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Plant Pathology: Academic Programs

Graduate Student Manual

The purpose of this manual is to introduce students to the Department's operating procedures and policies. The information provided on specific program requirements and deadlines is intended to supplement but not supersede requirements and deadlines of the Graduate School. Each student is personally responsible for meeting all requirements and deadlines for his/her program of study. Regular consultations with the Major Professor and the Departmental Graduate Coordinator as well as the Graduate Records Office are imperative and are the responsibility of each student.

See Also:  Graduate Student Manual in pdf format, Current Graduate Student Checklist


Graduate Programs in Plant Pathology

General Information


Departmental Policies & Guidelines

Pertinent Graduate School Policies

Miscellaneous Information


Students are expected to read this manual carefully and understand their obligations. Each student has the primary responsibility for meeting all requirements and deadlines for his/her degree program.

Overview and Goals
The Department of Plant Pathology at The University of Georgia offers extraordinary opportunities to graduate students interested in plant pathology. The Department is composed of a large faculty with diverse expertise located at the university campus in Athens, the Coastal Plain Experiment Station campus in Tifton and the Georgia Experiment Station campus in Griffin. Areas of study are available in all aspects of plant pathology. The department emphasizes quality of graduate education in the classroom, laboratory and field. Faculty maintain high standards and work closely with students to provide maximum individual attention. The Department offers three graduate programs leading to M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in plant pathology and a professional M.P.P.P.M. (Master of Plant Protection and Pest Management) degree. Requirements for the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees include programs of graduate course work, a thesis/dissertation documenting original independent research projects, and comprehensive examinations. The M.P.P.P.M. is a non-thesis, multidisciplinary program designed for the practical application of integrated pest management.

Degree Programs
The M.S. and Ph.D. degrees are traditional academic degree programs emphasizing the development of scientists who will be competitive for positions in the public and private sectors. The reward of this intensive period of scholastic activity is the potential of making significant contributions to science, agriculture, and industry. Specific requirements for the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees are outlined later in this manual. M.P.P.P.M. students should visit for more information regarding their program. However any M.P.P.P.M. student who is on an assistantship should refer to the section in the handbook concerning registration during final semester.




Graduate School Bulletin
The information presented in this Graduate Student Manual is intended to supplement, but not supersede, the Graduate Bulletin and the Graduate School Policies & Procedures. Students should become familiar with the Graduate School regulations and policies contained in these online publications.

Student Obligations
Students are expected to arrange regular consultations with their Major Professor. The Graduate Coordinator is a resource to facilitate keeping the graduate program on schedule, but it is the student’s responsibility to meet all requirements and deadlines to complete the degree in a timely manner. As University of Georgia employees, graduate students supported on either departmental assistantships or research grants are expected to be at work each day that the university is open for business. If an individual needs to be away from work on any day(s) other than official university holidays, the individual first must obtain permission from her or his major professor. In the case of illness or emergency situations that result in the absence of an individual from work, it is the individual's responsibility to inform his or her Major Professor of the absence(s) as soon as possible

Academic Honesty
Academic integrity is an adherence to a high standard of values regarding life and work in an academic community. Pursuit of knowledge and creation of an atmosphere conducive to learning are both definite aspects of academic integrity, but its basis lies in the standard of honesty. Specific regulations governing student academic conduct are described at and should be consulted to avoid misunderstanding. Penalties for not adhering to the Academic Honesty policy are severe and can lead to dismissal.

Graduate students whose assistantship is funded through a Federal grant must complete Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) training. Although this is not currently a requirement for students supported by other funding sources, completion of this training module is strongly encouraged for all Plant Pathology graduate students. The training can be accessed online via UGA’s Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) Login Page.



Complete registration instructions are included in the Athena online student registration system and The University of Georgia Schedule of Classes for each semester. All currently enrolled students are urged to preregister. The basic registration procedures are described in Athena, and important deadlines for each semester are listed. New students registering for the first time should obtain necessary registration information from the Major Professor and Graduate Coordinator. Schedule changes (Drop/Add) can only be made during the first week of classes (check Athena for the exact dates). The student must obtain the approval of the Major Professor so that changes are in accordance with the formal Program of Study.

Course Load Limitations
A graduate student using University facilities and/or staff time must register for a minimum of 3 hours of credit each semester. A plant pathology M.S. or Ph.D. student on an assistantship must register for a minimum of 18 credit hours for each semester they are on assistantship.
The maximum course load for any graduate student is 18 credit hours.

Registration During Final Semester
The Graduate School requires that students must be registered during the semester in which they complete all degree requirements. The requirement is for at least 3 semester hours for students not on an assistantship and 18 hours for plant pathology M.S. and Ph.D. students on assistantships. However, M.P.P.P.M. students who are not on an assistantship may register for 1 credit hour (PATH 6130) if the internship is their final degree requirement. Once degree requirements have been completed (i.e., final version of the thesis/dissertation approved and submitted to the Graduate School, defense passed, exit seminar given), no further registration is required, even if the official graduation date is in a following semester.



