​A Ph.D. in Plants, Soils & Insects (PSI) is offered under a multi-departmental doctoral program. Three departments participate: Plant Sciences, Entomology & Plant Pathology, and the soils faculty in Biosystems Engineering & Soil Science


General Information 

The Department of Plant Sciences offers concentrations in crop sciences, horticulture, plant breeding, plant molecular genetics and weed sciences.
The Department of Entomology & Plant Pathology (EPP) offers diverse doctoral opportunities in entomology and plant pathology. Please see EPP Ph.D. Program for more information.
The Department of Biosystems Engineering & Soil Sciences (BESS) offers a doctoral program in Environmental and Soil Science. Please see the BESS Graduate Studies site for more information.
For more information about Ph.D. programs in Plant Sciences, please contact Dr. Bill Klingeman or a faculty member in the area of interest.
Students may select a formal concentration as a focus of study, but this is not a requirement. We recognize that modern research approaches in plant sciences often overlap.
Students may specialize in one or more approaches, including plant biotechnology, molecular biology, breeding, genetics, physiology, ecology, culture and management. Research may feature fruits, vegetables, turfgrass, weeds, woody ornamentals, cereals, grains, fiber, public horticulture or model plant systems.

Admission Requirements

Submit your application, fee, official transcripts, and scores from the general portion of the Graduate Records Examination (GRE) to the Graduate Admissions Office. In you application, indicate that you are applying to the Plants, Soils & Insects doctoral program.

Submit a resume, three letters of reference (or three Graduate Rating Forms), photocopy of your GRE scores and a short statement of professional goals and reasons for applying to:

Plant Sciences PhD Program Coordinator
Department of Plant Sciences
2431 Joe Johnson Drive, 252 PSB
University of Tennessee
Knoxville, TN 37996-4561

In your statement letter and application, please indicate your concentration of interest and your intended major professor.


Degree Requirements