Information for Graduates

Hello Graduates, the Department is excited to have you with us in our graduate student community!

This page is meant to be a resource for your transit through graduate school. You should also consult The Graduate School website and the Graduate Catalog for admission, degree completion guidelines, and more resources.

Please visit and become comfortable navigating The Graduate Catalog which contains information about courses, degree programs, and procedures and policies on the following:

  • Academic Regulations - including credit loads, full or part time status, registration, course grades, standards and degree requirements, (plans of study, Master’s Degrees, Doctor of Philosophy Degree, PhD general examination, dissertation proposal, candidacy, dissertation preparation and final oral defense), conferral of degrees, policy on leave of absence, and termination of status and academic dismissal.
  • Admission
  • Advisory System – major advisors, advisory committees
  • Assistantships, Fellowships and Other Aid
  • Complaint, Appeal, and Hearing Procedures
  • Scholarly Integrity and Misconduct
  • Tuition and Fees – bill payments, refunds and cancellations of charges, reinstatement fee

Forms for prospective and enrolled students and faculty

Arriving for your Graduate Study

Graduate students who are admitted to the program should contact their Major Advisor to clarify their plans and program details.

An invitation to participate in the University of Connecticut Graduate Student Orientation is sent in July to all new graduate students who are planning to begin their studies at the beginning of the academic year in the fall semester.

Other orientations may include:

Students enrolled in on-campus programs must arrive on campus on or before the first day of classes in each academic term in which they are enrolled or plan to enroll. Failure to meet these conditions may cause a delay in enrollment in a degree program until the following semester. Admission will be canceled if a student does not register for the required credits in the term to which they have been admitted.

Upon arrival to campus, students should report to their Major Advisor, PSLA main office staff, and get familiar with the University Campus (

Major Advisor and Advisory Committee

Each student in the graduate degree program must have a Major Advisor and Advisory Committee. The Advisory Committee must include at least two Associate Advisors, one of whom must hold a current appointment to the Graduate Faculty at the appropriate level in the student’s particular field of study or area of concentration. Although the minimum is two, three Associate Advisors are recommended for PhD degree programs. The Advisory Committee should be formed before the student has completed 12 credits of degree program coursework (typically by the end of the second semester) and shall then supervise the remainder of the student’s degree program. If a change or addition of an Associate Advisor becomes necessary for any reason, the student must discuss this issue with the Major Advisor.

Advisory System

Course Selection and Registration

The Advisory Committee will help you to select courses based on your background and future specialization. It is always useful to confirm your plans with your Major Advisor before the semester begins.

Although the Plan of Study forms (which lists the courses you will take for the degree requirements) can be submitted as late as the fourth week of the student’s final semester, it is highly recommended that you complete this requirement much earlier. The reason is quite simple: the sooner your Advisory Committee signs off on the courses you must take for your degree requirements, the sooner you can have a clear set of minimum criteria to follow. Once the Plan of Study is approved and signed by the Advisory Committee, no further changes (additions or deletions) can be required unless agreed upon by the student and Advisory Committee. Your Advisory Committee members have the final say on what courses you must take for your degree requirements. They can request more courses if they feel that you need them based on your deficiencies and academic history. It is best to submit a signed Plan of Study form as early as possible. Once submitted, modifications by the student to the Plan of Study are possible if the Advisory Committee also signs the modified forms.

Graduate School Forms

Academic Regulations

Course registration

Assistantships and Fellowships

Many graduate students while engaged in full-time degree study in the Department receive merit-based support in the form of graduate assistantships for teaching or research.

Tuition (but not fees) is waived for graduate assistants. The graduate student is responsible for paying the associated fees. The student can request enrollment in GA payroll deductions. Summer salary will depend on the availability of funds of the Major Advisor.


A few departmental scholarships (Burr, Yo Bigelow, Bishop-Carder Scholarships) are awarded to graduate students to pursue their academic programs but do not require those students to provide any teaching or research support to the institution. The tuition of a student receiving a scholarship must be paid by the student, the granting organization, the department and/or school/college, or by the University, with prior approval. Scholarship information is usually forwarded via e-mail to the Graduate Faculty Members in the Department in May.

Full-time vs. Part-time Status

A student may be classified as a full-time student in one of three ways: (1) enroll in nine or more credits (coursework or research); (2) enroll in six or more credits while holding a graduate assistantship; or (3) enroll in one of the following four special purpose three-credit courses: GRAD 5960 (Full-Time Master’s Research), GRAD 6960 (Full-Time Doctoral Research), GRAD 5930 (Master’s Level Directed Studies), and GRAD 6930 (Doctoral Level Directed Studies). The former two courses may be taken by students who have completed all requirements for the respective degree except the research component and who have no other obligations at the University (i.e., no other coursework and no graduate assistantship). The latter two courses denote a full-time, off-campus directed project, such as an internship, field work, or other special activity.

Students holding graduate assistantships must register for six or more credits per semester. Such students are considered to be full-time students. Students in GRAD 5930 or 6930 may hold graduate assistantships if those assistantships are in direct support of their studies. Such an assistantship may not be a standard teaching assistantship.

The renewal of the appointment in each semester will depend on the enrollment of 6 credits or more for graduate students with assistantships.

Academic Regulations


Explore our Department's facilities, which include a climate-controlled greenhouse, six greenhouses for teaching, research, and production, our Soil Nutrient Analysis Laboratory, and our 153-acre Plant Science Research and Education Facility.

Departmental Resources

Desk Assignments and Keys

The Department has several graduate student offices located in the Wilfred B. Young and Agricultural Biotechnology Laboratory buildings, and at the Depot Campus. The departmental secretary or building manager assigns a desk and provides keys to access the building for each graduate student.

Office Supplies and Copy Machine

Some office supplies and a copy machine are available to graduate students for activities associated with research and teaching. Ask the departmental secretary for details.


Upon arrival, there will be a mailbox assigned to you. Mailboxes are in Wilfred B. Young Bldg. Room 122.


Graduate students are encouraged to participate in national and regional scientific meetings and industry-oriented conferences. Some limited funds for travel are available through the departmental graduate travel grant. The funds are intended to be used for travel to meetings at which the student is presenting their research. You may ask your Major Advisor if any possibility exist to complement these funds for your attendance of a scientific meeting. Additionally, The Graduate School awards the Conference Participation Award in the amount of $750 for doctoral students to support students’ ability to present their research at national or international meetings and conferences, including both in-person and virtual events. See here to apply and for a list of fellowships:

Departmental seminars

Departmental seminars are scheduled weekly. Graduate and undergraduate students, faculty/staff members are advised to attend.

Special Events

Several departmental events occur throughout the year, for example, the Ice Cream social. Our graduate students are invited to participate in all of them.

Housing, Student Health Insurance, and more

Information for new graduate students, such as housing, student health insurance, graduate assistantships, registering for classes, netID, and more can be found at