Prospective Students

photo of Cargill buildingThank you for your interest in the Applied Plant Sciences graduate program. All materials are submitted electronically and admission decisions are communicated through the ApplyYourself application system. A decision for admission notice will be emailed to you once your application is carefully reviewed by the program’s admission committee and your transcripts and any credentials (test reports, diploma copies, etc.) are authenticated by Graduate School officials. You can expect a decision by early April.


Prerequisites for Admission

Students entering the Applied Plant Sciences graduate program should have a foundation in the physical and biological sciences, preferably with some emphasis in plant science. A minimum of 10 credits of math and physics, 12 credits of chemistry and biochemistry, and 15 credits of biological or agricultural sciences are recommended for admission. In addition, students should have completed a B.S. or B.A. degree in agriculture, biology, or other related life sciences. Students with a B.S. or B.A. degree outside these areas may be admitted with the requirement that they take the prerequisite courses noted above at the undergraduate level in addition to their graduate coursework.

The Applied Plant Sciences graduate program requires GRE scores but does not set minimum scores.

Students whose native language is not English are required to submit scores from one of the following English proficiency examinations:

  • TOEFL - minimum 550 (paper based) or 79 (Web based)
  • MELAB - minimum 80
  • IELTS - minimum 6.5


  • Although this is not required, get in touch with one or more professors whose interests are similar to yours. Individual professors would be able to provide you with more specific information regarding opportunities for graduate education and research in their respective programs. See the list of professors under the Agronomy/Agroecology, Horticultural Science, Plant Breeding/Molecular Genetics, and Applied Plant Sciences specializations.
  • Take your GRE exams early (October or November). It can take four to six weeks to receive your scores.
  • Give your references plenty of time to write your letters of recommendation.

Application Process


Application deadline for Fall admission is December 5 of the previous year.  Applications received after December 5 will be considered on a space and funds available basis.


All application materials should be submitted directly to the ApplyYourself admissions system. We cannot review your application until all of the required materials listed below are submitted successfully.


Materials Where to Submit How to Submit
Application Electronically via ApplyYourself Required fields: Personal information, application information, educational background, languages, awards and activities, employment/residence information, financial support, applicant statement #1 & #2, and recommendations.

Optional fields: All other fields or application materials are optional, but will be taken into consideration if submitted.

Online Application
Application fee Electronically via ApplyYourself Information about fees
Transcripts Electronically via ApplyYourself Unofficial transcripts or academic records should be uploaded directly to the online application. International students should also upload an English translation if the transcript is not in English. Please do not mail in paper copies of your transcripts; there is no need for official transcripts or academic records for initial review.

If you are admitted, the University will then request official copies of this material.

Important information about uploading your transcripts and credentials
Three letters of recommendation Electronically via ApplyYourself Acceptable recommendations will come from current or former professors who can assess your potential for graduate work. Other recommenders, such as employers, are also acceptable.
English language test scores (TOEFL, IELTS, etc.) Electronically via ApplyYourself Information about TOEFL Scores