The Officially Unofficial Guide
The Integrated Plant Biology PhD track and the Complex Biosystems program of which it is part is one of the only interdepartmental graduate programs at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Students admitted to the program perform funded rotations with three different professors at UNL in their first year, while taking a core curriculum in biology and statistics with all first year students in the different Complex Biosystems graduate tracks. At the end of the first year, students join a research group sometimes with an individual mentor or more frequently with a primary advisor and a second co-advisor.
Students can apply to the Integrated Plant Biology track with either a bachelors or a masters degree.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does Complex Biosystems Require GREs? Yes we do.
Do you require a TOEFL?: If you are an international student, yes. The program requires a minimum score of 550 on the paper exam or 79 on the online exam and an IELTS score of 6.5
Is there a fee to apply: Yes $50. There is no official way to get a fee waiver through graduate studies. If you would like to apply to Integrated Plant Biology/Complex Biosystems and the fee is a barrier to you doing so, write to Dr Schnable.
What do I need to apply:
- A CV
- A personal statement (how long?)
- Unofficial transcripts (with certified translation into english if they aren’t already in english)
- Contact Information for three people who could write you letters of recommendation.
It helps to list specific faculty you are interested in as part of your application. In deciding it can help to look at faculty websites or read the abstracts of recent papers published by individual professors in the program.
Professors Who Advise Integrated Plant Biology Students
- Ed Cahoon is a professor in Biochemistry who studies plant lipids. (Lab Website) (Google Scholar Profile)
- Tom Clemente is a professor in Agronomy who studies plant transformation. (Lab Website) (Google Scholar Profile)
- Yufeng Ge is a professor in Biological Systems Engineering who works on plant phenotyping in the greenhouse and field. (Faculty Profile)(Google Scholar Profile)
- Katarzyna Glowacka is a professor in Biochemistry who studies photosynthesis and cold tolerance. (Lab Website) (Google Scholar Profile)
- Toshihiro Obata is a professor in Biochemistry who studies plant metabolism. (Lab Website) (Google Scholar Profile)
- Rebecca Roston is a professor in Biochemistry who studies plant lipids and cold tolerance. (Lab Website) (Google Scholar Profile)
- James Schnable is a professor in Agronomy who studies plant quantitative genetics, comparative genomics and high throughput phenotyping. (You’re already on his lab website) (Google Scholar Profile)
- Jinliang Yang is a professor in Agronomy who studies population and quantitative genetics in plants with a particular focus on maize. (Lab Website) (Google Scholar Profile)
In addition to these eight professors, there are currently 25 other faculty who can mentor students as part of the Integrated Plant Biology graduate school track. Here are their names and links to their websites.
When and How to Apply
When is the deadline to apply to Integrated Plant Biology at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln? The deadline to ensure full consideration of your application for grad school is generally December 15th, but it is important to check the official UNL graduate studies website.
How do I apply to Integrated Plant Biology at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln?
Go to the Complex Biosystems listed on the UNL Graduate Studies website and click “Apply.” During your application it will ask you to specify which graduate track within Complex Biosystems you are interested in so you can select Integrated Plant Biology.
Current Students in Integrated Plant Biology
Who are current students in the Integrated Plant Biology PhD track?
Profiles of some current and former Integrated Plant Biology Students.
You can follow some of the current Integrated Plant Biology students here in Lincoln, Nebraska on twitter. Here is a link to a list that combines their tweets.