nematology student looking through microscope (c) UCR / CNAS

The University of California at Riverside's Plant Biology Graduate Program encourages broad-based study of plant biology and fosters communication across numerous research disciplines including molecular, cellular and developmental biology, genetics/genomics, bioinformatics, plant physiology, ecology and evolution. The breadth of research in our program affords unique interdisciplinary opportunities not readily afforded by programs with a more narrow research base. Our students are exposed to both applied and basic research approaches to contemporary and pressing regional, national and international problems in the plant sciences. Given the diversity of the Plant Biology faculty, the program seeks to develop students' abilities to communicate to broad audiences and appreciate the multi-disciplinary approaches to solving contemporary issues in the plant sciences. The primary objective of our program is to train scientists who are capable of teaching and conducting research in plant biology. MS and PhD programs of study are tailored to the interests and goals of individual students.

seedlings in cups (c) UCR / CNAS

The Plant Biology Graduate program ranks within the top in the world. Our program reflects the diverse expertise of its faculty and encompasses all areas of scholarship involving plant sciences. Our faculty and students are engaged in undergraduate and graduate instruction and mentorship, fundamental and applied research, and dissemination of research-based information and technologies within and beyond the academic and agricultural community. Plant Biology graduate students acquire a rigorous yet flexible academic training, research experiences with world renowned faculty, as well as professional development training to meet the current and future needs of our academic and research community.

students holding plant specimens in greenhouse (c) UCR / CNAS

PLBL currently offers both MS and PhD degrees in Plant Biology. Under the umbrella of these degrees, students pursue academic coursework and research training in an environment that simultaneously offers depth, breadth and interdisciplinary approaches in plant-related research including: agricultural plant biology; cell, molecular and developmental biology; chemical genomics; conservation biology; ecology; ethnobotany; evolution; genomics and bioinformatics; plant genetics; plant biochemistry and physiology; and systematics. PLBL students study plant processes at levels of inquiry ranging from molecules to the whole organism to ecosystems.

We encourage you to peruse our website. Learn about our faculty, our students and our research strengths.

Investigate our vibrant program and flexible curriculum that is student-focused. We also  encourage you to contact our faculty and students and learn first hand what UCR has to offer.

For questions about the program or applying, please feel free to contact us:


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