Twin Cities campus
 
Twin Cities Campus

Plant Pathology M.S.

Plant Pathology
College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences
Link to a list of faculty for this program.
Contact Information
Department of Plant Pathology, 495 Borlaug Hall, 1991 Buford Circle, Saint Paul, MN 55108 (612-625-8200)
  • Program Type: Master's
  • Requirements for this program are current for Spring 2018
  • Length of program in credits: 30
  • This program requires 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 pathology focuses on the biology of plant-microbe interactions, and incorporates research involving biochemical, molecular, genetic, physiological, whole organism, population, and community levels of biological organization. Plant pathology interfaces with all plant science disciplines, and with many other fields including food sciences, veterinary medicine, biobased products, and ecology. Areas of concentration include molecular plant pathology (offered as a special emphasis), plant disease management, biological control of plant disease, forest pathology and microbial degradation of wood, microbial ecology, population biology, plant-microbe interactions, disease resistance, host-parasite coevolution, plant microbe mutualisms, and virology. Students have opportunities for laboratory and field research locally, as well as nationally and internationally. The course of study varies with the requirements for the area of concentration and interests of the student. Students who choose the emphasis in molecular plant pathology enhance their ability to design and use molecular approaches to investigate plant disease, increase basic knowledge, and develop new strategies for disease control.
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 3.50.
Master's degree applicants must have a sound college background in the basic biological and physical sciences and mathematics.
Other requirements to be completed before admission:
Applicants must have completed 35 semester credits in biology with at least one course in each of the following areas: botany, zoology, genetics, plant physiology, and microbiology. Applicants must also have completed at least one course each in inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry, biochemistry, and physics. If deficiencies exist in the prerequisites, students must correct them during the first year of the graduate program. These courses cannot be counted as part of the degree program. All students accepted into the department with a BS degree are admitted into the MS program. After a minimum of two semesters, students who qualify may elect to change their degree status to the PhD program. Criteria for the change include scholastic standing, potential for success in completing a PhD, and writing competency.
Special Application Requirements:
GRE scores are required for all students and TOEFL or IELTS scores are required for international students. A clearly written statement of career interests as well as three letters of recommendation are required of all students. Students may apply at any time; however, submission of all application materials by December 10 will ensure priority consideration for fellowships and research assistantships for the next academic year. Students can be admitted any semester.
Applicants must submit their test score(s) from the following:
  • GRE
    • General Test - Verbal Reasoning: 153
    • General Test - Quantitative Reasoning: 148
    • General Test - Analytical Writing: 4.5
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
    • Paper Based - Total Score: 550
  • IELTS
    • Total Score: 6.5
The preferred English language test is Test of English as Foreign Language.
Key to test abbreviations (GRE, TOEFL, IELTS).
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 20 major credits and 10 credits outside the major. The final exam is oral. A capstone project is required.
Capstone Project:The Plan B option requires one to three projects, determined and approved by the advisor and director of graduate studies, totaling approximately 120 hours of work.
This program may be completed with a minor.
Use of 4xxx courses towards program requirements is not permitted.
A minimum GPA of 2.80 is required for students to remain in good standing.
At least 2 semesters must be completed before filing a Degree Program Form.