Departmental Graduate Studies Committee
The Departmental Graduate Studies Committee is headed by the Graduate Coordinator and comprised of six faculty members (including the Graduate Coordinator). Primary responsibilities are as follows: (1) to supervise and recommend changes in departmental policies affecting graduate programs, (2) to recruit students, (3) to act as an admissions committee, (4) to maintain appropriate records on current and past students, (5) to counsel students, (6) to act as a liaison with the Graduate School, (7) to act as a grievance committee for matters relating to the graduate program, and (8) to select the awardees of the K. E. Papa Outstanding PhD. Graduate Student and the Kedric Kuhn Outstanding M.S. Graduate Student Awards each year. Membership is rotated among the faculty with terms of three years. Normal relations of graduate students with the Department are carried on through the Major Professor and the Advisory Committee, but students may consult the Graduate Coordinator or the Graduate Studies Committee at any time.

Major Professor and Advisory Committee
The advisory committee for M.S. students will consist of the Major Professor and at least two other faculty members and should be appointed before the completion of the first semester of residence. For Ph.D. students this committee will consist of the Major Professor and three or more other faculty members who must be appointed by the completion of the first year of residence. If a student has two co-major professors, they will be counted the same as one major professor on the committee. At least two members of the Ph.D. committee must be regular (i.e., non-adjunct) faculty members in the Department of Plant Pathology. Some students may do all or part of their thesis/dissertation research at the Griffin or Tifton campuses. To make the transition as smooth as possible, the student may haveCo-Major Professors at two different locations or a member of the advisory committee may be assigned to counsel the student while at a location away from the Major Professor.

Academic Background (deficiencies and prerequisites)
A student who satisfies all basic requirements, but whose background in pertinent biological or plant sciences is inadequate, must enroll for selected undergraduate courses to address deficiencies. A common deficiency is an introductory plant pathology course with a laboratory, and incoming students must enroll in PATH 3530/3530L if they cannot show that they have had the equivalent (no graduate credit is given for this course, and it cannot be listed on the Program of Study).

Programs of Study for the M.S. and Ph.D. Degrees
Graduate School regulations require each M.S. student to submit, on the proper form, a proposed Program of Study at the very latest by the Friday of the second full week of classes of the semester in which degree requirements are completed. Exception: If degree requirements will be completed during the summer term, the program of study will be due by Friday of the first full week of classes in that semester. This program must be approved by the major professor, Graduate Coordinator and the Dean of the Graduate School and must include: 1) 3 hours of PATH 7000 (thesis research), 2) 3 hours of PATH 7300 (thesis writing), (3) a total of not less than 24 semester hours of graduate courses, excluding thesis research (PATH 7000) and thesis writing (PATH 7300), (4) at least 12 of which must be in courses open only to graduate students, although classes open to both undergraduate and graduate students which have only graduate students registered can also count. Credits from courses such as GRSC 7770, GRSC 9270, and ELAN 7768/7769 do not count toward the 24-hour minimum. At least half of the 24 hours of formal course work must be in graduate courses in Plant Pathology. A grade point average of 3.0 must be maintained on all graduate courses taken, and no grade below 2.0 will be accepted as part of a Program of Study.

For Ph.D. students, a preliminary program of study, developed by the major professor and the doctoral student and approved by a majority of the advisory committee, will be submitted to the graduate coordinator by the end of the student's first year of residence. The program of study should consist of 16 or more hours of 8000-level courses in addition to research, dissertation writing, and directed study. It must be approved by the Graduate Coordinator and the Dean of the Graduate School. This program must include all course work to be applied to the degree and must include 3 hours of PATH 9000 (dissertation research) and 3 hours of PATH 9300 (dissertation writing). The specific number of hours required for the Ph.D. degree is determined by the student's advisory committee; however, the Graduate School expects a minimum of 24 credit hours, in addition to PATH 9000 and 9300. At least 12 hours of course work in Plant Pathology is required. Credits from courses such as GRSC 7770, GRSC 9270, and ELAN 7768/7769 do not count toward the 24-hour minimum. The student must maintain an average of 3.0 or higher on all graduate courses taken. No grade below 2.0 is acceptable for courses on the Program of Study.

Specific required courses :
The following courses are required for all Plant Pathology M.S. and Ph.D. students (in addition to the PATH 7000, 9000, 7300, and 9300 minima mentioned above):

  • PATH 8000: 2 credit hours in PATH 8000 (Field Plant Pathology) must be completed (1 credit for summer semester and 1 credit for fall semester–not necessarily within the same year). No more than 2 hours of PATH 8000 may be completed for credit during a student’s tenure at UGA, whether completing a M.S. or Ph.D. or both.
  • PATH 8150: M.S. students are required to complete 1 hour of PATH 8150 (Plant Pathology Graduate Seminar) and Ph.D. students are required to complete 2 hours of PATH 8150. See "Seminars" section below for more information.
  • PATH 8170 (Plant Pathology Graduate Colloquium): Students must register for this course every semester, and give one presentation per academic year unless presenting in departmental seminar (PATH 8150) during the same academic year. Maximum credit that can be applied in the Program of Study: 2 and 3 credits for M.S. and Ph.D. students, respectively.
  • GSRC 7770: All students must complete GRSC 7770 (Graduate Teaching Seminar) prior to or concurrently with their first teaching assignment. See "Teaching Experience" section below for more information.
  • PATH 8160: Each student must register for 1 credit hour of PATH 8160 (Special Topics in Plant Pathology) each semester he or she serves as a teaching assistant.

