M.S., Ph.D., Crop Science

Crop Science specialization areas include Plant Genetics and Crop Breeding, Crop Physiology, and Crop Ecology, Management and Production. While students may elect to specialize in one area, excellent opportunities are available for the development of graduate research projects integrating two or more areas.

PhD student in her breeding research plot

Plant breeding and genetics research programs include improvement of spring and winter wheat, barley, oilseed crops, pea, lentil, and other legumes, as well as work on alternative crops like quinoa. Plant breeding and genetics faculty apply state of the art equipment and methodologies for genetic, genomic, molecular genetic, and phenotypic analyses, which are conducted in field, greenhouse, and laboratory settings. From model systems to participatory variety selection with small-holder farmers, our faculty apply integrated and comprehensive approaches to solve real-world problems in crop production.

Current research focuses on genetics, gene function, and physiology of water and nitrogen use efficiency, heat and drought stress tolerance, yield and its component traits, hormone signaling, germplasm development, polyploid evolution, grain end-use quality and nutrition, seed germination and dormancy, pest and pathogen resistance, and herbicide resistance. Crop production research includes investigation of weed control and ecology, seed production and technology, and turf management.

quinoa grad studentsCrop or Soil Science degree programs can also be developed to study sustainability of alternative cropping systems such as organic, site-specific, biointensive and direct-seed systems that focus on crop productivity, economic stability, biodiversification, natural resource conservation, and environmental protection.

Crop Science academic program requirements are outlined in detail in the Graduate Student Handbook.

We welcome your visit!

We welcome your visit. Please contact Debra Marsh, Graduate Center Academic Coordinator, at 509-335-2615, who will discuss with you your interests and arrange a customized visit with CSS faculty, staff, and students, as well as a tour of our teaching and research facilities.