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Plant Breeding is the genetic improvement of crop plants through the study and application of genetics, statistics, agronomy, plant pathology, entomology, and related sciences.

CAREERS:
Management and operation of public and private plant breeding programs ~ Research on plant breeding methodologies, bio-technologies, and information technologies to improve breeding efficiency and effectiveness ~ Cultivar development

PROJECTS:
Germplasm evaluation and enhancement ~ Selection ~ Cultivar development ~ Quantitative genetics ~ Linkage mapping and marker-assisted selection ~ Biotechnology ~ Molecular genetics ~ Computational biology ~ Prediction and optimization

CROPS:
Maize ~ Soybean ~ Sorghum ~ Sunflower ~ other crops. Research on other crops is done in conjunction with the North Central Regional Plant Introduction Station.

  • Agron 521 (3 cr) Principles of Cultivar Development
  • Agron 522 (2 cr) Field Methods in Plant Breeding
  • Agron 523 (3 cr) Molecular Plant Breeding
  • Agron 524 (3 cr) Applied Molecular Genetics & Biotechnology
  • Agron 528 (3 cr) Introduction to Quantitative Genetics for Plant Breeding
  • Agron 600A (1 cr) Plant Breeding Seminar
  • Agron 698 (2 cr) Agronomy Teaching Practicum
  • Agron 699 (variable cr) Research-related activities each semester
  • Agron/AnSci 561 (4 cr) Population and Quantitative Genetics for Breeding
  • Gen 510 (3 cr) Transmission Genetics
  • Stat 401 (4 cr) Statistical Methods for Research Workers
  • Stat 402 (3 cr) Statistical Design and the Analysis of Experiments / Agron 526 (3 cr) Field Plot Technique
  • Agron 621 (3 cr)-Advanced Plant Breeding
  • Agron 625 (3 cr)-Genetic Strategies in Plant Breeding

Ph.D. students must pass uniform written and oral preliminary examinations usually taken during the first two years of their program. 


USA requirements for international students

Each university in the Unites States of America sets its own admission standards so there isn't the same criteria for all the students and the university can decide which applicants meet those standards. The fee for each application is between $35 to $100. 

After the selections of the universities you want to attend, the best of all would be to contact each university for an application form and more admission information for the international students. Moreover, for a graduate or postgraduate program it's necessary to verify the admission requirements. Some programs require that you send your application directly to their department. 

Admissions decisions are based on students's academic record and different test scores, such as TOEFL, the SAT or ACT (for undergraduate programs) and GRE or GMAT (for graduate programs). Admission decision is based on your academic results and motivation.


program_requirements

  • Iowa State requires a degree it considers comparable to a US bachelor’s or higher degree from a regionally accredited college or university prior to beginning graduate studies. (For foreign institutions, that would be recognition by the Ministry of Education.) 
  • Our graduate application form is only available online. The $100 application fee for international students is nonrefundable. If you prefer not to pay the application fee by credit card, you may complete and print the online application, and attach your personal check. All checks should be in US dollars and made payable to Iowa State University.
  • Grade Point Average (GPA)
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Online Recommendations
  • Internet Based TOEFL (iBT) 79, Paper-Based TOEFL (PBT) 550
  • IELTS 6.5
  • Graduate Records Examination (GRE)
  • Financial Statement
  • Publications list, if applicable, should be submitted as a PDF in the online application system
  • Resume and publications list should be submitted as PDFs in the online application system

Scholarships

Most students receive a research assistantship from their major professor. Fellowships are available from the Raymond F. Baker Center for Plant Breeding , the Agronomy Department, and the University. Application information is available from each student's major professor.

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