Master of Science Degree Requirements
The Master of Science (M.S.) in Plant Science is a 30-unit program designed to provide advanced studies and in-depth knowledge in the fundamentals of plant science, as well as experimental design, technical writing, and formal presentation of research. Coursework provides a broad understanding of crop production and physiology, and thesis research allows for specialization. Areas of specialization include agronomy, pomology, horticulture, weed science, entomology, plant pathology, soils and irrigation, and mechanized agriculture. Graduate courses are offered in the late afternoon or evening permitting students to earn a degree within two or three years when working closely with an adviser.
Admission Requirements. The master’s degree in Plant Science assumes preparation equivalent to a Bachelor of Science in Plant Science. Students having undergraduate majors in fields other than plant science may enter the program, but may reasonably expect additional requirements to produce equivalent preparation. The following courses or equivalents are expected to be completed prior to admission to the master’s program:
3 units - Plant Physiology
3 units - Statistics
3 units - Soils
3 units - Plant Health (entomology, pathology, nematology, integrated pest management, biological control, etc.)
6 units - Life Science (chemistry, physics, etc.) of which a minimum of 3 units must be in chemistry
9 units - Natural Science (biology, ecology, genetics, agricultural sciences, etc.)
Students who do not have all the prerequisite courses may be admitted to the program with conditionally classified standing and would be expected to complete the prerequisites before being granted classified standing.
To apply, students must complete the online application required for university admission at http://www.fresnostate.edu/gradstudies/admission. The following materials are required to complete the application:
- one complete set of transcripts of all prior college or university work
- statement of research interest (minimum of 500 words)
- three letters of recommendation from individuals in a position to make an evaluation in support of graduate study
- Institutional Score Report of the Graduate Record Exam (GRE)
- Institutional Score Report of the Teaching of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) exam – for applicants whose native language is not English (unless the baccalaureate degree is from an institution using English as their language of instruction)
The packet of application materials must be submitted by the following deadlines:
Spring Semester: September 30 (Aug. 30, International students)*
Fall Semester: March 1 (February 1, International students)*
*or as reported at Graduate Studies.
Admission will be based on all of the following criteria:
- Official GRE scores (suggested minimum of 480 verbal, 580 quantitative and 4.0 grade point average for the last 60 units (minimum 2.75 GPA
- Grade point average (GPA) for the last 60 units (minimum 2.75)
- TOEFL score: for those required to take this exam, scores of 213 (computer-based), 550 (paper-based), or 80 (Internet-based)
- Official college transcript verifying completion of prerequisite courses and conferral of the bachelor’s degree
- Three letters of reference
- Statement of research interest
Classified standing may be granted to students who meet all of the admission criteria.
Conditional classified standing may be granted to applicants meeting most, but not all, of the admission requirements. In this case, students must fulfill the criteria for “classified standing” and submit the required paperwork by the semester in which a minimum of 10 units to be used toward the degree are completed. Prerequisite courses are not included in the 30-unit master’s program and students must achieve a 3.0 GPA for all coursework (prerequisite and graduate)