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Department of Plant Pathology

Department of Plant Pathology
Kansas State University
1712 Claflin Road
4024 Throckmorton PSC
Manhattan, KS 66506

Ph: +1-785-532-6176
Fx: +1-785-532-5692

Ph.D. Requirements

The Plant Pathology Ph.D. curriculum includes formal coursework in these core areas:

  • Biology of plant pathogens
  • Molecular biology and plant-microbe interactions
  • Quantitative aspects of plant pathology (such as epidemiology, population genetics, and population aspects of resistance)
  • Scientific communication (through the seminar courses).
  • Teaching

A Ph.D. program is research-intensive and therefore also includes a significant number of research credits. The student works with his or her committee to develop a Program of Study, which then must be approved by the Graduate Program Director. The Program of Study will include electives relevant to the student's project and career aspirations.

General Requirements

The official details of course requirements are listed in the Plant Pathology Ph.D. section of the KSU Graduate Catalog. Other important details are explained in Chapter 3 of the Graduate Handbook. A summary is presented here.

Ph.D. students are required to take at least 90 credit hours beyond the B.S. degree:

  • For students with an M.S.
    • The Graduate School will allow up to 30 credit hours (formal coursework plus research credits) to be transferred from a completed M.S. program at KSU or elsewhere, depending on what the M.S. program included
    • Graduate committees normally require at least 24 credit hours of formal coursework at KSU past the M.S.
      • At KSU, an M.S. in Plant Pathology includes 22-24 hours of formal coursework and 6-8 hours of research (total of 30 credits)
  • For students without an M.S.
    • Students entering a Ph.D. program without an M.S. will work with the Graduate Advisory Committee to develop an appropriate Program of Study that considers the absence of formal M.S. coursework, with approval of the Graduate Program Director

Core Topic Requirements

Plant Pathogens

Three of the following (or their equivalents):

  • PLPTH 730 Plant Nematology (3 credit hours)
  • PLPTH 835 Plant Virology (3 credit hours)
  • PLPTH 840 Plant Pathogenic Bacteria (2 credit hours)
  • PLPTH 845 Plant Pathogenic Fungi (3 credit hours)
Molecular Biology & Plant-Microbe Interactions

At least one of the following:

  • PLPTH 880 Plant Molecular Biology (3 credit hours)
  • PLPTH 910 Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions (3 credit hours)
Quantitative & Populations Aspects of Plant Pathology

At least one of the following:

  • PLPTH 820 Population Genetics (3 credit hours)
  • PLPTH 905 Ecology and Epidemiology of Plant Pathogens (3 credit hours)
Teaching Experience

At least one of the following:

  • Alternate teaching experience approved by the student's graduate committee
  • EDCI 943 Principles of College Teaching (3 credit hours)
  • PLPTH 922 Teaching Practicum in Plant Pathology (1-2 credit hours)

Both of the following:

  • PLPTH 870 Thesis/Dissertation Proposal (1 credit hour, complete within first 2 years of entering graduate program)
  • PLPTH 871 Professional Communications in Plant Pathology (1 credit hour)

*Students in the Interdepartmental Genetics Program who are advised by Plant Pathology faculty as their major professor are required to follow the seminar requirements of the Plant Pathology Program, as noted on the IGP website.

Formal Coursework Electives in Plant Pathology

At least four additional credit hours of formal coursework must be taken in Plant Pathology.

Free Electives

39-40 credit hours, as approved by the Graduate Committee and following Graduate School requirements. May include Research credits.

Research Credits

Research (PLPTH 999). The Graduate School requires 30 credit hours minimum and notes that the number of research credits should accurately reflect the emphasis on research inherent in the Ph.D. degree. Research credits can contribute to the Free electives.