• ​​​​The M.Sc. program is a two-year program.
  • The chairperson of the teaching committee is:
    Prof. Vered Tzin.
  • Prerequisites:

  • Students without sufficient background (B.Sc. in Life Sciences, Agriculture, or Biotechnology) wll be required to complete individually-prescribed courses for no academic credit, typically yet not exclusively, including the following courses or their equivalents.

  • Hebrew speakers can take underdrad classes at BGU or other academic institutes. Hebrew speakers might take these classes prior to their arrival or during the first year of the M.Sc. program. In case classes will be taken during the program, it should be approved by the Desert Studie: Agriculture and Biotechnology teaching committee. Non-Hebrew speakers can take these classes on academic institutes in their home countries prior to their arrival. Open online courses (i.e. Coursera) will be accepted after a certificate is provided.

  • The courses list: General Chemistry or Biochemistry; Cell Biology, Genetics or Applied Genetics; Plant science or Plant Physiology.

  • Students are required to complete the following courses during the two-year program:

Courses within the track of study:

A. Mandatory Course

B. Core courses

Four core courses selected from all core courses

C. Departmental and student seminars  

    (1 credit point in total)

D. Elective courses within the track of study

E. General courses (2-3 credits point in total)

Thesis Writing12

A. Mandato​​ry Co​​​urs​​e:​

Course #LecturerSubjectCredits

Dr. Scott Hansen and Dr. Christopher J. Arnusch


Writing a Scientific Paper2

B. Core​ C​o​​​urses:​

Course #LecturerSubjectCredits
001-2-2005 Prof. Moshe Sagi, Prof. Shimon RachnilevitchPlant Physiology Under Stress 2
001-2-2017Prof. Simon BarakPlant Perception, Transduction and Response to  Environmental Signals2

Prof. Naftali Lazarovitch


Crop Irrigation Regimes



Prof. Gideon Grafi



Molecular Biology and Epigenetics



Prof. Noemi Tel- Zur



Plant Reproduction






Prof. Yaron SitritGenetic and Physiological Regulation of Fruit Ripening2
001-2-2059Prof. Shimon RachmilevitchCarbon Metabolism and Photosynthesis in a Changing Environment2

Prof. Aaron Fait



The Physiology and Metabolism of Fruits: Genetics Vs Environment4

C. Seminars and Thesis Writing - Mandatory Courses:

Students are required to attend 4 Departmental Seminars (one seminar per semester).

Course #LecturerSubjectCredits
001-2-2222Please check the university course file
Departmental Seminar

Students are required to present two seminars (one student seminar per year).

Course #LecturerSubjectCredits
001-2-2666Please check the university course fileStudent Seminar (first year)0.5
001-2-2667 Student Seminar (second year)0.5

In the third and fourth semesters, students must register for Thesis Writing.

Course #LecturerSubjectCredits

Thesis Writing A


Thesis Writing B


​Students who have completed the above Thesis Writing courses and who continue their studies for a ​fifth semester must register for the following course:

Course #LecturerSubjectCredits

Thesis Writing – Continuation


​D. Elective Courses Within the Track of Study:​​


Course #LecturerSubjectCredits
001-2-2006Prof. Moshe SilberbushMechanistic Approach to Plant Nutrition2
001-2-2015Prof. Dina Zilberg and Prof. Amit GrossIntroduction to Desert Aquaculture3
001-2-2021Prof. Dina ZilbergAquatic Animal Health3
001-2-2025/6/7 Prof. Dina ZilbergPractical Fish Disease Diagnosis (A)/(B)/(C) (prerequisite: Theoretical fish diseases course)1
001-2-2037Prof. Moshe SagiGuided Reading on Stress Sensing in Plants2
001-2-2039Prof. Naftali LazarovitchAdvanced Modeling of Water Flow and Contaminant Transport in Porous Media Using HYDRUS Software Packages2
001-2-2040Prof. Gideon GrafiLab Course in Epigenetics3
001-2-2043Dr. Shimon Rachmilevitch Plant Stress Indications: Methods and Instrumentation2
001-2-2049Prof. Noemi Tel-ZurPhysiology, Reproduction and Use of Cactus Species2
001-2-2051Prof. Inna Khozin-GoldbergGuided Reading on Lipid Metabolism in Plants and Microalgae 
001-2-2054Prof. Shimon Rachmilevitch Guided Reading on Topics in the Ecophysiology of Desert Plants2

001-2-2062Prof. Robert J. Lascano (Coordinated by Dr. Nurit Agam)Water Use Efficiency in Agriculture (Intensive Course)3
001-2-2063Dr. David Fleisher (Coordinated by Prof. Jhonathan Ephrath)Understanding and Modeling the Major Components in Explanatory Crop Models (Intensive Course)3
001-2-2064Prof. Aaron FaitAnalysis of Biological Networks2.5
001-2-2066Prof. Aaron FaitMetabolomics Laboratory2
001-2-2067Prof. Jhonathan EphrathUnderstanding and Modeling of Agricultural Systems2
001-2-2069Prof. Inna Khozin-GoldbergLipid Biochemistry of Microalgae and Plants3
001-2-2070Prof. Inna Khozin-Goldberg (Coordinator)Biology and Biotechnology of Microalgae3
001-2-2071Prof. Vered ZinMolecular Mechanism of Plant-Insect Interactions2
001-2-2075Dr. Ilya GelfandTerrestrial Biogeochemsitry3
001-2-2173Prof. Noemi Tel-ZurGuided Reading on Plant Breeding and Cytogenetics2
001-2-2203Dr. Gilboa AryeAdsorption and Reactivity of Chemicals in Soils3
001-2-2288Prof. Jhonathan EphrathGuided Reading in Understanding and Modeling of Agricultural Systems2
001-2-2289Prof. Simon BarakGuided Reading on Molecular and Systems Biology Approaches to Plant Stress Tolerance Research2
001-2-2290Prof. Dina ZilbergAquatic Animal Health - Guided Reading Course2

Dr. Ilya Gelfand

Guided Reading on Ecosystem Ecology and Biogeochemistry 2
001-2-3034Prof. Bertrand BoekenVegetation Ecology3
001-2-3036Prof. Bertrand BoekenAgroecology2.5
001-2-4028Prof. Arnon KarnieliRemote Sensing for Agriculture, Rangelands, and Forestry (no prerequisites required)3
001-2-5055Prof. Naftali Lazarovitch & Prof. Ofer DahanOperation and Analysis of Environmental Monitoring Systems1



E. General Course​​s:

Course #LecturerSubjectCredits

Dr. Leah Orlovsky

Geography of Desertification


Prof. Yosef Ashkenazi

Introduction to Statistical and Probability 3

Prof. Itamar Giladi​

Biostatistics: ANOVA and Design of Experiments 3