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Graduate Inquiries - Frequently Asked Questions

Q:  Do you have a pre-application process?
A:   Yes.  We encourage prospective applicants to submit a questionnaire and supporting materials  to the faculty they are interested in working with.  You would also need to indicate to the proposed mentor whether you would be seeking assistantship (financial) support as well, and whether you are seeking an M.S. or Ph.D. degree.

Q:  I've finished the questionnaire and attached it. Can I email my supporting materials to you?
A:  We encourage prospective applicants to submit supporting materials by email.  However, please ensure that the files can be opened without any special software or operating system requirements, and that scanned documents are legible.  PDF format is preferable. 

Q:  What is the deadline for Fall/Spring-semester?
A:  Students are accepted for the semester depending on program needs.  Applications may be submitted at any time, but applicants are urged to apply by April 1 for the fall semester and by September 1 for the spring semester.

Q:  Is it possible to increase my chance to be accepted if I find one of your professors to be my supervisor?
A:  Yes.  We do not accept students unless a graduate faculty member is willing to serve as the major advisor.  We strongly recommend that prospective students contact the faculty they would be interested in working with.  Admission to the University of Connecticut Graduate School requires that a graduate faculty member sign on as a major advisor.

Q:  What's the average admission rate for the Ph.D. program?

A:   We do not encourage students to apply unless there is a high likelihood that they will be admitted.  Do not apply unless you have been encouraged to do so by a prospective major advisor.

Q:  How many recommendation letters are required?

A:  Typically 3 letters of recommendation are provided. 

Q:  Does your program have a specific form of recommendation letter?

A:  No.

Q:  I am interested in your program. The Graduate School wants recommendation letters.  I do not currently live in the country my letters would be coming from.  Could my recommendation letters be sent to the Graduate School by e-mail?

A:  The Graduate School is very specific on how to handle the letters of recommendation.  You should have the people writing the recommendations send them to you in a sealed envelope. They need to sign their names across the seal of the envelope as indicated by the Graduate School. They can put the envelope inside a second envelope that is addressed to you. Once you assemble all of the materials the Graduate School requires, send that all together as per the Graduate School directions. (grad.uconn.edu/apply.html  See instructions for applying online or by paper).

Q:  If I apply early for the graduate program then can I get an answer earlier as well?
A:  The graduate admissions committee processes applications as received from the Graduate School.  If a prospective major advisor is identified and is interested in supporting an applicant, then a decision can be reached within a week or two.  If no major advisor comes forward, the application is generally held until past the deadline, then returned to the graduate school with a recommendation not to offer admission.  

Q:  Do you accept students of my nationality?
A: The department accepts highly qualified students of all nationalities.  Admission is based on student interests and background and the needs of the program.  We do not have quotas.  Our policy is not to respond to requests about the nationality of students in our program.  Our current students are listed on our web site.

Q:  Can I take classes part time once admitted to the program?

A:  Part-time studies are possible.  However, recipients of financial aid must be enrolled full-time. 

Q:  I have a Bachelor's degree.  Can I apply directly to a PhD program?

A:  This is a possibility but we don't usually do that unless the candidate is outstanding. It would depend on the major advisor.  Most faculty would probably admit the student to the master's program first and then make a decision later after observing their performance for a year or so.

Q:  What is the requirement for the GRE general test, GRE subject test and TOEFL test? How many scores or percentage for EACH test I should get if I want to be competitive among the applicants?

A:  The Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture has a requirement for the GRE general test.  There is no requirement for a subject test. This requirement may be waived at the discretion of the admissions committee upon request by the prospective major advisor.  There is no minimum score requirement for admission.  GRE scores are considered among other qualifications for both admission and financial aid.  The Graduate School requires the TOEFL.  See the Graduate School web site for information on admissions requirements. 

A:  Following information available from ETS regarding TOEFL and GRE:
University of Connecticut, Storrs TOEFL code = 3915
Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture code.

Usually department = 0112, but also agronomy = 0104, horticulture  = 0109, soil science  = 0114.

Q:  Ph.D. applicants who seek financial aid: is there any additional need for the score of GRE Analytical Writing part, TOEFL(iBT) Speaking part, GRE subject test or TSE test?

A:  The Graduate School requires the TOEFL.  See the Graduate School web site for information on admissions requirements.  However, international students must pass a test of spoken English administered by the Graduate School before they can serve as teaching assistants.  The Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture does not have any additional requirements.

Q:  The Graduate School's web site indicates the minimum requirement of IELTS was 6.5.  I wonder if I am eligible for your department?

A:  The graduate school sets minimum requirements for admission.  If you are not eligible for admission, the department has no further say in the matter.

Q:  Does the department has some specific requirements about the analytical writing section of GRE test?

No.  The department considers GRE test scores in admission and financial aid decisions, but there is no minimum.  The prospective applicant should contact their chosen graduate professor to see if there is any possibility of support.  If no support is available the applicant should not apply.

Q:  I  would like to know which professors intend to recruit graduate students for the coming year with financial aid?

A:  Check the Assistantships link on our web site to see if any faculty are currently advertising for graduate assistants.   Prospective applicants may contact individual faculty that they are interested in working with to inquire if they anticipate having support available.  

Q:  If I am admitted will I receive an assistantship or other financial aid?

A:  Decisions of financial aid are made separately from recommendations for admission. Financial aid is available from the department in the form of teaching assistantships and scholarships. Individual faculty may be able to offer research assistantships if funding is available from grants. 

Q:  Do I have to make special application for assistantship or scholarship?

A:  No application is required.

Q:  Does your university accept application to more than one program? Do they charge additional fees? Do they require several copies of my information such as the GRE/TOEFL test score and transcripts?

A:  Please check the Graduate School web site for information on admissions requirements and procedures. 

Q:  Does the Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture offer interdisciplinary programs? 

A:  No.  Interdisciplinary programs in Plant Cell and Molecular Biology, and Plant Physiology, are offered in the Cell Biology Field of Study, administered by the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology.  Check their web site for further information. 

Q:  Personal statements as supporting documentation.

A:  A concise, direct statement of interests is desirable.  While there is no limit, 1200 to 1500 words should be sufficient.  We need to know why you are specifically interested in our program. 

Q:  Does your program require extra materials in addition to those demanded by the Graduate School?

A:  No.

Q:  Where do I mail paper material to? 

A:  All application materials should be sent to the Graduate School.

Q:  Are official transcripts required? 

A:  The Graduate School requires official transcripts for applications. 

Q:  The grading system in my institution is not on a 4-point scale.  What grades are required?

A:  The graduate admissions office is responsible for ensuring that students have the equivalent of a Grade Point Average of 3.0 out of 4.0.  Please see the Graduate School for further information. 

Q:  How many prospective graduate students will be admitted in your program next year?

A:  Typically the department admits 3 to 4 new students annually. 

Q:  I applied to the University of Connecticut for the fall semester.  I would like to know if the same application would be considered for the spring semester as well or I would need to apply again?

A:  Your application can be held for re-consideration in a subsequent semester.  However, it will not be reviewed unless a member of the graduate faculty expresses interest in serving as major advisor.

Q:  I have not yet taken the GRE exams but am planning to do them as soon as possible.  Can I send you the transcripts and the degree certificate after the GRE and the TOEFL exams?

A:  Application materials should be sent to the graduate school.  The graduate admissions office will hold materials in a file until the application is complete, then forward it to the department for review and recommendation.  

Questionnaire - pdf file

Questionnaire - MS Word file

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