IX. Graduate Programs

Plant Agriculture

PhD Program

The Department of Plant Agriculture offers a PhD program in four broad fields of the Plant Sciences: 1) plant breeding and genetics; 2) plant biochemistry and physiology; 3) crop production systems and 4) bioproducts. Students conduct research on topics within these fields.

Admission Requirements

The usual requirement for admission into the PhD program is a MSc degree by thesis in a field appropriate to their proposed area of specialization with a minimum 'B' average and supportive letters of reference. Direct admission to the PhD program is permitted to applicants holding an honours baccalaureate degree and demonstrating extraordinary academic and research capabilities. It is also possible for a student to transfer from the MSc without completing the requirements for that degree if the student has an excellent academic record and has strong research progress that can be expanded to the doctoral level. The request for transfer must be initiated by the student and must be done no earlier than the end of the second semester and no later than the end of the fourth semester. Applicants should submit a statement of research interests, background experiences, and career goals to assist in the identification of an appropriate faculty adviser with the resources necessary to support the thesis research. Students may be admitted in the Fall, Winter or Spring semesters. In some instances, applicants who already hold a MSc may be required to initially register in the MSc program.

Program Requirements

The major emphasis in the PhD program is on research and the preparation and defense of an acceptable thesis. All PhD candidates must complete a thesis and present a seminar in conjunction with the final oral examination. Students are required to participate in the Seminar PLNT*6400 and in a Departmental Colloquium course dealing with current topics. There are no other specific course requirements. It is usual for most students, in consultation with their advisory committee, to select some appropriate courses in preparation for the qualifying examination and thesis research. The qualifying examination is in two parts (written and oral) and evaluates the student's knowledge of their field of specialization and related topics. The qualifying examination is taken no later than the fifth semester. For students who have transferred from the MSc program or have been admitted directly to the PhD program from a BSc, the qualifying examination is taken no later than the seventh semester. The advisory committee is required to submit a written evaluation of the student's performance in research and the student's potential as a researcher. Upon completion of the qualifying examination, the student becomes a candidate for the PhD degree.

All students are expected to participate in Departmental events, with particular emphasis on seminar series.

University of Guelph
50 Stone Road East
Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1