Desired Learning Outcomes
In developing the Program of Study, the objective is to achieve the following learning outcomes.

1. A good (M.S., M.P.P.P.M.) or comprehensive (Ph.D.) understanding of the discipline of plant pathology.
2. A comprehensive (M.S., M.P.P.P.M.) or an excellent (Ph.D.) knowledge pertaining to your Thesis/Internship or Dissertation topic.
3.  The ability to design and conduct experiments using appropriate methods and equipment to achieve specific research objectives.
4. The skills to critically analyze results and propose creative solutions for problems related to your research.
5. Effective verbal skills to communicate with peers and the public in both formal and informal settings.
6. Effective writing skills to communicate your ideas, results and/or recommendations to your peers and the public.
7. Basic instructional or pedagogical skills.
8. Effectively managing your time and resources by prioritizing and scheduling tasks.
9. The ability to engage in collaborative research, including interdisciplinary work.
10. Prepared for the next step in your desired career path.

Suggested Core Curriculum:
The following is a suggested core curriculum for the M.S. and Ph.D. programs in Plant Pathology. The purpose of this section is to assist graduate students and advising faculty in planning a student's program of study. The sections listed below in the Suggested Core are intended to provide each student a well-rounded academic program. In addition to this suggested core, students are encouraged to design a program of study with courses from other departments that specifically aid them in their particular interests. Some of the most pertinent departments for course offerings would likely be: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology; Bioinformatics; Cellular Biology; Crop and Soil Sciences; Ecology; Entomology; Genetics; Horticulture; Microbiology; Plant Biology; and Statistics. For a complete listing of the graduate level courses taught in the Department of Plant Pathology click here.

Suggested Core

  • Area A - (3 or more hours) Disease Diagnosis and Management.
    PATH 4280/6280-4280L/6280L Diagnosis and Management
    PATH 8410 Advanced Plant Disease Management
  • Area B - (1 or more hours) Practical Plant Pathology.
    PATH 8000 Field Plant Pathology (2 credit hours required)
    PATH 8300 Clinical Plant Pathology
    PATH 8160 Special Topics: Career Development
  • Area C - (6 or more hours) Organismal Plant Pathology.
    PATH 6200-6200L Mycology
    PATH 6250-6250L Plant Nematology
    PATH 6290-6290L Plant Bacteriology
    PATH 6350 Plant Virology
  • Area D - (3 or more hours) Concepts and Skills in Plant Pathology.
    PATH 8400 Host Pathogen Interactions
    PATH 8310-8310L Epidemiology
    (PATH) 8960 Genetics of Yeast & Filamentous Fungi

Yearly Progress Reports
Annually at the beginning of Spring Semester, each student is expected to provide an updated report of their progress to the Department Head. The format of the requested information will be provided to the student by the Department Head. Progress reports from all students in the department are reviewed by the faculty to track students’ progress in completing their degree program in a timely manner, and to determine to what extent the learning objectives identified by the department are met.

Transition from M.S. to Ph.D. degree:
In general, students without an M.S. degree are not admitted directly into the Ph.D. program in Plant Pathology. Exceptions can be made for incoming students nominated for highly prestigious university-wide fellowships, such as the Presidential Graduate Fellowship or the Graduate School Assistantship. In some instances it is possible for a student admitted into the M.S. degree to work directly toward a Ph.D. degree.Students applying to transition from the M.S. to Ph. D. programs must submit a written request for this transition to the graduate coordinator.This request must be supported by the student’s major professor. The student must first be accepted in the M.S. program and have completed at least one, but not more than three, academic semester(s) of graduate work (not counting summer semesters).Transfer to the Ph.D. must be completed by the end of the fourth semester of study.

The following criteria must also be met:

1) A minimum graduate GPA in the Plant Pathology program of 3.3 (corresponding to a B+ average).

2) The student’s doctoral research proposal must be completed and submitted to his or her advisory committee and the departmental Graduate Studies Committee. The doctoral proposal must also be presented in a formal departmental seminar.

3) The written doctoral proposal and proposal seminar must be approved by both the student’s advisory committee and the departmental Graduate Studies Committee by a positive majority vote. Criteria to be considered are the student's understanding of his or her doctoral research project in the broader context of the existing literature, the proposed methodology and potential alternative approaches and pitfalls, and the degree to which she/he has contributed her/his own ideas to the conception and/or execution of the project.

