The Department of Botany offers programs leading to the M.S. in Botany and the Ph.D. in Plant Science. Areas of study include cell and molecular biology, physiology, ecology, evolutionary biology, systematics, phycology, limnology, developmental genetics, and genomics. Interdisciplinary research projects include the departments of Entomology and Plant Pathology, Plant and Soil Sciences, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Zoology, Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, and Natural Resource Ecology and Management.
All students are required to conduct original research resulting in a thesis or dissertation. Departmental resources include advanced instrumentation for physiological, biochemical and molecular studies, controlled-environment growth chambers, access to scanning and transmission electron microscopes, a herbarium comprising 148,000 specimens, and the 160-acre McPherson Preserve. The Nature Conservancy's Tallgrass Prairie Preserve and the Salt Plains National Wildlife Refuge are among many accessible sites for field research.
Applicants for admission must have received a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college and should have had 40 semester hours (or equivalent) in upper division courses in biological and physical sciences. A grade-point average of 3.0 (4.0 scale) or above is required for unconditional admission. Applicants having a GPA less than 3.0 may be given probational admission.
Prerequisites for graduate degrees include successful completion of courses in the areas of plant taxonomy or field botany, plant morphology and anatomy, plant physiology or cellular and molecular biology, genetics, and ecology.
All applicants are required to submit scores for the General Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Desired minimum scores for the GRE verbal/quantitative/ analytical writing are 150/146/4 for MS applicants and 156/148/4.5 for Ph.D. applicants. To send GRE scores to us, please use institution code 6546 and department code 0205 on the score request form.
Applicants for the Ph.D. program normally must have completed or anticipate completion of a M.S. degree or at least 30 hours of graduate work. Truly exceptional applicants with a BA./B.S. and substantial research experience may on occasion be admitted directly to the Ph.D. program Acceptance into the graduate program is contingent upon acceptance of the applicant by at least one member of graduate faculty. Applicants must also submit a letter stating specific research interests and career goals and three letters of reference.
International applicants must receive a TOEFL score of at least 79 (internet based
test) or 550 (paper based test) for M.S. and 88 (internet
based test) or 570 (paper based test) for Ph.D.
A number of half-time graduate teaching assistantships are available which provide a stipend and an automatic waiver of out-of-state tuition. Additional partial or total waivers of in-state tuition are available in many cases. Research assistantships may be available through faculty grants.
Graduate Faculty List
Andrew Doust, Assistant Professor, Ph.D., University of Melbourne (Australia), 1999. Plant Molecular Evolution: phylogeny, evolutionary genetics, and development of
Mark Fishbein, Assistant Professor, Ph.D., University of Arizona, 1996. Plant Systematics and Evolution: phylogeny,speciation, hybridization, milkweeds, floristics, plant-insect interactions.
William J. Henley, Professor, Ph.D., Duke University, 1988. Photosynthetic Physiology: physiological ecology of algae from extreme environments.
Yinghua Huang, Adjunct Professor, Ph.D., Michigan Technological University, 1979.
Plant Molecular Genetics and Biotechnology: gene identification, genomics, and pest resistance.
Suzanne McAlister, Adjunct Assistant Professor, Ph.D., Duke University, 1990. Bryophyte Ecology: bryophyte communities on logs and trees; establishment on different substrata.
David W. Meinke, Regents Professor, Ph.D., Yale University, 1979. Plant Developmental and Molecular Genetics: embryogenesis and functional genomics of Arabidopsis thaliana.
Michael W. Palmer, Regents Professor, Ph.D., Duke University, 1988. Community Ecology: ecological theory, conservation of biodiversity, floristics.
Kay Scheets, Adjunct Assistant Professor, Ph.D., Kansas State University, 1986. Molecular Biology: molecular virology of cereal-infecting viruses and seed specific expression in cereal crops.
Gerald Schönknecht, Associate Professor, Ph.D. University of Osnabrück (Germany), 1990. Plant Physiology: molecular mechanisms of ion uptake during growth and development.
Janette Steets, Assistant Professor, Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh, 2005. Plant
Evolutionary Ecology: plant reproductive biology, population ecology, and ecological genetics.
Linda E. Watson, Professor and Department Head, Ph.D., University of Oklahoma, 1989. Systematic Biology and Plant Taxonomy: evolutionary history and phylogeny and systematics of the Asteraceae.
Ming Yang, Associate Professor, Ph.D., Ohio State University, 1996. Molecular Genetics: cell cycle regulation and cellular morphogenesis in Arabidopsis thaliana.