in person


MS in Botany

Claremont Graduate University’s MS and PhD programs in Botany focus on systematics and evolution of higher plants. The programs are offered in conjunction with California Botanic Garden, one of the nation’s premier research-focused botanic gardens.

Claremont Graduate University’s MS in Botany is a research-intensive program with a robust fieldwork component. Located in a unique 86-acre learning environment dedicated to conservation of the state’s flora, facilities include a botanical library, fully equipped molecular and anatomy laboratories, comprehensive herbarium, scanning electron microscope, greenhouses, and growth chambers. You’ll find abundant opportunities for hands-on research at California Botanic Garden, working alongside collegial faculty-mentors dedicated to advancing knowledge in the field. A seminar series addressing topics of systematic and evolutionary botany is offered weekly during each semester and draws attendees not only from our student body but also from the biology research community, faculty, and students at nearby colleges and universities.

Botany students may pursue concentrations in the following subdisciplines:

  • Comparative Morphology
  • Floristics
  • Molecular Systematics
  • Monographic and Revisionary Studies
  • Phylogenetics
  • Plant Anatomy
  • Plant Geography
  • Population and Conservation Genetics
  • Reproductive Biology

This program is STEM designated, allowing international students who hold F-1 visas to apply for OPT work authorizations for a total of 36 months (an initial 1-year period and a 24-month OPT STEM extension) of paid work experience in the U.S. after graduation.

Program At-a-glance

  • 30 units

    required units

  • MS in Botany

    degree awarded

  • In Person


  • Fall

    program start

  • 2.5 years | full time*

    estimated completion time

Request info Apply now

Lucinda McDade

Professor of Botany Chair, Botany Department Executive Director, California Botanic Garden Judith B. Friend Director of Research

909-625-8767 x220


  • Portrait of Lucinda McDade

    Lucinda McDade

    Professor of Botany
    Chair, Botany Department
    Executive Director, California Botanic Garden
    Judith B. Friend Director of Research

    Research Interests

    Family Acanthaceae; Role of hybridization in plant evolutionary history, phylogeny reconstruction, and plant reproductive biology; Tropical plants;

  • Portrait of Travis Columbus

    Travis Columbus

    Professor of Botany, Research Scientist

    Research Interests

    Agrostology (study of grasses), Plant systematics, Biological nomenclature, Phylogenetics

  • Portrait of Naomi Fraga

    Naomi Fraga

    Research Assistant Professor of Botany

    Research Interests

    Floristics in western North America; Plant conservation; Rarity and endemism in California; Systematics of Phrymaceae; Pollination biology

  • Mare Nazaire

    Mare Nazaire

    Research Assistant Professor of Botany

    Research Interests

    California floristics, peatlands and wetlands, desert systems, alpine floras, systematics of Mertensia (Boraginaceae)

Application Guidelines

Requirements Summary

Item Description
Official Transcripts Yes
Letters of Recommendation 3
Statement of Purpose Yes
Resume Yes
Other Requirements Written English exam

Key Dates and Deadlines

CGU operates on a priority deadline cycle. Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit complete applications by the priority dates in order to assure maximum consideration for both admission and fellowships.

Once the priority deadlines have passed, the University will continue to review applications for qualified candidates on a competitive, space-available basis. The final deadlines listed are the last date the University can accept an application in order to allow sufficient time to complete the admissions, financial aid, and other enrollment processes.

Fall 2024
Application Deadline – January 15, 2024
Classes begin – August 26, 2024


  • You must have an undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4-point scale (or equivalent).
  • You should have a demonstrated ability to perform independent research.

Additional Information

It is strongly recommended that prospective students communicate directly with prospective faculty advisors whose research best fits their own interests. Owing to the small size of the program, “fit” is a key component of admission.

Review General Guidelines

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California Botanical Gardens

Spread across 86 acres in Claremont, California, the Garden displays about 2000 taxa of California plants and includes those native to the California Floristic Province as a whole. Nestled in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains, the Garden offers beautiful mountain vistas.

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