Admission Requirements

Student examining plant samples

To be considered for admission to the Plant Biology graduate program at Penn State, prospective students must have:

  • An appropriate academic background, including a minimum Grade Point Average of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) during the last two years (junior/senior) of a bachelor's degree at an accredited college or university. Research experience is desirable.

  • Proficiency in the English language. With some exceptions (noted below), international candidates are required to take the TOEFL (Test Of English as a Foreign Language) or the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) and submit the results of the test with application for admission.

    • Department code: 30

    • Institution code: 2660

  • Note: International applicants are exempt from the TOEFL/IELTS requirement if they have received a baccalaureate or a master's degree from a college/university/institution in any of the following countries: Australia, Belize, British Caribbean and British West Indies, Canada (except Quebec), England, Guyana, Republic of Ireland, Liberia, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Scotland, United States, and Wales.

Note: The Graduate School does not require GRE (Graduate Record Examinations) scores for admission. However, General GRE Aptitude Test scores are required for nominations by graduate programs for a University Graduate Fellowship. Therefore, if you have taken the test, it is highly recommended that you submit the test scores, as you would be eligible for consideration by the Plant Biology Admissions Committee for all fellowship nominations, including the most prestigious University Graduate Fellowship.

  • Institution code: 2660
  • Department code: 5199

If you opt not to take the General GRE Aptitude Test, or if you have taken the test but do not wish to submit the test scores, the Admissions Committee will use all other aspects of your application to evaluate your qualifications for admission and potential nomination for other Graduate School and/or Huck Institutes fellowships that do not require GRE test scores.

Applicants also must complete the forms and send in the materials outlined in the instructions on how to apply.