Whitestone pear orchard in bloom.

Graduate Study

Prospective Students

Welcome to the Research & Extension Center’s Graduate Program! As a graduate student here, you’ll have a unique opportunity to refine your research skills while collaborating with innovative faculty members in close proximity to industry producers. Our faculty have established strong working relationships with growers and warehouses throughout the region, often conducting research at industry orchards.

Some of our programs allow you to complete all coursework at Wenatchee TFREC, while some degrees require you to start your studies on the WSU Pullman campus. On average, we have more than 15 graduate students affiliated with WSU Wenatchee TFREC each year. Graduates from our programs are well-prepared for careers in academia, government, industry research, extension, and private industry.

Interested in Visiting TFREC?

If you’re considering a visit to our research center, please reach out to a faculty member to make arrangements. The closest airport is Pangborn Memorial Airport in East Wenatchee, WA, just 8 miles from the Center. There are also major airports in Seattle and Spokane, both within a three-hour drive, although Portland Airport is an option with a longer drive of almost 5 hours. Prospective students can arrange to stay in on-campus housing (space is limited, so inquire early) or find lodging at a nearby hotel. Bus transportation to and from SeaTac airport is also available.


Living in the Wenatchee Area

Wenatchee is the gateway to the outdoor wonderland of North Central Washington. Located at the confluence of the Columbia and Wenatchee Rivers, it’s just a short distance from the mountains (12 miles to Mission Ridge Ski Area). The region offers year-round recreational opportunities, including hiking, biking, skiing, water activities, parks, and recreational clubs. The climate features cool winters with some snow and hot summers with days above 100°F, as well as beautiful fall days. Annual precipitation is just over 9 inches, with most falling from November to February.

The Wenatchee Valley area boasts a “small town” feel with growing urban amenities, including excellent public transportation, diverse restaurants, a Performing Arts Center, breweries, wineries, and the famous Apple Blossom Festival.

Recent developments have expanded housing options, including waterfront developments and new apartment buildings within half a mile of TFREC. TFREC also offers on-campus residences for students.

Work and Life at TFREC

Graduate students spend considerable time with their lab groups at TFREC but also have opportunities to interact with students and personnel from other labs. While the TFREC campus may lack some amenities of the Pullman campus, it provides excellent opportunities for collaborative studies, real-world research, and outreach experiences with the tree fruit industry.

We offer state-of-the-art virtual classrooms, extensive laboratory equipment, and a premier research orchard. Graduate students share office spaces, participate in the WSU Graduate and Professional Student Association (GPSA), and have access to professional development opportunities, such as seminars and social activities.

Students frequently present their research and engage with the community, even having the chance to share their passion for science with prospective undergraduate visitors. TFREC graduate students have even interacted with Members of Congress and other VIPs to discuss their research and professional ambitions. Thanks to the generous donations of the Hambelton and Hoyt families, graduate students (and some post-docs) working with TFREC faculty are eligible for scholarship and fellowship support for professional development activities.