Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some some commonly asked questions to help you better understand our program and assist you with your application to the Plant Breeding Ph.D. program.
Should I contact faculty members I am interested in working with?
It is always a great strategy to contact faculty whose interests closely match yours to determine if a mutual interest and an availability of financial support exists. However, this should not stop you from submitting an application since the program will match top applicants with a faculty member. To get acquainted with faculty who share common research interests, browse our list of faculty members, visit their respective faculty and lab websites, and establish contact by contacting them directly via e-mail.
NOTE: some of our faculty members are stationed in Gainesville (on‐campus) while others are located in different parts of Florida (off‐campus). These off-campus faculty are located in several Research and Educational Centers (aka REC) across the state of Florida (namely Citrus, Everglades, Gulf Coast, Mid-FL, North, and Tropical RECs - click here for a map).
How does the Plant Breeding admission process work?
Individual plant breeding faculty are responsible for initially identifying, evaluating and selecting qualified applicants they would like to support and admit into the PBGP program. Next, the faculty member will nominate this potential candidate to the PBGP Admissions Committee which will then review the applicant's qualifications. The PBGP Admissions Committee may require additional requisites, such as interviews, essays, among other evaluation methods. After a thorough evaluation, the PBGP Admissions Committee will make an offer to selected applicants. Our PBGP committee examines all applications from our pool of applications.
How does the Plant Breeding Admission Committee evaluate my application?
Our Admission Committee will look for solid research experience, including research and lab experience, good performance in core biology courses, publications in peer-reviewed journals, and good letters of reference from people who can attest to your potential as a Ph.D. student. Successful applicants typically have an M.S. degree in a related area (plant breeding or closely-related biological area). Undergraduate students with advanced coursework in genetics, statistics, plant breeding, and biochemistry and strong research experience are also welcome to apply. Graduate assistantships are awarded to topmost qualified applicants.
What does the Plant Breeding Graduate Assistantship cover?
Our assistantships offer a competitive annual stipend, tuition waiver (for 24 credits annually) and health insurance coverage. UF students with a Graduate Assistantship are covered by the University of Florida sponsored GatorGradCare health insurance. Students are mandated by law to have health coverage during the entire year, including annual breaks. Please note that students are responsible for payment of student fees (approximately $2,000 annually) which is separate from tuition at the University of Florida.
Are GRE scores required to apply to Plant Breeding?
No, GRE scores are NOT required.
My recommenders are having trouble submitting letters of recommendation online. What can I do?
You can have your recommenders send their letters in a PDF format directly to Eliana Kampf, PBGP Academic Prog. Specialist II, firstname.lastname@example.org, copied to Dr. Patricio Munoz, PBGP Director, email@example.com. Note that these letters must be sent directly from the recommenders and not the applicant. Each letter will be verified before being added to an application.
I am an international applicant. Can I be exempt from the English proficiency requirement?
International applicants are exempt from the English proficiency requirement ONLY if they 1.) have enrolled in one academic year in a degree-seeking program at a recognized/regionally accredited university or college in a country where English is the official language prior to the anticipated term of enrollment at UF, or 2.) are from one of these exempt countries: click HERE.
How early should I submit my application materials?
Please note that certain application materials, like transcripts and test scores, can take anywhere from 24 hours to a few weeks to link to your UF graduate application. Please provide ample time for this to occur before the application deadline.
What is the admission timeline for the Plant Breeding graduate program?
Applications submitted by deadline will be reviewed by the Admission Committee a few weeks after the deadline.
Do I really need to send official transcripts to UF?
Yes. Arrange to have official transcripts sent to the UF Office of Admissions from each postsecondary institution attended. International applicants need to submit an official copy in the native language of each transcript, mark sheet and diploma/degree certificate from each university or college attended, along with certified, literal (exact) English translations for documents not originally issued in English. In case your official transcript is not available when you apply, you may temporarily send Plant Breeding unofficial copies. However, you will only be admitted to UF when all your official documentation has been submitted to the Office of Admissions.
Office of Admissions
201 Criser Hall - PO Box 114000
Gainesville, FL 32611-4000
How does the cost of living in Florida compare to other universities?
The University of Florida offers one of the highest quality, most affordable graduate education experiences in the country today, while having much to offer in the way of attractive natural, cultural and recreational amenities — especially compared with larger, more congested urban areas. The cost of living in Gainesville or at any of the RECs (Research and Educational Centers) across the state of Florida is relatively low. A detailed annual cost of attendance for UF graduate students is available at www.sfa.ufl.edu/cost/graduate-costs. This annual cost estimate includes tuition and fees, housing, food, computer costs, health insurance, books and supplies, transportation, and clothing maintenance. We offer a competitive annual stipend to all our PBGP students who in turn are able to study and live comfortably. In addition to a competitive stipend, our PBGP graduate assistantships also offer an annual tuition waiver (for 24 credits) and health insurance.
What are my housing options in Gainesville?
Gainesville offers varied housing options to graduate students! There are many choices whether you have a family or not, want to live off-campus or on-campus, are looking for roommate(s), a house, studio or apartment. UF Housing and Residence Life offers great resources to graduate students looking for housing both on and off campus.
The UF Off Campus Life website provides resources and tips to help students successfully find housing off-campus and learn how to be great Gator neighbors while living in the Gainesville community. There you will find information on budgeting, leases, finding the right place to live, city codes, transportation, tenant rights and responsibilities, neighbor rights, and responsibilities, fun things to do off-campus and much more.
UF also offers on-campus housing options geared toward graduate and professional students, as well as student with families of their own. To review their available choices click here. There is usually a waiting list since these apartments are in high demand. Contact them and apply as soon as possible after being admitted to reserve a spot.