You are reading the 2024/25 Academic Calendar. The 2023/24 version remains in effect until August 31, 2024 and is available here.

Plant Science


Degrees Offered: Ph.D., M.Sc.



S. Castellarin, J. Kronstad.

Professors Emeriti

M. Isman, M. K. Upadhyaya.

Associate Professors

J. Carrillo, E. Jovel, A. Riseman, R. Sargent.

Assistant Professor

T. Knipfer, G. Singh Brar.


Program Overview

The Plant Science Graduate Program offers M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in fundamental and applied topics related to plant production, plant protection, biotechnology, plant physiology and biochemistry, and plant-environment interactions. Specific areas of specialization include:

  • plant-microbe interaction, bacterial and fungal diseases, plant virology, biological control of pests and diseases, insect physiology, natural insecticides, insect ecology and behaviour, and weed biology, ecology, and control, invasive species biology pollination biology
  • plant nutrition, plant growth analysis, plant-plant interaction, biotic and abiotic stressor resistance, and environmental plant physiology
  • vegetable culture, ornamental horticulture, plant breeding, and post-harvest physiology
  • plant biochemistry, tissue culture, genetic engineering, and plant, fungal, and viral molecular genetics
  • rangeland ecology and wildlife habitat studies
  • cereal pathology, host-pathogen interactions, genetics of disease resistance, plant imaging, cereal and pathogen genomics, resistance breeding

The program is enriched through collaboration with colleagues in graduate programs such as Food Science, Soil Science, Botany, Zoology, and in agencies such as Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, and the British Columbia Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food.

Plant Science teaching and research facilities are located in the UBC Biotech Laboratory and in the H.R. MacMillan Building. Research facilities include: the UBC Botanical Garden, Field Laboratory (8.1 ha land and orchards on-campus), greenhouses, controlled environment growth chambers, and modern analytical laboratories.

Doctor of Philosophy

Admission Requirements

Students admitted to the Ph.D. degree program normally possess an M.Sc. degree in plant science or a related area, with clear evidence of research ability or potential. Transfer from the M.Sc. to the Ph.D. program is permitted under Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies regulations.

Program Requirements

Appropriate coursework may be selected in consultation with the student's supervisory committee. All doctoral students are required to successfully complete a comprehensive examination. The major requirement for the Ph.D. is completion of a research dissertation meeting the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies requirements.

Master of Science

Admission Requirements

Students admitted to the M.Sc. program normally possess a B.Sc. degree in plant science or a related area, and must meet the general admission requirements for master's degree programs set by the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.

Program Requirements

Completion of the M.Sc. program requires a thesis (12 or 18 credits) plus coursework, for a total of 30 credits. With a 12-credit thesis, students can include a maximum of 6 credits of senior undergraduate courses. With an 18-credit thesis, students can include a maximum of 3 credits of senior undergraduate courses and a maximum of 3 credits of directed study.

Contact Information

Admission & Administrative Coordinator
Faculty of Land and Food Systems 
291-2357 Main Mall 
Vancouver, BC, Canada V6T 1Z4 
Tel: 604.822.8373 
Fax: 604.822.4400 

UBC Crest The official logo of the University of British Columbia. Urgent Message An exclamation mark in a speech bubble. Caret An arrowhead indicating direction. Arrow An arrow indicating direction. Arrow in Circle An arrow indicating direction. Arrow in Circle An arrow indicating direction. Chats Two speech clouds. Facebook The logo for the Facebook social media service. Information The letter 'i' in a circle. Instagram The logo for the Instagram social media service. Linkedin The logo for the LinkedIn social media service. Location Pin A map location pin. Mail An envelope. Menu Three horizontal lines indicating a menu. Minus A minus sign. Pencil A pencil indicating that this is editable. Telephone An antique telephone. Plus A plus symbol indicating more or the ability to add. Search A magnifying glass. Twitter The logo for the Twitter social media service. Youtube The logo for the YouTube video sharing service.