All students: Students must enroll in a credit or non-credit teaching methods seminar or workshop, chosen in consultation with the advisor and director of graduate studies. Regular attendance at weekly plant pathology seminars is expected. Internships are encouraged as part of of the graduate experience. Financial support for international or domestic internships is available on a competitive basis. Take PLPA 5480 (3 credits), if an introductory plant pathology course has not previously been taken.
Required Coursework
All students take the following courses. Take PLPA 8090 (S-N grade basis) for 2 credits if completing a one-semester teaching experience, or 1 credit for a half-semester experience. Consult with the advisor and director of graduate studies regarding the additional teaching methods seminar/workshop requirement. These credits count toward the 14 major credits.
PLPA 8123 - Research Ethics in Plant and Environmental Sciences (0.5 cr)
PLPA 8200 - Seminar (1.0 cr)
PLPA 8090 - Advanced Procedures and Research in Plant Pathology (1.0-8.0 cr)
PLPA 5480 - Principles of Plant Pathology (3.0 cr)
Outside Coursework
Take at least 6 credits (Plan A) or 10 credits (Plan B) outside the major. Select courses in consultation with the advisor, director of graduate studies, and advisory committee. Suggested courses include the following:
AGRO 8241 - Chromosomal and Molecular Genetics of Plant Improvement (3.0 cr)
EEB 5221 - Molecular Evolution (3.0 cr)
GCD 5036 - Molecular Cell Biology (3.0 cr)
BIOC 5361 - Microbial Genomics and Bioinformatics (3.0 cr)
Thesis Credits
All students completing the Molecular and Non-Molecular Plant Pathology Plan A option, take at least 10 master's thesis credits.
PLPA 8777 - Thesis Credits: Master's (1.0-18.0 cr)
All students completing the Molecular or Non-Molecular Plant Pathology Plan B option, take at least 10 Master's Plan B Capstone Project credits.
PLPA 8300 - Plant Pathology Project (1.0-6.0 cr)
Non-Molecular and Molecular Plant Pathology Options
Non-Molecular Plant Pathology Option
Required Coursework
In addition to courses required of all MS students, students pursuing the non-molecular plant pathology option must complete the following courses:
PLPA 8104 - Plant Virology (2.0 cr)
PLPA 8105 - Plant Bacteriology (2.0 cr)
Electives
Take elective credits from the following list, chosen in consultation with the advisor, director of graduate studies, and advisory committee, to meet the 14-credit (Plan A) or 20-credit (Plan B) minimum major requirement.
PLPA 5003 - Diseases of Forest and Shade Trees (3.0 cr)
PLPA 5202 - Field Plant Pathology (2.0 cr)
PLPA 5203 - Introduction to Fungal Biology (3.0 cr)
PLPA 5300 - Current Topics in Molecular Plant Pathology (1.0 cr)
PLPA 5301 - Large Scale Omic Data in Plant Biology (3.0 cr)
PLPA 5444 - Ecology, Epidemiology, and Evolutionary Biology of Plant-Microbe Interactions (3.0 cr)
PLPA 5660 - Plant Disease Resistance and Applications (3.0 cr)
PLPA 8103 - Plant-Microbe Interactions (3.0 cr)
-OR-
Molecular Plant Pathology Option
Required Coursework
In addition to courses required of all MS students, students pursuing the molecular plant pathology option must complete the following major courses:
PLPA 8103 - Plant-Microbe Interactions (3.0 cr)
PLPA 5300 - Current Topics in Molecular Plant Pathology (1.0 cr)
Electives
Take elective credits from the following list, chosen in consultation with the advisor, director of graduate studies, and advisory committee, to meet the 14-credit (Plan A) or 20-credit (Plan B) minimum major requirement.
PLPA 5003 - Diseases of Forest and Shade Trees (3.0 cr)
PLPA 5444 - Ecology, Epidemiology, and Evolutionary Biology of Plant-Microbe Interactions (3.0 cr)
PLPA 5660 - Plant Disease Resistance and Applications (3.0 cr)
PLPA 5202 - Field Plant Pathology (2.0 cr)
PLPA 5203 - Introduction to Fungal Biology (3.0 cr)
PLPA 5301 - Large Scale Omic Data in Plant Biology (3.0 cr)
PLPA 8104 - Plant Virology (2.0 cr)
PLPA 8105 - Plant Bacteriology (2.0 cr)
Program Sub-plans
A sub-plan is not required for this program.
Students may not complete the program with more than one sub-plan.
Molecular Plant Pathology
This sub-plan is limited to students completing the program under Plan A.
Students in the Molecular Plant Pathology track will enhance their ability to design and use molecular approaches to investigate plant disease, increase their knowledge of basic science and explore emerging strategies for disease control.
Course Group 0
 
