Frequently Asked Questions

What is the UC Davis African Plant Breeding Academy? The UC Davis African Plant Breeding Academy is a professional development course for African plant breeders modeled after highly successful Plant Breeding Academies in U.S., Europe, and Asia.

What are the goals of the Academy? The goals of the African Plant Breeding Academy are to create the infrastructure and technical capacity to enable and sustain the genetic improvement of African crops by Africans. The specific objectives are:

  • To train African plant breeders to apply modern plant breeding techniques, including genome sequencing, bioinformatics, phenotyping and genome selection, to important African crops.
  • To increase the competency in classical plant breeding and plant genomics throughout the African public and private plant breeding/research and seed/propagation sectors. 
  • To prepare African educators to extend and sustain plant breeding training programs and to provide the local human resources to support active plant breeding programs.

What is the format of the course? Participants will meet at The World Agroforestry Centre in Nairobi, Kenya for all sessions. Participants will be able to continue in their current employment while being involved in the course. The format will be a combination of lectures, discussions, practical experience and lab/computer sessions. Homework and exercises will be conducted via the internet between sessions with the course coordinator and instructors serving as mentors for participants over the 13-month period.

What are the prerequisites for the Academy? There will be two types of students targeted for the Academy. All students will be from Africa. Classes are limited to 25-30 students. Ideal students will have:

  • Ph. D or Master’s degree with significant plant breeding experience
  • Courses in statistics, genetics and breeding (intermediate level)
  • Experience in or managing a breeding program in any crop
  • Have proficiency in English language
  • Must be available to attend all sessions

At what level will the course be taught? The Academy is taught at the level of graduate studies. As participants will not be enrolled in a formal degree program, they would not be eligible for a graduate degree. However, the Academy program may be recognized by graduate institutions, at their discretion, as equivalent to formal university courses for transfer credit. Upon request, participants can ask for the transfer credits.

What is the course content? For more information, please view the AfPBA Curriculum page.

How much homework is expected between in-residence sessions? Participants should plan for approximately 1 to 2 hours per week of homework between in-residence sessions, or no more that 15 to 20 hours per trimester. Assignments may include reading, problems or analyses.

What is required to successfully complete the course? Participants will be expected to attend all in-residence sessions, complete all assigned homework and pass periodic evaluations indicating academic mastery.

Is there a degree or certificate awarded at completion of the course? As participants will not be enrolled in a formal degree program, they will not be eligible for a graduate degree. Participants successfully completing the Academy will receive a certificate of completion from the Plant Breeding Academy.

How do I apply to the Academy? Applicants complete an on-line application form and include a resume and reference letter in order to be considered for enrollment. Applicant's background and experience will be reviewed to ensure they meet the requirements before acceptance.

How will the Academy be administered? The UC Davis Seed Biotechnology Center will provide the administrative home for the Academy. An academic coordinator dedicated to the Academy will administer the logistics of the program, coordinate curriculum development, maintain the internet materials, and serve as a primary contact for participants between in-residence sessions.

How much is the tuition for the Academy? There is no fee for this course; scholarships are available and do not require an additional application. 

Where can I get more information about the Academy? Email us at



AfPBA Curriculum

AfPBA Instructors and Staff