All program of study requirements specific for doctoral students who hold the M.S. degree must also be met by students who proceed directly into the Ph.D. program. It is the responsibility of the Major Professor to identify funding for the student beyond the M.S. program.

Plant Pathology M.S. and Ph.D. students are required to attend each departmental seminar, even if they are not registered for PATH 8150 in that semester. Students must be registered for Graduate Seminar (PATH 8150) during the semesters they present seminars. Specific procedures and guidelines for seminar can be obtained from the seminar chair. M.S. Students: One seminar (exit or thesis defense seminar) required. This seminar can be scheduled outside the regular seminar series if necessary but, if possible, should be presented on the same day as the final oral examination/defense. Ph.D. Students: Two seminars are required. The first seminar will be a research proposal seminar, and the second will be part of the dissertation defense. Procedures and Guidelines can be viewed here.

Teaching Experience
Supervised experiences in research and college teaching are indispensable components in the training of graduate students and should form an integral part of each degree program. The Major Professor and Advisory Committee will determine the nature of the supervised experiences. However, all M.S. and PhD. students are expected to be a teaching assistant in an assigned course for at least one semester during a degree program. Additional teaching assistant requirements are needed if student is on departmental assistantship. The student will register for 1 credit hour of PATH 8160 (Special Topics in Plant Pathology) each semester he or she serves as a teaching assistant.

Each student must complete GRSC 7770 (Graduate Teaching Seminar) prior to or concurrently with their first teaching assignment. Additional instruction-related courses required from international graduate students (those who had to submit TOEFL results to enter UGA) depend on their speaking score in the TOEFL iBT:

  • Students with a speaking score of 26 or higher need to complete no instruction-related courses in addition to GRSC 7770.
  • Students with a speaking score of 23-24 must complete a 3-credit-hour language and cultural orientation course (currently identified as LLED 7769).
  • Students with a speaking score of 20-22 must successfully complete a 3-credit-hour language skills course (currently identified as LLED 7768) before enrolling in LLED 7769 and GRSC 7770.

Outreach / Recruiting Experience
Supervised experiences in public outreach and recruiting are important as graduate students become prepared for their professional responsibilities after graduation, and thus are considered an integral part of each degree program. Hence, all M.S. and Ph.D. students are expected to participate in a minimum of one outreach or recruiting event per year. The time requirement for the event is not expected to exceed one day. The Education Program Specialist in the Department will coordinate these activities to accommodate the schedules of students in a fair and equitable manner.

Graduate Assistantships
Graduate students provided with assistantships are expected to conduct research and/or provide teaching assistance. Graduate assistantships are <0.50 EFT, i.e. students are not considered full-time employees and do not accrue annual leave. The normal length of departmental assistantship support is 2 and 3 years for M.S. and Ph.D. programs, respectively, but support may continue for longer periods with grant funds. With proper justification, longer periods of departmental support may be requested by the Major Professor and the advisory committee.

Research assignments for Graduate Research Assistants are made by the student's major professor and advisory committee. Portions of this research required for the assistantship may be used in partial fulfillment for the requirements for a degree. Assistantships may be terminated for unsatisfactory performance such as low grades or lack of commitment to research and teaching responsibilities.

Students provided department-funded assistantships are expected to serve as Teaching Assistants annually as well as conduct research. M.S. and MPPPM students on departmental assistantships are expected to assist up to 3 times over the course of 2 years. Ph.D. students on departmental assistantship assist up to 5 times in 3 years. The Graduate Coordinator, in consultation with the Department Head, is responsible for assigning Teaching Assistants to particular courses and professors, and is responsible for balancing the amount of service provided with the amount budgeted. The instructor of record of the course is responsible for evaluating the performance of each teaching assistant. Examples of assistance provided by TAs include: (1) preparation of lab materials, (2) set-up and take down of laboratory apparatus and materials; (3) teach laboratory sections; (4) conduct question-answer sessions with students; (5) give one or more lectures; (6) monitor and grade examinations. Students specifically interested in enhancing their teaching skills should explore, in consultation with their major professor and advisory committee, Graduate School resources such as the Teaching Portfolio Program or the Interdisciplinary Certificate in University Teaching as they are developing their Program of Study.

Major Academic Examinations
The following major academic exams/defenses are given in the Department: 1) the M.S. final oral exam/thesis defense, 2) the Ph.D. comprehensive (qualifying) exam, 3) the Ph.D. dissertation defense; and 4) the M.P.P.P.M, final exam. These exams are administered by each student's advisory committee. Guidelines for these exams/defenses are as follows.

  1. M.S. oral exam/thesis defense.
    This exam/defense focuses primarily on aspects of a student’s thesis. However, it also should explore a student’s overall knowledge of the subject matter covered in her/his program of study. All members of the advisory committee must be present for the entire exam. For successful completion of the exam/defense there can be no more than one negative vote. The Major Professor's/Co-Major Professor's vote of approval is required for the student to pass the examination. If two or more negative votes are received, the exam/defense may be administered a second time. The time of the second exam/defense is established by the advisory committee. Failure to pass the second exam/thesis defense will result in dismissal from the M. S. program.

