Graduate Programs

Advanced Degrees that Advance Careers

Our partnerships with other departments greatly enhance the Crop and Soil Sciences graduate programs, offering opportunities for tailored research experiences and unparalleled career preparation.

You can choose from several paths, including thesis and non-thesis masters degree programs.

Our graduate faculty are experts in their fields. They also participate in a number of interdisciplinary programs throughout the university that enrich their teaching and mentoring, and in turn, benefit their students.

We’re serious about preparing our graduate students for meaningful careers that have an impact here in North Carolina and around the world.

Student who got graduate assistantship with NC State's Crop and Soil dept.

Graduate Assistantships

New Listings Available Now
Competitive assistantships are available in our program areas of research for outstanding candidates to thesis-based master's and doctoral programs. Students on assistantships receive tuition and health insurance. University fees of approximately $2,550/year are the responsibility of the student.

See Available Assistantships

Crop Science

Students can study toward M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in the fields of plant breeding and genetics, plant physiology, sustainable agriculture, crop and forage management, crop chemistry and quality, turfgrass management, and weed science. Students seeking more general training may enroll in the non-thesis Master of Crop Science degree program. The latter is particularly suitable for working professionals. Strong cooperation with other departments greatly enhances these programs.

Most students eligible for graduate work usually receive financial assistance in the form of stipends, assistantships, or fellowships. Student support is competitive with peer institutions across the country. Tuition and health insurance are included in financial assistance packages.

Soil Science

Our graduate education opportunities in soil science will prepare students for careers with public and private organizations in soil and environmental sciences. Our students find employment opportunities with consulting firms, government organizations or academia.

To ensure that all are well founded in the discipline, students are expected to acquire competence through coursework in the following sub-disciplines (four for master’s and all five for Ph.D. programs): soil physics, soil chemistry, soil microbiology, soil genesis and classification, and soil fertility.

Master of Science in Soil Science

The M.S. in Soil Science is a research degree that requires successful completion of a research problem and submission of a written thesis.

  • Minimum of 30 semester credit hours
  • Minimum of 20 credit hours must be in 500, 600, 700 and 800 level courses
  • Courses at the 400 (undergraduate) level can be counted toward the 30 credit hour requirement only if they do not come from the major field
  • The 30 credit hours required in the Plan of Graduate Work must include at least one credit hour, but no more than two credit hours, of seminar (SSC 601) and must include a minimum of two, but no more than six, credit hours of research (SSC 693 or SSC 695)
  • Students can take additional credit hours of seminar and research to fulfill continuous registration requirements but don’t need to list these on the Plan of Graduate Work
  • Students must complete all requirements within six calendar years after first enrollment in a graduate course applicable to the program

Master of Soil Science

The Master of Soil Science is a non-thesis program available as both a campus-based and distance education program.

  • Minimum of 36 semester credit hours
  • At least 20 credit hours must come from 500, 600, 700 and 800 level courses, with four to six of these credits devoted to a special problem (SSC 620)
  • One credit hour of Seminar (SSC 601)
  • Students must complete all requirements within six calendar years after first enrollment in a graduate course applicable to the program

Doctor of Philosophy in Soil Science

The degree symbolizes the ability to undertake original research with minimal supervision and produce a dissertation from which there will be an eventual publication in a scholarly, refereed journal. Students can transfer up to 18 credits of courses in a prior Master of Science program into a Ph.D. program. The preliminary written and oral exams must be completed within six calendar years.

  • 72 semester credit hours
  • 1 credit hour of seminar (SSC 801)
  • 2 credit hours of research (SSC 893 or SSC 895)
  • Completion of all requirements within 10 calendar years from initial enrollment in a course applicable to the program

Contact Us

Interested in Crop Science?

Candace Haigler
Director of Crop Science Graduate Programs
Phone: 919.515.3667

Interested in Soil Science?

Mike Mullen
Director of Soil Science Graduate Programs
Phone: 919.515.3727