Masters of Science in Crop and Soil Sciences

The master's degree program in Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences recognizes that the background and post-degree plans of students vary widely. Students who plan to acquire a Ph.D. degree should develop their master's program as an integral part of their total graduate program. Student enrolled in interdisciplinary programs such as Plant Breeding and Genetics are required to fulfill all degree requirements for both Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences and the interdisciplinary program. It is the student's responsibility to learn about relevant requirements.

Students are not admitted to a graduate program in the Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences until a faculty member has agreed to serve as major professor. If a student's educational objectives change at a later date, he/she may request another major professor. Requests to change major professor, however, may affect a student's funding. Requests for the proposed change should be submitted to the Coordinator of Graduate Programs for action. Similarly, a major professor may resign from this responsibility.

It is the responsibility of the student, in consultation with the major professor, to form a guidance committee at the earliest possible date, but not later than the end of the first semester of study after completion of provisional requirements, if any. The guidance committee must consist of at least three members of the regular faculty. The major professor usually serves as chairperson of the committee. At least one member of the committee must be from a department other than Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences. The primary function of the guidance committee is to provide direction and counsel and to oversee the progress of the student. This committee will also function as the examining committee.

In keeping with the department's philosophy of allowing maximum flexibility for individual situations, two programs of study are offered. These plans differ primarily in their research component.

The Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences requires all graduate students to participate in a meaningful teaching or extension experience and to exhibit proficiency in both writing and general presentation skills as a part of their graduate programs. The teaching/extension requirement is to be an experience that is beneficial and relevant to the education of each student.

These are four options available to fulfill this requirement. Please contact the PSM Graduate Programs Office at 517-353-0111 for more information on these options and detail of the Masters program in CSS.

All M.S. students are required to successfully complete a final oral certifying examination. The oral examination is considered to be a comprehensive examination of the M.S. degree. Since M.S. degree programs may vary markedly between students, the oral examination will also vary, but in each case the examination will attempt to determine if the candidate has achieved (a) an acceptable level of competence in the general area of crop and/or soil science and related fields, and (b) a comprehensive knowledge of his/her major area of specialization. In addition to the oral examination, a written examination may be given by and at the discretion of each member of the guidance committee.

Master's Degree Requirements and Due Dates

Requirements Due Date
Selection of Guidance Committee Prior to completion of first semester
Proposed Academic Program (Form Required) Prior to completion of second semester
Teaching/Extension and General Presentation Skills (Form Required) Must be submitted with Proposed Academic Program
SPEAK/INTERVIEW Test-FOREIGN STUDENTS (Form Required) Prior to teaching/extension experience (check schedule with English Testing Office) Must pass before the end of the first academic program in CSS
Domestic/Foreign Teaching Assistant Orientation Attend just prior to fall semester of the academic year you will TA.
Application to Graduate (Form Required) See the University Calendar in the Schedule of Courses
Final Oral Examination (Form Required) See the University Calendar in the Schedule of Courses
Final draft of thesis to the Graduate School See the University Calendar in the Schedule of Courses