How to Apply

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

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:

  • Transcripts  As part of the online application process, 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). Applicants recommended for admission who accept an offer through the online graduate admission system will be notified by the Graduate School that official/original transcripts/documents must be sent from the originating institutions in the official language of the institution(s) attended (and if the language of instruction is not English, an official English translation must also be sent). The Graduate School will review all official documents to finalize the offer of admission. An offer of admission will be revoked if official/original documents are not received by the Graduate School within specified deadlines, or if official/original documents differ from the copies uploaded by the applicant prior to the offer of admission. For applicants whose degree conferral is in progress at the time of uploading copies, the deadline specified for receipt of official/original documents will allow for the passage of the reported date of degree conferral, and that conferral must be confirmed on the official/original documents received by the Graduate School in order for the offer of admission to be finalized.
  • 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.
  • Statement of purpose for proposed graduate study. The applicant must submit a one-page statement (two pages maximum) describing his/her purpose in pursuing graduate study. Applicants may want to include the following types of information in their statement:
    • Reasons for pursuing a Plant Pathology graduate degree;
    • Specific area of interest that they plan to pursue;
    • Long-term plans for a professional career;
    • Experiences from previous graduate or professional work that have influenced their decision to pursue graduate study;
    • Previous research and/or teaching and outreach;
    • Other information that will help the Applications Committee to better understand an applicant's purpose for applying to the Plant Pathology graduate program;
    • Their interest in obtaining a graduate assistantship;
    • Names of graduate faculty with whom applicants are communicating who may be willing to serve as potential advisers.
  • Curriculum Vitae |  Résumé
  • GRE Scores from the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) are required for admission. 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. At this time, International English Language Testing System (IELTS) scores still need to be sent by hard copy directly from the IELTS testing agency to Penn State's Graduate School. For additional GRE, TOEFL, and GPA information, please see Requirements for Graduate Admission.

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.