Agronomy and Horticulture

Graduate Degree Program Summary

Graduate degrees offered


  • M.S.* in Agronomy
  • M.S.* in Horticulture
  • Ph.D. in Agronomy and Horticulture


A specialization is a well-defined area of study that will appear on your transcript with your degree and major. Specializations are optional in most UNL programs.

  • Agricultural Meteorology
  • Applied Ecology (Ph.D. only)
  • Crop Physiology and Production
  • Environmental Studies
  • Great Plains Studies
  • Plant Breeding and Genetics
  • Plant Pathology
  • Public Horticulture Administration (Horticulture only)
  • Range and Forage Sciences
  • Soil and Water Sciences
  • Water Resources Planning and Management (M.S. only)
  • Weed Science (Agronomy only)
*Thesis or non-thesis options
For a special interdisciplinary program, see Plant Sciences.
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Contacts for Agronomy and Horticulture

On the Web



Graduate Chair

Professor Mark Lagrimini

Graduate Program Administrative Assistant

Ms. Marlene Busse

(402) 472-1560

Distance Graduate Program Administrative Assistant

Ms. Kathryn Schindler


Campus Address

279 Plant Science

Lincoln NE 68583-0915

Application checklist and deadlines

Required by the Office of Graduate Studies

See also: steps to admission.

Required by Agronomy and Horticulture in GAMES

After you apply, allow one business day for us to establish your access to GAMES, where you'll complete these departmental requirements:

  • Minimum English proficiency:
    - Plant Pathology specialization: Paper TOEFL 550, Internet TOEFL 80, IELTS 6.5
    - Otherwise: Paper TOEFL 550, Internet TOEFL 79, IELTS 6.5
  • Three recommendation letters
  • Curriculum vita
  • Statement of interests and goals

When sending GRE or TOEFL scores, UNL's institution code is 6877 and a department code is not needed.

Application Deadlines for Agronomy and Horticulture
Rolling admissions, contact the department for more information.


The Department of Agronomy and Horticulture offers graduate degree programs leading to an M.S. or Ph.D. in plant and soil sciences.

Agronomy is the application of plant and soil science to crop production. Agronomy emphasizes staple food crops, such as corn, rice, beans, and wheat, which are produced on a large scale and represent the foundation of our human food supply.

Horticulture is the science and art of cultivating fruits, vegetables, flowers, and ornamental plants. Horticultural crops are used to diversify human diets and to enhance our living environment. Vegetables, fruits, flowers, ornamentals, and lawn grasses are examples of horticultural crops and are typically produced on a smaller scale with more intensive management than agronomic crops.

The Department's pride is its excellent teaching, research, and extension programs carried out by more than 70 faculty members in six core areas: landscape ecology and design; ornamental horticulture; plant breeding and genetics; soil and water sciences; turf/range/forage science; and weed science. The Department also conducts research nationally and internationally in plant physiology, viticulture, molecular biology, plant biotechnology, plant breeding, nutrient cycling and management, rangeland ecology and management, renewable bioenergy, soil and water management, and on the environmental impact and sustainability of agriculture.

The Department has well-equipped laboratories, modern greenhouses, growth chambers, and field facilities, including four district research centers spanning several ecoregions, available to graduate students. For instance, the Plant Sciences Program combines integrative curriculum with collaborative research in highly specialized facilities. And our outstanding field research facilities located in several agro-climatic zones across the state provide a unique ability to conduct research at a production-scale. This increases the relevance of the findings to real-world agro-ecosystems and gives students an opportunity to work in a more realistic production environment.

Many online courses are available.

Courses and More

Students in Agronomy and Horticulture are most likely to take courses in: See also: Course Catalog in the Graduate Bulletin.

Students will work with an advisor to create a Program of Studies or Memorandum of Courses during the first half of their coursework.

