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The Graduate Program


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The Plant Biology Graduate Program (PB Program) provides graduate and undergraduate training and fosters faculty research and collaboration in all aspects of the biology of plants. Unlike traditional departmental graduate programs, PB allows students to select their advisors from six departments on campus or from faculty members from the Five Colleges. The diverse areas of focus in cell biology and physiology, biochemistry and metabolism, genetics and evolution, and environmental, ecological and intergrative biology permit PB students and faculty to work on any level of biological organization from molecules to landscapes, and to choose basic or applied topics. The common interest of PB members in plants is a bridge for work across disciplines.

Founded in 1996, the PB Program has 37 faculty. PB sponsors a seminar series, journal clubs, a fall symposium, and scholarship and fellowship programs for graduate and undergraduate students. Facilities for research include a large set of growth chambers, an automated DNA sequencing lab, scanning and transmission electron microscopes, greenhouses, university-owned field sites, an outstanding living collection of plants, and the herbarium of record for New England. Many PB members collaborate with state and federal agencies, several of which maintain offices and staff on campus, and PB students are eligible to take courses in central America and Africa through the Organization for Tropical Studies.

PB is part of a vibrant university community in very pleasant surroundings. The University of Massachusetts at Amherst, the largest university in the Northeast, has a commensurate diversity of academics, arts, and opinions. The rich intellectual and cultural environment is further enhanced by the four area colleges - Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke, and Smith. Though surprisingly cosmopolitan, the towns of Amherst and nearby Northampton are bounded by woods and farms and the hills that rise along the Connecticut River Valley.

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Plant Biology Graduate Program • 217 Morrill Science Ctr. • UMass Amherst • 611 N. Pleasant St.• Amherst, MA 01003-9297 • Ph: 413.577.3217 • Fax: 413.545.3243

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This site is maintained by S. Capistran, Plant Biology Graduate Program.
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