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Plant breeding is an exciting and evolving field! There is a very high demand in the US and throughout the world for employees at all education levels in plant breeding. The terminal degree for the field is a PhD. As graduate education is a research degree, a living stipend, tuition, and health care are usually provided by the supervisory professor or department. Finances should not be a barrier to obtaining an advanced degree in plant breeding.

A closely allied carreer as a "Plant Geneticist" might also be of interest

Many opportunities exist for internships, or experience to decide if this is the right career for you. We are not currently maintaining an extensive list but plan to implement this in the future.

Education opportunities (not extensive)


Graduate Schools

Continuing education opportunities in Plant Breeding and Genetics (updated June, 2011)

Online courses and degree programs





Plant Breeding Academy

University of California-Davis

Two-year professional development course to teach the principles of plant breeding to seed industry personnel

Master of Science in Plant Breeding

Iowa State University

Curriculum consists of 12 courses, a workshop, and a creative component.

Master of Science in Plant Breeding, Thesis and Non-Thesis Option Texas A&M University NTO – 36 semester credit hours including internship;  TO – 32 semester credit hours including original research project

Online M.S. Degree in Crop Sciences

University of Illinois

A variety of courses are offered, including Principles of Plant Breeding

Online Crop Breeding Courses

University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Credit or non-credit courses, each lasting 4 to 5 weeks, offered in Fall, 2011 and Spring, 2012

Plant Breeding for Drought Tolerance

Colorado State University

1-credit graduate level online course offered in Fall, 2013

Distance Education Courses

Plant Breeding Training Opportunities

North Carolina State University

Graduate level course offered in Fall, 2011

Plant Breeding, a British site

Introductory level course, approximately 100 hours duration

Workshops/Short courses

Plant Breeding for Drought Tolerance

Colorado State University

Field-oriented graduate level short course, 3 credits, offered in June, 2012

Plant Exploration and Collecting: the ethics, the process, and world laws

Cornell University, Long Island Horticultural Research & Extension Center

3-week travel course in Chile, offered in January, 2012

Contact Dr. Mark Bridgen,

Illinois Corn Breeders’ School

University of Illinois

2 day course on the latest research in maize breeding

Breeding with Markers

University of California-Davis

2-day course aimed at breeders

Seed Business 101

University of California-Davis

1 week case study course covering research, development, marketing and sales in the seed business

Seed Biology, Production and Quality

University of California-Davis

2-day course aimed at breeders and seed production personnel

Teaching resources

Plant and Soil Sciences eLibrary

University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Extensive list of lessons and animations, including plant breeding and genetics topics

McClintock Web Site

Generation Challenge Programme

Introductory online course on bioinformatics, including sequence analysis, QTL analysis, MAS, candidate gene discovery, and more.

Plant breeding Lectures and Seminars

North Carolina State University

Narrated PowerPoint lectures on plant breeding and quantitative genetics by Dr. Paul Murphy, wheat breeder at NC State


Early / Mid / Late Career opportunities

List of potential careers / employers

Plant Breeding Job Postings / Resume Service

Private, Commercial (Worldwide)
Seed Companies

Public International Agricultural Research Centers

Public National

Public State

Not for Profit


Plant Breeders of Interest and Brief Biographies

Collection of interviews with industry leaders Giant Views at SeedWorld