Original Research for Degree

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. (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.

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

Graduate Student Performing Research

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 dissertation.

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 (.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)) or by phone at (517) 355-5191 x1324.