Twin Cities campus
 
Twin Cities Campus

Plant & Microbial Biology M.S.

Plant and Microbial Biology
College of Biological Sciences
Link to a list of faculty for this program.
Contact Information
Plant and Microbial Biology Graduate Program, 1479 Gortner Avenue, Suite 140, St. Paul, MN 55108 (612-625-4222; fax: 612-625-1738)
Email: pmb@umn.edu
  • Program Type: Master's
  • Requirements for this program are current for Spring 2018
  • Length of program in credits: 30
  • This program does not require summer semesters for timely completion.
  • Degree: Master of Science
Along with the program-specific requirements listed below, please read the General Information section of this website for requirements that apply to all major fields.
Plant and microbial biology encompasses all aspects of plant and microbial life, from molecular biology to genomics to ecosystem science. Students study plants from the subcellular and molecular to the whole plant and community levels of biological organization. They also have opportunities for laboratory and field research at state, national, and international levels. Each student's program is planned to meet individual requirements within the framework of a multidisciplinary core of coursework.
Program Delivery
  • via classroom (the majority of instruction is face-to-face)
Prerequisites for Admission
The preferred undergraduate GPA for admittance to the program is 3.00.
Special Application Requirements:
Students are admitted to the M.S. program only under special arrangement with a faculty advisor. The deadline to apply is December 1. Refer to the Plant and Microbial Biology website for full details on application requirements and procedures: https://cbs.umn.edu/academics/departments/pmb/graduate-education.
Applicants must submit their test score(s) from the following:
  • GRE
International applicants must submit score(s) from one of the following tests:
  • TOEFL
    • Internet Based - Total Score: 79
    • Internet Based - Writing Score: 21
    • Internet Based - Reading Score: 19
  • IELTS
    • Total Score: 6.5
  • MELAB
    • Final score: 80
Key to test abbreviations (GRE, TOEFL, IELTS, MELAB).
For an online application or for more information about graduate education admissions, see the General Information section of this website.
Program Requirements
Plan A: Plan A requires 14 major credits, 6 credits outside the major, and 10 thesis credits. The final exam is oral.
Plan B: Plan B requires 24 major credits and 6 credits outside the major. The final exam is oral.
This program may be completed with a minor.
Use of 4xxx courses toward program requirements is permitted under certain conditions with adviser approval.
A minimum GPA of 3.00 is required for students to remain in good standing.
At least 1 semesters must be completed before filing a Degree Program Form.
The MS is offered under both Plan A (with thesis) and Plan B (without thesis). Plan A requires 20 course credits in the major and 10 thesis credits. Plan B requires 30 course credits in the major and one to three research papers, which may be written in conjunction with graduate courses. Significant field or laboratory experience and competence in statistics, to include hypothesis testing, regression, and correlation are required. Degree programs are planned by the student and an advisory committee of three faculty members to meet the student's interests and needs.
Core Coursework
All students take the following required courses, for a total of 6.5 credits. [Note: Take PMB 8900 three times (1 credit each time, for a total of 3 credits): section 001 (PMB colloquium), section 002 (Itasca orientation seminar), and section 003 (PMB graduate students seminar).]
PBS 8081 - Integrative Plant Biology: Connecting Molecules to Ecosystems (3.0 cr)
PBS 8123 - Research Ethics in the Plant and Environmental Sciences (0.5 cr)
PBS 8900 - Seminar (1.0-2.0 cr)
Plan A and Plan B course options
Plan A
Take at least 13.5 credits of additional coursework, in consultation with the academic advisor and advisory committee, and with approval from the PMB Director of Graduate Studies (DGS), to complete the 20 course credits total (6.5 credits of required core coursework and 13.5 credits of electives/supporting courses) required for the Plan A master's degree. A maximum of 9 credits of 4000-level coursework is allowed.
Take 14 or more credit(s) from the following:
· PBS 8xxx
· PMB 4xxx
· PMB 5xxx
· AGRO 5xxx
· AGRO 8xxx
· BIOC 4331 - Biochemistry I: Structure, Catalysis, and Metabolism in Biological Systems (4.0 cr)
· BIOC 4332 - Biochemistry II: Molecular Mechanisms of Signal Transduction and Gene Expression (4.0 cr)
· BIOC 4521 - Introduction to Physical Biochemistry (3.0 cr)
· BIOC 5xxx
· BIOL 4003 - Genetics (3.0 cr)
· BIOL 4004 - Cell Biology (3.0 cr)
· BIOL 4121 - Microbial Ecology and Applied Microbiology (3.0 cr)
· BIOL 5xxx
· BIOL 8100 - Improvisation for Scientists (1.0 cr)
· CSCI 5xxx
· EEB 5xxx
· EEB 8xxx
· FNRM 5xxx
· FNRM 8xxx
· GCD 5xxx
· GCD 8xxx
· GRAD 5xxx
· GRAD 8xxx
· HORT 5xxx
· HORT 8xxx
· MICB 4xxx
· PLPA 5xxx
· PLPA 8xxx
· STAT 5xxx
· STAT 8xxx
Thesis Credits
Take 10 master's thesis credits.
