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Graduate Degree Requirements

Doctor of Philosophy in Plant Biology

Requirements for Admission
The equivalent of a UVM major in a natural or physical science;
Strong scores on the Graduate Record Examination;
Evidence of previous research experience

Minimum Degree Requirements
All students must successfully complete a total of 75 credits, including a minimum of 30 credits of program-related course work and 20 credits of dissertation research. First-year students participate in at least two rotations in research laboratories before committing to one laboratory for completion of dissertation research. Satisfactory completion of the written and oral components of a comprehensive examination are required for advancement to candidacy. A student’s Ph.D. degree is culminated by satisfactory completion of a dissertation, a public seminar, and a private defense with their studies committee. In addition to research, all students must participate in a minimum of two courses of supervised teaching.

Requirements for Advancement to Candidacy
Satisfactory completion of the written and oral components of a comprehensive examination are required for advancement to candidacy.

Master of Science in Plant Biology

Requirements for Admission
The equivalent of a UVM major in a natural or physical science;
Strong scores on the Graduate Record Examination;
Evidence of previous research experience

Minimum Degree Requirements
All students must successfully complete a total of 30 credits, including a minimum of 15 credits of program-related course work and 9 credits of thesis research. Satisfactory completion of the written and oral components of a comprehensive examination are required. A student’s M.S. degree is culminated by satisfactory completion of a thesis, a public seminar, and a private defense with their studies committee.

Master of Science, Field Naturalist Option

Requirements for Admission
A background in science;
Strong scores on the Graduate Record Examination;
A demonstrated commitment to field sciences (e.g., research, field work, participation in environmental or conservation organizations)

A subject (advanced) test in biology or geology is advised for students who lack substantive coursework in natural sciences. Recent college graduates are encouraged to pursue interests outside academe before application to the Field Naturalist Program.

Minimum Degree Requirements
All students must successfully complete a total of 30 credit hours that includes enrollment in the Field Naturalist Practicum (PBIO 311) and Professional Writing (PBIO 333) each semester and at least two courses in each of three core areas: (1) life science (2) earth science, and (3) ecology (course selection to be determined by the student's studies committee). In addition, satisfactory completion of an oral comprehensive examination is required. A Field Naturalist student’s degree culminates in satisfactory completion of a field project for a sponsoring organization that includes a professional report, a focused literature review, a written academic reflection, an oral presentation, and a journal publication or article in the popular mass media.

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