Prospective Students

By enrolling in the graduate program in Horticulture at Washington State University, you form part of a team of students, faculty, and staff dedicated to the scientific and intellectual pursuit of knowledge in horticulture.

Depending on your career goals, your studies may concentrate on such basic sciences as plant physiology, biochemistry, and molecular genetics, as well as horticulture. You may explore a variety of subjects, such as plant pathology, soil science, biological systems engineering, environmental science, or the social sciences to complement your graduate education. Keeping your interests and goals in mind, your research project, course requirements, teaching and/or Extension experiences for your graduate work will be individualized and determined with your faculty advisor and graduate committee.

Who should apply?

Students with undergraduate majors in the plant sciences, including horticulture, crop science, plant pathology, environmental science, genetics, plant physiology, and biochemistry, may be well prepared for graduate work in Horticulture. If your undergraduate degree is not directly related to plants, you may be eligible by strengthen your preparation through enrollment in additional courses before applying, or while pursuing your graduate degree. Undergraduate students who are pursuing studies not related to plant science and who contemplate graduate work in horticulture should take as many courses in the basic physical and biological sciences as possible. Your graduate studies may be tailored for your individual background and needs.

Application Materials

For a complete application, the following materials are required to complete your applicationAll materials should be received by the deadlines outlined below for priority consideration – including evidence of English proficiency, if required.  Applications are most competitive when these priority deadlines are met.

  1. A completed Application for Admission to the Graduate School, on which the student should indicate horticulture as the major.
  2. A $90.00 application fee.  There is no waiver for this fee except for McNair scholars.
  3. Submit unofficial transcripts from all colleges and universities attended. If the transcripts are not in English, an unofficial copy of the transcript in the applicant’s native language, along with its English translation, is acceptable. These transcripts should be uploaded through the online application. It is important to note that once the transcripts are submitted, they become part of the official Graduate School application file and cannot be returned or transferred. Foreign Credential and Transcript Evaluation is not required. Applicants who attend school outside the United States or Canada should also include copies of mark sheets, grade reports, or examination results, along with degree certificates from all higher education institutions attended outside the United States or Canada—including English translations. 
  4. CV/Resume.
  5. Provide three letters of recommendation.  The recommendations are submitted by the recommenders themselves.  We recommend getting their preferred email address and asking that they monitor that inbox for your recommendation request (which will come from, including any junk or spam folders.
  6. A brief (1-2 pages) Statement of Purpose that states your career goals and outlines how you came to be interested in Horticulture. The more specific you are, the better we will be able to match your interests with available openings and funding. It is recommended (not required) that you contact individual faculty members you would like to work with prior to submitting your application.
  7. Language Requirements for international students.  Please refer to the detailed information at Language Requirements. Applicants who are required to submit exam scores will be held incomplete until those are received.
  8. Note:  The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is NOT required.

Admission Considerations

The basis of the above data, the Graduate School and the department evaluate the prospective student’s qualifications. Recommendations for admission are made provided that:

  • The student meets the Graduate School’s criteria (see Graduate School Admission);
  • The student meets departmental criteria;
  • A member of the departmental faculty agrees to serve as that student’s major advisor, and
  • There is a committed source of funding to support the student (an assistantship or a commitment that the student will be self-supporting).

Departmental criteria generally include a G.P.A. of 3.0 or better, as stipulated by the Graduate School, supportive letters of recommendation, and a clear “statement of purpose” by the prospective student which also describes why they are a good fit for the WSU Horticulture Department.. Within the department, the decision for admission and recommendation to the Graduate School is made by the Graduate Steering Committee, and approved by the department chair. Although the department sends unofficial notice of acceptance, formal notice of acceptance into the graduate program will come from the Graduate School.


Applications are accepted at any time and are reviewed as they are received. To be assured of consideration for admission to the graduate program in Horticulture or for a graduate assistantship, the following deadlines should be met.

Fall semester: January 10
Spring semester: July 1


If you have questions, please contact

CAHNRS Graduate Center

Prospective and current graduate students will also find additional information on the website of the WSU Graduate School.