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The Division of Plant Sciences maintains excellent graduate programs with classroom instruction and research supervision provided by leading scientists in the field. The DPS offers graduate programs leading to the Master of Science (M.S.) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degrees in Plant, Insect and Microbial Sciences. A student can select training from a wide range of courses and research programs to prepare for a career in research, teaching, industry and extension work. Students can follow a traditional curriculum or take advantage of the cross-disciplinary expertise that exists within the division.

Students also benefit from interaction with closely allied academic units on and off campus. Students work with scientists in two campus-based USDA research units associated with the division: the Plant Genetics Unit and the Biological Control of Insects Research Laboratory. Additional opportunities exist for interaction with scientists at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in St. Louis. Numerous USDA and Danforth Center scientists hold adjunct appointments in the DPS. Students in the DPS are encouraged to interact with interdisciplinary programs on campus such as the Interdisciplinary Plant Group, the Molecular Biology Program, the Genetics Area Program, the Center for Agroforestry and the Missouri Precision Agriculture Center.

A student can select training from a wide range of courses and research programs to prepare for a career in research, teaching, industry and extension work. Students may complete their graduate degrees through any of the Graduate Program Areas: Crop, Soil & Pest Management, Entomology, Horticulture, Plant Breeding, Genetics & Genomics, and Plant Stress Biology.

Degrees Offered

Plant, Insect & Microbial Sciences, Master of Science

On Campus

Admission Criteria

Fall deadline: Flexible, December 15 for greatest financial aid consideration

  • Minimum GRE score: none set
  • Minimum GPA: 3.0
  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college
  • Demonstrated capability to perform graduate-level work

Minimum English Proficiency Requirements

Test Type Total Score Reading Listening Speaking Writing
TOEFL Internet-based8017171717
TOEFL Paper-based5505252N/A52
IELTS Academic6.56666

Required Application Materials

For the Office of Graduate Studies

  • Completed Graduate Studies online application
  • Unofficial Transcripts- As part of the application submission process, all applicants are required to upload unofficial copies of all post-secondary transcripts to the online application. Official transcripts are only required if accepted by the academic program.
  • Official Results of English Proficiency Exams (International applicants only)

For the Plant, Insect and Microbial Sciences Program

All documents must be uploaded directly to the Graduate Studies online application.

  • Unofficial transcripts. Upload to the online application to expedite review of your application by the program.  Please note that hard copies of official transcripts are not required until you are accepted into the program.
  • Three letters of reference from people who can comment on your ability to succeed in office of graduate studies (upload to the online application).
  • A brief resume (one to two pages, upload to the online application)
  • A clearly written, one- to two-page motivation statement that outlines your educational and career goals (upload to the online application)
  • Official GRE scores. Submit using ETS institution code 6875. There is no minimum GRE score. The GRE is required for some scholarship opportunities such as the MU Life Science Fellowship Program. For admission into our program, it is preferred but not an absolute requirement.
  • Official TOEFL scores, if you are from a country where English is not an official language. Submit using ETS institution code 6875.

Plant, Insect & Microbial Sciences, Doctor of Philosophy

On Campus

Admission Criteria

Fall deadline: Flexible, December 15 for greatest financial aid consideration

  • Minimum GPA: 3.0
  • Minimum GRE score: none set
  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college
  • Demonstrated capability to perform graduate-level work

Minimum English Proficiency Requirements

Test Type Total Score Reading Listening Speaking Writing
TOEFL Internet-based8017171717
TOEFL Paper-based5505252N/A52
IELTS Academic6.56666

Required Application Materials

For the Office of Graduate Studies

  • Completed Graduate Studies online application
  • Unofficial Transcripts- As part of the application submission process, all applicants are required to upload unofficial copies of all post-secondary transcripts to the online application. Official transcripts are only required if accepted by the academic program.
  • Official Results of English Proficiency Exams (International applicants only)

For the Plant, Insect and Microbial Sciences Program

All documents must be uploaded directly to the Graduate Studies online application.

  • Unofficial transcripts. Upload to the online application to expedite review of your application by the program.  Please note that hard copies of official transcripts are not required until you are accepted into the program.
  • Three letters of reference from people who can comment on your ability to succeed in office of graduate studies (upload to the online application).
  • A brief resume (one to two pages, upload to the online application)
  • A clearly written, one- to two-page motivation statement that outlines your educational and career goals (upload to the online application)
  • Official GRE scores. Submit using ETS institution code 6875. There is no minimum GRE score. The GRE is required for some scholarship opportunities such as the MU Life Science Fellowship Program. For admission into our program, it is preferred but not an absolute requirement.
  • Official TOEFL scores, if you are from a country where English is not an official language. Submit using ETS institution code 6875.