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College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


Ohio State Offers New Master in Plant Health Management Degree

February 23, 2012

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- In response to the growing demand for professionals with expertise and training to address emerging trends and issues in plant health, Ohio State University is offering a new Professional Master in Plant Health Management (MPHM) graduate degree.

MPHM is an interdisciplinary program administered by the Department of Plant Pathology and the Department of Entomology in Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. It is the only master’s degree in plant health management offered in Ohio.

Anne Dorrance, professor in the Department of Plant Pathology and MPHM co-chair, said industry workforce demand was the driving force for this new program.

“Today, many critical issues in agriculture and the environmental sciences require people with scientific training in plant health management. This program will enable working professionals to gain education in this area,” Dorrance said.

“Extension educators, crop advisers and turf/landscape managers are well-suited for this program. There’s also a lot of interest from professionals in business and law who wish to specialize in regulatory, environmental or intellectual property aspects. The job outlook is very strong.”

Dorrance adds that students are expected to come from a variety of disciplines, and all majors are eligible. The program is designed to accommodate working professionals. Part-time students can complete the program in two to three years, while full-time students can complete the program in one and a half years, excluding summers.

Professional master’s degrees are part of a growing trend in graduate education, with a curriculum that integrates science with professional and business skills. A key element involves hands-on experience through projects or internships.  

“One of the advantages of this program is that it is truly interdisciplinary and draws on resources from multiple departments,” said Joseph Kovach, a professor of entomology who serves as MPHM co-chair. “In the real world of pest management, we don’t just deal with individual diseases, insects or weeds, but we must integrate this information in order to make optimal recommendations for plant health.” 

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Monica Lewandowski
Anne Dorrance, Joe Kovach