Program Requirements

Handbooks 

For students who began graduate study in Fall 2014 or after

MS Handbook

PhD Handbook

 

For students who began graduate study prior to Fall 2014

MS Handbook

PhD Handbook

 

M.S. (Master of Science) degree requirements

9 credits of coursework from the Core Curriculum, including at least 2 credits in Section A, and 2 credits in Section B or C.

2 credits of Plant Breeding Seminar

A minimum of 12 credits total coursework (not research credits)

A total of 30 credits of coursework and research

 

Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy) Major degree requirements

11 credits of coursework from the Core Curriculum, including at least 2 credits each in Sections A, B and C.

3 credits of Plant Breeding Seminar (Agronomy/Genetics/Horticulture 957).

A minimum of 17 credits total coursework (not research credits)

A total of 51 credits of coursework and research

PhD exit seminar

 

Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy) Minor degree requirements:

10 credits of coursework, including at least 2 credits in Section A and at least 2 credits from another area of the Core Curriculum

2 credits of Plant Breeding Seminar (Agronomy/Genetics/Horticulture 957)

A minimum of 12 credits total coursework (not research credits)

 

Certification of a Candidate for a Graduate Degree:

Certification is a means by which a faculty committee and the student jointly determine the courses that are necessary to insure an adequate preparation for work in plant breeding and plant genetics. It provides a tangible record to assist in planning the schedule of courses to be taken before the preliminary exam and to fulfill the course requirements for the Ph.D. degree.

Certification of the student should take place within the first year after entry into a Ph.D. program in the case of a beginning student, and within one semester after entry into a Ph.D. program in the case of a student who has changed his/her major. No certification is required for the M.S. degree, but is highly recommended to avoid errors that may delay graduation.

The Certification Committee shall consist of:

  1. At least three faculty members from the Plant Breeding and Plant Genetics Group (from at least two departments), including the student’s major professor.
  2. The student being certified.

One copy of the signed certification form of the Plant Breeding and Plant Genetics group shall be kept by the student, two by the major professor, and one filed with the Chair of Plant Breeding and Plant Genetics. A copy of the certification form shall be presented to the faculty committee conducting the preliminary exam and the final exam. It is the responsibility of the student and the major professor to ensure that most course requirements are completed before the preliminary exam and that all are completed before the final exam. If a student wishes to alter his/her course of study, he/she may request a re-certification through his/her major professor or the Chair of the Plant Breeding and Plant Genetics.

Download the form:

Certification Form

Questions about certification should be directed to: pbpg@hort.wisc.edu.

Preliminary Examination:

The Ph.D. degree in Plant Breeding and Plant Genetics requires satisfactory completion of an oral preliminary exam, which is a comprehensive exam. The preliminary exam is taken when all required courses are completed, or when the student is in her(his) last semester of required coursework. If more than one required course has not been completed, permission to take the preliminary examination must be obtained from the Chair of Plant Breeding and Plant Genetics and the examining committee. It is the student’s responsibility to obtain the warrant for the exam from the Graduate School prior to the exam. Copies of the student’s signed certification form and current UW transcript should be available for examination by the student’s committee at the preliminary exam.

The preliminary examining committee is composed of five faculty members from at least two departments, three of which must be members of the Plant Breeding and Plant Genetics Program. The committee will meet with the student for an oral examination designed to determine the student’s competency. Satisfactory completion of the exam is a necessary step for official admission to Ph.D. degree candidacy. The committee may adjourn without signing the warrant and continue the exam at a later date. The committee will decide the format for continuation of the preliminary exam, which may be additional oral questioning and/or a written exam composed of questions from the committee. The results of any additional oral and/or written examinations will be used by the committee to decide on the competency of the student.

Final Examination:

The Ph.D. degree in Plant Breeding and Plant Genetics requires presentation of a final research seminar and satisfactory completion of a final oral exam, which focuses on the thesis research and related subject matter. It is the student’s responsibility to obtain the warrant for this exam from the Graduate School prior to the exam.

Assessment of Student Progress:

Students entering with a B.S. degree are encouraged to take a Master’s degree. This provides both the student and the major professor with an opportunity to ascertain whether the student should continue for a Ph.D. degree. If the student and the major professor are in agreement that the student may continue for the Ph.D. degree, the student can write a progress report, in formal thesis form, as a substitute for the M.S. thesis. The student must distribute the progress report to a committee of at least three faculty members (including the major professor) and successfully complete an oral examination. The progress report is not deposited in the library and becomes part of the Ph.D. thesis.

If a student is placed on probation because of a failure to maintain the minimum GPA prescribed by the Graduate School (3.0 or above), the major professor must file a letter with the Chair of PBPG justifying continuation of the student. Such a justification must outline procedures for resolving this probation by the end of two academic semesters. At this time, the record of the student on probation must be evaluated by the Chair of PBPG and two members of the Executive Committee.