Our Curriculum

Graduate student curriculum in the Illinois Plant Breeding Center includes course options in three core areas:
> Genetics (15 courses)
> Plant breeding (10 courses)
> Statistics, experimental design, and data analysis (12 courses)
All courses are directly relevant to plant applications. Additional courses are being established, making the Illinois Plant Breeding Center unrivaled in the U.S. in the number, comprehensiveness, and quality of courses.

Additional courses in Crop Sciences can be found in the University of Illinois Course Catalogue.

Course Offerings From The College Of ACES:

Coursework in the basics of plant breeding can be supported by additional classes from within the Department of Crop Sciences in areas such as :
> Bioinformatics
> Plant Physiology
> Agronomy
> Pathology
> Entomology
> Outreach education skills
> Computer Modeling

Classes from other University programs can supplement your area of interest:
> Students may add intense concentrations in plant biology, molecular biology, genetics, and biochemistry through the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
> College of Business offers courses in fundamental principles of planning, organization, leadership, management, reporting, and analysis for non-business graduate students. 
> The College of Engineering offers courses in information technology, information management, computer science, and programming.
> The College of Business, College of Law, and The Institute for Genomic Biology offer a Certificate in Entrepreneurship and Management for Life Scientists specifically for graduate students in the life sciences who are interested in understanding the business, economic, and legal issues in biotechnology ventures.

Hands-on experience in the field, laboratory, and greenhouse with crossing, inheritance, phenotypic evaluation, and selection of complex traits with one or more crops will reinforce your classroom learning. Your resulting understanding across a broad range of disciplines (including biochemistry, physiology, and laboratory techniques) related to genomics and bioinformatics will give you the intellectual tools to use new genetic information to develop improved cultivars.



Students from outside the College of ACES who major in areas such as Biology, Biochemistry, Chemistry, or Statistics should consult with their academic advisor. If you’re enrolled as an undergraduate in another university, please contact the Center directly by emailing Dr. John A. Juvik for advice on the curriculum choices you can be making now to prepare for graduate study at the Illinois Plant Breeding Center.

Undergraduate students in the Department of Crop Sciences at the College of ACES can enroll in one of five program options:
> Agroecology
> Biological Sciences
> Crop Agribusiness
> Crops
> Integrated Pest Management
> Plant Biotechnology or Molecular Biology

If you are a student in one of these programs, consult with your faculty advisor to determine the best course choices to make as an undergraduate so that you’ll be prepared for graduate work in the Illinois Plant Breeding Center.

> Undergraduate Research: While an undergraduate at the University of Illinois, students may work in conjunction with a faculty member to conduct a research project in addition to their regular class load. Students in CPSC 295 (Undergraduate Research or Thesis) can receive 1 to 4 hours course credit.

> Internships: Many undergraduates choose to take advantage of summer or semester-plus summer internships in a Crop Sciences-related field. From 1 to 5 hours credit are awarded upon completion of the internship. Past interns have worked in a broad range of areas that include field implementation of a breeding program, data analysis and management, analytics, generation of DNA-fingerprint data, and sales and customer relations. Interested students can contact Fred Kolb, the Crop Sciences Undergraduate Teaching Coordinator, for more information.

> If you are an Illinois undergraduate interested in learning more about plant breeding and its career potential for you, consider taking:
> CPSC 116 (The Global Food Production Web)
> CPSC 261 (Biotechnology in Agriculture)
> CPSC 352 (Plant and Animal Genetics)