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
  • Growing space crops

    November 28, 2022 | Written by Dante LaPenta
    Growing food in space is fraught with daunting challenges, including extreme environmental stressors like radiation and microgravity. Qingwu (William) Meng, an assistant professor of controlled-environment horticulture, is an expert on plant growth and light, which, as you’ll remember from your elementary school science or Ms. Frizzle’s Magic School Bus, is an essential component in turning a seed into a mature plant.
  • Prof. Don Sparks Named Hagler Fellow

    November 21, 2022 | Written by Lauren Bradford
    Renowned University of Delaware soil chemist Donald Sparks has been named a 2022-23 Fellow of the Hagler Institute for Advanced Study at Texas A&M University.
  • Improving Kenya's Crop Yield

    November 17, 2022 | Written by Adam Thomas
    As climate change continues to impact food production and supply chains in sub-Saharan Africa, it will be critical for the region to address these food security challenges by enhancing agricultural production.

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.