Plant Biology Ph.D.

All students must meet the Requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy Degree

Overview

Ph.D. students in the Department of Plant Biology have the opportunity to join research programs covering a diverse set of disciplines including physiology, developmental genetics, molecular regulation of gene expression, cell biology, plant-microbe interactions, ecological genomics, systematics and biogeography, and ecology of plant population and community dynamics. Graduate students become members of a collegial academic community where they are trained to become cutting-edge researchers and effective educators in the plant sciences. In addition, the University of Vermont has a vigorous research community in the life sciences, allowing students to interact and collaborate with colleagues across campus.

Specific Requirements

Requirements for Admission to Graduate Studies for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy

  • The equivalent of a UVM major in a natural or physical science

  • Strong scores on the Graduate Record Examination

  • Evidence of previous research experience

Minimum Degree Requirements

All students must successfully complete a total of 75 credits, including a minimum of 30 credits of program-related course work and 20 credits of dissertation research. First-year students participate in at least two rotations in research laboratories before committing to one laboratory for completion of dissertation research. Satisfactory completion of the written and oral components of a comprehensive examination are required for advancement to candidacy. A student’s Ph.D. degree is culminated by satisfactory completion of a dissertation, a public seminar, and a private defense with their studies committee. In addition to research, all students must participate in a minimum of two courses of supervised teaching.

Comprehensive Examination

A written and oral examination is completed by end of the student's second year in the program. The examination requirements can be met in two different ways:

  1. The written exam consists of questions from each of the student's committee members, and after successful completion an oral exam is scheduled.
  2. The written exam takes the form of a grant proposal, and then the oral exam starts out focusing on the proposal and then broadens out to be more complete.

Requirements for Advancement to Candidacy for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy

Satisfactory completion of the written and oral components of a comprehensive examination are required for advancement to candidacy.