research achievements or other relevant experiences.
  3. For applicants whose native language is not English, you must also submit TOEFL scores that are less than two years old.
  4. Current resume or CV.

For more information on the application process, please see The Graduate School website.

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