Best Programs for Master’s in Plant Science

Master’s in Plant Science

A Master’s in Plant Science is a graduate degree in which students learn how to become responsible researchers in the field of plant science with all of its potential applications. During their time in these programs, students can learn how to provide valuable discourse on many of the most important topics in the field, including new crop variety generation, increasing plant stress tolerance, exploring medical-related plant research and contributing to the fields of evolution and genomics.

What is a Master’s in Plant Science?

Master degree programs in Plant Science can be anywhere from one to two years in duration, depending on the full- or part-time status of the student. While every program is likely to have some differences, many are structured the same way. Students may be expected to actively engage in lectures, seminars, labs or workshops in a variety of topics, all of which are overseen by experienced faculty members. Typical course topics may include:

  • Ecology
  • Genetics
  • Biostatistics
  • Botany
  • Phylogenetic biology
  • Nutrient dynamics in soil
  • Recombinant DNA methods and applications
  • Mycology
  • Insect pathogens
  • Plant microbiology

Students may also take courses in plant engineering, controlled environment systems, medicinal plants and experiment design. Some programs may also offer concentrations for students to focus their studies in. This could include such areas as crop protection, fibers and biopolymers, crop science and soil science. Every course is designed to give students a more in-depth knowledge of the various subjects associated with plant science.

Some of these course topics may be included in the core requirements for a program. At other universities, the same topics may be considered electives. Each program’s structure may be a little different, but will be aimed at producing a specific kind of graduate. The University of Arizona, for example, prides itself on producing graduates that excel in plant science research in the areas of horticulture, microbiology and genomics. The University of Manchester program is designed to help students become leading researchers in food production and the environmental role of plants.

What Are the Benefits of Getting a Master’s in Plant Science?

Master’s degree programs in Plant Science can result in many great benefits for graduates. During their time in these programs, students can gain hands-on experience under the tutelage of some of the most well-respected and celebrated leaders in the discipline. They do this while enjoying the culture and benefits of world-recognised universities and other educational institutions.

The main benefit of pursuing a Master’s in Plant Science degree is the opportunity to work in a field that can have a real impact on the world. Lack of food is an issue for roughly 1 billion people worldwide, and that number is expected to increase in the next 50 years. Plant scientists are at the forefront of combating the problems that lead to crop failure and other food-production issues.  

What Kind of Career Can You Expect With a Master’s in Plant Science?

Careers for Master’s in Plant Science graduates are usually focused in research or the application of current research. Graduates can choose to work as plant scientists in many different industries, including the following:

  • Horticulture
  • Government Agencies
  • Pest Management
  • Universities
  • Biotechnology

Specific career options may include Forester, agronomist, ecologist, botanist, teacher and conservationist.