A man inspects a sprig of foliage in bloom while a woman in a sunhat looks on in the background.

Plant Sciences (Graduate)

Conduct vital research on problems in the fields of plant pathology and plant genetics, both within world-class laboratories and out in the field.

Plant Science – Master of Science (M.S.) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

In the graduate program for Plant Sciences at Montana State, candidates pursue research projects within state-of-the-art laboratories on subjects such as plant breeding and genetics, plant pathology, mycology, biotechnology, plant physiology and systematics, molecular evolution and biochemistry. Candidates conduct these projects in labs such as the Plant BioScience Facility or the Plant Growth Center, with over 29 glasshouse rooms and 8,300 square feet of bench space. They also train under award-winning researchers in the field.




Bernard Nyamesorto, a doctoral student from Ghana in the Department of Plant Sciences and Plant Pathology, recently won the graduate research competition at the Borlaug Global Rust Initiative technical workshop for his research in rust-resistant wheat.



Illustration of a light bulb with a gear in the center bulb.

World Class Facilities
At Montana State’s Schutter Diagnostics Lab, researchers explore solutions to sustain the health of crops across the state and around the world.

Illustration of a microscope in profile.

Carnegie Classified
The prestigious Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education® ranks Montana State University among the Top 5 public, 4-year universities for Very High Research Activity with a STEM-dominant research doctoral program.

Illustration of an erupting geyser.

Nature's Laboratory
MSU students make Montana, including nearby Yellowstone National Park, their classroom, laboratory and playground.




Fund Your Education

The Graduate School at Montana State is dedicated to helping students secure funding during their time at MSU. Some resources the Plant Sciences & Plant Pathology department and Graduate School offer includes:

Within the Plant Sciences & Plant Pathology department, many graduate research assistantships are available. Some of the GRA research sources include state, farm commodity groups and federal grants. To learn more, reach out to any of the Plant Sciences & Plant Pathology faculty and staff


Research in the Plant Science & Plant Pathology department includes access and resources from the following laboratories:

  • Plant BioScience Facility
  • Schutter Diagnostics Lab
  • Plant Growth Center
  • Post Research Farm
  • Marsh Lab




Estimated Salary Upon Graduation

Graduate alumni in plant sciences embark on a wide range of careers within 10-years of their graduation.

Nearly 81% are working in academia and about 18% for for-profit. Top industry employers include Montana State University and Bayer Crop Science.

Across all career paths the estimated salary of alumni within 10 years of graduation ranges from $40,000 to $90,000 with an average of $60,000 (source of data Academic Analytics).


Admissions Requirements

Each program within the Graduate School at Montana State has its own particular requirements for admission, and the Plant Sciences program is not different. To ensure that you start your application on the right foot, please review the admissions requirements for the Plant Sciences program. This includes any additional deadlines that College of Agriculture may have aside from the Graduate School, which does practice rolling admissions.