Graduate Studies Program

 { Current Graduate Students } { History and Alumni of the Graduate Studies Program }

The Graduate Studies Program, begun in 1896, currently enrolls 41 students who are carrying out studies in systematic and economic botany at field sites around the world. It is one of the few programs with expertise that spans the spectrum of both systematic and economic botany. As a result of this broad range of research interests, students may choose from a cornucopia of courses and subject areas to design unique areas of study. The Program is operated in conjunction with the Plant Sciences Program at the Lehman College campus of the City University of New York (CUNY), the Center for Environmental Research and Conservation (CERC) of Columbia University, the Biology Department at Cornell University, the Biology Department at New York University (NYU), and The School of Forestry and Environmental Studies of Yale University. Perhaps the program's most distinctive characteristic is its flexibility, including multiple opportunities for interdisciplinary study. In addition to the core courses in plant sciences, students may take courses in biology or numerous other disciplines at nearby colleges, including City College, Hunter College, the CUNY Graduate Center and Queens College. Furthermore, an agreement between all major universities in New York City entitles students to register for courses in virtually any school in the city.

The broad range of courses offered throughout the New York area and the opportunity to interact with researchers in the natural and the social sciences provide a unique opportunity to develop skills in different fields relating to systematics and economic botany. These include phytochemistry, molecular biology, ecological physiology, archaeology, anthropology, linguistics, economics, computer modeling and nutrition.

Financial Support

The Garden offers Graduate Fellowships for study in systematic and economic botany. Appointments begin July 1 or September 1 annually by special arrangement. Each fellow is expected to devote half-time to formal graduate study, leading to a Ph.D. degree in biology from one of the universities mentioned above, and half-time to assisting different research projects and related activities, such as curatorial work, within the institution. The stipend is approximately $15,000 a year and is paid in 26 biweekly installments. A paid vacation of four weeks is offered each year. Tuition required by the universities and medical insurance are paid in full by the Garden. Fellowships may be renewed annually, contingent on satisfactory scholastic progress. Fellows are expected to complete their degree in five years. 

Financial support is also available directly from the participating universities in the form of fellowships, assistantships, and loans. Prospective students should contact the university of interest to learn about such possibilities. 

Research Facilities and Equipment

The New York Botanical Garden has one of the outstanding botanical libraries in the world, with more than 1,250,000 accessions, an herbarium with over 6,500,000 specimens and 10,000 species of living plants housed in several greenhouses including the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory. Students also have access to a large number of laboratory facilities and instrumentation at the Garden. These include an electron microscope, environmental chambers and instrumentation for radiobiological, biochemical, anatomical, molecular, phytochemical, chemosystematic, numerical taxonomy and vegetational studies. The newest addition to the Garden's laboratory capacity is provided through the Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman Program for Molecular Systematics Studies
Applications and Appointments

The New York Botanical Garden

Each applicant should send a completed application form for fellowship support, a transcript of credits, a letter telling about himself/herself and three letters of reference. A transcript of the applicant's scores on the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) also is required. International students must pass the TOEFL English proficiency exam. Applications or requests for additional information should be sent to:

Michelle Provenzano
Graduate Studies Program
The New York Botanical Garden
Bronx, New York 10458-5126

Research Projects of NYBG Staff & Affiliates
Applications for fellowships must be filed by January 15 annually. Appointments will be made by March 15 annually.

City University of New York

Admission to the CUNY Ph.D. program is also required and is determined independently through a separate application to CUNY. Students may pursue a course of study in systematic or economic botany. Application forms may be obtained from:

The Graduate Division
City University of New York
33 West 42nd Street
New York, New York 10036-8099
Telephone: 212.642.2812
Fax: 212.642.2642

Columbia University

Joint graduate studies in this program are conducted through the Center for Environmental Conservation (CERC), a consortium of Columbia University, The American Museum of Natural History, The New York Botanical Garden, The Wildlife Conservation Society, and the Wildlife Preservation Trust. For further information, contact:

405 Low Library
Columbia University
New York, NY 10027
Telephone: 212.854.8186
Fax: 212.854.8188

Cornell University

Admission to the Ph.D. program is determined independently through a separate application to Cornell University. Students may pursue a course of study in systematic botany through this program.
A course of study leading to a M.S. degree in also available. Application forms may be obtained from:

The Graduate School
Sage Graduate Center
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853-6201
Telephone: 607.255.2131
Fax: 607.255.7979

New York University

The joint plant resources training program is designed for those interested in a molecular, systematic and/or economic botany course of study. Separate applications may be obtained from:

Graduate Admissions Office, Room B2
6 Washington Square North
New York University
New York, NY 10003
Telephone: 212.998.8200
Fax: 212.955.4015

Yale University

This joint program is conducted through Yale's School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and is for students interested in economic botany, agroecology, and related topics. For more information, contact:

School of Forestry and Environmental Studies
205 Prospect Street
Yale University
New Haven, CT 06511
Telephone: 800.825.0330
Fax: 203.432.5942

First photograph by David Lentz
Second & third photographs by Christine M. Douglas

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