Crop and Soil Sciences
The Crop and Soil Sciences major prepares students for graduate school and careers in the private and public sectors working as agronomists, crop advisors, soil conservationists, extension agents, or secondary school teachers. Students in this major learn the principles of crop production, plant and soil science, nutrient management, and pest management to improve the productivity of large-scale field crops while protecting the environment.
Options - for student enrolled prior to Spring 2022
Students in this option learn the foundational principles of crop production and soil science to address challenges in the increasingly complex technology of food, feed, fuel, and fiber production. Graduates typically move into farming, sales, consulting, company representatives, technical specialists, and managerial positions that directly and indirectly support agricultural production, a most vital component of the world's economy.
Crop Genetics and Breeding
Producing better quality and higher yielding crops has been a long-standing objective of crop breeders. New techniques of genetic engineering are now being brought to bear on crop improvement. Students in this option can learn about the newest methods in the biotechnology field as well as conventional field-based selection and breeding. Our graduates are well prepared for careers in research and industry where they may develop and select plants for better nutrition, disease resistance, or engineer plants to increase crop yield by increasing the efficiency of cellular processes, or possibly create new and improved resources for pharmaceuticals, natural medicine, or plant-based biofuels.
The world's ever-expanding population must be fed; at the same time, we must be good stewards of the Earth's resources. Many countries have not been able to bring food production and resource conservation into balance. Students in the International Agriculture option are interested in finding simultaneous solutions to these concerns. Employment opportunities exist with various private and public agencies and nonprofits.
Students in this option use basic principles of the natural sciences and agricultural technology to manage turfgrass systems in various capacities. Graduates gain skills that make them highly employable in the fields of golf-course management, athletic and recreational field management, lawn maintenance service, the landscaping industry, and sod production.