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.

Please contact the PSM Academic Program Coordinator, Lauren Colby, at for more information 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
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