Apply to the Plant Pathology Graduate Program

We are very pleased that you are interested in graduate study in the Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences at Michigan State University. Our department is committed to providing excellent graduate education and MSU provides an outstanding environment for research in the plant sciences.

Admission Requirements:

To submit a complete file for review by the Department Graduate Committee, you will need to submit the required documents to: Choose either “Domestic Applicants” (U.S. citizens) or “International Applicants” and complete the following program requirements:

  1. The university application, including 'Statement of Purpose.' Do not send the application fee. If you are accepted by the Department we will pay this for you.
  2. Plant Pathology Program departmental application. In printable pdf format.
  3. Three (3) letters of recommendation from individuals qualified to assess your potential in a graduate program.
  4. Official copies of all transcripts from institutions of higher education
  5. TOEFL Scores. International students are required to take the TOEFL. A minimum TOEFL score of 550 paper-based.  Minimum score of 80 for internet-based test (iBT) with no subscore below 19 for reading, listening and speaking; no writing subscore below 22).

Application Submission:

For full consideration for all available funding opportunities, please submit your completed application form and supplementary information, by November 25.

Hard copies can be sent to the address below:

Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Science
Michigan State University
578 Wilson Road, 107 CIPS
East Lansing, MI 48824

Electronic copies can be sent to:

Linda Colon
Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences
Plant Pathology Graduate Admissions Secretary

Telephone: 517-353-8645
Fax: 517-353-1781


Other Information:

When deciding whether to apply to our department, keep in mind that the most successful applications have grade point averages of 3.0 or better on a 4.0 point scale. Students with previous experience in the area of study may be given special consideration.

You will be notified as soon as possible by our department whether or not you are qualified for admission for our graduate program. Financial support for graduate students is arranged through a variety of sources, including teaching assistantships, individual faculty member grants, and special university fellowships. You will be kept informed by our department on these developments.

If you have any questions regarding processing of your application, please contact the graduate admissions secretary, Linda Colon at 517-353-8645 or For other information about the department, we invite you to browse our website.

We wish you luck as you plan your educational program.


Meet our Faculty

Greg Bonito 

Mycology & Plant Microbiomes

Symbioses, Ecology, Evolution

Martin Chilvers

Field Crop Pathology

Fungal Biology, Genetics, Epidemiology

Brad Day

Molecular host-pathogen interactions

Molecular, Biochemical, Signaling

Ray Hammerschmidt

Physiology & Biochemistry of Plant Disease, Potato Pathology

Plant Defense, Induced & Genetic Resistance Mechanisms


Mary Hausbeck

Vegetable & Greenhouse Ornamental Pathology

Management, Etiology, Epidemiology

Linda Hanson

USDA-ARS Sugar Beet Pathology

Soilborne, Fungi, Genetic Diversity

Andrew Jarosz

Disease epidemiology

Ecology & Evolution

Tim Miles

Small Fruit and Hop Pathology

Post-Harvest, Fungicide Resistance, Molecular Detection


Monique Sakalidis

Forest Pathology

Epidemiology, Population Genomics, Management

George Sundin

Tree Fruit Pathology; Plant Bacteriology

Host-Pathogen Interactions, Fire Blight, Antibiotic Resistance


Frances Trail

Mycology; host-pathogen interactions

Metabolite Discovery, Evolution, Microbiomes

Joseph Vargas

Turf Grass

Fungicide Resistance, Integrated Management




Jaime Willbur 

Potato and Sugarbeet Pathology

Integrated Management, Epidemiology, Modelling





Meet our Faculty