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Application to the Graduate Program


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Apply online now! Applications received after the deadline will be considered as space allows.

Admissions Requirements
Required Materials
Financial Aid
Online Applications/Obtaining Application Forms
Deadline for Submission

Admissions Requirements

Evidence of laboratory training and research experience is highly desirable for applicants interested in entering the Plant Biology Graduate Program. Prospective students should have substantial undergraduate training in biology or plant science and an overall undergraduate cumulative average of 3.0. The admissions committee is particularly interested in evaluating grades obtained in the sciences and mathematics.

Minimal undergraduate course requirements include:

One year of General Biology or Plant Science or Biochemistry
One year of General Chemistry with lab
One year of Organic Chemistry with lab
Mathematics through Calculus
One semester of Physics

Note: Students lacking the courses listed above should include a statement explaining how they will obtain such knowledge before they take the preliminary comprehensive exams for the Ph.D or the M.S. defense.

Required Materials

Applicants must submit the standard University of Massachusetts Application form for Graduate School, available online.

Applicants should apply for either the MS or the PhD program. The Plant Biology Graduate Program does not have a MS/PhD track. Official GRE scores, official transcripts, and two letters of reference must be provided. The institution code for reporting GRE and TOEFL scores is 3917 - no department code is necessary. The Subject Test in Biology or Chemistry or Biochemistry, is optional. The "Personal Statement" as requested on the University of Massachusetts application form should include a brief narrative that addresses work experience, research experience, and scholarship.

Applicants should include reprints of papers published in refereed science journals and/or abstracts from papers presented at meetings (only if they are written in English). Do not including any extraneous information such as photocopies of diplomas, certificates of award, etc. Students whose native language is not English must submit TOEFL scores.

Financial Aid

All students are provided financial support - including a yearly stipend (for 2014/15 - $23,670) health insurance, dental insurance and a tuition waiver. The value of stipend, benefits and waivers totals more than $34K. The stipends may be from a research assistantship, a teaching assistantship or University fellowships. In addition, the Program benefits from an endowment in honor of Dr. Constantine Gilgut that supports research fellowships each year. All PhD students are required to serve as teaching assistants in an instructive capacity for at least two semesters during their study. Doctoral degree who remain in good standing will be supported for up to five years and master's students are supported for two years.

Online Applications/Obtaining Applications

Applications for Graduate School and the University of Massachusetts can be obtained online ( or by writing or calling -

Graduate Admissions Office,
530 Goodell Building
University of Massachusetts,
Amherst, Massachusetts 01003-3291

Deadline for Submission of Applications

Applications are due at the Graduate School by December 15th for admissions the following September (Fall Semester) or by October 1 for admissions the following January (Spring Semester). Although students can be accepted for the Spring semester, most students are accepted for Fall admission when funding is more readily available.


Potential applicants are encouraged to read through the PB website ( to learn more about the faculty, curriculum, and facilities. Applicants are welcome to visit our campus to tour facilities and discuss research interests with faculty after submitting an application. In particular, applicants to the MS program should have a clear idea of which faculty member they wish to work with. It is advisable for MS applicants to contact potential faculty advisors directly before applying. You should contact the program office to arrange any subsequent visits. The admissions committee may request a formal interview with MS and PhD applicants, generally during a recruiting weekend in the spring.

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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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