The HCS Masters degree program gives students the opportunity to gain additional knowledge and necessary skills in a field in order to engage in research and other scholarly activities, to teach, and to become practitioners. The masters degree program consists of a coherent pattern of courses and other educational experiences, a masters examination, and a thesis (Thesis, Plan A) or report (Non-Thesis, Plan B). The non-thesis M.S. degree is permitted only by petition to the Graduate Studies Committee. The student is responsible for knowing all the graduation requirements of both the Graduate School and the Department. All graduate students in HCS are required to complete a curriculum of four courses that encompass crop physiology, ecology, plant breeding and biotechnology, and experimental design.
M.S. Thesis Option (Plan A) in HCS: The student must submit a complete, typed, thesis draft to the SAC for approval prior to the Master's exam. Format is important; students must follow the Graduate School Guidelines for Preparing and Submitting Theses. If the thesis is acceptable and the student performs satisfactorily on the Master's exam, the SAC will indicate approval by signing a Thesis Approval form. The approval form and the final thesis must be submitted to the Graduate school no later than one week before commencement. A bound copy of the thesis must be submitted to the Horticulture and Crop Science main office in Columbus.
M.S. Non-Thesis Option (Plan B) in HCS: Students who wish to enroll in a non-thesis M.S. degree program (Plan B) are required to declare in writing to the GSC with copy to the advisor their intention not later than the first semester of enrollment. Departmental support for assistantships will not be provided for students choosing the non-thesis option. Requests to change to the Plan B option after the first semester must be made by the advisor not later than the semester prior to the intended semester of graduation. The request should be forwarded only after a meeting of the SAC has taken place and it should describe in full the rationale for the request. The request must be signed by all members of the SAC. The request will be reviewed by the GSC and permission of the GSC will be required. The Plan B option is considered to be a terminal degree.