Graduate Program

UGA's Plant Biology Department is one of the top ranked plant biology departments in the United States. Students in the Graduate Program can pursue both M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in many areas of plant and fungal biology, including emphases in ecology, systematics, evolutionary biology, molecular genetics, genomics and bioinformatics, cellular and developmental biology, biochemistry and physiology, and biology education research.

We encourage you to contact professors in your research area and discuss the possibility of studying with them. You can contact several faculty at once by submitting the online "Background and Interest Form" and contact faculty individually by email http://www.plantbio.uga.edu/directories/faculty/. All prospective students must establish contact with one or more potential advisors in order to be considered for admission.

Admission to our program is based on merit as presented in the completed application and evaluated by the faculty, available space in a particular program, and the availability of financial support. Your chances of admission will be improved by complete submission of your application materials by no later than December 15. All successful applicants receive full financial support for the duration of their degree program, usually a mix of fellowships, research assistantships, and teaching assistantships.

We are always eager to include highly qualified and motivated students in our program and look forward to reviewing your completed application. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Chris Peterson
Graduate Coordinator
Email: chris@plantbio.uga.edu
Phone: 706-542-3754

Procedures for your successful application

Starting the process

  1. The Plant Biology faculty review information about your qualifications, career goals, research interests and graduate advisor preference that you should provide by first completing our Background and Interest Form. There is no fee for this step designed to enable us to contact you informally.
  2. Prospective applicants also need to complete internet-based applications and submit the processing fee on-line at the UGA Graduate School website. Electronic forms, including those for the three letters of recommendation we and the Graduate School require, are (more specifically) located at http://www.applyweb.com/apply/ugagrad/.
    • Step 1. Create an Account
    • Step 2. Review the Application Instructions
    • Step 3. Apply Online

Documentation requirements

Domestic applicants must submit to the Graduate School:

One official transcript electronically to gradadm@uga.edu from each degree issuing institution of higher education attended.  If mailing transcript, please mail to:

UGA Graduate School, Graduate Admissions Office
279 Williams Street
The Graduate School Building
Athens, GA  30602-1777

For any previous UGA attendance, UGA transcripts are not required.  If you are currently enrolled, provide the last expected date of enrollment.

International applicants submit to the Graduate School:

One official transcript electronically to gradadm@uga.edu from each institution of higher education attended.  If mailing transcript, please mail to:

UGA Graduate School, Graduate Admissions Office
279 Williams Street
The Graduate School Building
Athens, GA  30602-1777

The documents must bear original, official seals of certification of the appropriate official or office (photocopies are not acceptable).  If the original language of the record is not English, a certified translation in English MUST accompany the transcript.

Applicants from India:

If you attended a college "affiliated to" an Indian university, list the name of the major university, NOT the college (i.e., University of Mumbai).

Graduate Record Exam Scores:

You will also need to provide a copy of your GRE scores (the Plant Biology Department normally requires at least a 1200 score (verbal + quantitative) on the old GRE scale, or 308 (verbal + quantitative) on the current GRE scale. ETS can send official test scores directly to the Graduate School by using an Institutional Code of 5813; no departmental code is required. Please note that higher GRE scores can enhance your eligibility for additional funding sources and thus increase your opportunities for admission. If you take the GRE more than once, we keep the highest score for each part of the test (e.g. quantitative or verbal) from the different test dates.

Letters of Recommendation:

Three letters of recommendation must be submitted using the online recommendation form from the Graduate School: you must provide a valid e-mail address for each recommender. Please make sure that your recommenders have indicated that they are willing to fill out a reference form for you in advance. Also keep in mind that it is your responsibility to ensure that your recommender has submitted the form by the appropriate deadline. Your recommender will receive an email notification with login information upon your final submission of this application.

English Language Tests for International Students:

For International Applicants from countries whose primary language is not English, a copy of TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) OR IELTS (International English Language Testing System) test scores are also required. Test scores must be submitted directly from the testing agency. TOEFL scores can be submitted directly from ETS by using the institutional code of 5813; no departmental code is required. The Plant Biology Department normally requires at least a 620 on the paper test or 105 on the iBT (Internet-based TOEFL test) with a minimum speaking score of 20 and a minimum writing score of 20. Higher TOFEL score, particularly on the speak test, can enhance eligibility for additional funding sources and thus increase your opportunities for admission. An iBT speak test score of 24 or higher makes you eligible for all available funding sources. If you take the TOFEL more than once, we keep the highest score for each part of the test from the different test dates.

Certificate of Finances:

The Graduate School requires international students to submit a Certificate of Finances (COF) form (found in Downloadable Forms in the Graduate Schools Application).  You do not need to submit this form at the time of your application.  The Plant Biology Office will provide the Graduate School with this required information.

Application fee

Be aware that your application cannot be evaluated by our Graduate Studies Committee until you have sent your application fee to the Graduate School; currently, the fee is $75.00 for domestic students and $100.00 for international students. We are unable to waive this fee for anyone due to University regulations!

Deadlines

The Graduate School's Office of Graduate Admissions has a yearly application deadline for admission and financial support of January 1. However, the Graduate School is receiving so many applications now, some of the materials are not getting to our department in time to be considered for acceptance for the Fall semester. Therefore, the Plant Biology Department requests that you submit your Application and supporting documents to the Graduate School by December 15 at the latest, and earlier if possible. This ensures that you will get full consideration for interviews, funding sources and admission.