Message from the Chair

Message from the Chair

The graduate program in Molecular Plant Sciences at Washington State University is widely recognized as one of the Top 10 in the world. The MPS Program brings together faculty from seven departments across two colleges at WSU into one cohesive group sharing a common interest in the molecular aspects of plant biology. The research programs in MPS are dynamic, well-funded, and productive. The result is a program that provides graduate students with enormous flexibility and many opportunities for growth throughout their training. As you explore the program, you will discover the range of research opportunities available as a new graduate student. More importantly, however, is the commitment of our faculty to students and their success.

WSU offers superb training and individual attention from outstanding scientists. The quality of our program attracts some of the best young scientists in the world. These people, your peers, will make a significant contribution to your development as a scientist and go on to become your close friends and colleagues. MPS students receive financial support via training grants, individual research grants, predoctoral fellowships, and teaching assistantships. As a first-year student you will have the opportunity to visit several different labs and spend a few weeks in each in order to make an informed choice in pursuing the science that interests you most. Alternatively, you may be eligible for a track of study in which you immediately begin research with a specific faculty member in the program as you complete the required coursework.

WSU is the land-grant university for Washington State and enrolls approximately 22,000 students, including 3,500 graduate students. The University is situated in the midst of the rolling hills of the Palouse country of southeastern Washington, an important agricultural area in the Pacific Northwest. Pullman and the neighboring town of Moscow, Idaho, home of the University of Idaho, together offer a wide range of cultural and recreational opportunities including seasonal farmers markets and the Lionel Hampton International Jazz Festival.

Students enjoy many outdoor activities such as skiing, backpacking, mountain climbing, camping, rock climbing, kayaking, rafting, and canoeing. For the hunter/gatherer the area offers outstanding fishing and hunting as well as mushroom collecting, berry picking, fossils, and gemstones. All of these activities are accessible in nearby wilderness and wildlife areas, including the Wallowa and Blue Mountains; Coeur d’Alene, Pend Oreille and Priest Lakes; the Columbia, Snake, Salmon, and Clearwater Rivers; and national, state, and county parks. Closer to home, the community’s social services, medical care facilities, and public schools are excellent. The grandeur of the Pacific Northwest and the quality of science done in Molecular Plant Sciences combine to make WSU a truly amazing place to pursue your graduate degree.

Michael M. Neff
Graduate Program in Molecular Plant Sciences

Michael Neff, Chair of Molecular Plant Sciences