Graduate Program Information & Courses

Selected Graduate Courses

The Horticulture Graduate Program curriculum offers considerable flexibility in student course work. This list is not inclusive as other courses are available in related disciplines, i.e. biochemistry, plant pathology, etc. Courses are chosen based on the student's research interest and desired specialization. Below is a partial list of courses. Click here to view the term schedule for current and upcoming courses.

Landscape Design Student

HRT 401 Physiology and Management of Herbaceous Plants
HRT 403 Handling and Storage of Horticultural Crops
HRT 404 Horticulture Management
HRT 407 Horticulture Marketing

PLB 414 Plant Physiology: Metabolism
PLB 415 Plant Physiology: Growth, Development, and the Environment

PLB 434 Plant Structure and Function
HRT 812 Laboratory Research Techniques

HRT 480 Woody Plant Physiology
HRT 853 Plant Mineral Nutrition
HRT 863 Environmental Plant Physiology

BMB 864 Plant Biochemistry

PLB/HRT 865 Plant Growth and Development

HRT 891 Special Topics
HRT 894 Seminar

Courses offered in Plant Breeding and Genetics

HRT 441 Plant Breeding and Biotechnology
HRT 451 Biotechnology Applications for Plant Breeding and Genetics
HRT 486 Biotechnology in Agriculture: Applications & Ethical Issues
HRT 819 Advanced Plant Breeding
HRT 820 Plant Reproductive Biology and Polyploidy
HRT 821 Crop Evolution
HRT 822 Historical Geography of Crop Plants
HRT 827 Techniques in Cytogenetics

FOR 842 Population Genetics

PLB/BMB 856 Plant Molecular and Omics Biology

PLB/HRT 865 Plant Growth and Development

CSS 941 Quantitative Genetics in Plant Breeding

Courses offered in Statistics

STT 464 Statistical Methods for Biologists I
STT 814 Advanced Statistics for Biologists

HRT 870 Techniques of Analyzing Unbalanced Research Data

Additional graduate courses not offered in Horticulture

PLP 405 Plant Pathology

GEO 402 Agricultural Climatology

CSS 402 Principles of Weed Science
CSS 802 Weed Biology
CSS 805 Herbicide Action and Metabolism
CSS 840 Soil Physics

ENT 404 Fundamentals of Entomology
ENT 848 Biological Control

ESP 801 Physical, Chemical and Biological Processes of the Environment

NSC 830 Nature and Practice of Science
NSC 840 Writing in the Sciences
NSC 870 Teaching College Science

Additional graduate course offered in Landscape Architecture

HRT 816 Environmental Design Theory

Original Research for Masters Degree

All students must conduct original research, under the supervision of the major professor and the advisory committee, on a selected problem related to Horticulture. A hypothesis must be proposed and tested. A review of the literature in the selected area of study should precede the experimental work. The data collected must be analyzed, interpreted, and presented in the form of a bound thesis (M.S.) or dissertation (Ph.D.). (Candidates for the M.S., plan B. may submit a research report in lieu of a thesis.)

The 7 Essential Elements of a Masters of Science Research Proposal
Adopted 3 Dec 2004

A baseline expectation for all Masters of Science (Plan A) students associated with the MSU Horticulture Department is that they develop a brief research proposal that addresses each of the following elements pertinent to developing scientific research skills:

1) one or more testable hypotheses
2) clear research objectives
3) rationale for the proposed research, including a scientific literature review and, if available, preliminary data
4) feasible proposed research methodology
5) expected outcomes
6) potential impact
7) pertinent literature citations

Masters students (Plan A) in the Horticulture graduate program are required to write a thesis based on their original research; the process of developing a concise research proposal is an appropriate and necessary prerequisite for the eventual completion of the research thesis.

Graduate student traveling for research

The research proposal, to be developed in close consultation with the major professor, should be reviewed and approved by the student's graduate advisory committee. The graduate advisory committee should assure that the above 7 elements are addressed clearly and adequately in the submitted research proposal. Following advisory committee approval of the research proposal, it must be submitted to the Graduate Programs Committee (see submission form below) for inclusion in the student's file records, at which time it also will be reviewed by the GPC solely to confirm that the essential elements have been addressed (i.e., not for detailed content). If there is an omission or inadequacy in the essential elements, the GPC will return the proposal to the student and major professor and identify the element that fails to adhere to departmental expectations. The student will be required to correct the proposal within a specified time in order to continue making adequate progress towards the completion of their graduate program.

Masters Thesis (Plan A) Research Proposal Requirement Form

Original Research for Doctoral Degree

All students must conduct original research, under the supervision of the major professor and the advisory committee, on a selected problem related to Horticulture. A hypothesis must be proposed and tested. A review of the literature in the selected area of study should precede the experimental work. The data collected must be analyzed, interpreted, and presented in the form of a bound thesis (M.S.) or dissertation (Ph.D.). (Candidates for the M.S., plan B. may submit a research report in lieu of a thesis.)

The 7 Essential Elements of a Doctoral Research Proposal
Adopted 3 Sept 2004

A baseline expectation for all Doctoral students associated with the MSU Horticulture Department is that they develop a doctoral research proposal that addresses each of these elements (derived from federal granting agencies, i.e., NRI-USDA, NSF, etc.):

1) one or more testable hypotheses
2) clear research objectives
3) rationale for the proposed research, including a scientific literature review and, if available, preliminary data
4) feasible proposed research methodology
5) expected outcomes
6) potential impact
7) pertinent literature citations

Doctoral students in the Horticulture graduate program are required to develop a written research proposal that is reviewed and approved by their graduate advisory committee. The graduate advisory committee should assure that these 7 elements are addressed clearly and adequately in the submitted research proposal. Following advisory committee approval of the research proposal, it must be submitted to the Graduate Programs Committee for inclusion in the student's file records, as which time it also will be reviewed by the GPC solely to confirm that the essential elements have been addressed (i.e., not for detailed content). If there is an omission or inadequacy in the essential elements, the GPC will return the proposal to the student and major professor and identify the element that fails to adhere to departmental expectations. The student will be required to correct the proposal within a specified time in order to continue making adequate progress towards the completion of their graduate program.

Doctoral Dissertation Research Proposal Requirement Form

The Graduate program in Plant Breeding, Genetics, and Biotechnology (PBGB) is an interdepartmental program at Michigan State University that grants both master's and doctoral degrees. The students research agronomic, forest and horticultural species and may choose from a broad array of educational courses. This program was established in 1981 and grants both the master's and doctoral degrees. This program is a collaboration between faculty members from the MSU Departments of Crop and Soil Sciences, Forestry, Horticulture, Plant Biology, and Plant Pathology. We offer state-of-the-art laboratory facilities, access to research greenhouses, farms, and specialized equipment on the MSU Campus. Our faculty also compete successfully for internal and external funding for research projects. To learn more, please visit the PBGB website or contact the PBGB program office by email (pbg@msu.edu) or by phone at (517) 355-5191 x1324.

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