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Frequently Asked Questions

What degree will I earn?

IPS is a portal to multiple plant-focused PhD graduate programs at UGA; certain programs offer an MSc degree and if interested, you should apply directly to individual departments affiliated with IPS. After a semester of research experiences and coursework under IPS, you select a thesis advisor and become affiliated with your advisor’s home graduate program from which you ultimately receive your PhD degree. See the list of graduate programs that are available to you.

Who will be on my graduate advisory committee?

In most departments, the graduate advisory committee is composed of faculty from both within and outside of the home department. In consultation with your advisor, you will select committee members who can best assist you with your graduate training and research. Committee members need not be participating members of the IPS program.

How will I be supported during and after the first year?

IPS students receive full funding for the first semester with no teaching obligation. Funding in future semesters will be in the form of a research assistantship (RA), teaching assistantship (TA), intramural or extramural fellowship, or a combination of these funding mechanisms. RA support is typically the main mechanism. Stipend support in years 2 through 5 is guaranteed at the standard level of the graduate program chosen for thesis research. Tuition is remitted for all IPS students in Year 1, and this continues for the duration of the degree program as long as the student is supported by RA or TA.

Will I be expected to teach?

Development of instructional skills is an important part of your graduate education and training. While there are no teaching requirements for the first semester of the IPS program, your home department may have a teaching requirement and your advisor may require you to serve as a teaching assistant at some time during your graduate program. This is a question that should be explored with all potential advisors.

Are international students eligible for the IPS program?

IPS is open to all international students holding degrees from accredited undergraduate institutions as long as country-specific academic credentials and requirements are met. The University of Georgia, however, sets overall minimum requirements for English proficiency. Applicants completing at least one year at a U.S. academic institution may request to have the English proficiency requirement waived. Applicants residing in countries where English is not the primary language must demonstrate English proficiency. Such applicants will benefit from having a TOEFL Speak Test score of 22 or higher or an IELTS Speaking test score of 6.5 or higher. Applicants with lower Speak Test scores can be admitted, especially when the applicant demonstrates outstanding ability in another area (e.g. research, experience, etc.), but students must enroll in English-proficiency courses during their first year of study.

What happens if I am not selected for the IPS program?

IPS receives more applications from highly qualified candidates than it can support. Thus, IPS often refers applications to other graduate programs. Referrals are based on applicant interests (faculty and research) as stated on the IPS Background and Interest form. If your referred application is pursued by a particular program, that program will contact you directly to determine whether you wish to be formally considered as an applicant to the program and to provide you with additional details. Certain programs also allow direct admission. Please contact the department if you prefer to join laboratories immediately without rotations. In many cases, direct admits benefit by being able to take IPS first semester coursework, with exception of the rotation course. Applicant referrals and direct admission can occur after the April 15th match deadline. Ultimately, unsuccessful applicants are formally rejected in mid-May.

How do I compare to other candidates?

Applicants admitted into IPS are identified using a variety of criteria. There is no single basis for comparison.

Can the application fee be waived?

Fee waivers are granted by the UGA Graduate School, so requests should be made directly to them. Waivers generally require that the applicant has been associated with a particular training program, including certain international student exchange programs. Programs that qualify for a fee waiver can be found here.

What will happen if my application is incomplete?

Incomplete applications are at a competitive disadvantage. Thus, all application information should be submitted on or before the application deadline.

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