Graduate Program Overview

Why join us

Training the next generation of scientists is a core part of our identity, whether you plan to build an academic research career or want to ’change the world’ through non-academic pathways. Here is what our students say makes us different:

RESEARCH QUALITY Internationally renowned scientists; Consistently funded for cutting-edge research; Exceptional research facilities
EXCELLENT CAREER PROSPECTS Prolific publication record; Legacy of award-winning scientists; Alumni in academia, industry, and government
EDUCATION QUALITY Embedded in one of the largest plant science universities worldwide; Networking and training opportunities for academic and alternative careers
FOCUSED RESEARCH PROJECTS Three collaborative research projects, funded by DOE; Well-defined research opportunities; Friendly and trusting community
RESEARCH FREEDOM Freedom to explore personal research interests within institutional framework; Access to cutting-edge equipment and techniques

“It is like playing ‘capture the flag.’ We do have institutional goals to meet, but my PI gives the troops the freedom to take different paths up the mountain.”
Rodney Burton, former post-doc

Program Features

Graduate Research is coordinated within the context of other on-campus
graduate programs. Conducting Masters or Ph.D. research within a PRL lab includes a number of features:

  • Interdisciplinary training in plant biology and photosynthetic microbes
  • Rotations in 3+ labs for first-year graduate assistants
  • Research opportunities in collaborative group projects that tackle some of today’s most pressing challenges in plant biology, energy, and sustainability
  • Renewable 12-month research assistantships, including:
  • Stipend
    • 9 credits per semester free
    • In-state tuition rates for all additional credits
    • Health insurance coverage
  • Exposure to broader plant research activities through seminar offerings twice weekly
  • Opportunity to pursue Certification in Teaching College Science and Mathematics, a voluntary comprehensive program to prepare graduate students in the for careers in post-secondary education
  • Regular departmental events featuring presentations of research projects, group outing /activities and discussion of the vision of PRL
  • Training to prepare students for a variety of scientific careers and exposure to non-academic career paths

Student and Alumni Profiles

From first-year graduate students up to National Academy of Science members, our people are making a difference in their classrooms, labs, and communities, everyday. Here are some profiles that highlight their achievements.