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Plant Science

Degrees Offered: Ph.D., M.Sc.


Professors Emeriti

M. Isman, M. K. Upadhyaya.


J. Kronstad.

Associate Professors

S. Castellarin, E. Jovel, A. Riseman, R. Sargent.

Assistant Professor

J. Carrillo, T. Knipfer, G. Singh Brar.

Program Overview

The Plant Science Graduate Program offers M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in fundamental and applied topics related to plant production, plant protection, biotechnology, plant physiology and biochemistry, and plant-environment interactions. Specific areas of specialization include:

  • plant-microbe interaction, bacterial and fungal diseases, plant virology, biological control of pests and diseases, insect physiology, natural insecticides, insect ecology and behaviour, and weed biology, ecology, and control, invasive species biology pollination biology
  • plant nutrition, plant growth analysis, plant-plant interaction, biotic and abiotic stressor resistance, and environmental plant physiology
  • vegetable culture, ornamental horticulture, plant breeding, and post-harvest physiology
  • plant biochemistry, tissue culture, genetic engineering, and plant, fungal, and viral molecular genetics
  • rangeland ecology and wildlife habitat studies
  • cereal pathology, host-pathogen interactions, genetics of disease resistance, plant imaging, cereal and pathogen genomics, resistance breeding

The program is enriched through collaboration with colleagues in graduate programs such as Food Science, Soil Science, Botany, Zoology, and in agencies such as Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, and the British Columbia Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food.

Plant Science teaching and research facilities are located in the UBC Biotech Laboratory and in the H.R. MacMillan Building. Research facilities include: the UBC Botanical Garden, Field Laboratory (8.1 ha land and orchards on-campus), greenhouses, controlled environment growth chambers, and modern analytical laboratories.

Doctor of Philosophy

Admission Requirements

Students admitted to the Ph.D. degree program normally possess an M.Sc. degree in plant science or a related area, with clear evidence of research ability or potential. Transfer from the M.Sc. to the Ph.D. program is permitted under Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies regulations.

Program Requirements

Appropriate coursework may be selected in consultation with the student's supervisory committee. All doctoral students are required to successfully complete a comprehensive examination. The major requirement for the Ph.D. is completion of a research dissertation meeting the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies requirements.

Master of Science

Admission Requirements

Students admitted to the M.Sc. program normally possess a B.Sc. degree in plant science or a related area, and must meet the general admission requirements for master's degree programs set by the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.

Program Requirements

Completion of the M.Sc. program requires a thesis (12 or 18 credits) plus coursework, for a total of 30 credits. With a 12-credit thesis, students can include a maximum of 6 credits of senior undergraduate courses. With an 18-credit thesis, students can include a maximum of 3 credits of senior undergraduate courses and a maximum of 3 credits of directed study.

Contact Information

Admission & Administrative Coordinator
Faculty of Land and Food Systems
291-2357 Main Mall
Vancouver, BC, Canada V6T 1Z4
Tel: 604.822.8373
Fax: 604.822.4400

The University of British Columbia

Student Services
Vancouver Campus
1874 East Mall
Vancouver, BC Canada V6T 1Z1

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