PhD Degree

In collaboration with the Chicago Botanic Garden, Northwestern University offers a PhD in Plant Biology and Conservation. The program began in 2009 and aims to foster an academic and research environment that allows students to gain experience, skills, and knowledge to become scholars, leaders, or practitioners in plant biology and conservation. Graduates of the program have strong theoretical and methodological foundations in ecology, conservation, and evolutionary biology, together with the in-depth knowledge required to be able to identify and articulate the frontiers of scholarship and applied science within their area of specialization. As global environmental issues are complex and necessitate interdisciplinary expertise, the curriculum emphasizes a complex systems approach with the integration of multiple disciplines, and a breadth of approaches to basic and applied research as well as on local, national, and global issues. Students also have opportunities for civic engagement. 

It is strongly recommended that all applicants contact any faculty members with whom they may be interested in working, so that they have a good idea about opportunities and how their interests fit with the program. The strongest applications often come from individuals that have spoken with one or more faculty members in advance of submitting their application. Learn more about our current students and alumni.