Department of Botany & Plant Sciences

Ph.D. Program

PhD in Plant Biology – Areas of Emphasis

The Plant Biology Program offers a flexible program to accommodate a student’s academic interests and research needs. To this end a student can choose a PhD degree with one of three concentrations, which require a prescribed set of classes, or a degree in Plant Biology with no concentration and a self-selected curriculum. Incoming graduate students have the option to join a specific laboratory or do three 5-week laboratory rotations to find a home laboratory and major professor.

All Plant Biology PhD students enroll in BPSC 200A-B (the Plant Biology Core classes focused on academic and professional development topics), one BPSC 240 seminar (2-unit in depth study of a topic in Plant Biology related to the degree concentration), and the BPSC 250 seminar each quarter in the program (student and invited speaker seminars).

Click on one of the four Plant Biology degree options to investigate the course plans.

Degree Requirements for a PhD in Plant Biology

Plant Biology with a concentration in Plant Cell, Molecular, and Developmental Biology:

Students complete three core classes in this area:

BPSC 231 (The Plant Genome)
BPSC 232 (Plant Development)
BPSC 237 (Plant Cell Biology)

Plant Biology with a concentration in Plant Ecology:

Students must complete BPSC 245 (Advanced Plant Ecology) and 8 additional units (usually two classes) from the following list:

EEOB 211 (Ecology: Genes to Ecosystems)
EEOB 212 (Ecological Systems in Space and Time)
EEOB 217 (Advanced Population and Community Ecology)
BIOL 230 (Analysis of Ecological Communities)
BPSC 225J (Advanced Topics in Plant Biology- Plant Ecology)
BPSC 243 (Plant Physiological Ecology)
BPSC 247 (Ecological Theory and Modeling)
ENTM 241 (Insect Plant Interactions)
ENSC 218 (Isotopes in Ecology and Environmental Sciences)
ENSC 232 (Biogeochemistry)
GEO 260 (Global Climate Change)
GEO 268 (Seminar in Biogeography)

Plant Biology with a concentration in Plant Genetics:

Students must complete 12 graduate-level units relating to Genetics, which must include 2 courses from the list below. Additional units may be taken from this list or in an area that supports the concentration.

BPSC 221 (Advanced Plant Breeding)
BPSC 222 (Origins of Agriculture and Crop Evolution)
BPSC 225K (Advanced Topics in Plant Biology – Plant Genetics)
BPSC 231 (The Plant Genome)
BPSC 234 (Statistical Genomics)
EEOB 214 (Evolutionary Genetics)
BIOL221/MCBL 221/PLPA 226 (Microbial Genetics)
GEN 240A (Advances in Bioinformatics and Genomics)

PhD Plant Biology (no concentration)

Students complete 12 graduate-level units in courses (usually three classes) selected to support a student’s research area. This graduate curriculum does not align with any of the concentrations in Plant Biology and is designed to best meet a student’s academic needs.

More Information

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

Career OpportunitiesUCR Libraries
Campus StatusDirections to UCR

Department & Program Information

Department of Botany & Plant Sciences
2142 Batchelor Hall

Tel: (951) 827-4619
Fax: (951) 827-4437
E-mail: bpschair@ucr.edu

Plant Biology Graduate Program
CNAS Grad Student Affairs Office
1140 Batchelor Hall

Tel: (800) 735-0717
Fax: (951) 827-5688
E-mail: Laura.mcgeehan@ucr.edu