Application for the Botany and Plant Pathology Graduate Program

Applications for BPP should be received (uploaded or postmarked) by Dec. 1 for full consideration for admission in the following Fall term. Letters of reference should be received by Dec. 15.  Applications and letters received after these dates will be reviewed for admission, as possible.  Admission into the BPP graduate program in terms other than Fall is unusual, and requires compelling circumstances.  Contact the BPP Chair of Graduate Studies before submitting such an application.

As preparation for submitting your application, study the list of faculty and their interests and, based on your intended area of study, initiate a dialog with one or more faculty on the possibility of working with them. Finding matches with potential major professors is an important step in the admissions process, and this topic should be addressed in your required Statement of Objectives (see “Required Materials for Application” below).

Check the requirements and FAQ for applying at the Graduate Admissions website. Applications are only accepted through the on-line applicaiton form, or submit it via post if necessary.  If you are unable to access a form because you lack internet access, or you do not have a credit card for payment, please contact graduate admissions or send a note to Graduate School, Oregon State University, Heckart Lodge, 2900 SW Jefferson Way, Corvallis, Oregon 97331-2121 to see if alternative arrangements can be made. 

To assure prompt processing of your application, please follow the below instructions carefully. 


Required Materials for Application

  1. Online Application Form
  2. A Statement of Objectives and your particular fields of interest. This is normally completed with the on-line application. Send a copy of your statement only if you did not complete this section when submitting your on-line application. The Statement of Objectives should include a discussion of your academic and research background and future interests. It should also identify which professors in the Department are potential faculty advisors for your interests, as described at the top of this page.
  1. One official transcript (grade slips and web printable transcripts or reports will not be accepted for use in evaluation) from all previous academic work, undergraduate and graduate. Transcripts showing the last 90 quarter (60 semester) credit hours of graded work of the first baccalaureate degree must be included. Include all graduate and post baccalaureate transcripts. International applicants must provide a certified English translation of their academic transcripts, as well as in the original language. To be official, transcripts must be issued directly by the school and arrive at the Graduate School in an unopened envelope.
  2. Three letters of professional reference addressed to the Graduate School. If you have a master's degree, include a letter from your major professor. No special form is required, although the letters should be written on official letterhead. Letters can be submitted by the referee electronically, requested through the Graduate School's online application.  Alternatively, hard copies of reference letters can be sent to the Graduate School address.
  3. A copy of the General Test GRE scores in all three sections - Verbal, Quantitative, and Analytical (caution: scores are only valid for 5 years). The Department does not require a GRE Subject test, but will take such scores into consideration if provided.
  4. International applicants must provide one copy of their TOEFL or IELTS scores. In addition, international applicants need to send a Certification of Finances form. Specific requirements for international applicants are described on the Graduate School website.
  5. A current curriculum vitae (CV) or résumé.

Applications for the BPP Graduate Program should be received by Dec. 1 for full consideration for admission in the following Fall term. Most decisions concerning financial support (e.g., graduate teaching assistantships) are made by the end of March, based on applications received by this date. However, applications received after Dec. 1 will also be considered for admission, as possible. Admission during other terms, although less common, is possible in certain circumstances; please contact the Chair of the BPP Graduate Studies Committee for details.

When evaluating applications, we give major consideration to the applicant's undergraduate (and post-baccalaureate, if applicable) record, statement of professional objectives, and letters of recommendation. Scores on the General Test of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) are required. Minimum requirements for scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) are provided on this website. (University code is 4586; Department code is 0205). Note that for admission and support on a Graduate Teaching Assistantship, the minimum TOEFL scores will likely not be sufficient.

Prerequisites for admission to the graduate program are a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university, a scholastic average GPA of at least 3.0 (4.0=A), and other background indicating ability to do graduate work.

The Department expects incoming graduate students to have taken courses that provide a solid foundation for the advanced study associated with a graduate degree.

Currently, we have no specific set of course requirements; however we recommend (at a minimum) a year of biology plus two upper division biology courses; chemistry through organic chemistry, plus biochemistry or environmental chemistry; and a mathematical foundation including statistics and calculus, plus linear algebra, physics and/or computer programming.

However, given the breadth of research areas in the Department, the set of foundational courses that indicate likely success for each applicant will be distinct. Thus, if you lack any of the listed coursework, be advised that the admissions committee will be assessing the entirety of your application materials, and a coursework deficiency does not necessarily disqualify you from admission. Efforts will be made to insure that the transcripts and experiences of applicants with 'non-traditional' backgrounds are assessed fairly. For example, evidence of extensive professional experience in a particular area could substitute for less coursework in that area. This link discusses our current prerequisites policy in more detail.

Our Graduate Student Handbook is a good resource for information on all aspects of graduate education in the Department of Botany and Plant Pathology.