Crop and Soil Sciences
CSES Discontinued - New Program Spring 2022
The new Plant Science degree program is scheduled to take effect spring 2022 pending final approval. The new degree will replace the current Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences (CSES) and Horticulture (HORT) degree programs in SPES.
The discontinuance of the CSES and HORT degree programs will not impact current students enrolled in those degree programs or minors. The new degree will be phased in over the next four years allowing current students to complete existing programs.
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.