More program views..
View college catalog(s):
· College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences

View PDF Version:
Search.
Search Programs

Search University Catalogs
Related links.

College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences

Graduate Admissions

Graduate School Fellowships

Graduate Assistantships

Colleges and Schools

One Stop
for tuition, course registration, financial aid, academic calendars, and more
 
PLPA 8123 - Research Ethics in Plant and Environmental Sciences
Credits: 0.5 [max 0.5]
Course Equivalencies: APSc/PBio/PlPa/Soil 8123
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, invited speakers. Meets during first seven weeks of spring semester. prereq: Enrolled in a plant/environmental grad research program
PLPA 8200 - Seminar
Credits: 1.0 [max 1.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Critical review and presentation of current problems and progress in plant pathology.
PLPA 8090 - Advanced Procedures and Research in Plant Pathology
Credits: 1.0 -8.0 [max 8.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Special assignment in lab and field problems in pathological research. If taking for PLPA teaching requirement: 2 credits= 1 full semester of teaching experience; 1 credit= 1/2 semester of teaching experience
PLPA 5480 - Principles of Plant Pathology
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
This course is intended for graduate students and undergraduate students in their third or fourth year that are interested in learning about principles of plant pathology, diseases that affect plants, microbiology and microbial and plant interactions. In this course students will learn principles of plant pathology through lectures and demonstrations and exercises in laboratory. Students will gain knowledge of mycology and select diseases caused by fungi within Ascomycota, Basidiomycota and the fungal-like Oomycota. Diseases caused by bacteria, nematodes, viruses, parasitic plants and abiotic damage are also examined. Lectures will include information concerning the history and importance of plant pathology, mycology, bacteriology, nematology, virology, infection process, genetics of host and microorganism interactions, epidemiology of diseases and disease control strategies. In the hands-on laboratory period the student will learn laboratory skills, gain experience using the microscope, work with microorganisms, learn diagnostic skills, and be able to recognize 30 plant diseases. prereq: BIOL 1009 or equiv
AGRO 8241 - Chromosomal and Molecular Genetics of Plant Improvement
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Spring Even Year
Mixture of classic/current info in molecular plant genetics, biotech, and genomics. Students devise experiments in breeding, genetics, genomics, physiology, cellular/molecular biology, and other areas. prereq: Introductory Genetics course
EEB 5221 - Molecular Evolution
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Fall
Molecular basis of evolutionary change. Selection, neutral evolutionary processes at molecular level. Evolution from gene to genome level: protein structure/function, multigene families, organelle genomes, genome organization. Lectures, current literature, workshops. prereq: [[BIOL 4003 or GCD 3022], grad student]] or instr consent
GCD 5036 - Molecular Cell Biology
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
Modern, integrative approaches combining cell/molecular biology, biochemistry, and genetics to investigate cell organization/function. Membranes, signaling, extracellular matrix, secretion, endocytosis, cytoskeleton, nucleus. Analysis of scientific papers to illustrate new concepts in and experimental approaches to cell organization/function. prereq: Biol 4004 or instr consent; [sr or grad student] recommended
BIOC 5361 - Microbial Genomics and Bioinformatics
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Introduction to genomics. Emphasizes microbial genomics. Sequencing methods, sequence analysis, genomics databases, genome mapping, prokaryotic horizontal gene transfer, genomics in biotechnology, intellectual property issues. Hands-on introduction to UNIX shell scripting, genomic data analysis using R and Excel in a computer lab setting. prereq: College-level courses in [organic chemistry, biochemistry, microbiology]
PLPA 8777 - Thesis Credits: Master's
Credits: 1.0 -18.0 [max 50.0]
Grading Basis: No Grade
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
(No description) prereq: Max 18 cr per semester or summer; 10 cr total required [Plan A only]
PLPA 8300 - Plant Pathology Project
Credits: 1.0 -6.0 [max 24.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Laboratory or library projects for Plan B master's students in plant pathology.
PLPA 8104 - Plant Virology
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Spring
Characteristics, biology, epidemiology, and control of plant diseases caused by viruses. prereq: 5480
PLPA 8105 - Plant Bacteriology
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Typically offered: Every Spring
For graduate students interested in bacteria that cause plant diseases. Disease cycles, epidemiology, pathogenesis, and means of disease control. The lab section will focus on techniques used to identify bacteria, for inoculating plants, and isolating bacteria from plant material. prereq: 5480
PLPA 5003 - Diseases of Forest and Shade Trees
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Spring
Diseases of trees in urban and forested areas. Biology, ecology, and control of tree diseases. Identifying disease agents, integrated control procedures. Laboratory.
PLPA 5202 - Field Plant Pathology
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Typically offered: Every Summer
Characteristics of a variety of plant diseases. Field trips to observe symptoms and effects of diseases, and to learn about prevention and control of diseases in field, forest, golf course, greenhouse, nursery, orchard, and urban environments.
PLPA 5203 - Introduction to Fungal Biology
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Spring Odd Year
