Graduate Students at the summit of Long's Peak.
The Department of Soil and Crop Sciences provides a stimulating education and research experience for students seeking M.S. or Ph.D. degrees in soil and crop sciences. Graduate programs are developed in applied and basic sciences to understand soil, crop and environmental systems, to improve production and management efficiency of food, feed, and biomass crops, and apply soil and crop sciences to problems of environmental quality.
It is strongly advised to contact a faculty member whose research program you are most intereseted in prior to applying to our graduate program. Please see http://www.soilcrop.colostate.edu/people/faculty.html for a list of our faculty members.
Programs of Study
Each student with his or her graduate advisory committee will develop a program of study including coursework and a research project in one of the following areas.
Programs in agroecosystem management emphasis a systems research approach that balances ecology and management. Students can pursue specializations in soil and crop management, dryland agroecosystems, irrigation management, precision crop and nutrient management, forage based systems, and crop development.
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Plant Breeding and Genetics
Graduate studies in plant breeding and genetics involve a number of crop species, with emphasis on those of major importance to Colorado and the western United States. Programs include basic genetic studies, plant breeding methods, genetic mapping of qualitative and quantitative traits, population genetics, molecular genetics, inheritance of pest tolerance and nutritional characters, biotechnology risk assessment, and statistical applications in plant breeding and genetics.
Graduate programs are available in a number of specializations within the field of soil science. Included are: soil genesis and classification, soil chemistry, soil fertility and precision nutrient management, soil ecology, soil microbiology, and soil physics. A student may choose a combination of specialties to address complex issues, including those related to global climate change, environmental fate and transport of organic and inorganic contaminants, and environmental impacts of land use change.
For admission to our graduate program applicants must demonstrate the potential to succeed in graduate school. It is expected that students accepted into our program will have a strong background in the basic sciences relevant to their concentration, or make up any deficiencies after admission. A minimum Grade Point Average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale is required for admission, although the Graduate School may waive this requirement in exceptional cases. Graduate applications will be evaluated on the basis of the written statement of purpose, transcripts, GRE scores, letters of reference, and the willingness of a faculty member to serve as an advisor to the applicant. In addition, CSU requires that foreign applicants provide evidence of funding for the duration of their studies and, depending on the country of origin, evidence of English language ability.
A completed application consists of the following parts:
2. Personal statement. In an essay of 1 or 2 pages please describe your academic background, relevant work experience, and career goals. This will help us identify potential faculty advisors. The personal statement can be sent as an attachment or sent directly to the department.
3. Resume or curriculum vitae.
4. Transcripts. One official copy of transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate institutions attended should be sent to the address below. Colorado State University transcripts are not required.
5. Letters of recommendation. Request letters with original signatures from three persons who are familiar with your academic or work experience and who can comment on your potential as a graduate student. See addresses below.
6. GRE general test scores. Connect to the GRE web site for more information.
7. For Peace Corps Masters International applicants only, please complete and submit an additional document, the PCMI questionnaire.
U.S. citizens and permanent residents should have their transcripts and letters of reference sent to:
Graduate Studies Panel
Department of Soil and Crop Sciences
CD 1170, Colorado State University
Fort Collins, CO 80523
International applicants should consult the information page for the CSU Online Application for information on where to send transcripts, letters of reference, and other supporting documents.
Departmental facilities include recently renovated laboratories for research in plant genetics and genomics, grain quality, soil chemistry, soil microbiology, soil physics, and pedology. Service laboratories for soil and seed testing are part of the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences, and additional campus laboratories provide biochemical analysis and genomics services. Greenhouses and growth chambers are available on campus. Facilities for field research include a 200-acre research center in Fort Collins, and additional research centers located throughout the state’s agricultural regions. Shared offices and a computer lab are available for the department’s graduate students.