The Master of Science in Plant Pathology provides teaching and research experience and other educational opportunities in the study of plant pathology to help prepare graduates for careers in academia, industry, and government. The Master of Science degree requires a minimum of two years of study and research and can usually be completed within three years.

The Master of Science student is exposed to the breadth of the plant pathology discipline through coursework and a research thesis, usually completed in two years.

Graduate School Requirements

Program Requirements

Curriculum Requirements

A minimum of 31 credits are required at the 400 level or higher, with at least 18 credits in the 500-600 series combined.

Required Courses

Six additional credits of 500-level courses are required. However, any of the following 400-level PPEM or related courses may be taken as additional credits as approved by the thesis adviser.

The full selection of courses offered at Penn State can be found in LionPATH.

Typical M.S. Program Timeline

Semester Activity
First Coursework
Decide on research topic, write and submit brief research abstract and project objectives
Apply for dual-degree program (if applicable, see below)
Second Coursework
First seminar
Select thesis research committee
Prepare thesis research proposal
Thesis proposal meeting and thesis approval
Third Coursework
Thesis writing
Fourth Finish thesis writing
Final seminar and thesis defense

Annual Evaluation

The annual evaluation of graduate students ensures that students receive the mentorship they deserve and are making progress toward completion of their degrees. The annual evaluation of graduate students consists of a collaborative effort between faculty adviser and student to:

  • Complete the evaluation form;
  • Complete and submit the check sheet with evidence that steps have been completed;
  • Demonstrate that the student's web page is up-to-date;
  • Present a professional quality CV suitable for awards, job applications, and internships;
  • Produce a narrative of service or other activities not captured on a CV.
  • In addition, a mid-year check-in with the student's adviser(s) is required to review progress on their actionable goals.