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: October 1 (Spring 2019 entry); September 1 (Spring 2020 entry)
Summer entry: December 1 
Fall entry: December 1 

Spring 2020 Interview Dates: February 6-7, 2020

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.
  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
  7. GRE Scores – Graduates of U.S. institutions can submit scores from the Graduate Record Exam (GRE). The GRE General Test is highly recommended and measures verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, critical thinking, and analytical writing skills. GRE Subject Tests are not required, but applicants are encouraged to take either the Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology test or the Biology test. Students should contact the Educational Testing Service for the exact time and location of the examination and general information on this procedure. Results of the examination must be sent to the Graduate School. Our institution code is 1846. There is no department code. At the option of the major professor, graduates of foreign institutions may be required to submit GRE scores in order to qualify for graduate research assistantships. Any student interested in competing for fellowships or scholarships from UW-Madison or the PBPG program must submit GRE scores.
  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 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.