In response to strong demand from private and public institutions involved in plant breeding and in the food sector, a new “Master in Plant Breeding”, was jointly established in 2014 by the Polytechnic Institute of LaSalle Beauvais, France and Ghent University, Belgium.
The ‘Master in Plant Breeding’ is a 2-year international Master program intended to form expert plant breeders with strong cross-curricular competence in biotechnology, including molecular and bioinformatics tools and their applications in plant breeding. Its modular structure will offer additional flexibility to students who wish to focus on specific courses or topics.
The program will have strong involvement of private partners and all courses will be taught in English. During the 2nd year courses will take place at the campus of Ghent University, Belgium. A 10–month internship in a company will allow to directly apply the knowledge gained to a plant species of interest.
“I fully support the MSc in Plant Breeding and research initiative for integration of Biotechnologies” Em. Prof. Marc Van Montagu, Chairman IPBO, Laureate World Food Prize 2013
The Master of Science in Plant Breeding trains future breeders and combine:
  • Plant improvement, plant breeding and selection
  • Biotechnologies, cellular and molecular biology, molecular markers as breeding supports
  • Core technologies in molecular and cellular biology: biomathematics and computational biology
The aim of the programme to train plant breeders able to grasp and manage the scientific and technical interdisciplinarity between biotechnologies, agronomy, plant biology, genetics, regulatory issues and markets.
Target Audience
  • Students who have obtained a license or a Bachelor degree in a field related to genetics and wishing to specialize in applied plant breeding;
  • Personnel of companies who wish to complete their basic training, and/or take on expanded responsibilities in plant breeding programs.
  • In September 2014, 11 students with different nationalities (Germany, Serbia, France, Ghana, Tanzania, Malawi, Kenya, Nicaragua, Benin, Ethiopia and Bangladesh) started this training.
Start date
Each academic year in September
Admission criteria
  • Completed a one-year Master’s degree or a Bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) in a field relevant to the genetic improvement of plants with an average mark of 70% (or grade C)
  • Applicants must be proficient in English
  • A motivation interview is mandatory
Along with the Master, a network of applied research on integrated Plant Breeding and Biotechnology will be implemented in Beauvais and Ghent, where it will benefit from the extensive international network of the Institute of Plant Biotechnology Outreach (IPBO/VIB-UGent) and of the LaSalle Universities, to reach out to developing countries.
The Polytechnic Institute LaSalle Beauvais, France
LaSalle Beauvais is the first private Agricultural school in France and delivers 350 engineers per year over a course of 5 years. For many years the school has been in close contact with relevant companies, particularly in the context of research services and training.


Ghent University
Ghent University (UGent) is one of the major universities in the Dutch-speaking region of UGent-logo_2Europe. It distinguishes itself as a socially committed and pluralistic university in a broad international perspective. Its eleven faculties are composed of more than 120 faculty departments. These departements offer high-quality courses in every one of their scientific disciplines, each inspired by innovative research. The Faculty of Bioscience Engineering welcomes 2,700 students annually.