Crop and Soil Sciences (B.S.)

The Crop and Soil Sciences major is designed to train professional crop scientists, soil scientists, turfgrass scientists and environmentalists. It prepares them to apply scientific principles of crop and soil management for careers in agriculture, agribusiness, turfgrass management, government agencies and related areas.

The Crop and Soil Sciences studies and research areas include crop physiology and management, environmental soil sciences, microbial ecology, plant pathology, plant breeding and genetics, production ecology, soil fertility and management, turfgrass science and weed science.

Plant, soil and microbial scientists seek solutions related to world hunger, soil remediation, the effects of climate change on crops, water quality, plant diseases and much more.

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Student At Microscope

Core areas of study include:

  • Plant biology, physiology.
  • Plant genetics.
  • Plant production systems (agronomy and turfgrass).
  • Soil science (biology, chemistry, fertility, physics).
  • Entomology.
  • Plant pathology.
  • Weed science.

In addition to the core areas, students select a concentration to customize the program based on individual interests. Elective courses in each track allow students to tailor the program to suit their career goals.

Concentrations include:

Learn more about requirements and courses in Crop and Soil Sciences.

There are also many different types of scholarships available to students in the Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences.

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Crop & Soil Sciences Graduates


Average starting salary


Job placement rate


Top of starting salary range

Data from 2018 MSU Destination Survey of graduating students in this major

Career Opportunities

Graduates of Crop and Soil Sciences pursue jobs across different agriculture, sports turf, research, and scientific areas.

Crop and Soil Sciences prepares students for a variety of career paths.

    • Agribusiness manager.
    • Agronomist.
    • Crop advisor/consultant.
    • Farm manager.
    • Chemical sales (fertilizer, seed and crop protection).
    • Soil conservation.
    • Research technician.
    • Golf course superintendent.
    • Sports field manager.
    • Professional lawn care service.
    • Sod production.

Required Internships

Crop and Soil Sciences students are required to complete a professional internship as part of their major requirements for graduation.

This provides an opportunity for students to bridge the gap between academia and experience, and a chance for employers to preview potential candidates for permanent employment.

Denny Alt, crop and soil sciences undergraduate student.

Undergraduate Denny Alt talks about why he chose to study crop and soil sciences

September 30, 2019

Growing up on a farm in Michigan is what first interested Denny Alt in growing crops. His academic studies through the Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences will support his plans in agribusiness.

Charles Aubrey is golf course superintendent at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, Georgia. Aubry, an MSU alumnus, connected current students with PGA Tour course preparation experience as part of the championship tournament Aug. 22-25.

MSU alum connects current students with PGA Tour golf course preparation experience

August 22, 2019

MSU students help prepare the golf course for the PGA FedEx Cup Championship in partnership with the agronomy team at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, Georgia.

Crop and Soil Sciences Advisor

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Student Life

In addition to student jobs and internships, there are study abroad and undergraduate research opportunities.

There are also a variety of student clubs and organizations including groups and activities specific to Crop and Soil Sciences:

  • Agronomy Club.
  • Turfgrass Club.
  • Collegiate Farm Bureau.
  • Leadership in Environment and Agricultural Fields.
  • Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences.
  • National Agri-Marketing Association.

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Agriculture Majors

  • Agribusiness Management (B.S.)

    Agribusiness management is the application of business skills in areas such as marketing, finance, economics and management to the agricultural industry.

  • Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources Education (B.S.)

    This program prepares students for careers as school-based agriculture, food and natural resources teachers at the secondary level, careers in education fields, or professional or graduate school program.

  • Animal Science (B.S.)

    Animal science encompasses livestock production marketing, public affairs, transportation, research, companion animal management and many more allied specialties.

  • Biosystems Engineering (B.S.)

    The Biosystems Engineering program combines biology with engineering to ensure there is safe and plentiful food, clean water, renewable energy and a healthy environment.

  • Crop and Soil Sciences (B.S.)

    This undergraduate curriculum is designed to train students as professional crop scientists, soil scientists, turfgrass scientists and environmentalists.

  • Entomology (B.S.)

    Courses are designed to give the student an understanding of the structure, classification, identification, function, biology, ecology, and management of beneficial and harmful arthropods, and the communities and ecosystems where insects occur.

  • Horticulture (B.S.)

    The Horticulture program prepares students to make new discoveries in the plant sciences, promote the use of plants and food for improved human health, and manage and develop landscape design projects.