Plant Sciences


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General Information

Photo by edgenumbers on flickr ADMINISTRATIVE SUPPORT. Graduate students in the Department of Plant Sciences may have final copies of the following done without charge: Plan of Study, Thesis Proposal, Abstracts for Graduate Seminar, Overheads and Slides for Graduate Seminar, and Slides/Posters for Society Meetings (ASA, CSSA, WSSA, ASHS, etc.).

BANKING/CREDIT UNION. Many banks are located throughout Fargo. U.S. Bank has an office in the Memorial Union. The First Community Credit Union is located at 1404 12th Ave. N, and graduate students may borrow or deposit money.

BULLETIN BOARDS. Bulletin boards outside of graduate student offices in Loftsgard Hall are for graduate student use. All announcements concerning students will be posted on these boards. A board outside the main office is used for departmental announcements.

COMPUTERS. Ethernet connections are located at each graduate student desk. All students are required to read and follow the NDSU Acceptable Use Procedure ( Computer use policy applies to use of personally owned computers as well as departmental computers. Be very aware that P2P file sharing is discouraged and in many cases violates NDSU policy. If excess bandwidth is detected, your machine will be blocked from internet use. Blocked machines must be reformatted prior to reconnection to the internet.

The department has a number of older machines that faculty have provided as they replace their office equipment. Computers are recycled to graduate students subject to availability. The machines have a Windows operating system, Office Productivity Suite, and Adobe Reader. Connection to suite printers must be approved by your advisor. Additional free licensed software (SAS, etc.) can be installed by the department computer support team.

Any software required that has a cost will need to be approved by your major advisor. All machines are provided with only a user account (unless the advisor provides the machine) with only the computer support team having administrative rights. Graduate students will not be able to install programs on departmental machines. Please provide the Department Head's administrator with requests for assistance with your computer.

The following is a statement on copyright law as it pertains to copying software. The copyright law is clear. The copyright holder is given certain exclusive rights, including the right to make and distribute copies. Title 17 of the U.S. Code states that "it is illegal to make or distribute copies of copyrighted material without authorization" (Section 106). The only exception is the user's right to make a backup-copy for archival purposes (Section 117).

The copyright law makes no distinction between duplicating software for sale or for free distribution. The law protects the exclusive rights of the copyright holder and does not give users the right to copy software unless a backup copy is not provided by the manufacturer. Unauthorized duplication of software is a Federal crime. Penalties include fines of as much as $100,000 and jail terms of up to five years.

DESK ASSIGNMENT. Each Plant Sciences (PLSC) graduate student will be assigned a desk in an office by the Department Head's assistant. A bookcase, file drawers, and chair are also supplied. The desk or office may not be changed without checking with the Department Head's program administrator.

DRIVER’S LICENSE. All drivers must have a valid U.S. or Canadian driver’s license.

DRIVING/CAR INSURANCE. Every driver in North Dakota must have "liability" insurance coverage, and a valid U.S. or Canadian driver’s license.

STATE FLEET. Before driving a State Fleet vehicle, all graduate students should read the State Fleet Policy Manual:

GREENHOUSE, PLOT LAND, AND SEED STORAGE SPACE. The Plant Sciences Greenhouse Committees are responsible for all greenhouses assigned to the department. Any use of chemicals, e.g., insecticides, fungicides, herbicides, etc., that might affect plant material being grown by another person should be cleared with the committee prior to use. These chemicals are to be applied only by a Certified Pesticide Applicator. The Department hires a person to apply all chemicals. Also, only certain days and evenings are designated for fumigation and other pesticide use. You should contact your advisor regarding possible arrangements for plot land, greenhouse, seed storage, plant dryer, or growth chamber space.

HEALTH INSURANCE. Domestic graduate students may purchase health insurance through the Student Health Service ( The Student Affairs Office (Old Main 100) is an additional source of information regarding health insurance. Please check with the Student Health Service (231-7331) or the Student Affairs Office (231-7701) regarding any questions you may have, necessary dates, and other requirements. Options for family insurance plans are available. International students should see the health insurance requirements discussed on the Office of International Programs website ( Please contact the Office of International Programs (231-7895) for assistance in obtaining the required insurance.

HEALTH-MEDICAL INFORMATION. Any registered student is entitled to medical care on campus at the Student Health Service in Wallman Wellness Center ( Payment of student fees covers the cost of office visits; students are charged reasonable fees for laboratory services, medications, and treatments. The Student Health Service is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Limited services are provided during the summer session. Health care is available by appointment with a physician or nurse practitioner by calling 231-7331. Pharmacy services are available by calling 231-7332.

To find a doctor in Fargo, look in the Yellow Pages of the telephone directory under "Physicians and Surgeons, M.D." Below is a list of hospitals you can contact. For an emergency (medical or police) call 911.


Sanford Health
737 Broadway
Fargo, ND
(701) 234-2000
Emergency Dept. (701) 234-2000

Essentia Health
3000 32nd Ave. S
Fargo, ND
(701) 364-8000
Emergency Dept. (701) 364-8400

HOUSING (ON-CAMPUS). Graduate students may live on-campus in residence halls or apartments. You can start the process of securing housing by going to, where you can learn about the various possibilities and rental rates. You can also apply for housing online via this same website. The demand for on-campus housing generally exceeds the supply depending on your requirements; you can add your name to the waiting list via the website, but a deposit is required to be placed on the waiting list. This deposit will be returned to you if you decide to remove your name from the waiting list or decide to not accept the housing opportunity when offered. If you do accept the housing when offered, the deposit will be used as part of your first monthly payment.

