Frequently Asked Questions

How do students obtain funding for their graduate program?

Most students are provided with an assistantship or fellowship that covers the full cost of graduate study. When you apply, we assume that you are also applying for an assistantship or fellowship. Please let us know if you have already been awarded other funds, such as NSF fellowships, Fulbright scholarships, or fellowships from other governments.

Students in Horticulture are typically funded by departmental assistantships, University Graduate Fellowships, or research assistantships on faculty grants. Assistantships and fellowships typically include stipend, tuition, and partial subsidy of health insurance.

Do I need to identify an advisor before enrolling?

Yes. We do not accept students for whom we do not have an advisor identified and willing to serve in that role. If you are uncertain who would be the best advisor for you, please contact the Graduate Program Administrative Assistant, Stacy Smith ( Additionally, you may contact potential advisors directly using the faculty information page to discover their research interests.

I am interested in interdisciplinary research. Can I do that while pursuing a Horticultural degree?

Yes. Most of our faculty are involved in interdisciplinary research programs. The Horticulture graduate program is very flexible and students can select committee members and courses to create a program that encompasses other disciplinary areas.

Would I enjoy living in State College?

State College is a small city where Penn State University is located, though the airport and campus go by the name "University Park". The nickname of the area is "Happy Valley". On Wikipedia you can see that we are ranked as one of the safest metropolitan areas in the U.S., as well as a cultural, intellectual, and sports and recreation center.