Agronomy and Horticulture

Graduate Degree Program Summary

Graduate programs offered

Earn a Graduate Degree

  • MS in Agronomy with optional specialization:
    • Agricultural Meteorology
    • Crop Physiology and Production
    • Environmental Studies
    • Great Plains Studies
    • Plant Breeding and Genetics
    • Plant Pathology
    • Range and Forage Science
    • Soil and Water Sciences
    • Water Resources Planning and Management
    • Weed Science
  • PhD in Agronomy and Horticulture with optional specialization:
    • Agricultural Meteorology
    • Applied Ecology
    • Crop Physiology and Production
    • Environmental Studies
    • Great Plains Studies
    • Plant Breeding and Genetics
    • Plant Pathology
    • Range and Forage Science
    • Soil and Water Sciences
    • Weed Science
  • MS in Horticulture with optional specialization:
    • Environmental Studies
    • Public Horticulture Administration
    • Water Resources Planning and Management

Note: For a special interdisciplinary program, see Plant Sciences.

Earn a Graduate Certificate

Certificates have their own deadlines and checklists; select one for details.

Online and Distance Opportunities

Some online coursework may be available for your program; contact dept. for details.

Contacts for Agronomy and Horticulture

Ask a question

Other Ways to Connect

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

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Application checklist and deadlines

1. Required by Graduate Studies

Submit these items as part of the standard steps to admission.

2. Required by Agronomy and Horticulture

After you apply, allow one business day for us to set up your access to GAMES, where you'll complete these 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.

Application/admission is for entry in a specific term and year. UNL's academic year is divided into 3 terms: Fall (August-December), Spring (January-May), and Summer (multiple sessions May-August). Some UNL programs accept new students only in certain terms and/or years; if your desired entry term isn't mentioned here, you may want to consult the department for clarification.


The Department of Agronomy and Horticulture offers graduate degree programs leading to an M.S. (thesis or non-thesis) 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.

Cost of attendance

Cost differs from one student to another. For details see Tuition, Fees, and Funding or try our Cost Estimator.

Courses and More

Admitted students will choose courses from the Course Catalog, typically in: During the first half of their coursework, students will work with an advisor to create a plan of study — one of the essential Steps to Degree Completion.

Faculty and research

Where available, faculty names link to bios or homepages and conversation icons () link to directory listings with address, phone, and email.

Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior

Kenneth Cassman

Soil Fertility; Plant Nutrition; Renewable EnergyAgronomy and Horticulture

Plant Breeding and Crop Management

Kenneth Cassman

Soil Fertility; Plant Nutrition; Renewable EnergyAgronomy and Horticulture


Stacy Adams

Greenhouse Production and Management

Sophie Alvarez Y Albala

Proteomics and Metabolomics

Sophie Alvarez

Proteomics: Metabolomics; Plant Stree; Plant Metabolism

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

Guillermo Baigorria

Increase Efficiency of Using Climate Information through the Development and/or Improvement of User-Friendly, Scientifically Robust Decision Support Tools

Gilles Basset

Biochemical Geneticist

Humberto Blanco

Soil and Water Management; Bioenergy Crops

Edward Cargill

North Ameriac Hybrid Crops Discovery Breeding Lead Associate Fellow

Tom Clemente

Plant Systems; Genetically Enhanced Crop Plants

Cody Creech

Western Nebraska Dryland Cropping Systems

Rhae Drijber

Microbials; Mycorrhizal Function Ecosystems

Lisa Durso

Solving Applied Problems Related to How Agriculture Impacts Environmental and Human Health

Ismail Dweikat

Genetics; DNA Markers

Roger Elmore

Extension Cropping Systems Agronomist

Christian Elowsky

Plant Anatomy and Biology; Confocal Microscopy; Taphonomy and Forensic Biology

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

Hugo Ferney Gomez Becerra

George Graef

Soybean Breeding and Genetics; QTLs

Patricio Grassini

Crop Physiology; Yield Potential; Yield-Gap Analysis; Resource- and Energy-use Efficiency; Crop Simulation Models

John Guretzky

Grassland Systems Ecology

Tom Hoegemeyer

Plant Breeding

David Holding

Horticulture Molecular Genetics; Nutrition Value

David Hyten

Soybean Genetics and Genomics

Maranville Jerry

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

Joseph Keaschall

Drought Tolerance Improvement; Yield Enhancement and Stabilization of Crops in Nebraska and the World

