Plant and Soil Sciences Graduate Program

MS student, Emily Kennebeck
MS student, Emily Kennebeck, is working on a NASA project to grow hydroponic lettuce and mustard greens under different CO2 levels and light qualities.

One graduate program. Two concentrations. Three degree options.


Plant Science
involves course work in plant molecular biology, plant breeding, plant pathology, plant tissue culture, horticulture, crop science, plant anatomy and/or plant physiology with thesis research in one of those areas.

Soil Science involves course work and thesis research in soil chemistry, soil fertility and management, soil physics, soil microbiology and biochemistry, environmental microbiology, soil and water quality and soil formation and biogeochemistry.

Degree options:

  • Ph.D. dissertation degree
  • M.S. thesis degree
  • M.S. non-thesis degree (full- or part-time)
Latest News
  • Work-based learning student Sofia Torres works with the UD Botanic Gardens' horticulture manager Andrew Adams to prepare for the Botanic Gardens' annual plant sale.

    Hands-on horticulture

    May 20, 2024 | Written by Molly Schafer | Photos by Jeremy Wayman and courtesy of UD Botanic Gardens
    UD Botanic Gardens prepares Delaware high school students to become the next generation of horticulturists.
  • Honorary degrees to be awarded

    May 09, 2024 | Written by UDaily Staff | Photo illustration by Christian Derr
    Don Sparks, the Unidel S. Hallock du Pont Chair in Plant and Soil Sciences and director of the Delaware Environmental Institute, is among those being awarded honorary degrees at the University of Delaware Commencement ceremony on May 25.
  • Faculty members elected American Association for the Advancement of Science fellows

    April 29, 2024 | Written by Tracey Bryant
    Two University of Delaware professors, Rodrigo Vargas and Deborah Allen, have been elected fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) — one of the largest scientific societies in the world and publisher of the Science family of journals. The 2023 class includes 502 scientists, engineers and innovators across 24 disciplines, who are being honored for their scientifically and socially distinguished achievements.

Application process update:  Due to coronavirus (COVID-19), the program of PLSC is waiving the GRE requirement for our graduate program.  If you wish to apply without a GRE score, please enter a future GRE exam date into the application.  It need not be a legitimate exam date.  Entering a future exam date causes the system to finish your application and send it on to our review committee where it will receive full consideration.