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Prospective Students

The Graduate Program in Plant Biology and Conservation is a partnership between Northwestern University (NU) and the Chicago Botanic Garden (CBG). PhD, MS thesis-based, and MS internship-based degrees are offered. All the degree programs offer a unique opportunity to study ecology, evolution, and environmental issues at the interface of basic and applied plant science. Students apply to the program through Northwestern University and take their courses at both NU and CBG with faculty from both institutions. The Plant Conservation and Science Center at CBG is a valuable resource for students, and the Chicago region provides an excellent community at the forefront of research in conservation and sustainability. 

To learn more, please visit the rest of our website.

Application deadlines:

PhD: December 1, 2019

MS (thesis-based): February 15, 2020

MS (internship-based): Applications will be reviewed beginning February 15 and review will continue through April 30, 2020. Admissions are on a rolling basis.

PLEASE READ: It is strongly recommended that all applicants contact any faculty members with whom they may be interested in working, so that applicants have a good idea about opportunities and how their interests fit with the program. The strongest applications often come from individuals that have communicated with one or more faculty members in advance of submitting their application. For the MS program, it is not required that students identify an advisor before being admitted, but reaching out to potential advisors is still valuable. For the PhD program, students should identify a research advisor ahead of time. Learn about faculty research.

When contacting a faculty member, here are some things to keep in mind. You can start with a brief email (just a short paragraph) including the following information:

  1. Indicate your interest in the general type of research being conducted by the faculty and their students, and why it interests you. Mention any previous experience you have in that area (e.g. a course you took, research you conducted), or any ideas for research projects if you have any (it is not required to have a research project selected).
  2. Indicate if you are interested in pursuing a MS or PhD degree
  3. Inquire if the faculty member will be taking new students in the coming academic year for which you plan to apply
  4. You may opt to attach a resume/CV
  5. You may opt to see if the faculty member would be interested in setting up a time to talk further about research interests
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