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)
Note: 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. (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.

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

Stacy Adams
Greenhouse Production and Management
Sophie Alvarez Y Albala
Proteomics and Metabolomics
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
Humberto Blanco
Soil and Water Management; Bioenergy Crops
Tom Clemente
Plant Systems; Genetically Enhanced Crop Plants
Cody Creech
Western Nebraska Dryland Cropping Systems
Rhae Drijber
Microbials; Mycorrhizal Function Ecosystems
Ismail Dweikat
Genetics; DNA Markers
Roger Elmore
Extension Cropping Systems Agronomist
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
John Guretzky
Grassland Systems Ecology
David Holding
Horticulture Molecular Genetics; Nutrition Value
David Hyten
Soybean Genetics and Genomics
Amitkumar Jhala
Weed Management
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
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
Jeffrey Mower
Origin and Evolution of Genome Complexity
Clyde Ogg
Pesticide Safety Education
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
Oscar Rodriguez
Popcorn Breeding
Devin Rose
Grains and Oilseeds
Robersy Sanchez
Mathematical and Computational Biology Research
Leah Sandall
Agronomy and Plant Science
Dipak Santra
Crop Breeding and Genetics
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 Agronomy
Edward Souza
Global Wheat Breeding
Paul Staswick
Plant Molecular Biology; Crop Plant Quality; Disease Resistance Mechanisms
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
Jerry Volesky
Grazing; Sandhills Rangeland
Harkamal Walia
Crop Responses to Drought, Heat, and Salt Stress
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
Charles Wortmann
No-Till Systems; Nitrogen and Phosphorus Management; Biosolids Management
Haishun Yang
Crop Modeler
Melinda Yerka
Plant Genetics

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

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