The Graduate Program is an integral and important component of our mission in the Department of Plant Pathology at North Carolina State University. The faculty and administration are committed to providing an atmosphere for excellence in graduate education. Our goal as a department is to provide students with the educational opportunities and experiences necessary to become qualified, well educated scientists ready to succeed in the 21st century.
Degrees & Requirements
A) Plant Pathology Minor: (MS or PhD) student must complete a minimum of 9 course credit-hours in letter-grade graduate level plant pathology courses.
B) Master of Plant Pathology (MPP): A non-thesis degree. Students must successfully complete at least 30 course credits-hours including all core courses plus successful completion of a minimum of 6 credit-hours in additional graduate plant pathology courses and 3-6 credit-hours in (PP 620) Special Problems (non-thesis) research.
C) Master of Science (MS): Students must successfully complete at least 30 course credit-hours and a Masters Thesis on original research. Students must complete all core courses plus successful completion of a minimum of 6 credit-hours in additional graduate plant pathology courses and a maximum of 6 course credits in Master’s Thesis Research (PP 695).
D) Doctor of Philosophy (PhD): Students must successfully complete at least 72 course credit-hours (a maximum of 18 credits from Masters degree) and a Doctoral Dissertation on original research. Students must complete all core courses plus successful completion of a minimum of 12 credit-hours in additional graduate plant pathology courses (6 credits must be 700-level or above).
*ALL MS and PhD students must 1) register for course credit (PP 685/885) to serve as a Teaching Assistant (one, 1-3 credit-hour enrollment for MS; two separate 1-3 credit-hour enrollments for PhD), and PhD students must serve as a TA for at least one PP course with a lab section; and 2) register for course credit (PP 601/801) to present departmental seminars (minimum of one credit-hour enrollment for MS; minimum of two separate one credit-hour enrollments for PhD).
a) PP 501 – Biology of Plant Pathogens (3 credits) – Offered- Fall
b) PP 502 – Plant Disease: Methods & Diagnosis (2 credits) – Offered-Fall
c) PP 506 – Epidemiology & Plant Disease Control (3 credits) – Offered-Spring
d) PP 707 – Plant-Microbe Interactions (3 credits) – Offered- Spring
e) Research Ethics – (1 credit minimum)
1 Students that have submitted an approved Graduate Plan of Work prior to August 1, 2010 are required to complete the core curriculum above, the TA and seminar requirements for all students as listed above, and only 3 credit-hours (MS) and 6 credit-hours (PhD) in additional graduate plant pathology courses as part of their 30 (MS) and 72 (PhD) credit-hours needed for degree.
2 PP530 or other graduate course in scientific research ethics (ie. PHI 816) that is taught at NCSU is acceptable.
The Department of Plant Pathology at North Carolina State University offers a graduate program tailored to the needs of today’s science and agriculture with a vision to the future. All candidates for graduate degree in Plant Pathology complete a curriculum that provides a fundamental knowledge base for any career path in plant pathology or related science. NCSU Plant Pathology has a record of placement of essentially all of its graduates in professional positions in academia, industry, public agencies, or related professional organizations. Training of students with a broad background for placement of graduates in positions related to applied (translational) plant pathology remains as a strength of the department. The demographic for increased graduate specialization within plant pathology has increased steadily over the last decade, however, with potential employers developing programs within their own organizations that demand demonstrated expertise in sub-disciplines such as host-microbe interactions, ecology and evolutionary biology. The opportunity for specialization within the NCSU Plant Pathology graduate degree is primarily provided through individual student thesis research projects. We expect that the demand for demonstrated specialization within student courses of study will also increase in the coming decades as emphases in research areas such as genomic sciences, food and energy security, and the global effects of climate change continue to emerge. The breadth of expertise in research and academic programs among our relatively large number of faculty make NCSU Plant Pathology uniquely positioned to address this challenge by offering optional graduate degree concentrations in:
A) Translational Plant Pathology: Students that complete this degree concentration will have competency in the development and application of fundamental plant pathology research and contemporary technology to address plant disease management in ways that are effective, economical, and environmentally sound.
B) Evolutionary Ecology & Population Biology: Students that complete this degree concentration will have expertise in the interaction of microbes with their biotic and abiotic environments, how these interactions influence microbial and host genetics from the individual to community level, and the dynamics of these processes in disease spread and development of predictive models.
C) Host-Microbe Interactions: Students that complete this degree concentration will have expertise in the molecular and physiological basis of disease and host resistance, genetic adaptations for parasitism, signaling and response between microbes and hosts, and the application of genomic science to investigate and manage disease agents.
For complete details and a course list - Concentrations