HOUSING (OFF-CAMPUS). If you choose to live off-campus, sources of apartment vacancies include several websites such as Apartments HQ, local newspaper (Forum), or campus newspaper (Spectrum).

JOB PLACEMENT. Potential jobs are often found through the department, your faculty advisor, or online searches. The Career Center located at 306 Ceres Hall is another possibility as it is the central placement agency for NDSU. Services are available to all students and alumni. There are fees for use of their services and there are no refunds. The office offers useful information for your personal job search.

KEYS. Keys to the student's office and outside doors are obtained from the Department Head’s administrator (PLSC main office). Laboratory and greenhouse keys will be supplied if needed. Student office, study rooms, and research laboratories are available to graduate students 24 hours a day, 7 days per week. All keys must be returned to the Department Head’s administrator when the student leaves. If you had a desk key, please leave it in your desk when you leave NDSU.

MAIL. Mailboxes are provided for graduate students in the main office. The address is Department of Plant Sciences, NDSU Dept. 7670, P.O. Box 6050, Fargo, ND 58108-6050. Mail arrives and departs each day at approximately 9:00 a.m.

OTHER FACILITIES. We often have joint projects with Biochemistry, Cereal Science, Entomology, Microbiology, Plant Pathology, Soil Science, etc. Their facilities should be used with great care and consideration and the major advisor will make arrangements for use of space and replacement of all chemicals or materials used, glassware broken, etc.

PARKING ON CAMPUS. A permit, available from The Parking Office located at 1801 15th Avenue North, is required for parking on campus. Information regarding parking can be found at Graduate Research Assistants are required to use student lots; Graduate Research Fellows can obtain a parking permit for the AR (faculty/staff) lot.

PAYROLL. Payments will be dispersed twice a month, on the 15th and the last day of the month. Direct deposit into a bank account is mandatory.

PHOTOCOPYING/PRINTING. Use of the departmental copier by graduate students is limited to project-related materials (ask your advisor or the Department Head’s administrator). Use of printers near graduate student offices is dependent on advisor permission, as the advisor’s project will be billed accordingly. To reduce waste and lower printing costs, NDSU has a Responsible Printing Initiative ( that manages printing in computer labs, including the PLSC Learning Center. This initiative allows each NDSU student to print a fixed number of pages at these computer labs with no charge. Your Bison card will be charged when this printing allocation is exceeded. Design and Sign in the Memorial Union is also available for all students.

PLANT SCIENCES GRADUATE STUDENT ASSOCIATION. The Graduate Student Council ( is the governing body of PLSC graduate students. The purpose of this Graduate Student Association is to promote an atmosphere conducive to educational and social growth of PLSC graduate students. Anyone who is currently a PLSC graduate student is eligible to run for office at the annual elections.

PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION. Metro Area Transit (MAT) operates Monday through Saturday, offering many routes to provide transportation to key points in Fargo and Moorhead, including the NDSU Downtown Campus: Richard H. Barry Hall, Klai Hall, or Renaissance Hall. The best way to get to and from the Downtown Campus is Metro Area Transit (MAT). All buses are wheelchair-accessible. Members of the NDSU community ride these buses for free. Swipe your NDSU ID after entering the bus; no monetary value will be removed from your Bison ID. Please see or for bus routes and schedules, hours of operation, and much more. Metro Area Transit can also be reached by phone at 232-7500.

PURCHASES. Consult your advisor regarding purchase of supplies. Certain procedures must be followed for all purchases and those involving on-campus purchases are specific.

RESEARCH FACILITIES. Laboratory, greenhouse, growth chamber, and field space for research or teaching purposes are available to all students within reasonable limits, although certain equipment or space may be restricted to certain work or projects. Equipment, vehicles, etc., in general are available to all. Most items are used primarily by specific projects but may be available when not in use by the project. The major advisor and project leader responsible for the equipment must be consulted regarding its use, and the equipment should be maintained in good condition. Equipment of the USDA should not be used without permission of the USDA scientist concerned.

SICK/VACATION LEAVE. Sick and vacation leave privileges are the same as 12-month employees (8 hours/month). All vacation must be approved by the major advisor, and leave slips must be completed, including signatures of the student and major advisor. Submit leave slips to the PLSC Graduate Program Administrator. Final approval is determined by the Department Head.

SMOKING. NDSU is a smoke-free campus. Smoking is prohibited on the North Dakota State University grounds and in University buildings, residence halls, apartments and enclosed structures. In addition, smoking is not permitted in any State Fleet vehicle.

SUPPLIES. Notebooks, photocopying, and other materials required for course work are personal expenses. Laboratory supplies for research may be purchased through your advisor's project account, and, of course, requires permission by your advisor.

TRAVEL REGULATIONS (PROJECT RELATED). Travel authorization forms must be completed for each trip farther than 50 miles outside of the North Dakota border. All out-of-state authorization forms must be completed at least two weeks prior to travel.

A travel expense voucher is completed after returning from the trip and turned in to the PLSC main office at the end of each month you traveled. Receipts are required for lodging and most other special items except food. There is a maximum in-state and out-of-state per diem for meals and lodging. Fargo, Moorhead, West Fargo, Casselton, Prosper, Absaraka, and Northwest 22 are considered normal place of employment and, therefore, expense vouchers are not submitted for time spent at these nearby locations.

TRAVEL TO PROFESSIONAL MEETINGS. All travel funds for GRAs and GRFs to regional or national meetings must be from project grant or gift sources. Travel is dependent upon approval of advisor, Department Head, and NDSU administration.

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