  2. Ph.D. comprehensive (qualifying) exam.
    Each Ph.D. student must pass a formal, comprehensive written and oral qualifying examination before being admitted to candidacy. This examination is administered by the student's Advisory Committee.
    • The written portion of the exam is given after a student has completed the bulk of his/her course work and consists of questions submitted to a student's Major Professor by members of the Advisory Committee. Each committee member will submit one or more questions that can be answered in a four-hour block of time. Depending upon the committee members wish, her/his portion of the exam may be either closed or open book. The Major Professor is responsible for administrating the exam over a five-day period of time. The Major Professor will collect the student's answers to each portion of the exam and give them to the appropriate committee member for grading which shall be done on a Pass/Fail basis. A student may fail one portion of the exam and still proceed to the oral portion of the exam. If two or more portions of the written exam are failed, a student may be given one additional opportunity to retake the failed portions of the exam. The committee members involved will be asked to submit new questions for the exam. Any retesting must be completed within one month of the date of the original exam. Failure to pass more than one portion of the second examination will result in dismissal from the Ph.D. program.

      • The oral portion of the Ph.D. comprehensive (qualifying) exam is open to all members of the faculty and shall be announced by the Graduate School. The Graduate Coordinator must notify the Graduate School in writing of the time and place of the exam at least two weeks before the date of the exam. During this exam a student must demonstrate significant depth of understanding of both subject matter within the department as well as methodologies and literature relating to the dissertation research project. A careful examination of a student's dissertation prospectus (written proposal) may precede or follow the oral exam but may not take the place of the oral portion of the exam. All members of the advisory committee must be present for the entire duration of the oral exam. A student may advance to candidacy with one negative vote by a member of the advisory committee. The Major Professor's/Co-Major Professor's vote of approval is required for the student to pass the examination. If there are two or more negative votes a student may be allowed to repeat the entire oral exam one time. The date of the second exam is determined by the advisory committee but must be within one month of the date of the original oral exam. Failure to pass the second examination will result in dismissal from the Ph.D. program.

  3. Ph.D. Dissertation Defense. Ideally, the dissertation defense for a Ph.D. student should be held the same day as student's defense (exit) seminar. If this is not possible,then the defense should be held within one month of the defense seminar. Exceptions to this rule may be made by a student's Advisory Committee. The date of the defense must be reported to the Graduate School by the Graduate Coordinator at least two weeks prior to the exam. The dissertation can be approved with one negative vote. The Major Professor/Co-Major Professor's vote of approval is required for the student to pass the examination. If there are two or more negatives votes, a student may repeat the defense a second time. The date of the second defense is determined by the Advisory Committee. Failure to pass the second defense will result in dismissal from the Ph.D. program.

Thesis or dissertation:

Each student working toward a research degree must submit a thesis or dissertation research proposal (prospectus) for the research to the Major Professor and Advisory Committee. An M.S. student should submit a proposal during the second semester as a graduate student at the University, and a Ph.D. student should submit a proposal during the third semester. The proposal will include (1) rationale for undertaking work, (2) literature review, (3) objectives, (4) procedures, and (5) literature cited. It will be the responsibility of the student's Advisory Committee to help the student plan the proposal as well as to evaluate it after it is completed. The purpose of the proposal is to provide a specific outline to guide the student in the research. However, as the student progresses with the research, it may be necessary to change the direction of the proposal; the student should feel free to make any changes that will improve the research and that are acceptable to the Advisory Committee. The dissertation research proposal must be approved before a prospective doctoral candidate can be admitted to candidacy.

Candidates for an M.S. or Ph.D. degree must submit the thesis or dissertation to the Major Professor for approval and recommendations. Thereafter, a near final form of the thesis or dissertation will be prepared and submitted to the Advisory Committee at least two weeks prior to the final oral exam. The final draft may be prepared after the examination. The thesis is a requirement for the M.S. degree. The dissertation is the final component of a series of academic experiences which culminate in the awarding of the Ph.D. degree. The thesis or dissertation fulfills four major functions: (1) it presents original research or scholarship, (2) it demonstrates the student's ability to understand and critically evaluate the literature of the field, (3) it reflects the student's mastery of appropriate research methods and tools, and (4) it shows that the student can address a major problem, arrive at successful conclusions, and report the results in a written document. The findings of a thesis or dissertation should be worthy of publication in a refereed journal or other scholarly medium.

General Requirements
The dissertation or thesis may be written in either the traditional or the manuscript styles described below. In both styles, there must be an introduction and a literature review with the purposes of: defining problems, presenting hypotheses or theories, stating objectives, and thoroughly reviewing pertinent literature. In both styles, there must be a concluding chapter or section which unites the preceding chapters or sections and which may consist of a general discussion integrating the major findings. In the manuscript style, the introduction, literature review, and concluding chapter or section will be presented separately from their briefer presentation in each manuscript to allow thoroughness not usually permitted by space limitations in scientific journals.

