PBS Courses

Consult the Graduate Program Handbook for required courses and supporting coursework

PBIO 8081 Integrative Plant Biology - Connecting Molecules to Ecosystems

(A-F only, unless otherwise noted) 3 credits

This course is required for students in the Plant Biological Sciences graduate program.  The course is designed to expose students to fundamental areas of plant and fungal biology.  During the semester, each of three instructors will introduce a specific research topic, with topics ranging from the molecular level to the ecosystem level of biological organization.  The primary literature will be used to illustrate the integration of different experimental approaches for addressing key questions. 

Examples of the research areas to be covered during the semester include:  

  1. Population genetics and molecular evolution
  2. Plant and fungal development
  3. Systematics and biodiversity
  4. Genomics and bioinformatics
  5. Regulation of gene expression
  6. Biochemical and cellular processes
  7. Physiological processes
  8. Ecophysiology and community function

Specific topics to be covered each year will vary depending on the teaching staff; a course director will meet with instructors to better coordinate and integrate course content.  Students will gain an understanding of the diverse approaches being used to address fundamental questions in plant and fungal biology.  In addition, students will have the opportunity to practice critical reading and evaluation of the primary literature.  They will have opportunities to develop critical analysis and presentation skills through activities such as written summaries of the literature and oral presentations.        

PBS 8123 Research Ethics in the Plant and Environmental Sciences

(S-N only, unless otherwise noted; prerequisite graduate student in (Applied Plant sciences, Plant Pathology, Plant Biological Sciences and Soil Science) .50 credit

Class consists of two 4-hour sessions usually 2 days before spring semester starts.  History/values relating to research/scholarship.  Social responsibility/reporting misconduct.  Authorship and plagiarism.  Peer review.   Copyright/intellectual property.  Conflict of interest.  Research data management.  Fiscal responsibility/management.   Environmental health/safety.  Research involving humans/animals.  Mentorship presentations by faculty and invited speakers.  

PBS 8333 FTE: Master's (one credit status)

(No Grade Associated, unless otherwise noted; prereq Master's student, adviser and DGS consent; form approved by graduate school)            

PBS 8444 FTE: Doctoral (one credit status)

No Grade Associated, unless otherwise noted; prereq Doctoral student, adviser and DGS' consent, form approved by PBS program office)                           

PBS 8777 Thesis Credits: Master's

 No Grade Associated, unless otherwise noted;   max 14 credits per semester; 10 cr total required [Plan A only])             

PBS 8888 Thesis Credit: Doctoral

No Grade Associated, unless otherwise noted; max 14 credits per semester; 24 credits required)                                                     

PBS 8900 Seminar

Section 001 Colloquium every Tuesday at 3:30.  Seminar on research in all areas of plant biological sciences presented by leading scientists.

Section 003 Graduate Student Seminar Course

(offered Fall semester, 1 credit (S/N))

One credit per semester - must be taken for credit the first semester and attend and present your third semester.    Students in their third year present their thesis proposals in this seminar.  New students take seminar to listen to other students' research proposals. The goals are to:

  1. Foster interaction among students
  2. Expose students to the breadth of research in plant biology
  3. Provide graduate students experience in effectively presenting scientific information in a seminar format

The course instructors will provide written evaluations of the seminar and meet with the presenting student to discuss the evaluations. Students scheduled to present a seminar will introduce the speaker that precedes them.

Seminar Publicity - Seminar announcements will be emailed by the PBS coordinator to all PBS faculty and students, allied departments, department and collegiate newsletters and will be posted on the PBS website.

PBS 8901 Thesis Writing Proposal Course - offered fall semester; 1 credit (S/N)

PhD students in their 3rd semester take this course to learn how to write a thesis research proposal.  During the writing process, students receive feedback from both peers and from faculty reviewers.  

PBS 8993 Directed Studies

A-F or S/N grade basis; 1-5 credits; contract and permission number are required.

PBS 8994 Directed Research

A-F or S/N grade basis; 1-5 credits.  Independent research determined by student's interests, in consultation with faculty mentor.  Contract and permission number are required.