PBS 8777 - Thesis Credits: Master's (1.0-18.0 cr)
-OR-
Plan B
Take at least 23.5 credits of additional coursework, in consultation with the academic advisor and advisory committee, and with approval from the PMB Director of Graduate Studies (DGS), to complete the 30 course credits total (6.5 credits of required core coursework and 23.5 credits of electives/supporting courses) required for the Plan B master's degree. A maximum of 9 credits of 4000-level coursework is allowed.
Take 24 or more credit(s) from the following:
· PBS 8xxx
· PMB 4xxx
· PMB 5xxx
· AGRO 5xxx
· AGRO 8xxx
· BIOC 4331 - Biochemistry I: Structure, Catalysis, and Metabolism in Biological Systems (4.0 cr)
· BIOC 4332 - Biochemistry II: Molecular Mechanisms of Signal Transduction and Gene Expression (4.0 cr)
· BIOC 4521 - Introduction to Physical Biochemistry (3.0 cr)
· BIOC 5xxx
· BIOL 4003 - Genetics (3.0 cr)
· BIOL 4004 - Cell Biology (3.0 cr)
· BIOL 4121 - Microbial Ecology and Applied Microbiology (3.0 cr)
· BIOL 5xxx
· BIOL 8100 - Improvisation for Scientists (1.0 cr)
· CSCI 5xxx
· EEB 5xxx
· EEB 8xxx
· FNRM 5xxx
· FNRM 8xxx
· GCD 5xxx
· GCD 8xxx
· GRAD 5xxx
· GRAD 8xxx
· HORT 5xxx
· HORT 8xxx
· MICB 4xxx
· PLPA 5xxx
· PLPA 8xxx
· STAT 5xxx
· STAT 8xxx
 
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PBS 8081 - Integrative Plant Biology: Connecting Molecules to Ecosystems
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
Fundamental questions in plant/fungal biology. Research approaches. Students read/evaluate primary literature. Critical analysis, written summaries, oral presentations. Research in plant/fungal biology, ranging from molecular to ecosystem levels. prereq: Plant biological sciences grad student or instr consent
PBS 8123 - Research Ethics in the Plant and Environmental Sciences
Credits: 0.5 [max 0.5]
Grading Basis: S-N or Aud
Typically offered: Every Spring
History/values relating to research/scholarship. Social responsibility/reporting misconduct. Authorship plagiarism. Peer review. Copyright/intellectual property. Conflicts of interest. Research data management. Fiscal responsibility/management. Environmental health/safety. Research involving humans/animals. Mentorship presentations by faculty and invited speakers. Meets first seven weeks of spring semester. prereq: Grad student in [applied plant sciences or plant pathology or plant biological sciences or soil science]
PBS 8900 - Seminar
Credits: 1.0 -2.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: S-N or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Current scientific research.
