Graduate Program Fact Sheet

The Department of Horticulture offers graduate work leading to the Master of Science (MS) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degrees. The MS and PhD degrees culminate in original research reported in a thesis and are often pursued by students interested in research related careers, or who are seeking direct training in research methods. The Department of Horticulture has strengths and expertise in three main areas:

Breeding, Genetics, and Biotechnology. Faculty and students explore fundamental questions related to the control and regulation of plant traits using a variety of techniques and tools including molecular biology, genomics and bioinformatics.

Sustainable Crop Production. The program integrates a diverse set of disciplines and tools including basic plant sciences, applied crop management, and field experimentation and analysis.

Community and Landscape Horticultural Systems. Explore basic and applied questions related to the design and function of urban and community landscapes including golf courses, sports fields, gardens, parks and open space.

Horticulture | M.S. / PhD

Students can also declare graduate options in:

  • Plant Breeding and Genetics Plant breeding is a collaborative discipline spanning everything from classical field approaches to gene manipulation at the molecular level.
  • Entomology embodies the Land Grant mission of integrated research, teaching, and extension in the context of understanding the basic biology of insects and, with this knowledge, then working with insects in natural and/or managed environments.


Graduate Students






Distinguished Faculty

Graduate Student Support

  • We provide competitive financial assistance packages primarily in the form of research and teaching assistantships and fellowships. For more details visit: horticulture. oregonstate.edu/department-of-horticulture/financialsupport
  • The University also awards graduate fellowships and scholarships to outstanding students. For more information see the Graduate School’s Financing Your Education website at gradschool.oregonstate.edu/finance
  • The Coalition of Graduate Employees (CGE) represents the interests and rights of Oregon State University’s graduate employees through the bargaining and maintenance of a fair working contract. CGE strives to create a community of graduate employees empowered to advocate for collective issues.
  • The Horticulture Graduate Student Council is a forum to enhance the exchange of ideas and collaboration among graduate students and to promote and endorse their work.
  • OSU chapter of Pi Alpha Xi is the national honor society in horticulture. The OSU chapter engages in community service, conducts outreach, and sponsors educational and professional leadership activities.

How to Apply

The online application, a downloadable application form, and contact information are available from the Graduate School. You may also write to the Graduate School, Oregon State University, 2900 SW Jefferson Way, Corvallis, Oregon 97331; telephone them at 541-737-4881, or email at graduate.school@oregonstate.edu.

A student wishing to be admitted to any graduate program at Oregon State University must complete an application form, pay the application fee, and submit photocopies of all official transcripts. International students must also submit recent TOEFL scores and certify sufficient funding to complete the required degree. The Office of Admissions provides a more complete listing of required documents and application steps. Detailed information for both domestic applicants and international applicants is also available.

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Program Requirements

  • Masters of Science
  • ➜ Minimum of 45 graduate credits.
  • ➜ Must be completed within 7 years.
  • ➜ The M.S. degree consists of course work and original research, which is reported in a thesis. The research is performed under the guidance of the major professor. The study program, i.e., the list of graduate courses to be taken, is developed under the guidance of the major professor and a committee of graduate faculty organized by the student and the major professor. The graduate committee evaluates the thesis and the student’s knowledge of his or her field in a final oral examination.
  • PhD
  • ➜ There is no rigid credit requirement; however the equivalent of at least three years of full-time graduate work beyond the bachelor’s degree (at least 108 graduate credits) is required.
  • ➜ The PhD in Horticulture is granted for proven ability in research and scholarship.
  • For more details visit: horticulture.oregonstate.edu/ department-of-horticulture/phd-horticulture

Alumni Spotlight

Ellen Thompson

Ellen Thompson oversees global breeding operations for the development of proprietary blueberry, raspberry, and blackberry varieties for a Chili-based company, Hortifrut SA. In the spirit of “providing berries for the world every day”, Ellen and her international team, ensure that the best genetics are available to fresh-market berry growers. Ellen started her work in fresh-market blackberry production at OSU, and is proud to continue to serve the global berry industry.