Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Do applicants need to have earned a master’s degree?

A. No. Students with a bachelor’s degree are encouraged to apply. (The only exception is that Indian students with a 3-year bachelor’s degree must have completed an M.S.)

Q. What if I’m interested in the Research Ph.D. program?

A. Students in the Research Ph.D. program are accepted into a faculty member’s lab as they are accepted into the program, so it is essential you contact faculty members directly. You may email them yourself or email the Academic Coordinator.

Q. Which faculty labs may I join?

A. Please email faculty directly to find out whether or not they will be accepting students for the upcoming year.

Q. How many students are admitted each year?

A. We typically accept 8-12 new students per year.

Q. How many international students are admitted each year?

A. The number varies from year to year.

Q. Do you require the GRE?

A. The MPS program does not require GRE scores.  Submission of GRE scores is optional for applicants.

Q. What TOEFL score does the program require?

A. International applicants’ TOEFL scores should be at least 550 on the paper-based exam, 213 on the computer-based exam or 80 on the internet exam.

Q. What GPA does the program require?

A. In order to be accepted by the Graduate School at WSU, your GPA must be at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. Admission is highly competitive, so meeting the GPA requirement does not guarantee acceptance. If you are a U.S. citizen with a GPA of 3.5 or higher, you may be eligible for an ARCS fellowship. Please contact the Graduate School for more information about ARCS.

Q. Does WSU provide health insurance for Graduate Students?

A. Yes.  WSU provides the Graduate Student Assistant Medical and Dental Insurance Plan for students with assistantships, with the option of adding a spouse or same-sex domestic partner and children.  Please see the Graduate School website for more information.

Q. How many students receive assistantships?

A. All students (including international) receive full financial support, usually in the form of a research or teaching assistantship. This support is maintained for the student’s duration of study as long as he or she remains in good academic standing and is making adequate progress toward degree.

Q. What assistantships, fellowships, and scholarships are available?

A. Please see our Finances page for more specific information.

Q. What if I’m taking the GRE/TOEFL in December and my scores won’t arrive before the January 1 deadline?

A. We will accept late scores as long as they arrive before the recruitment committee has made their final decisions. Please contact the Graduate School as soon as you find out your scores.

Q. What if I just found out about the program and want to apply after January 10?

A. Qualified U.S. residents may apply after the deadline has passed.


Q. When will I find out whether or not I have been accepted?

A. The recruitment committee reviews complete applications beginning in January. The top domestic applicants will be invited to visit campus in late February or early March for our Recruitment Weekend and Integrated Plant Sciences Retreat. Acceptance offers will be made after the event. International applicants will be contacted in March, April, or May.

Q. Does the program accept students for the spring semester?

A. The MPS program rarely accepts students for spring semester because we award all our research assistantships in the fall. The only exception is for students who are entering directly into a faculty member’s laboratory and receive financial support from him or her instead of the program.

Q. What is WSU’s institution code?

A. WSU’s institution code is 4705. We do not use department codes (you may leave that section blank or enter 0).