Master's Program in Plant Science

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The Graduate Program in the Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources prepares students for career opportunities and cooperative ventures with federal and state agencies, private industry, and nearby horticultural institutions. The program strives to generate research designed to solve problems encountered in the study, production and manipulation of plant species and in evaluating various aspects of the plant sciences including plant production, physiology, culture and taxonomy.

Admissions and Degree Requirements

In addition to the general Graduate School Requirements, potential candidates must have an undergraduate degree in plant sciences or the equivalent, with (30) credits from the following list of courses: General Botany, Horticultural Plant Materials, Statistics/Biometrics, Organic Chemistry, Biochemistry, Field Crops, Forage Crops, Ecology, Plant Systematics, Soils, Entomology, Weed Science, Genetics, Plant Physiology, Molecular Biology, Plant Pathology and Plant Propagation.
Course Descriptions

Degree Requirements

Master of Science Degree Program in Plant Science
The Masters Degree in Plant Science is designed to prepare students for advanced study in plant culture, physiology, management and/or systematics. The degree requires a supervised research program and a thesis. A total of 31 credit hours are required for the degree, including 22 hours of course work and 9 credit hours of research.


The Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources is housed in the W.W. Baker Building, which contains classrooms, offices, and laboratories that support the program. Other facilities include the Claude E. Phillips Herbarium and a 6,000 square foot Research Greenhouse. The Claude E. Phillips Herbarium, with ca. 145,000 specimens, contains the largest collection of preserved plant specimens at any historically black institution and is a premier center for studying plant diversity, human uses of plants, and the conservation of rare plants. A research greenhouse is located on the north side of the Baker building. Several fields and research plots are located on the campus grounds. Hickory Hill Farm, used for forage and animal research, is located approximately 7 miles away in Cheswold, Delaware.


The faculty in the Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources are dedicated to their fields of study and have diverse backgrounds. Their specific areas of research interest include plant systematics, plant physiology, tissue culture, forage production, forage utilization, and minor crop production. Active research programs exist within these areas and offer graduate students many opportunities for active learning and discovery.