Department of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology

Penn State’s home for protecting plant health.

The Department of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology is Penn State’s hub for the exploration and prevention of plant disease. Students prepare for leadership roles in production agriculture, education, medicine, government, and more. Staff, faculty, and students engage in quality research, education, and outreach in plant pathology, mushroom science, and environmental and on impacts to agricultural and natural ecosystems, food safety, and human and microbiology environmental health.


Penn State is a Tier 1 Research University. Everyone from faculty, to first-year students, to doctoral candidates can participate in meaningful research in a broad range of areas. Current research areas include microbial diversity and ecology, mushroom science and technology, plant disease management, and plant-microbe interactions.

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Extension and Outreach

Outreach connects the resources of the Department of Plant Pathology and Environmental Biology with community members, industry, and institutions in Pennsylvania and beyond by offering the latest research-based, usable information.

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Our faculty is associated with teaching and advising for the undergraduate Plant Sciences major and minor degree programs in Mushroom Science and Technology and Plant Pathology. Our graduate degree programs in Plant Pathology are based on research in a wide range of subdisciplines, as well as faculty mentoring for degree opportunities in interdisciplinary majors including Bioinformatics and Genomics, Ecology, Genetics, and Plant Biology.

International Agriculture

The Department of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology has a strong commitment to international agricultural research, extension, and education. We work to apply science to solve the most important problems of our times through global engagement.

International Agriculture