Acceptable Styles for the Thesis/Dissertation
Visit the Electronic Thesis and Dissertation website for answers to frequently asked questions about the mechanics of formatting, converting, and submitting electronic theses and dissertation.

  1. The Traditional Style:
    The traditional style, in addition to an introduction and literature review, may include materials and methods, results, discussion, summary or heading abstract, literature cited, and figures and tables, as appropriate to the student's discipline. The format of the dissertation or thesis will be in conformity with the style manual or guide approved by the student's department and the Graduate School, as well as with the Graduate School dissertation and thesis manual. Documentation and format must be consistent throughout the dissertation or thesis.
  2. The Manuscript Style:
    The manuscript style permits, the inclusion of one or more manuscripts, submitted or to be submitted to scholarly journals, as chapters or sections of the dissertation or thesis. Each manuscript must be prepared in the style of the appropriate scientific journal, but instructions peculiar to submission of manuscripts to editors must be eliminated. Each manuscript must blend appropriately with the other parts of the dissertation or thesis, with the exception of the particular differences required by journals (e.g., literature citations, table designations). Paper with numbered lines, as required by some journals, will not be used. Captions must accompany each figure on either the same or facing page of each manuscript. No reprints or photocopies of reprints will be permitted. If the manuscript style is used, the student must be the first author of each manuscript. The names of all authors, in journal-submitted order, and the name of the journal (with volume, page numbers, and date, if known) must be given as a footnote to the title on the first page of each manuscript, to indicate the current status of each manuscript. Continuous pagination is required throughout the dissertation or thesis. The usual requirements for margins, consistency in chapter or section titles, and other mechanics as specified in the Graduate School dissertation and thesis manual will apply. Theses/dissertations may be submitted to the Graduate School electronically. For details see the following website: Electronic Thesis and Dissertation website.

Each graduating M.S. or Ph.D. student is expected to deposit one hard-bound copy of his/her thesis or dissertation in the Plant Pathology departmental library in the Plant Sciences Building on the Athens campus. The need for additional hard copies (e.g., for the Tifton or Griffin libraries and/or the student's committee members) is at the discretion of the major professor and advisory committee. Thesis/ dissertation print orders may be submitted to Tate Student Center Print & Copy Services.

Other Relevant Departmental Policies and Regulations

In-state and Out-of-State Travel and Availability of Financial Support
Payment of travel expenses for students to scientific meetings is dependent primarily on availability of funds in the Major Professor’s research or extension program. In some cases the department may be able to supplement students’ travel expenses to scientific conferences. It is the intent and priority of the department that travel for a Ph.D. student presenting a paper at a national meeting be supported at least once during the student's program of study. Additionally, all students should have the opportunity to participate in the annual meeting of the Georgia Association of Plant Pathologists. However, not all incurred expenses during the travel period can be covered by departmental funds.  

Students who plan on requesting department support to attend the Annual Meeting of the American Phytopathological Society (APS) are expected to apply for an APS Student Travel Award. In addition to departmental funds, the Graduate School also has limited funds to assist Ph.D. student travel to present papers at professional conferences within the United States. Requests should be initiated as soon as possible by contacting the Graduate Coordinator. For current regulations on travel see the Graduate School site at

All travel must be approved prior to making a trip. In-state travel must be approved by the Major Professor. Out-of-state travel (e.g., international, national or regional meetings) requires university approval. Failure to obtain approval prior to travel may result in no reimbursement for expenses.

Supplies, Equipment, and Greenhouse Facilities
As a rule, departmental resources such as state vehicles, color printers, photocopiers, departmental mail service, and office supplies are to be used for official purposes only (no personal use). Official purpose does not include office supplies and photocopying (department or library) needed for classes in which a student is enrolled. These are personal supplies and expenses that a student should pay.

Students shall have access to supplies, equipment, and greenhouse facilities, and lab or field facilities for the conduct of their research. If special equipment, supplies, labor, or transportation are needed, arrangements shall be made with the major professor. Faculty members must be consulted if equipment or supplies are needed from their laboratory. Classroom laboratory supplies are not to be removed from the teaching laboratories for use in a student’s research or other purpose. Special regulations for use of facilities will be formulated as needs arise. Students also should become familiar with guidelines for greenhouse use in the handout entitled "Care and Maintenance of Plant Pathology Greenhouse Complexes"

Office Staff
Our office staff is available to assist with the following items: obtaining keys and office space, information pertaining to your graduate program (such as registering, removing flags, add/ drop), petty cash, travel vouchers, purchase orders, mail, faxes, and inquiries relating to telephone usage. Any personnel and budgetary questions should be directed to the financial staff.

Campus and U.S. mail is delivered to the Department daily, Monday through Friday and is placed in your assigned mailbox in a timely manner. Outgoing mail is collected each morning by campus personnel. Do not have personal mail sent to your departmental address.

Research and instruction materials related to as student’s duties as a teaching assistant may be photocopied in the departmental office at no charge.

