University of Vermont

College of
Agriculture and Life Sciences

Department of Plant and Soil Science

Master's Programs

The department of Plant and Soil Sciences at UVM offers several Master's degree options, including:

  • Agroecology
  • Agronomy
  • Ecological Landscape Design
  • Entomology
  • Horticulture
  • Plant Pathology
  • Soil Science
  • Food Systems (affiliated program)

Current research projects are concerned with the solution of horticultural and agronomic problems with special emphasis on environmental physiology, soil chemistry, pasture management, plant nutrition, and pest management. Areas of research include winter hardiness of fruits, and woody and herbaceous ornamentals; cultural and environmental interrelationships as they affect plant growth, crop adaptation, and variety; pasture production and marginal land utilization; crop establishment and soil productivity; mycorrhizal fungi; soil chemistry of the rhizosphere; redox reactions in soils; the behavior of heavy metals; compost and organic matter research; behavior of nitrogen in the soil; nutrient availability to plants; agricultural waste management; biological control of insects, disease, and weeds; integrated pest management for control of insects, diseases, and weeds. A student's thesis research will be an integral part of the on-going research efforts of the department.

General Requirements for Masters Degree

Requirements for Admission

An undergraduate major in an appropriate agricultural, environmental, biological, or physical science. Satisfactory scores on the Graduate Record Examination, general (aptitude) section.

Requirements for Advancement to Candidacy for the Degree of Master of Science

Satisfactory completion of one academic year of graduate study in the Department of Plant and Soil Science, and a written or oral comprehensive examination. The decision on the type of comprehensive exam will be made by the major professor after consulting with the student.

Minimum Degree Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science

Eighteen to 22 hours in Plant and Soil Science and closely related fields; satisfactory participation in seminars during residency; thesis research (six to 12 hours). All masters students must take part in the department's undergraduate teaching program.

Program Overview

Prospective students should be in dialogue with prospective advisors before and during the application process.  We encourage site visits prior to application and/or acceptance into the program.If you are interested, please send in a completed application directly to the Graduate College. For specific questions, please contact our Graduate Program Coordinator Josef Gorres at or (802) 656-9793.

Summary of M.S. Program Requirements

Courses 18-24 Credits
Research 6-12 Credits
Min. Credits for Courses + Research 30 Credits
Outreach 1 Semester
Teaching 1 Semester
Speaking 1 Professional Presentation

Benchmarks of M.S. Program

Plan of Study To be completed in semester 1 or 2
Thesis Proposal To be completed in semester 1 or 2
Study Committee Appointment To be completed in semester 1 or 2
Study Committee Meetings 1 per semester
Thesis Defense Final semester

Last modified November 24 2014 07:55 AM