Plant Pathology is a fascinating science that weaves together applied research with elegant and up-to-date aspects of molecular biology, genetics, genomics, and biotechnology. K-State Plant Pathology faculty and students study crops and diseases that are critical in Kansas and worldwide along with important model systems. We learn how plants and microbes function, how they interact, and how the environment affects that interaction. We modify plants (and sometimes the environment) so they can fight diseases and improve yield. We transfer genes from wild plants to crop plants to increase genetic diversity and stress tolerance.
We study pathogens (bacteria, fungi, nematodes and viruses), bioinformatics, biological control, biotechnology (cell and tissue culture, plant transformation and regeneration), disease diagnosis and management, ecology and epidemiology, host and microbial genetics and cytogenetics, modeling/statistics, molecular genetics, and molecular plant-microbe interactions. We work with engineers to build and use high-tech plant health sensors to speed up the breeding process. You can read more about our research by browsing our faculty profile pages. Our faculty, staff, and students publish in top tier journals, and we receive grant funding from diverse sources including USDA, NSF, NIH, USAID, private foundations, and industry.
We are committed to excellence in research, extension, and teaching. We are a diverse department with a global climate in which ideas thrive and people excel. Our department has been highly ranked, and our faculty have received top honors from K-State and academic professional societies, as shown on our list of faculty awards. We recruit excellent graduate students and mentor them to success, as highlighted on our list of student awards. Our graduates are successful in finding positions in academia, industry, and/or government service.
Applications, Entry Requirements, & Funding
Are you interested to apply? Further information on applying and admission requirements, due dates, graduate stipends (graduate research assistantships), can be found in our application information.
Office of Institutional Equity
Kansas State University is committed to fostering a diverse student, faculty, and staff environment that is rooted in respect and fair practices. Learn more about the Office of Institutional Equity and Title IX.
The current Graduate Program Director is Dr. Megan Kennelly.