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Plant Pathology Program

Students in the Plant Pathology program have diverse interests in the fundamental biology, etiology, and epidemiology of plant pathogens as well as the management of plant diseases; however, they are united in the common goal of achieving a greater understanding of pathogen biology and ecology in order to predict and mitigate disease impacts.

Students in this program will master the fundamental knowledge of plant pathogens and diseases while developing conceptual knowledge and skills necessary to design and implement programs in integrated disease management.

The core concepts that students in the Plant Pathology program of study are expected to understand upon graduation include:

  • Knowledge of all pathogen groups
  • Principles of disease management
  • Identification of pathogens within major pathogen groups
  • Disease etiology and epidemiology
  • Disease development and pathogen evolution
  • Mechanisms of plant-pathogen interactions
  • Experimental design and applied statistics
  • Role/opportunities of plant pathology in agriculture and natural systems
  • Pathogenomics in plant pathology
  • Basic skills in isolation and culture of major pathogen groups

This suite of skills, knowledge, and abilities are developed through core and elective courses, research projects, teaching, extension, and outreach opportunities. In addition to the  course requirements of all PPPMB students, PhD students in the Plant Pathology program are required to complete PP4020 and two special topics courses.  Additionally, PLPPM 4190 (our field course) is strongly recommended.  The course requirements for a PhD minor in the Plant Pathology program are determined by the Special Committee, but include PLPPM 3010, PLPPM 4010, and at least one special topics course.

In addition to the course requirements of all PPPMB students, the MS major in the Plant Pathology program is required to complete PLPPM 4020 and a minimum of either one additional special topics course or PLPPM 4190.  The MS minor in the Plant Pathology program requires PLPPM 3010.  In addition to the courses listed above, the Special Committee may suggest other courses that are appropriate for the student's interests and research project.