A Plant Pathology graduate student computer lab is available for student use, as well as the first floor Miller Plant Science Building computer lab. Students are expected to have their own laptop or appropriate device for routine word processing, presentations, etc. There is limited availability of laptops, projectors and digital cameras for check-out through the outreach coordinator for official university business.

Contact the office manager in Room 2105 for any keys to the Miller Plant Sciences Building needed for your research or teaching needs. The Department will furnish your first set of keys. However, duplication of any lost key will result in the charge to you of $3.00/key. Keys must be returned when you leave the department.

Use of State Vehicles
Graduate students may drive state vehicles only if they have a valid driver's license and permission of their major professor.  Furthermore, the University of Georgia now requires a Motor Vehicle Record (MVR) check to be completed for each employee driving a state vehicle. Under these conditions, insurance policies covering University vehicles will be in effect. Personal use of state vehicles is not permitted. See major professors regarding fuel and fuel expenses. Individuals not directly involved in the University program (e.g., spouses, children, relatives, etc.) are not permitted as drivers or passengers in UGA vehicles.



Academic Probation and Dismissal
A student with a cumulative graduate course average below 3.0 for two consecutive semesters goes on academic probation. The student then must make a 3.0 or better average each succeeding semester. The student is no longer on probation when the cumulative average is 3.0 or above. Dismissal will result if a student makes below a 3.0 semester average while on probation. When a student repeats a course, the last grade will be utilized to calculate the cumulative average that is used for probation, dismissal and graduation.

Grades of Incomplete
Students must remove an "I" grade within three semesters (including summer) in residence or it becomes an "F".

Degree Activities Abroad
If your graduate program entails conducting research abroad, you must contact the UGA Office of International Education (OIE) prior to departure. OIE staff will provide you information sheet/list of websites and resources, an insurance enrollment form (mandatory if student is getting credit, otherwise optional), and a waiver to sign..

Admission to Candidacy
Master's Students:No form required for Master’s students.
Ph.D. Students: No student is a formal candidate for a degree until Admission to Candidacy is approved. The appropriate form is typically submitted when the student passes his or her oral comprehensive exam.
The student may be admitted to candidacy when:
1. The Program of Study has been approved.
2. The advisory committee, including any necessary changes in the membership, is confirmed and all its members have been notified of their appointment.
3. Any requirements set as prerequisite for admission have been completed.
4. A dissertation proposal (prospectus) has been approved.
5. The average on all graduate courses taken is 3.0 or higher and there is no grade below 2.0 for any course on the Program of Study.
6. Preliminary written and oral examinations have been passed and reported to the Graduate School.
7. The residence requirement has been met.
After admission to candidacy, a student on assistantship must register for 18 semester hours of dissertation or other appropriate graduate credit during the completion of the degree program. A student not on assistantship must register for a minimum of 3 hours of credit in any semester when using university facilities, and or faculty/staff time.

Application for Graduation
Students may graduate at the end of any of the three semesters. An application for graduation must be filed with the Graduate School no later than Friday of the second full week (the first full week for summer) of classes in the semester of the anticipated graduation date. To avoid a $50 late, complete graduation application according to deadlines of the Grad School. You may now apply online in Athena.

Time Limits
Initial time limit (before candidacy): All requirements for the degree, except the dissertation and final oral examination, must be completed within a period of six years. This time requirement dates from the beginning of the semester during which the first course on the program of study was taken. Time limit for Ph.D. candidates: A candidate for the doctoral degree who fails to take the final oral examination (dissertation defense) within five years after passing the qualifying examinations and being admitted to candidacy will be required to take another preliminary examination and be admitted to candidacy a second time.


Which Form to Use -- and When

The title of the form is given below in caps. All forms are available online under "Forms" in the "Current Students" section of the Graduate School home page.

Student's meeting deadlines must allow ample time to obtain the necessary departmental approval and signatures.

    Submit this form to the Graduate Coordinator within 2 semesters of admission.
    Submit these forms to the Graduate Coordinator within 3 semesters after entering graduate school.
  • (0-3 Semesters) PRELIMINARY PROGRAM OF STUDY (Ph.D. only)
    Submit this form with one page summary of proposed research, to Graduate Coordinator within 3 semesters.
  • (Prior to Oral Comprehensive Exam) FINAL DOCTORAL PROGRAM OF STUDY
    Submit this form to Graduate Coordinator prior to scheduling the oral comprehensive exam.
    The Graduate School sends this form to the Graduate Coordinator when the Graduate School has been notified that the oral exam has been scheduled. (The Graduate Coordinator must notify the Graduate School of the exam date at least two weeks before the exam.) The Graduate Coordinator sends copies of the completed form back to the Graduate School.
    This form is submitted to the Graduate Coordinator with the above report on comprehensive exam results. The residency requirement must have been completed before filing this application.
  • (Within the first 2 weeks of the semester of graduation) APPLICATION FOR GRADUATION
    Submit this form electronically to the Graduate School the same semester that you plan to graduate. Completing degree requirements and graduation are not synonymous. The student must be registered during the semester in which degree requirements are completed, but need not actually graduate until the following semester. If the student wants to graduate in the same semester in which degree requirements are completed, he/she must submit the thesis or dissertation to the Graduate School for approval at least two weeks before the graduation date and must submit the thesis or dissertation approval form to the Graduate School at least one week before the graduation date. However, if the student does not meet these deadlines, he/she is considered registered until the registration period for the next semester and may use that additional time to submit the thesis or dissertation and the approval form. Registration for the subsequent semester will not be required and a letter will be received from the Graduate School stating that all degree requirements have been met and that graduation will occur that subsequent semester.
    Once the student's graduate committee approves the thesis and the student passes the final oral exam (thesis defense), one copy of this completed form is sent to the Graduate School by the major professor.
    Once the student's graduate committee approves the dissertation and the student passes the final oral exam (dissertation defense), one copy of this completed form is sent to the Graduate School by the major professor.



