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

Competitive assistantships are available in our program areas of research for outstanding candidates to thesis-based Master and Doctoral programs. Students on assistantships receive tuition and health insurance. University fees of approximately $1,425/year are the responsibility of the student.

See Currently 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, 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.

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

  • 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 not more than two credit hours, of seminar (SSC 601) and must include a minimum of two, but not more than six, credit hours of research (SSC 693 or SSC 695)
  • Can take additional credit hours of seminar and research to fulfill continuous registration requirements but students 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.

  • 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 being devoted to a special problem (SSC 620)

Master of Natural Resources

The Master of Natural Resources is a non-thesis program with an option in Soil Science. The program consists of 15 hours in core courses and 17 hours in Soil Science courses. For more information see our graduate handbook.

  • Minimum of 32 semester credit hours  One credit hour of seminar (SSC 601) is required.
  • Completion of a Master’s project.
  • All requirements must be completed within six calendar years after the student first enrolls in a graduate course applicable to the program. 

Contact Us

Interested in Crop Science?

Dan Bowman
Director of Crop Science Graduate Programs
Phone: 919-515-3667
Email: dan_bowman@ncsu.edu

Interested in Soil Science?

Jot Smyth
Director of Soil Science Graduate Programs
Phone: 919-515-2838
Email: jot_smyth@ncsu.edu