Timothy Kettler

Soil Science

Stevan Knezevic

Weed Control and Ecology; Herbicide Technology

Bill Kreuser

Turfgrass Soil and Water Management

Brian Krienke

Soil Fertility

Greg Kruger

Cropping Systems Specialist

Mark Lagrimini

Agriculture Biotechnology; Plant Biochemistry; Molecular Biology

David Lambe

Marketing Capabilities of Woody Ornamentals and Grasses.; Entrepreneurship Education

Nevin Lawrence

Weed Management

Don Lee

Molecular Genetic Variation in Plants

Janet Lewis

Winter Wheat Breeder, Bayer CropScience LP North America; Wheat Breeding

John Lindquist

Weed Management

Aaron Lorenz

Plant Quantitative Genetics

Sally Mackenzie

Mitochondrial DNA Replication, Recombination, Repair, and Transmission to Progeny

Bijesh Maharjan

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

Daniel Miller

Environmental Microbiologist

Robert Mitchell

Bioenergy; Grassland Establishment and Management; Grass Growth and Development; Grassland Ecology

Jeffrey Mower

Origin and Evolution of Genome Complexity

Clyde Ogg

Pesticide Safety Education

Daniel Olk

Soil Management

Ellen Paparozzi

Leaf Yellowing and Re-Greening; Plant Anatomy and Nutrition

Alexander Pavlista

Potato Production and Pest Management; Potato Physiology; Plant Growth Regulators

Chris Proctor

Weed Management

Paul Read

Fruits; Woody Plant Tissue Culture; Herbaceous Crops

Daren Redfearn

Integrated Forage, Crop, and Beef Systems

Teshome Regassa

Crop and Use Efficiency; Seed Physiology; Genotype-Environment-Management Relationship; Dryland Farming and Farming Systems Research

Zac Reicher

Turfgrass Science

Terrance Riordan

Breeding and Development of Turfgrasses; Fertilizer, Pesticides and Energy

Oscar Rodriguez

Popcorn Breeding

Fred Roeth

Devin Rose

Grains and Oilseeds

Robersy Sanchez

Mathematical and Computational Biology Research

Leah Sandall

Agronomy and Plant Science

Dipak Santra

Develop and Enhance Germplasm and Cultivars of New and Existing Alternative Crops for Sustainable Production under Dry Land Farming Conditions in Northern High Plains of the USA

Walter Schacht

Plant-Grazing Interactions; Drought and Defoliation

Daniel Schachtman

Molecular Physiology

James Schnable

Computational Biology

Charles Shapiro

Cropping Systems; Soil and Crop Nutrient Management

Timothy Shaver

Nutrient Management; Agronomy

Vikas Shedge

Epigenetics-Mediated Crop Improvement (Dr. Sally Mackenzie lab)

Brandi Sigmon

Plant Evolution and Development; Comparative Genomics

Meghan Sindelar

Soil Science and AgronomyGraduate Faculty Associate

Robert Sorensen

Edward Souza

Global Wheat Breeding

Mitchell Stephenson

Range and Forage

Anne Streich

Turfgrass & Landscape Management

Richard Sutton

Native Plant Materials; Rural Landscapes; Landscape Assessment; Scale

Kim Todd

Landscape; Containerized Ornamental Grasses

Dirac Twidwell

Rangeland Ecology and Management Fire Ecology

Carlos Urrea

Dry Bean Breeding

Carlos Urrea Florez

Breeding of Dry Bean Varieties That are Resistant to Rust, White Mold, Common Bacteria Blight, and Root Rots

Jerry Volesky

Grazing; Sandhills Rangeland

Richard Waldren

Plant Science Teaching

Harkamal Walia

Crop Responses to Drought, Heat, and Salt Stress

Steven Waller

Range Management and Improvement

Yashitola Wamboldt

Plant Biology and Physiology; Gene Regulation; Electrophoresis

Zhen Wang

Plant Physiology

Brian Waters

Plant Breeding; Genetics; and Molecular Physiology

Rodrigo Werle

Cropping Systems

Samn Wortman

Interactions between plants and the environment

Charles Wortmann

No-Till Systems; Nitrogen and Phosphorus Management; Biosolids Management

Haishun Yang

Crop Modeler

Melinda Yerka

Plant GeneticsAdjunct

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  • Faculty record missing name: "Monsanto//////"
  • Faculty record missing name: "Local, Urban, and Organic Fruit and Vegetable Production; Novel Management Tactics for Improved Sustainability of Specialty Crop Farms//////"

This summary page is maintained by Graduate Studies.
For additional details check out the dept./program website: On-Campus, Online.

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