Out on the lake

Graduate degrees in Plant and Soil Science provide professional development for students who wish to continue their education after graduating from science oriented undergraduate programs, typically in earth, biological or agricultural sciences.

Both our M.S. programs and Ph.D. programs require the student to complete a research program and schedule of classes, designed by the student and their advisor, to support the research study. Each student will be further supported by a study committee comprised of faculty with expertise in relevant areas. Research topics are generally supported by peer-reviewed grants and thus address important topics in Plant and Soil Science and allied fields.

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 Josef.Gorres@uvm.edu or (802) 656-9793.


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

Before You Apply

  • Prepare your CV/Resume
  • Contact the departmental faculty member with whom you are interested in working. Include your CV/Resume with your email. Refer to the 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 your research interests.
  • The departmental deadline for applications is January 15, however, applications from highly qualified students are considered on a case by case basis.

Graduate Faculty

Faculty Member Area of Research Contact Information
Eric Bishop von Wettberg Genetics, Domestication, Crop Breeding, Legumes, Germplasm Eric.Bishop-Von-Wettberg@uvm.edu
Sid Bosworth Agronomy, Forages,Pasture Management Sid.Bosworth@uvm.edu
Terence Bradshaw Tree Fruit, Viticulture, Integrated Pest Management Terence.Bradshaw@uvm.edu
Yolanda Chen Insect Ecology, Agroecology, Evolutionary Biology, Population Genetics Yolanda.Chen@uvm.edu
Heather Darby Agronomic Crops, Soil Health, Biofuels Heather.Darby@uvm.edu
Josef Gorres Soil Physical Properties and Fauna, Soil Ecological Management Josef.Gorres@uvm.edu
Ann Hazelrigg Plant Pathology, Integrated Pest Management Ann.Hazelrigg@uvm.edu
Stephanie E. Hurley Landscape Design, Stormwater Treatment, Ecological Design Stephanie.E.Hurley@uvm.edu
V. Ernesto Mendez International Environmental Studies, Agroecology, Rural Development Ernesto.Mendez@uvm.edu
Scott C. Merrill Landscape/Systems Ecology, Climate Change, Precision Agriculture Scott.C.Merrill@uvm.edu
Deborah Neher Soil Ecology, Nematodes/Microarthropods, Plant-Soil Interactions Deborah.Neher@uvm.edu
Bruce L. Parker Entomology, Forest Pest Management, International Agriculture Bruce.Parker@uvm.edu
Donald S. Ross Soil Chemistry, Phosphorus, Carbon, Soil Monitoring Donald.Ross@uvm.edu
Margaret Skinner Entomology, Integrated Pest Management, Biological Control Margaret.Skinner@uvm.edu