Graduate Degree Program Summary
Graduate programs offered
Earn a Graduate Degree
- MS in Agronomy (30-36 cr, Option I, II, or III) with optional specialization:
- MS in Horticulture (30-36 cr, Option I, II, or III) with optional specialization:
- Environmental Studies
- Public Horticulture Administration
- Water Resources Planning and Management
- Minor in College STEM Education with any graduate degree program, subject to approval (apply to degree program, add minor after enrolling)
- PhD in Agronomy and Horticulture (90 cr) with optional specialization:
Earn a Graduate Certificate
Online and Distance OpportunitiesOffered online:
Some online coursework may be available for your program; contact dept. for details.
Application checklist and deadlines
1. Required by Graduate Studies
2. Required by Agronomy and Horticulture
- 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, our institution code is 6877 and a department code is not needed.
Application Deadlines for Agronomy and Horticulture
- Domestic and Online Applicants with an Advisor: July 15 for Fall. December 1 for Spring. April 15 for Summer.
- Domestic and Online Applicants without an Advisor: May 15 for Fall. October 1 for Spring. February 15 for Summer.
- International Applicants with an Advisor: May 15 for Fall. October 1 for Spring. February 15 for Summer.
- International Applicants without an Advisor: March 15 for Fall. August 9 for Spring. December 15 for Summer.
Application/admission is for entry in a specific term and year. Our academic year is divided into 3 terms: Fall (August-December), Spring (January-May), and Summer (multiple sessions May-August). Some programs accept new students only in certain terms and/or years.
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 work with an advisor to create a plan of study and follow the Steps to Degree Completion. See all courses or jump to related subjects:
- Cost of attendance differs from one student to another. Try our Cost Estimator or see Tuition, Fees, and Funding for details.
Faculty and research
Where available, names link to bios or homepages and contact card icons () link to directory listings with address, phone, and email.
Greenhouse Production and Management
Grazing Systems; Warm-Season Grasses; Legumes
Soil-Plant-Atmosphere Relationships; Gas Exchange
Winter Grains; Germplasm; Biotechnology; Plant Breeding Theory and Applications
Increase Efficiency of Using Climate Information through the Development and/or Improvement of User-Friendly, Scientifically Robust Decision Support Tools
Soil and Water Management; Bioenergy Crops
Soil Fertility; Plant Nutrition; Renewable Energy
Plant Systems; Genetically Enhanced Crop Plants
Western Nebraska Dryland Cropping Systems
Microbials; Mycorrhizal Function Ecosystems
Solving Applied Problems Related to How Agriculture Impacts Environmental and Human Health
Genetics; DNA Markers
Extension Cropping Systems Agronomist
Plant Anatomy and Biology; Confocal Microscopy; Taphonomy and Forensic BiologyGraduate Faculty Associate
Proteomics Research; Molecular Plant Physiology
Water Quality; Soil Fertility; Nutrient Management
Cropping Systems; Sustainable Agricultural Systems; Organic Agriculture
Biotechnology; Stress Signaling Pathways; Drought and Salt Tolerance of Plants
Soybean Breeding and Genetics; QTLs
Crop Physiology; Yield Potential; Yield-Gap Analysis; Resource- and Energy-use Efficiency; Crop Simulation Models
Grassland Systems Ecology
Horticulture Molecular Genetics; Nutrition Value
Soybean Genetics and Genomics
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
Drought Tolerance Improvement; Yield Enhancement and Stabilization of Crops in Nebraska and the WorldGraduate Faculty Associate
Weed Control and Ecology; Herbicide Technology
Turfgrass Soil and Water Management
Cropping Systems Specialist
Marketing Capabilities of Woody Ornamentals and Grasses.; Entrepreneurship Education
Molecular Genetic Variation in Plants
Winter Wheat Breeder, Bayer CropScience LP North America; Wheat Breeding
Mitochondrial DNA Replication, Recombination, Repair, and Transmission to Progeny
Soil and Nutrient Management; Water Quality; Precision Agriculture
Waste Management; Soil; Chemistry; Biochemistry
Dryland Crops; Crop Rotation; International Agronomy
Agricultural Soils; Organic Matter in Soil
Bioenergy; Grassland Establishment and Management; Grass Growth and Development; Grassland Ecology
Origin and Evolution of Genome Complexity
Pesticide Safety Education
Leaf Yellowing and Re-Greening; Plant Anatomy and Nutrition
Potato Production and Pest Management; Potato Physiology; Plant Growth Regulators
Fruits; Woody Plant Tissue Culture; Herbaceous Crops
Integrated Forage, Crop, and Beef Systems
Crop and Use Efficiency; Seed Physiology; Genotype-Environment-Management Relationship; Dryland Farming and Farming Systems Research
Breeding and Development of Turfgrasses; Fertilizer, Pesticides and Energy
Grains and Oilseeds
Mathematical and Computational Biology Research
Agronomy and Plant Science
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
Plant-Grazing Interactions; Drought and Defoliation
Cropping Systems; Soil and Crop Nutrient Management
Nutrient Management; Agronomy
Epigenetics-Mediated Crop Improvement (Dr. Sally Mackenzie lab)
Plant Evolution and Development; Comparative Genomics
Soil Science and AgronomyGraduate Faculty Associate
Global Wheat Breeding
Range and Forage
Turfgrass & Landscape Management
Landscape; Containerized Ornamental Grasses
Rangeland Ecology and Management Fire Ecology
Breeding of Dry Bean Varieties That are Resistant to Rust, White Mold, Common Bacteria Blight, and Root Rots
Dry Bean Breeding
Grazing; Sandhills Rangeland
Plant Science Teaching
Crop Responses to Drought, Heat, and Salt Stress
Range Management and Improvement
Plant Biology and Physiology; Gene Regulation; Electrophoresis
Plant Breeding; Genetics; and Molecular Physiology
Interactions between plants and the environment; Local, Urban, and Organic Fruit and Vegetable Production; Novel Management Tactics for Improved Sustainability of Specialty Crop Farms
No-Till Systems; Nitrogen and Phosphorus Management; Biosolids Management