Molecular & Environmental Plant Sciences

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Degree Requirements

General requirements for graduate degrees are established by the University and address such issues as residency, credit hours required, limitations to use of transfer work and undergraduate credits, etc.

The Chair of the Graduate Admissions Committee will advise entering students until he/she chooses a permanent advisor. First year students will normally undertake two or three laboratory rotations with MEPS faculty pursuing research in the student's area of interest. A permanent advisor is chosen by the end of the first year and the formal degree program (list of academic courses) is developed jointly by the student, advisor and members of his/her advisory committee. This approach provides flexibility to customize student education and training rather than provide a one-size-fits-all educational experience.

Policies and requirements specific to graduate degrees in Molecular and Environmental Plant Sciences are as follows:

Requirements for the M.S. Degree

You must complete at least 32 credit hours including the following:

  1. At least 14 hours from graduate (600 level) MEPS or related courses from other departments including at least 2 courses from the MEPS core curriculum shown below. The exact courses are to be determined jointly by the student and his/her advisory committee.
  2. Statistics 651 or equivalent.
  3. Not more than 6 hours of courses at the 400 level may be counted toward the 32-hour requirement.
  4. One seminar course (1 hour) MEPS 681 or equivalent in the student's home department where the student presents a seminar.
  5. Not more that 8 hours of MEPS 691 (Research).

TA one course for a minimum of one semester is strongly encouraged. Satisfactory completion of a final examination and a thesis.

MEPS Handbook

Requirements for the Ph.D. Degree

Complete at least 96 credit hours beyond the B.S. degree or 64 hours beyond the M.S. degree to include the following:

  1. A minimum of 20 hours in MEPS courses or related departmental courses including at least 3 courses from the MEPS core curriculum shown below. The exact courses for the degree program are to be determined jointly by the student and his/her advisory committee.
  2. Not more than 6 hours of undergraduate level (400) courses may be applied to the degree program (more may be needed as leveling or prerequisites, but only 6 hours may be used to meet the credit hour requirements for the degree.
  3. Students should take Biochemistry 601 if they lack an adequate background in biochemistry and Genetics 603 if they lack an adequate background in genetics.
  4. Students lacking a rigorous, contemporary background in plant physiology should take MEPS 601.
  5. Statistics 651 or 652 or equivalent.
  6. Seminar courses. Two seminar courses are required (1 hour each) to include MEPS 681 and a departmental course in which students are required to present a seminar.
  7. Additional hours of 685 (Directed Studies), 689 (Special Topics) and 691 (Research) courses to meet the credit hour requirements for the degree.

TA one course for a minimum of one semester is strongly encouraged. Satisfactory completion of a qualifying examination, final examination and a dissertation.

MEPS Handbook

Advisory Committee

Entering students will be assigned a temporary academic advisor to guide them in course selection and assist with other administrative requirements until a permanent faculty advisor is selected (usually after 1 or 2 semesters). The permanent advisor becomes the Chair of the Advisory Committee (e.g., major professor). In addition, the Advisory Committee will include:

  • A minimum of three (for MS degree) or four (for Ph.D. degree) members of the Graduate Faculty with one member outside of the home department of the student and Chair.
  • The Chair and at least one other member must also be members of the Faculty of Molecular and Environmental Plant Sciences.
  • Information for Graduate Students

Core Curriculum

  • MEPS 601 Plant Physiology
  • MEPS 605 Plant Biochemistry
  • BIOL 635 Plant Molecular Biology
  • BIOL 636 Plant Cell Biology
  • ESSM 621 Physiological Plant Ecology (formerly RELM 607)
  • BOTN 620 Field Systematic Botany

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