Home < Degrees < Botany

Botany


Administrative Unit:Botany
College/School: College of Letters & Science
Admitting Plans:M.S., Ph.D.
Degrees Offered:M.S., Ph.D.
Minors and Certificates:Doctoral Minor

Faculty: Professors Waller (chair), Baum, Cameron, Fernandez, Gilroy, Givnish, Graham, Larget, Otegui, Spalding, Sytsma, J. Zedler; Associate Professors Ane, Emshwiller, Hotchkiss; Assistant Professors Maeda, McCulloh; Affiliate and Adjunct Faculty: Amasino, Brunet, Spooner, Wiedenhoft, P. Zedler

Overview

The Department of Botany consists of 22 faculty members with about 40 graduate students pursuing M.S. and Ph.D. degrees. The American Council on Education Rating of Graduate Program Quality ranks the department among the top five departments of botany in the country.

Graduate students work with faculty and staff on a range of projects in plant biology at all levels of organization, from molecules, through cells and organs, to populations, communities, and lineages of organisms. Major research areas include molecular, cellular, and developmental biology; structural plant biology; ecology; evolution; and systematics. We also provide advanced instruction and opportunities for research in phycology, bryology, mycology, ethnobotany, paleoecology, conservation and restoration ecology, taxonomy, genetics, and physiology. Increasingly, graduate student projects encompass two or more of these categories. Master's students may complete a non-thesis program in conservation or restoration ecology designed to prepare them for careers in environmental consulting, natural resource agencies, and nongovernmental organizations.

Students interested in fields bordering botany will find rich opportunities for course work, collaborative research, and seminars in many other departments and schools such as Agronomy, Bacteriology, Biochemistry, Chemistry, Engineering, Entomology, Forest and Wildlife Ecology, Genetics, Geography, Geoscience, Horticulture, Physics, Plant Breeding/Plant Genetics, Plant Pathology, Soil Science, Zoology, and the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies. Interdisciplinary work is encouraged.

Graduate study in the Department of Botany requires a combination of advanced course work, participation in seminars, and original research. Course requirements follow one of five tracks: general botany; ecology; evolution; molecular, cellular, and developmental biology; or the non-thesis Master's degree in conservation and restoration ecology.  The department encourages students to pursue independent research soon after arriving. In consultation with the faculty advisor, each student selects a track that includes courses and research topics related to his or her interests and training in the array of techniques and approaches needed to pursue research.

Admission 

The Department of Botany will consider applicants for graduate degrees who surpass the minimum admissions requirements of the Graduate School. Candidates for fall admission should submit their full applications to the department by December 1 to be considered for financial support. Applications may be reviewed until April 15. All applicants are required to take the general Graduate Record Exam (GRE). The GRE subject test in Biology or in Cell and Molecular Biology is not required but, if available, will be considered. Admission is based on the applicant's statement of purpose, undergraduate record, GRE scores, letters of recommendation, experience in research, and the interests they share with one or more potential faculty advisors.

For more information: Department of Botany, Graduate Coordinator, 430 Lincoln Drive, Madison, WI 53706-1381; 608-262-0476; botgrad@ls.wisc.edu; www.botany.wisc.edu.