Faculty and research

Keenan Amundsen
Turfgrass Genetics
Bruce Anderson
Grazing Systems; Warm-Season Grasses; Legumes
Tim Arkebauer
Soil-Plant-Atmosphere Relationships; Gas Exchange
P. Stephen Baenziger
Winter Grains; Germplasm; Biotechnology; Plant Breeding Theory and Applications
Humberto Blanco
Soil and Water Management; Bioenergy Crops
Kenneth Cassman
Soil Fertility; Plant Nutrition; Renewable Energy
Tom Clemente
Plant Systems; Genetically Enhanced Crop Plants
Nora D'Croz-Mason
Food Grain Quality; Yield; Cytokinin Relationships
Rhae Drijber
Microbials; Mycorrhizal Function Ecosystems
Ismail Dweikat
Genetics; DNA Markers
Thomas Elthon
Proteomics Research; Molecular Plant Physiology
Richard Ferguson
Water Quality; Soil Fertility; Nutrient Management
Charles Francis
Cropping Systems; Sustainable Agricultural Systems; Organic Agriculture
Michael Fromm
Biotechnology; Stress Signaling Pathways; Drought and Salt Tolerance of Plants
Roch Gaussoin
Turfgrass Maintenance
George Graef
Soybean Breeding and Genetics; QTLs
Patricio Grassini
Crop physiology; Yield potential; Yield-gap analysis; Resource- and Energy-use efficiency; Crop simulation models
Robert Graybosch
Genetics of Wheat; Glutenin Genes
John Guretzky
Grassland Systems Ecology
Gary Hergert
Leaching; Soil Fertility; Effects of Manure
Laurie Hodges
Vegetable Crops; High Tunnels for Horticultural Production
Tom Hoegemeyer
Plant Breeding
David Holding
Horticulture Molecular Genetics; Nutrition Value
Amitkumar Jhala
Weed Management
Virginia Jin
Soil microbial ecology; Carbon and nutrient cycling in agroecosystems; Management impacts on soil fertility, soil carbon storage, and greenhouse gas production; Using agricultural management to mitigate global climate change
Stevan Knezevic
Weed Control and Ecology; Herbicide Technology
Greg Kruger
Cropping Systems Specialist
Mark Lagrimini
Agriculture Biotechnology; Plant Biochemistry; Molecular Biology
David Lambe
Marketing capabilities of woody ornamentals and grasses.; Entrepreneurship education
Don Lee
Molecular Genetic Variation in Plants
John Lindquist
Weed Management
Aaron Lorenz
Plant Quantitative Genetics
Sally Mackenzie
Mitochondrial DNA Replication, Recombination, Repair, and Transmission to Progeny
Martha Mamo
Waste Management; Soil; Chemistry; Biochemistry
Steve Mason
Dryland Crops; Crop Rotation; International Agronomy
Martin Massengale
Grassland Studies
Dennis McCallister
Agricultural Soils; Organic Matter in Soil
Robert Mitchell
Grasslands; Fire Ecology
Jeffrey Mower
Origin and Evolution of Genome Complexity
Deana Namuth Covert
Distance Education; Plant Breeding and Genetics
Ellen Paparozzi
Leaf Yellowing and Re-Greening; Plant Anatomy and Nutrition
Alexander Pavlista
Potato Production and Pest Management; Potato Physiology; Plant Growth Regulators
Paul Read
Fruits; Woody Plant Tissue Culture; Herbaceous Crops
Teshome Regassa
Crop N use efficiency, seed physiology; genotype-environment-management relationship; dryland farming and farming systems research
Zac Reicher
Turfgrass Science
Steve Rodie
Nebraska Landscapes; Sensitive Landscapes
Dipak Santra
Alternative Crops Breeding
Gautam Sarath
Biomass and Forage Qualities; Warm-Season Prairie Grasses; Prairie Legumes; Seed Germination and Plant Development; Histone Biotinylation
Scott Sattler
Plant Molecular Biology
Walter Schacht
Plant-Grazing Interactions; Drought and Defoliation
Daniel Schachtman
Molecular Physiology
Charles Shapiro
Cropping Systems; Soil and Crop Nutrient Management
Timothy Shaver
Nutrient Management; Agronomy
Bob Shearman
Buffalograss; Turfgrass
James Specht
Soybean Genetics and Physiology
Paul Staswick
Plant Molecular Biology; Crop Plant Quality; Disease Resistance Mechanisms
Jim Stubbendieck
Grassland Ecology; Endangered Plant Species
Richard Sutton
Native Plant Materials; Rural Landscapes; Landscape Assessment; Scale
Dirac Tidwell
Rangeland Ecology and Management Fire Ecology
Kim Todd
Landscape; Containerized Ornamental Grasses
Carlos Urrea
Dry Bean Breeding
Gary Varvel
Crop Rotations; Soil Fertility
Kenneth Vogel
Perennial Grasses; Energy
Jerry Volesky
Grazing; Sandhills Rangeland
Harkamal Walia
Crop responses to drought, heat, and salt stress
Brian Waters
Horticulture Molecular Genetics; Nutrition Value
Brian Wienhold
Soil-Plant Interactions; Nutrients; Manure; Soil Quality
Robert Wilson
Weed Control; Tillage; Herbicides; Weeds
Charles Wortmann
No-Till Systems; Nitrogen and Phosphorus Management; Biosolids Management
Haishun Yang
Crop Modeler
Melinda Yerka
Steve Young
Weed Ecology

Departments: Have an update for this page? Contact Stacy Dam.

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