Application Information

Admission Requirements

Satisfactory preparation for graduate study in Plant Breeding and Plant Genetics includes undergraduate coursework in mathematics through differential and integral calculus, chemistry through organic chemistry with a lab, physics through light and electricity and a comprehensive biology sequence that covers both plant and animal biology and includes a lab. Some of this preparatory coursework may be completed during the first year of graduate study. Normally, applicants will have had undergraduate training in the biological or agricultural sciences. All applicants must fulfill the minimum entrance requirements of the Graduate School.

Application Deadlines

Spring entry: September 1 
Summer entry: December 1 
Fall entry: December 1 

*Do not submit an application after the deadlines without checking in with the program directly. Please email the Graduate Program Manager with questions.

Application Checklist

A complete application should include the following items:

  1. Graduate School Application – We only accept applications submitted online through the Graduate School.
  2. Supplementary Application – The supplementary application will appear as a part of the Graduate School’s electronic application once the applicant selects Plant Breeding and Plant Genetics.
  3. Application Fee – Instructions for paying the application fee are available through the Graduate School’s online application form.
  4. Statement of Purpose – Your essay should be a concise description of your reasons for choosing to study Plant Breeding and Plant Genetics at the University of Wisconsin. Please include your research interests and career goals as well as a description of your preparation for graduate study including relevant coursework, related employment, research experience, publications, presentations, awards, and honors. The essay may be submitted electronically through the Graduate School’s online application.  To write the most effective personal statement, we suggest addressing these questions:
    What is your personal motivation for choosing this field of study?
    What makes it clear that you will thrive in a research-intensive graduate program?
    What have you discovered and personally gained from your past research experience?
    Which areas of Plant Breeding and Plant Genetic related research interest you the most?
    Why is this program the right fit for you?
    Are there specific faculty trainers who you might like to work with? See our Faculty page for information on faculty specific research areas.
  5. Transcripts – We require all applicants to submit an unofficial transcript in PDF format to their online application. If an applicant is recommended for admission, then he/she will be required to submit their official transcript to the Graduate School. International academic records must be submitted in the original language and accompanied by an official English translation. Documents must be issued by the institution with an official seal/stamp and an official signature.
  6. 3 Letters of Recommendation, 2 should be from an academic source.
  7. GRE Scores – As of February 2020, the Plant Breeding and Plant Genetics program no longer requires the GRE, nor will it be used in admissions decisions.
  8. Proof of English Proficiency – Applicants, whose native language is not English, must follow the Graduate School’s guidelines for proof of English proficiency.

Financial Assistance

Financial support may be available through Research Assistantships (RAs) or Graduate School and Corporate Fellowships. Available fellowships are awarded to applicants with outstanding academic records on a competitive basis. RAs are awarded by individual professors through funds available to their research programs. Both Fellowships and RAs include a stipend, tuition remission, and an excellent health insurance package; fellows and RAs are offered the same health insurance package as Wisconsin state employees.

All applicants are considered for financial support; no additional application materials are necessary.

If you have any questions regarding our program or your application, please email:

Application Fee Waiver

Domestic students who meet specific criteria may apply for fee waivers through the graduate school here. The PBPG program also offers fee waivers for any self identifying underrepresented domestic students that do not meet the graduate school waiver requirements. We also offer fee waivers for self identifying underrepresented or low income international students. These waivers are not always available, dependent on program funding. Please contact Caitlin Collies at for more information.

Application Process

Applications for graduate study in Plant Breeding and Plant Genetics must be submitted using the Graduate School’s online application. If you are applying to multiple programs at the University of Wisconsin, make sure you send any additional application materials to each program.

At this time, the graduate program in Plant Breeding and Plant Genetics does not support lab rotations. Applicants are admitted directly into a specific research program with one major professor. Admissions decisions are contingent upon the acceptance of an applicant by a faculty mentor. Because we receive many more applications from qualified applicants than we are able to admit, we highly recommend that applicants directly contact any faculty members with whom they are interested in working. Click here to view faculty by species studied.

Connect with PSGSC

We encourage prospective students to connect with their PBPG program representative from the Plant Sciences Graduate Student Council if they are considering an RA offer or visiting campus to interview with faculty.