Fungi are a critical component of the diversity and function of terrestrial ecosystems, affecting decomposition, plant nutrient uptake, and agricultural practices. Key components of fungal biology, including ecology, genetics, life cycles and diversity. Labs provide hands on experience with a diverse range of organisms. prereq: BIOL 1009 or equiv
PLPA 5300 - Current Topics in Molecular Plant Pathology
Credits: 1.0 [max 2.0]
Grading Basis: S-N only
Typically offered: Every Spring
Interactive class. Students read, discuss, and critique publications in molecular plant pathology. Focus on articls, examining from different dimensions (underlying principles, experimental strategies, data analysis, impact on the broader discipline). prereq: instr consent
PLPA 5301 - Large Scale Omic Data in Plant Biology
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
Introduction to large scale data in plant biology. Emphasizes model plants and important agricultural crops focusing on new approaches and technologies in the field. Fundamentals, acquisition, and analysis of high-throughput DNA and RNA sequencing, high-throughput plant phenotyping, functional and comparative genomics, epigenomics, proteomics, metabolomics, and microbiomics. prereq: Intro course in genetics or instr consent
PLPA 5444 - Ecology, Epidemiology, and Evolutionary Biology of Plant-Microbe Interactions
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall
Concepts and recent research in the ecology, epidemiology, and evolutionary/coevolutionary biology of plant-microbe interactions spanning the range from parasitic to mutualistic in agricultural and natural habitats. prereq: Intro plant pathology or advanced biology coursework recommended
PLPA 5660 - Plant Disease Resistance and Applications
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Spring
Fundamentals of disease resistance in plants and the genetics of host-parasite interactions as they relate to the sustainable control of plant diseases. Examples explored at the Mendelian, populational, and molecular level of organization. prereq: 2001, BIOL 4003
PLPA 8103 - Plant-Microbe Interactions
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Spring
Genetics, physiology, and molecular biology of plant-microbe interactions. Communication between plants/microbes. Signal transduction, control of gene expression, symbiosis/parasitism, plant host response mechanisms, plant disease physiology. prereq: Intro course in plant pathology or molecular biology or equiv
PLPA 8103 - Plant-Microbe Interactions
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Spring
Genetics, physiology, and molecular biology of plant-microbe interactions. Communication between plants/microbes. Signal transduction, control of gene expression, symbiosis/parasitism, plant host response mechanisms, plant disease physiology. prereq: Intro course in plant pathology or molecular biology or equiv
PLPA 5300 - Current Topics in Molecular Plant Pathology
Credits: 1.0 [max 2.0]
Grading Basis: S-N only
Typically offered: Every Spring
Interactive class. Students read, discuss, and critique publications in molecular plant pathology. Focus on articls, examining from different dimensions (underlying principles, experimental strategies, data analysis, impact on the broader discipline). prereq: instr consent
PLPA 5003 - Diseases of Forest and Shade Trees
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Spring
Diseases of trees in urban and forested areas. Biology, ecology, and control of tree diseases. Identifying disease agents, integrated control procedures. Laboratory.
PLPA 5444 - Ecology, Epidemiology, and Evolutionary Biology of Plant-Microbe Interactions
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall
Concepts and recent research in the ecology, epidemiology, and evolutionary/coevolutionary biology of plant-microbe interactions spanning the range from parasitic to mutualistic in agricultural and natural habitats. prereq: Intro plant pathology or advanced biology coursework recommended
PLPA 5660 - Plant Disease Resistance and Applications
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Spring
Fundamentals of disease resistance in plants and the genetics of host-parasite interactions as they relate to the sustainable control of plant diseases. Examples explored at the Mendelian, populational, and molecular level of organization. prereq: 2001, BIOL 4003
PLPA 5202 - Field Plant Pathology
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Typically offered: Every Summer
Characteristics of a variety of plant diseases. Field trips to observe symptoms and effects of diseases, and to learn about prevention and control of diseases in field, forest, golf course, greenhouse, nursery, orchard, and urban environments.
PLPA 5203 - Introduction to Fungal Biology
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Spring Odd Year
Fungi are a critical component of the diversity and function of terrestrial ecosystems, affecting decomposition, plant nutrient uptake, and agricultural practices. Key components of fungal biology, including ecology, genetics, life cycles and diversity. Labs provide hands on experience with a diverse range of organisms. prereq: BIOL 1009 or equiv
PLPA 5301 - Large Scale Omic Data in Plant Biology
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
Introduction to large scale data in plant biology. Emphasizes model plants and important agricultural crops focusing on new approaches and technologies in the field. Fundamentals, acquisition, and analysis of high-throughput DNA and RNA sequencing, high-throughput plant phenotyping, functional and comparative genomics, epigenomics, proteomics, metabolomics, and microbiomics. prereq: Intro course in genetics or instr consent
PLPA 8104 - Plant Virology
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Spring
Characteristics, biology, epidemiology, and control of plant diseases caused by viruses. prereq: 5480
PLPA 8105 - Plant Bacteriology
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Typically offered: Every Spring
For graduate students interested in bacteria that cause plant diseases. Disease cycles, epidemiology, pathogenesis, and means of disease control. The lab section will focus on techniques used to identify bacteria, for inoculating plants, and isolating bacteria from plant material. prereq: 5480