MSc in Plant Biology with an Emphasis in Food Safety and Security

Tel Aviv University - International Office

Program Description

MSc in Plant Biology with an Emphasis in Food Safety and Security

Tel Aviv University - International Office


This innovative interdisciplinary program is open to outstanding students worldwide interested in obtaining an MSc in Plant Sciences with an emphasis in Food Safety and Security.

The program's curriculum combines academic research with hands-on agricultural experience in the Arava desert, Israel’s largest vegetable exporting region. It provides the students with academic knowledge with leading faculty, opportunities to gain practical skills and the chance to be a part of creating a sustainable future.

The program offers students an internship opportunity to gain first-hand experience in advanced desert agriculture throughout their studies. The internship is part of an agreement with the Central Arava Council which provides students with tuition assistance.

About the Arava desert

The program takes place in collaboration with the Arava International Center for Agriculture Training (AICAT), and the Agricultural Research and Development Center (at the Yair R&D Station). As part of the collaboration, students will have the unique opportunity to study and reside in a local agricultural village (moshav) within the Arava municipality in the desert.

About the Partners

Tel Aviv University

Tel Aviv University is Israel’s largest and most comprehensive university, attracting over 30,000 talented students and renowned faculty from around the globe. Ranked among the world’s top 100 universities, the university has a strong interdisciplinary focus and collaborates closely with leading institutions worldwide. The campus is located in Tel Aviv, the financial and technology capital of Israel – which is known for its entrepreneurial atmosphere and a large number of start-up companies. With the growth of high-tech industries, the Tel Aviv metropolis has become an international hotspot for business and innovation – an ideal setting for an enriching study experience.

Manna Center Program for Food Safety & Security

The International MSc Program in Plant Biology is housed in the Faculty of Life Sciences and part of the Manna Center Program for Food Safety and Security at Tel Aviv University.

The Manna Center Program for Food Safety and Security seeks to bring together researchers from diverse academic disciplines to promote innovative research, to forge ties with professionals and academics around the world, and to prepare the next generation of scientists and policymakers to guide global food security issues.


The Arava International Center for Agriculture Training ("AICAT") currently accommodates 1,000 students from academic teaching institutions in East Asia (Myanmar, Nepal, Indonesia, Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos), as well as Africa (Ethiopia and South Sudan). The Center operates within the framework of the Central Arava Regional Council; the main goal is to impart professional agricultural knowledge and skills in modern and advanced farms.

The new MSc program meets a growing demand on the part of international students to pursue academic studies in Israel and reflects the region's expertise, taking advantage of the regional capacity to provide both accommodation and practical experience in modern agriculture and science. In addition, the program could contribute to the global need for depth and specialization in growing food for the world's population and finding a solution for the global problem of food insecurity.


This enriching 18-month program consists of 38 credit hours, which also include the research practicum, spread over three semesters. Due to the nature of the program, the curriculum is fixed and students must take all courses listed.

The interdisciplinary curriculum offers students a wide understanding of plant biology, from the molecular and cellular level, and up to the organism level, as well as its interaction with its environment.

  • 1st semester (Arava Campus): 3-month preparatory studies.
  • 2nd semester (Arava campus): Focus on plant sciences and hands-on agricultural learning in arid zones.
  • 3rd semester (TAU Campus): focus on Food Safety and Security
  • 4th semester (Arava campus): focus on plant sciences and hands-on agricultural learning in arid zones.


Our program is designed for graduates of accredited institutions of higher education. Preferred candidates will have completed a B.Sc. in Life Sciences or related fields with a minimum grade of 80 (or equivalent). Under special circumstances, students with other academic backgrounds will be considered as well. Professional experience in fields related to agriculture is highly advantageous.

The participants in this program will be made up of diverse nationalities with varied fields of interest. Our admission policy takes into account the applicant's academic records and recommendations, as well as personal essay and relevant experience.

General GPA requirement of 80 on a scale of 100, 3.0 on a scale of 4.0, or C on the ECTS scale. These are approximate and candidates with other strengths are also encouraged to apply. Note that all transcripts will be weight based on each country’s academic grading system.

Application Materials and Requirements

Applicants are asked to upload the following official documents to the Student Portal:

  • Official transcripts from all higher education institutions (college or university) you have attended. If your transcripts are not in English, you need to acquire a translated copy and have it notarized for authenticity.
  • Official University degree diploma
  • Personal essay up to two pages in length, including your interest in pursuing the MSc Program in Plant Biology, how the program fits into your overall professional growth and how you will contribute to the program and class dynamics.
  • CV/Resume
  • English Language Proficiency Exam: your TOEFL or IELTS exam scores. Applicants with qualifications from a country where the official language is not English are required to submit either TOEFL or IELTS scores. The University's Code is 7704.
  • Two letters of recommendation, from academic and/or professional sources
  • A passport sized photo (light background, headshot only). This photo will be used for your student ID and is not used as part of the admissions process.
  • Passport scan

Application Deadlines:

  • First application deadline: March 1, 2017
  • Second application deadline: June 12, 2017

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis depending on space after June 12, 2017

How to Apply

Online application.


Each application is assessed on an individual basis according to grades, test scores, essay, and recommendations. The Admissions Committee will conduct a personal interview with all suitable applicants. Interviews will take place via Skype.

Original documents

Students who are accepted to the program need to bring the original and official University degree diploma (Graduation Certificate) and Transcript of record from their University with them to Israel. If the documents are not in English, they need to be translated and notarized.

Costs & Funding

As part of the partnership with AICAT, students will obtain tuition assistance through internship arrangement.

Program Tuition is US $16,250. Students who choose to take part in the agricultural practicum on a local farm will receive tuition assistance. This practicum will take place 2-3 days per week. The program does not cover travel or health insurance, and those must be paid by the student. Insurance will be paid separately to TAU International.

Accommodation and Daily Life

The program will be held over four semesters, with most of the studies physically taking place in the Arava. The summer semester will be an intensive session given in Tel Aviv. For most of the year, the students will live on farms in the Arava region where they will be able to gain hands-on experience 2-3 days per week, as part of their internship arrangement for tuition assistance.

The program will work in close cooperation with the Agricultural Research and Development Center (at the Yair Research and Development Station). Some of the lecturers will be researchers from the Center and students will conduct their practicum research with the assistance of R&D researchers.

This school offers programs in:
  • English

Last updated January 23, 2018
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Oct. 2018
18 months
Full time
16,250 USD
Israel - Tel Aviv-Yafo, Tel Aviv District
Start date : Oct. 2018
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Oct. 2018
Israel - Tel Aviv-Yafo, Tel Aviv District
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info