Graduate Students

Graduate Programs

The Department of Horticulture offers two options for a Masters Degree in Horticulture. One is a two-year thesis program in which students learn to conduct scientific studies and prepare research reports for scientific journals; the other is a non-thesis program requiring primarily coursework.

The Ph.D. degree in Plant Science is administered jointly with the Department of Plant Pathology. The Ph.D. program takes three to four years and requires original research and development of new knowledge.

Horticultural research at the University of Arkansas includes:

  • Genetics, breeding and cultivar development of fruit and vegetable crops
  • Genetics, breeding and cultivar development of ornamental crops and turfgrasses
  • Physiology and culture of fruit, vegetable and ornamental crops
  • Physiology and management of turfgrasses
  • Biotechnology
  • Sustainable landscape management and design

Advanced Degrees

  • Master of Science (M.S.) in Horticulture
  • Non-thesis Master of Science (M.S.) in Horticulture
  • Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Agricultural, Food, and Life Sciences with Horticulture Concentration (AFLSPH-HORT).

Graduate Coordinator

Dr. Wayne Mackay

Phone: 479-575- 2603

Email: mackay@uark.edu

wayne mackay portrait

Graduate School Requirements

 *Applicants with lower than the required GPA score may be admitted conditionally into the M.S. degree program. Conditionally accepted students must achieve a GPA of at least 3.0 for the first 12 hours of graduate coursework to achieve regular student status.

Admission Requirements

Applicants for graduate studies must meet entry requirements of the Graduate School and the Department of Horticulture.

Horticulture M.S. Requirements

  • Prospective students are encouraged to secure a faculty advisor and funding source (assistantship or self-funded) prior to applying to the Graduate School.  Applications will not be reviewed for acceptance into the HORT M.S. or Ph.D programs otherwise.
  • Click here for the Grad School admission requirements
  • Suitable preparation in horticulture or related areas
  • Click here for International Students admissions requirements
  • A statement of purpose letter that describes who you are, your professional career goals, the reasons why you want to study for a Horticulture graduate degree and the area(s) of Horticulture you wish to study sent in along with all required application documents.

Horticulture Ph.D. Requirements

  • Prospective students are encouraged to secure a faculty advisor and funding source (assistantship or self-funded) prior to applying to the Graduate School.  Applications will not be reviewed for acceptance into the HORT M.S. or Ph.D programs otherwise.
  • M.S. research thesis degree or B.S. degree in Horticulture or related sciences from an accredited institution 
  • Click here for Graduate School admissions requirements
  • Suitable preparation for the Horticulture graduate program
  • Click here for International Students admissions requirements
  • A statement of purpose letter that describes who you are, your professional career goals, the reasons why you want to study for a Horticulture graduate degree and the area(s) of Horticulture you wish to study sent in along with all required application documents.

 How to Apply

Please note: Prospective students are encouraged to secure a faculty advisor and funding source (assistantship or self-funded) prior to applying to the Graduate School.  Applications will not be reviewed for acceptance into the HORT M.S. or Ph.D programs otherwise.

Complete and submit an application for graduate studies (M.S. or Ph.D.) that is available here. Submit your application and the documents required by the Graduate School (transcripts, TOEFL, GRE, etc.), as well as your statement of purpose letter and graduate assistant application.

*The Graduate School will send instructions for three letters of recommendations to be submitted online.

 Applications received after the deadline will be considered for admission based on departmental requirements and the availability of positions and funding.

Faculty Currently Available for  Grad Student Advising:
Dr. Matt Bertucci
Dr. Aaron Cato
Dr. Ryan Dickson
Dr. Amanda McWhirt
Dr. Mike Richardson
Dr. Ainong Shi
Dr. Margaret Worthington

The Review Process

The Graduate School will review applications to determine qualifications based on the Graduate School requirements. Applications are then forwarded to the Department of Horticulture for review by the Graduate Program Coordinator and faculty to determine acceptance based on departmental requirements and to determine the appropriate faculty advisor.  


Funding Your Degree

Assistantships and Fellowships for M.S. and Ph.D. students are available on a competitive basis. For more information, please visit the Funding Your Degree page.