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M.S. and Ph.D. in Horticulture

  • Master of Science Plan A – thesis (30 credits) Plan A requires data collection and analysis based on laboratory or field research.
  • Master of Science Plan B – non-thesis (33 credits) Plan B requires a paper based on library research.
  • Ph.D. (72 credits) 30 credits from transfer
Departmental Graduate Studies Manual

Our Horticulture Graduate Students

Graduate study for M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Horticulture is available to qualified students who have an undergraduate degree from accredited institutions in horticulture, or in related plant sciences including botany, crop science, environmental sciences, or professions related to landscape design. Non-plant science degree applicants with substantial experience in related professions may also qualify.

Applicants seeking graduate degrees in horticulture should have adequate preparation in the fundamental sciences (biology, chemistry, biochemistry, statistics, physics), as well as undergraduate course work in the plant sciences (e.g., agronomy, botany, ecology, horticulture, genetics, plant physiology, plant pathology, plant anatomy). Applicants lacking adequate preparation may be accepted conditionally, with the provision that recommended undergraduate courses be completed before the degree is awarded.

The graduate admissions committee accepts only those students who provide acceptable GRE and TOEFL scores, transcripts, letters of reference and a professional goals statement that show potential and promise to complete the requirements for the degree being sought. All students applying for admission to the M.S. and Ph.D. Horticulture program are expected to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).

Research Opportunities

Research training, academic guidance and career counseling are provided by faculty in the department, the College of Agricultural Sciences, and interdisciplinary graduate programs such as the Cell and Molecular Biology Program, the Graduate Program in Food Science/Safety, the Graduate Degree Program in Ecology, and the Program in Molecular Plant Biology.

Research options include opportunities to concentrate on laboratory, field, greenhouse or landscape design projects. The environment created by cooperation between faculty involved in applied and basic research and extension allows students to develop a broad professional science and applied horticultural base.

Topics for thesis or dissertation research

Topics for thesis or dissertation research are determined through consultation with the student’s adviser and graduate advisory committee. Research may have a crop focus, but should also have a discipline (e.g. plant physiology, environmental and soil sciences, plant genetics, plant biochemistry, landscape design/planning) emphasis. The table below lists a number of topics and the advisers who have worked with graduate students. There is ample opportunity to obtain multidisciplinary research training through faculty in other departments and across campus. The lists to the right below provide links to several interdisciplinary programs and affiliated programs both within the department and beyond.

Sample of topics of research for horticulture degrees and possible advisers:

Bioactive plant components Jorge Vivanco
Chemistry/phytochemistry/analytical science Jessica Prenni, Adam Heuberger
Controlled environment horticulture/agriculture Joshua Craver, Bill Bauerle
Dietary intervention, gut health, obesity, and cancer prevention Henry Thompson
Ecophysiology Bill Bauerle
Environmental and stress physiology Bill Bauerle, Yaling Qian
Floriculture Steve Newman
Food quality, sensory, human health Adam Heuberger
Greenhouse technology Steve Newman
Irrigation management Tony Koski, Jim Klett, Mike Bartolo
Landscape water conservation Jim Klett, Tony Koski, Yaling Qian
Landscape/ornamental plants Jim Klett
Organic/vegetable crops Mark Uchanski
Pomology Ioannis Minas
Post harvest physiology Sastry Jayanty
Potato breeding and production David Holm, Samuel Essah
Rhizosphere biology/ecology Jorge Vivanco
Turfgass science/turf ecosystem modeling Yaling Qian, Tony Koski
Viticulture/enology Horst Caspari
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