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Graduate Programs

Graduate Program

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.

How to apply to Graduate School in the Department of Soil & Crop Sciences

NOTE: Before applying to the Soil and Crop Sciences Department, you will need to confirm an advisor. The Graduate Committee will not review your application unless you have this in place. Please go to our faculty page and contact a faculty member that most closely fits your research interest. All documents will need to be submitted electronically to the graduate school.

Visit our online application  to apply to Graduate School.

Submit Application Materials
After submitting your online application and paying your application fee, begin submitting your supporting materials electronically.


Test Scores
To submit test scores, contact the testing agency to request that scores be sent to Colorado State University (use institution code 4075).

Check Your Application Status
View the status of your application at any time to ensure your application checklist is complete or check on updates.

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:

Agroecosystems Management

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.

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Soil Science

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.

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General Requirements for Admission

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 electronic application consists of the following parts:

1. CSU Online Graduate Application

2. Personal statement. In an essay of 1 or 2 pages please describe your academic background, relevant work experience, and career goals.

3. Resume or curriculum vitae.

4. Transcripts. One official copy of transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate institutions attended should be uploaded in your electronic application.  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.

6. GRE general test scores. Connect to the GRE web site for more information.  Check with your advisor to find out if they require GRE scores.


This applies to both U.S. Citizens and International applicants.


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.




Group photo Huron Peak, Pat Byrne, Craig Beil, Luis Villalobos

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