Why Study Here? Top Six Reasons


1. World-class Professors

Applied Plant Sciences has world-class professors who are not only recognized as leaders in their respective areas of specialization, but who also collaborate with peers in allied disciplines locally, regionally, and globally.

Photo of people at a desk.

2. Range of disciplines

We study a whole range of disciplines—breeding, genomics, agronomics, phenomics, transcriptomics, metabolomics, plant biochemistry, plant nutrition, plant reproduction, crop physiology, cropping systems, crop ecology, crop production, sustainable agriculture, integrated pest management, weed science, and crops for human health.

Plant seedlings.

3. Range of plants

We study a whole range of plants—not just corn and soybean and wheat, but also alfalfa, apple, Arabidopsis, barley, bean, blueberry, chrysanthemum, cover crops (e.g., camelina and pennycress), forages, grape, oat, potato, rose, tomato, turfgrasses, vegetables, and woody ornamentals. We study annuals and perennials, diploids and polyploids, and self-pollinated, cross-pollinated, and asexually propagated species. You’ll likely focus on only one or a few crops, but you’ll learn about many more.

Photo of gloved hands doing experiment.

4. State-of-the-art facilities

We have state-of-the-art facilities—wet labs, growth chambers, greenhouses, library, computer labs, supercomputers, field sites, and access to farmers’ fields.

Photo of woman in a greenhouse.

5. Your cohort

You’ll be joining a cohort of 60–80 M.S. and Ph.D. students who show a high level of engagement in academics, extra academic activities (e.g., student-run symposia), social activities (e.g., softball, broomball, and bar class), and community outreach (e.g., local food pantry, Toys for Tots).

Photo of person cross-country skiing.

6. A great place to live

Minneapolis-Saint Paul consistently ranks as one of the best places to live in the United States. Our graduate students enjoy both the amenities of a big city and the quietness of a smaller community on the Saint Paul campus.

(And yes, it’s cold in Minnesota but we’ve learned to embrace the winter.)