May 25, 2024  
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog 
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Plant Pathology (M.S.)

The Plant Pathology  graduate program offers a full range of courses leading to the M.S. degree. These cover diseases caused by bacteria, fungi, nematodes, and viruses; bacterial and fungal genetics; disease control, diagnosis, ecology, epidemiology, and physiology; host plant resistance to disease; plant pathology methods; plant tissue culture and regeneration; plant cytogenetics; and student seminar, special problems and topics, and research.

Degree Options and Requirements

Candidates may choose to complete the thesis option or the report option.

Most students in our Department choose the thesis option and sign up for PLPTH 899. Students who do not desire the intensive research experience may choose to do a report instead, and will sign up for PLPTH 898 instead of 899. Because research experience is considered a prelude for a Ph.D., the report option is sometimes considered a “terminal degree;” i.e., students who complete the report option are much less likely to be accepted into a Ph.D. program. It is recommended only for those students who do not intend to later pursue a Ph.D.

Students who start in the research option and have taken PLPTH 899 for credit, and then switch to a report option, sign up for 2 credits of PLPTH 898 and leave the PLPTH 899 credit on their transcripts; however, the PLPTH 899 credit does not count toward the 30 credit-hour minimum requirement for the M.S. degree.

Required Courses

At least two of the following (or their equivalents)


One credit hour of PLPTH 870 Thesis/Dissertation Proposal Seminar must be used for a proposal seminar within the first three semesters of
enrollment and a noncredit, public seminar and oral defense is required prior to completion of the graduate program.


At least two additional credit hours of electives must be taken in Plant Pathology.
Select one of the following, depending upon the option (report or research) selected:

  1. PLPTH 898 Master’s Report (2 credit hours)
  2. PLPTH 899 Research in Plant Pathology for the M.S. degree (6 credit hours minimum, 8 credit hours maximum; students can take more than 8 credit hours of PLPTH 899, but only 8 credit hours will count toward the degree and only 8 credit hours can be listed on the Program of Study).