Master's Degree in Crop Science

Sep 15, 2019

Read on to find out more about master's degree programs in crop sciences, such as courses required to earn this degree as well as some common admissions requirements.

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Individuals seeking careers working with crop sustainability and food production might be a good fit to earn a Master of Science (MS) in Crop Sciences. Students will find significant learning opportunities in this graduate program.

Master's in Crop Sciences Program Description

Those seeking a master's degree in crop sciences will have the opportunity to gain a wide range of knowledge regarding plant sciences and agriculture. In addition to coursework, students may be expected to engage in an independent research project. Some students may develop a specific concentration, such as agronomy or plant breeding, or choose to integrate components of crop science in their studies. Classes that may be encountered by master's students in this field are as follows:

Crop Management

Learning the management of different types of crops is an essential component of a crop sciences graduate degree. A course of this type might provide an introduction to decision-making in crop growth, including production processes and cropping systems. Environmental and ethical influences on management could be topics of concern as well.

Bioenergy

Bioenergy, as derived from crops and other sources, is being researched for its role in reducing the use of fossil fuels. This kind of course might provide an introduction to agricultural practices that lead to the production of biofuels. The sustainability of this type of energy is likely to be a topic of discussion as well.

Soil Fertility

A course of this nature might help students understand the relationship between the conditions of soil and how crops grow. Specific topics may include cation exchange, crop cycling, soil testing, soil acidity, micronutrients, and nutrient management planning. Methods of fertilizer application might be studied.

Plant Genetics

A course concerning plant genetics may provide general information regarding plant genomes and how they adapt to the environment. The role of inheritance and plant transformation might be topics of concern. Students may reference genetics to consider how plants and crops can be improved through methods such as pedigree selection and the backcross method.

Seed Science

A course in seed science is likely to cover factors that include the development and maturation of seeds. Both conventional and genetically modified seeds might be evaluated. In addition, topics such as germination, storability, and dehydration may be reviewed. Students could gain knowledge on how to measure the quality of seeds.

Weed Management

Those specializing in agriculture or other plant-related fields will require a thorough understanding of how to manage weeds. This course may provide a foundation in identifying weeds and understanding how they develop. It may then move into methods of weed control, including biological, mechanical, and chemical methods. Environmental considerations in weed control could be reviewed.

Master's in Crop Sciences Admissions

Applicants for master's degree programs in crop sciences should hold a bachelor's degree. Prospective students must typically provide transcripts, a resume, recommendations, and GRE scores. They may be asked to contact professors during the application process to discuss research interests. Application deadlines will vary depending on the university and the term in which students seek entry.

Those working towards a master's degree in crop sciences will encounter classes and research experiences to develop an understanding of crops, plants, and soil. Students seeking admissions to these programs can expect to provide documentation of previous academic experiences.

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