University of Vermont

College of
Agriculture and Life Sciences

Department of Plant and Soil Science

Graduate Degree Programs

The graduate degrees in Plant and Soil Science provide professional development for students who wish to continue their education after graduating with science oriented undergraduate programs, typically in earth, biological or agricultural sciences. In exceptional cases admission has been granted to students with degrees in other fields.

Both the MS and PhD program require that the student completes a research program and a schedule of classes that is designed by the student and his/her advisor to support the research study. Each student will be further supported by a study committee that comprises faculty with expertise in relevant areas of science. Research topics are usually supported by peer-reviewed grants and thus address important topics in Plant and Soil Science and allied fields.

Plant and Soil Science is an applied science department. Our faculty work on developing sustainable strategies and technologies that solve problems associated with agriculture and food systems. Reaching out to stakeholders, for example farmers and land managers but also the public at large is part of the tradition of Land Grant Universities and their agricultural departments. For this reason, requirements in our graduate programs include communication with science professionals through professional presentations, the public through outreach efforts, and undergraduate students by contributing in our teaching effort.


Deadlines for graduate applications are:

  1. February 15 for Summer and Fall Admissions
  2. October 15 for Spring Admissions
  3. May 15 for Summer and Fall Admissions


If you are interested in graduate study in the department of Plant and Soil Science, please read and follow the checklist below:

  • Prepare your CV/Resume
  • Contact the PSS Faculty Member with whom you are interested in working and include your CV/Resume with your email. See list of faculty and area of study below.
  • Note: it reduces your chances of connecting with new research opportunities when you send your email to all of our faculty; please focus on selecting a faculty member based on research interests
  • Familiarize yourself with these web-sites: Plant and Soil Science    Graduate College Applications


PSS Graduate Faculty List:

Faculty Member Area of Research Contact
Sid Bosworth Agronomy, Forages,Pasture Management
Terence Bradshaw Tree Fruit, Viticulture, Integrated Pest Management
Yolanda Chen Insect Ecology, Agroecology, Evolutionary Biology, Population Genetics
Heather Darby Agronomic Crops, Soil Health, Biofuels
Josef Gorres Soil Physical Properties and Fauna, Soil Ecological Management
Ann Hazelrigg Plant Pathology, Integrated Pest Management
Stephanie E. Hurley Landscape Design, Stormwater Treatment, Ecological Design
V. Ernesto Mendez International Environmental Studies, Agroecology, Rural Development
Scott C. Merrill Landscape/Systems Ecology, Climate Change, Precision Agriculture
Deborah Neher Soil Ecology, Nematodes/Microarthropods, Plant-Soil Interactions
Bruce L. Parker Entomology, Forest Pest Management, International Agriculture
Jason S. Parker Anthropology, Natural Resources, Food Safety and Systems
Leonard P. Perry Horticulture, Floriculture, Herbaceous Perennials
Donald S. Ross Soil Chemistry, Phosphorus, Carbon, Soil Monitoring
Margaret Skinner Entomology, Integrated Pest Management, Biological Control
Mark Starrett Horticulture, Plant Pathology

Faculty contact information with links to their individual web pages can also be found here.

Last modified May 11 2016 01:28 PM