Master of Science in Plant Breeding (Non-Thesis Option)

The non-thesis option M.S. in Plant Breeding requires 36 hours of coursework, four of which are an internship activity or other scholarly activity.  Courses will vary depending upon the student’s career goals and current situation, but will emphasize such skills as applied plant breeding, molecular techniques, and statistical methods applicable to plant breeders.  Students will work with a graduate advisor to determine which courses best suit their needs.  A typical degree plan will include a variety of course work in plant breeding, molecular and environmental plant sciences, statistics, plant pathology, entomology, agricultural economics,  and education and human development.


36 graduate credit hours beyond the B.S. degree; general requirements are:

  1. a.  32 course hours approved by the student’s Graduate Advisory Committee and the Office of Graduate Studies.
  2. Statistics 651 or equivalent
  3. Graduate Agronomy seminar (1 hr).
  4. 4  hours of SCSC 684 (Professional Internship)
  5. No more than 9 hours of upper level (300 or 400) undergraduate courses and no graduate credit for the following courses required for a B.S. degree:  SCSC 101, SCSC 105, SCSC 301
  6. See Graduate Catalog for additional requirements,

Internship or Scholarly Activity

Admission preference will be given to prospective students with a demonstrated opportunity for an internship related to plant breeding. Students already employed in plant breeding research can conduct this internship as part of that employment. Students not already employed in the plant breeding field are responsible for securing an internship related to their primary field of interest, which must be approved prior to admission by the admitting department. Students are expected to provide a written summary and oral presentation of their internship as the final exam to their committee prior to graduation.

Students electing not to conduct an internship will be required to demonstrate an understanding of plant breeding through a scholarly activity. These activities can take the form of a literature review, teaching or training materials, or other activities that represent scholarly contributions to the field of plant breeding. These activities must be approved in advance by the student’s graduate committee and will be presented in written and oral form during the student’s final exam with the committee prior to graduation.

All final oral presentations can be conducted at a distance. No campus visit is required.

Tuition and Fees

Tuition and fees vary based on Texas residency and course. An estimate of current costs can be found at These rates are set by the University and are subject to yearly increases.

Time for Completion

Since this program is designed for industry professionals who will continue to be employed full time during their graduate studies, typical course load will be 1 to 2 classes per semester.  Many factors will effect completion time, but most students can expect to finish within 3-5 years.  Students are required to take a minimum of 9 semester credit hours per year to ensure they are making adequate progress toward their degree.

Sample Degree Plan – 4 Years Completion

This is just an example of a degree plan.  Actual degree plans as well as time frame for completion  will be determined by the individual student and the  student’s graduate advisory committee.




Year 1

SCSC 304 – Plant Breeding and Genetics (3 Semester Credit Hours) STAT 651 – Statistics in Research I (3 Semester Credit Hours) SCSC 311 – Principle of Crop Production (3 semester credit   hours)

Year 2

SCSC 641 – Plant Breeding I (3 semester credit hours) PLPA 603 – Plant Disease Management (3 semester credit hours) SCSC 642 – Plant Breeding II (3 semester credit hours)

Year 3

SCSC 644 – Intellectual Properties in the Plant Sciences(3 semester credit hours) EHRD 613 – Career Development in Human Resources (3 semester credit   hours) SCSC 660 – Experimental Designs in Agriculture (3 semester credit hours)

Year 4

SCSC 607 – Crop Physiology  (3 semester credit hours) SCSC 613 – Ethics in International Agriculture (3 semester credit   hours) SCSC 684 – Professional Internship (4 semester credit hours)SCSC 681 – Graduate Seminar (1 semester credit hour)

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