BIOC 4331 - Biochemistry I: Structure, Catalysis, and Metabolism in Biological Systems
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Course Equivalencies: 00467 - BioC 3021/BioC 3022/BioC 4331/
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Advanced survey of structure/catalysis, metabolism/bioenergetics. prereq: (BIOL 1009 or 2003 or equiv) AND (Chem 2302 or CHEM 2081/2085 or equiv)
BIOC 4332 - Biochemistry II: Molecular Mechanisms of Signal Transduction and Gene Expression
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Advanced survey of molecular biology. Mechanisms of gene action/biological regulation. prereq: 4331 or instr consent
BIOC 4521 - Introduction to Physical Biochemistry
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Physical chemical principles, their applications in biochemistry. Thermodynamics, kinetics, spectroscopy, solution dynamics as applied to biochemical reactions/ biopolymers. prereq: 4331 recommended, (Chem 1062/1066 or CHEM 1082/1086) AND (Physics 1202 or 1302)
BIOL 4003 - Genetics
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 00052 - Biol 4003/GCD 3022
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Genetic information, its transmission from parents to offspring, its expression in cells/organisms, and its course in populations. prereq: [[Biol 3020 or BioC 3021 or BioC 4331], [any CBS major or major in [animal science or applied plant science or BA biology or BA microbiology or nutrition or physiology or biology/society/environment or biomedical engineering] or Grad MBS major]] or instr consent
BIOL 4004 - Cell Biology
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01965 - Biol 4004/GCD 4005W
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Processes fundamental to cells. Emphasizes eukaryotic cells. Assembly/function of membranes/organelles. Cell division, cell form/movement, intercellular communication, transport, secretion pathways. Cancer cells, differentiated cells. prereq: - [(CBS major or CSE major) and (BIOL 3020 or BIOL 4003)] or grad MSB
BIOL 4121 - Microbial Ecology and Applied Microbiology
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Spring
Evolution/structure of microbial communities. Population interaction within ecosystems. Quantitative/habitat ecology. Biogeochemical cycling. Molecular microbial ecology, gene transfer in the environment. Molecular phylogeny of microorganisms. Application of microbes in agriculture. Production of commodity chemicals, drugs, and other high-value products. prereq: 3301
BIOL 8100 - Improvisation for Scientists
Credits: 1.0 [max 1.0]
Grading Basis: S-N or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall
This is a 7-week course designed to practice a wide array of strategies in order to gain awareness and control over your personal expression. Students will develop more effective ways to expand their ability to navigate the stress generally associated with delivering content in front of others. By learning how to manage their personal expression more effectively, students will be able to use specific tools in order to adapt their expression to various settings (large audiences, small groups, or one on one interviews/counseling). Adapting exercises from techniques such as improvisation and storytelling, this class will provide a comfortable and safe environment for students who want to expand their confidence when presenting for others.
PBS 8777 - Thesis Credits: Master's
Credits: 1.0 -18.0 [max 50.0]
Grading Basis: No Grade
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Thesis Credits: Master's prereq: Max 18 cr per semester or summer; 10 cr total required [Plan A only]
BIOC 4331 - Biochemistry I: Structure, Catalysis, and Metabolism in Biological Systems
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Course Equivalencies: 00467 - BioC 3021/BioC 3022/BioC 4331/
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Advanced survey of structure/catalysis, metabolism/bioenergetics. prereq: (BIOL 1009 or 2003 or equiv) AND (Chem 2302 or CHEM 2081/2085 or equiv)
BIOC 4332 - Biochemistry II: Molecular Mechanisms of Signal Transduction and Gene Expression
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Advanced survey of molecular biology. Mechanisms of gene action/biological regulation. prereq: 4331 or instr consent
BIOC 4521 - Introduction to Physical Biochemistry
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Physical chemical principles, their applications in biochemistry. Thermodynamics, kinetics, spectroscopy, solution dynamics as applied to biochemical reactions/ biopolymers. prereq: 4331 recommended, (Chem 1062/1066 or CHEM 1082/1086) AND (Physics 1202 or 1302)
BIOL 4003 - Genetics
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 00052 - Biol 4003/GCD 3022
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Genetic information, its transmission from parents to offspring, its expression in cells/organisms, and its course in populations. prereq: [[Biol 3020 or BioC 3021 or BioC 4331], [any CBS major or major in [animal science or applied plant science or BA biology or BA microbiology or nutrition or physiology or biology/society/environment or biomedical engineering] or Grad MBS major]] or instr consent
BIOL 4004 - Cell Biology
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01965 - Biol 4004/GCD 4005W
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Processes fundamental to cells. Emphasizes eukaryotic cells. Assembly/function of membranes/organelles. Cell division, cell form/movement, intercellular communication, transport, secretion pathways. Cancer cells, differentiated cells. prereq: - [(CBS major or CSE major) and (BIOL 3020 or BIOL 4003)] or grad MSB
BIOL 4121 - Microbial Ecology and Applied Microbiology
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Spring
Evolution/structure of microbial communities. Population interaction within ecosystems. Quantitative/habitat ecology. Biogeochemical cycling. Molecular microbial ecology, gene transfer in the environment. Molecular phylogeny of microorganisms. Application of microbes in agriculture. Production of commodity chemicals, drugs, and other high-value products. prereq: 3301
BIOL 8100 - Improvisation for Scientists
Credits: 1.0 [max 1.0]
Grading Basis: S-N or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall
This is a 7-week course designed to practice a wide array of strategies in order to gain awareness and control over your personal expression. Students will develop more effective ways to expand their ability to navigate the stress generally associated with delivering content in front of others. By learning how to manage their personal expression more effectively, students will be able to use specific tools in order to adapt their expression to various settings (large audiences, small groups, or one on one interviews/counseling). Adapting exercises from techniques such as improvisation and storytelling, this class will provide a comfortable and safe environment for students who want to expand their confidence when presenting for others.