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What will I learn?

Plant pathology focuses on the biology of plant-microbe interactions, and incorporates research involving biochemical, molecular, genetic, physiological, whole organism, population, and community levels of biological organization. Plant pathology interfaces with all plant science disciplines, and with food sciences, veterinary medicine, biobased products, and ecology. The PhD program offers a molecular plant pathology track, in which students can design and use molecular approaches to investigate plant disease, increase basic knowledge, and develop new strategies for disease control. The following areas of concentration are also offered: plant disease management, biological control of plant disease, forest pathology and microbial degradation of wood, microbial ecology, population biology, plant-microbe interactions, disease resistance, host-parasite co-evolution, plant microbe mutualisms, and virology. Students have opportunities for laboratory and field research locally as well as nationally and internationally.

Students can be admitted any semester. Intake: Fall, Spring, and Summer

Which department am I in?

College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences

Study options

Full Time (56 credit hours)

Tuition fees
US$27,612.00 per year

*Price shown is for indicative purposes, please check with institution

Start date

Expected January 2023


College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences

277 Coffey Hall,

1420 Eckles Avenue,



55108, United States

Entry requirements

For students from United States

Anyone who has or will obtain a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution in the U.S. or a comparable degree from an officially recognized college or university outside the U.S. may apply for graduate admission. The preferred undergraduate GPA for admittance to the program is 3.40.

For international students

The preferred undergraduate GPA for admittance to the program is 3.50.

Applicants must have a sound college background in the basic biological and physical sciences and mathematics.

Applicants must satisfy all the prerequisites for the master's degree program in plant pathology, or have a master's degree in either plant pathology or a field of natural science.

English Language Proficiency Requirements: TOEFL iBT – Total Score: 79; Writing Subscore: 21; Reading Subscore: 19; IELTS Academic – Total Score: 6.5; Writing Subscore: 6.5; Reading Subscore: 6.5; Pearson Test of Academic English (PTE Academic) – Total Score: 59; Writing Subscrore: 59; Reading Subscore: 59; Cambridge Assessment English (CAE) C1 Advanced – Total Score: 180; Writing Subscore: 180; Reading Subscore: 180.

Students may apply at any time; however, submission of all application materials by December 1 will ensure priority consideration for fellowships and research assistantships for the next academic year.


About University of Minnesota

UMN is one of the United States’ top public research institutions, where students gain a world-class education on a historic campus in a vibrant city.

  • 150+ undergraduate and 200+ graduate programs
  • Beautiful campus with the Mississippi River on site
  • World-class academics and close personal support throughout
  • Opportunities for scholarships and financial awards

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