Library Opportunities
All science books and journals are housed in the Science Library in the Boyd Graduate Studies Research Center. Books may be checked out for 2 weeks: journals may not be taken out except by faculty. However most journals are available electronically to all UGA personnel via the E-Journals link on the UGA Library home page. Books and journals that are not in the library may be obtained through the Interlibrary Loan Service. Request for this service can be made online by searching for "Interlibrary Loan" on the UGA Library home page. All requests for this service must be approved by your Major Professor. If you encounter books or journals needed for your research or course work that are not in the library, please pass this information on to the Library via the "Request a Purchase" option under the "Services" link on the UGA Library homepage. Study carrels are available to graduate students that are intended for students in the process of writing their theses or dissertation.  Carrels are assigned on a semester basis and requests for carrel assignment should be made to the Circulation Librarian.

Society of Aspiring Plant Pathologists
The purpose of the Society of Aspiring Pathologists shall be to foster relations among students, post-doctoral associates, and faculty in the department of Plant Pathology at the University of Georgia. This organization also aims to improve the quality of graduate and postdoctoral programs in the department and betterment of student teaching as well as professional development.

Other organizations available to students
There are numerous organizations available to students at the University of Georgia (, including the University Graduate Student Association ( and Graduate Students and Postdocs in Science (

Kenneth E. Papa Graduate Student Award
The Georgia Association of Plant Pathologists (GAPP) presents an annual Kenneth E. Papa and Cedric Kuhn Graduate Student Award to recognize excellence in the pursuit of graduate studies at the Ph.D. and M.S. levels, respectively, in the Department of Plant Pathology. Both of these awards include a memento of recognition and a monetary gift. The name of the students selected will also be added to a large permanent plaque in the departmental conference room in Athens. Additionally, GAPP will recognize the outstanding graduate student presentation at its annual meeting and will award a memento of recognition.

  • Procedure for Nomination and Selection
    The Department faculty and graduate students are asked to nominate students for the awards. At least 1 year of graduate study at the University of Georgia has to be completed before a student can be nominated. A brief (two page) letter describing the outstanding qualities of the nominee should be submitted with the nomination. The nominations should be submitted to the Graduate Coordinator upon request. The Graduate Studies Committee, chaired by the Graduate Coordinator, will judge the nominees.
  • Criteria for Selection
    The following criteria will be used to evaluate the nominees and the resume should be addressed to these criteria. These criteria represent personal goals that each student should work towards in the pursuit of their graduate education. The weight each criterion will receive in the overall evaluation is given in parentheses.
      • Scholarship (25%): 1) graduate record at UGA, 2) instructor evaluations.
      • Professionalism (25%): 1) dedication, 2) motivation, 3) leadership potential, 4) teaching or other job potential, and 5) participation in professional society activities.
      • Internship or Research Performance (25%): 1) independence, 2) innovative talent, 3) initiative, 4) organization, 5) ability to write and/or verbally express ideas.
      • Seminar Presentations and Recent Awards and Honors (25%).

E. Broadus Browne Award
The College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES) yearly recognizes the contributions of graduate students to the research programs in the College. The E. Broadus Browne Awards are given to an M.S. and Ph.D. student for excellence in conducting and communicating research essential to the CAES mission. The award recognizes the many contributions of E. Broadus Browne, former Resident Director of the Georgia Agricultural Experiment Stations. The award is a check and expenses paid to a national meeting. The Graduate Coordinator with the help of the Graduate Studies Committee coordinates nominations for these awards from the Department of Plant Pathology.

The American Phytopathological Society
The American Phytopathological Society (APS) is the premier scientific society of professionals working in areas related to plant health. Students are an important component of the diversity of membership of APS that reflects the range of vocational opportunities for plant pathologists.  Joining APS will facilitate you obtaining the latest information on new advances in all aspects of plant pathology, network you with fellow plant health professionals from around the world via  publications, meetings, and special events, make you eligible to apply for student travel awards to the APS national meeting, and facilitate you becoming prepared for employment after graduation. More information and the application form can be found at The department cannot pay APS membership dues.


University of Georgia (UGA) College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES)