Deadlines, instructions, and more for applying to Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology graduate programs at Penn State.

Thank you for your interest in graduate study in Plant Pathology at Penn State. This page contains instructions for completing the application process.

Application Deadline

The Admissions Committee reviews applications whenever they are complete. However, for full consideration for college and university fellowships and for top-up awards the application must be complete by December 15.

Application Process

The process of applying for admission to graduate school at Penn State requires the completion of the Penn State Graduate School application form. The Graduate School application must be submitted online--no exceptions! Non-refundable fee information and additional details are available at the Graduate School's Requirements for Graduate Admission page.

Processing Timeline

Date Activity
December 15 Application submission deadline
Late December/early January Application review by Graduate Recruitment and Admissions Committee
Mid- to late-January Invitation of select applicants to attend Recruitment Weekend
February 6-8, 2020 Plant Pathology Graduate Program Recruitment Weekend (invitation only)
Late February/early March Notification of acceptance and offers of financial support
April 15 Applicants accept/reject offers
Mid-August (date TBD) Program orientation

Application Documents

The following documents will be collected electronically as part of the Graduate School application process:

  • Statement of purpose for proposed graduate study. The applicant must submit a one-page statement (two pages maximum) describing their purpose in pursuing graduate study. Applicants should include the following types of information in their statement:
    • Reasons for pursuing a M.S. or Ph.D. graduate degree in the field of Plant Pathology;
    • Experiences from previous graduate or professional work that have influenced their decision to pursue graduate study;
    • Previous research and/or teaching and outreach experience;
    • Long-term professional career plans;
    • Specific area(s) of interest that they would like to pursue;
    • Names of graduate faculty with whom applicants are communicating who may be willing to serve as potential advisers;
    • Other information that will help the Recruitment and Admissions Committee to better understand an applicant's purpose for applying to the Plant Pathology Graduate Program.
  • Three letters of recommendation from professional colleagues and/or teachers who are knowledgeable about the applicant's character and qualifications as they relate to potential to succeed in an advanced graduate degree program.
  • Curriculum Vitae or Resume that provides a comprehensive listing of your academic background, including teaching and research experience, degrees, publications, presentations and other achievements.
  • Transcripts Applicants are required to electronically upload official copies of transcripts (or equivalent documents for institutions outside the U.S., e.g., degree/study certificates, diplomas, etc.) from all post-secondary institutions attended, in the language of instruction (and copies of an official English translation if English is not the language of instruction). Additional information can be found under the Graduate School Academic Eligibility Requirements.
  • GRE Scores from the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) are currently required for admission. The Plant Pathology Graduate Program does not have a minimum required score and takes a holistic approach to the application review process. Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology does not use department codes. Penn State's Institution Code is 2660. As of August 2015, applicants should send all test scores to Graduate Enrollment Services (GES). Please request that TOEFL and GRE scores be sent electronically to Penn State.
  • TOEFL scores (International Applicants Only) The language of instruction at Penn State is English. International applicants must take and submit scores for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Exceptions include: Australia, Belize, British Caribbean and British West Indies, Canada (except Quebec), England, Guyana, Republic of Ireland, Liberia, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Scotland, the United States, and Wales. When submitting TOEFL scores, please select "Penn State University" as the destination using school code 2660.

    The Plant Pathology Graduate Program follows the requirements set by the Graduate School. The minimum acceptable score for the TOEFL is 550 for the paper-based test or for the internet-based test (iBT) a total score of 80 with a 19 on the speaking section. Applicants with iBT speaking scores between 15 and 18 may be considered for provisional admission, which requires completion of specified remedial English courses. The minimum acceptable composite score for the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is 6.5.

The Graduate School confirms eligibility for admission of all graduate degree applicants. Programs select and recommend applicants for offers of admission, with final approval by the Graduate School.

If you are ready to proceed to the application but have NOT read the Graduate School requirements, please visit the Requirements for Graduate Admission page.

If you have read the Graduate School and program requirements and are ready to apply, you may proceed to the application.

NOTE: Applicant should not submit unsolicited materials with the application that cannot be used in the admission decision process, e.g., Individual Education Plans (IEP's), medical records, statements from physicians or psychologists, legal documents, or copies of publications.