Incoming students commonly have a Bachelor of Science degree in agriculture, agronomy, crop science, soil science, or a related life science. The most important considerations for applicants are an interest in continued study and intensive research in a specific area of agronomy along with minimum prerequisites for admission to the program. The biological, physical, and mathematical sciences are considered fundamental for all areas of agronomy.
Graduate programs are designed to accommodate the interest and objectives of each student. Students in M.S. and Ph.D. programs conduct original research and receive thorough training in investigative techniques by use of modern facilities with guidance by experienced faculty. The large number of faculty and the diversity of their research interests provides flexibility in graduate training. Course requirements for each student are determined by the major professor and the supervising committee with consideration given to the student’s qualifications and professional interests and goals.
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Applicants should use these deadlines as a guide of when to apply:
Jan 1 for Fall term
Six months prior to term, as asssitantships become available
May 1 for Fall
Sept 1 for Spring
Feb 1 for Summer
International Applicants: apply 6-12 months in advance to desired term of admission.
Graduate admission is a collaborative effort between the UF Office of Graduate Admissions, Agronomy, and as applicable, the UF International Center. Once the applicant applies, it is advisable to contact the Agronomy Department for further processing of the admission evaluation.
For admission without conditions into a graduate degree, UF Graduate Admissions (school code 5812) requires the UF application (www.admissions.ufl.edu), application fee, undergraduate upper-division GPA of 3.0, official transcripts of each previous university or college attended, and the official GRE score with a minimum verbal score of 140. Applicants who attended colleges outside the USA are also required to provide that office with official diploma/diploma supplements, all academic credentials in the original language as well as official English translations, and in most instances, a language proficiency test that satisfies its minimum score. Refer to International Admissions for a comprehensive overview http://www.graduateschool.ufl.edu/admissions/international-applicants/.
In addition to the above, the UF/IFAS Agronomy Department requires the UF Application to include components on the application that might be listed as “optional.” They are:
Statement of Purpose (one page essay)
Three Letters of Recommendation
Unofficial copies of transcripts and test scores
(NOTE: The Agronomy Department does not have a specific minimum GRE requirement, but it is rare that students are admitted with less than a 300 composite score or a quantitative score of less than 150. Some departmental programs/faculty require scores significantly greater than these).
Once the applicant’s packet is complete, it is evaluated by the Agronomy Admissions Committee for an admissions decision, and the applicant is contacted. Note that ALL students seeking admission to a M.S. thesis or Ph.D. program must have an adviser identified before they can be officially admitted.
Some faculty members have grant funding that supports hiring a Graduate Assistant.
Agronomy faculty members may also nominate applicants for competitive merit-based awards managed by the Agronomy Department. The great majority of these awards are made in the spring for fall admission. The Agronomy Admissions Committee evaluates these nominees and presents its recommendations to the Department Chair. The Graduate Coordinator distributes letters of offer before April 15. Graduate Assistantship offers include a full tuition waiver and part-time employment stipends.
Applicants who are competitive for a Graduate Assistantship usually possess:
- Bachelor’s degree with a GPA 3.3 or greater in a major applicable to the graduate degree/research pursuit.
- GRE Quantitative Score in the 155-165 range.
- Undergraduate or thesis research in discipline similar to research specialization for advanced degree.
- Faculty advisor identified who supports admission and will pay stipend and tuition.
- At least three letters of recommendation matched to the application packet.
TIPS FOR A STRONGER APPLICATION:
Recruitment of an Agronomy Faculty Member: We recommend that an Agronomy Faculty Member is contacted prior to applying as it further guides one for other UF opportunities. Visit both the research specialization information on this web page, as well as the “Faculty Page” on this website to begin matching one’s research interest with faculty prior to contacting faculty. It is advisable to read one or more publications by the faculty members to address specifically whether one might have a background that is suitable for the faculty member’s lab.
Applicants to the M.S. non-thesis degree or Graduate Certificate need not recruit a faculty member in advance. Non-thesis applicants are usually not offered graduate assistantship awards.
Statement of Purpose: Include components relevant to the future research area the applicant desires to pursue under the guidance of an Agronomy faculty member as well as career aspirations and how this degree contributes to the long-term career goal.
Resume: Include achievements other than academic test scores – such as publications, presentations at seminars, individual studies, attendance at professional-society meetings, extension work, and outside activities relevant to the research area of interest.
Letters of recommendation: Insert to the UF application at least three email addresses of faculty or industry professionals relevant to the future research area. Each recommender will be sent a web link to upload a letter and complete a UF template to rank the applicant. We prefer applicants use this feature rather than upload letters that might be within one’s portfolio.
Graduate Courses in Agronomy
- ALS 5155 - Global Agroecosystems - Rowland, Gloaguen and Wood
- AGR 5230C - Florida Grasslands Agroecosystems - Sollenberger
- AGR 5266c - Field Plot Techniques - Munoz
- AGR 5277c - Tropical Cropping Systems - MacDonald
- IPM 5305 - Principles of Pesticides - Fishel
- AGR 5307 - Molecular Genetics for Crop Improvement - Altpeter
- AGR 5321C - Genetic Improvements of Plants - Babar
- AGR 5444 - Ecophysiology of Crop Production - Rowland/Estrada
- AGR 5511 - Crop Ecology On Campus - Erickson
- AGR 5511 - Crop Ecology Online - Erickson
- PCB 5530 - Plant Molecular and Cellular Biology - Altpeter
- PLS 5632C - Integrated Weed Management - MacDonald
- ALS 6031 - Building Skills in Agrobiology - Rowland/Estrada
- AGR 6233 - Tropical Grassland Agroecosystems - Sollenberger
- AGR 6237C - Research Techniques in Forage Evaluation - Sollenberger
- AGR 6322 - Advanced Plant Breeding - Munoz
- AGR 6325L - Plant Breeding Techniques - Kenworthy
- AGR 6422C - Environmental Crop Nutrition On Campus - Erickson
- AGR 6422C - Environmental Crop Nutrition Online - Erickson
- PLS 6623 - Invasion Ecology (formerly Weed Ecology) - Flory
- PLS 6626 - Invasive Plant Ecology - Flory
- PLS 6655 - Plant/Herbicide Interaction - MacDonald
- AGR 6932 - Computer Simulation of Crop Growth and Management Responses - Boote
- AGR 6932 - Experimental Design & Data Analysis - van Santen (summer)
ALS 5155: Global Agroecosystems (3) This course focuses on the principles of agroecology and presentation of topics that integrate ecological with agricultural principles to optimize resource conservation, productivity, societal benefit, and profitability.
AGR 5215C: Integrated Field Crop Science (3) Intensive introduction to practical field crop production and management of common, as well as under-exploited, field crops. Offered summer A term.
AGR 5230C: Florida Grassland Agroecosystems (4) Comprehensive overview of planted and native grassland ecosystems in Florida emphasizing their growth, species diversity, management, and use by ruminant animals. Offered spring term.
AGR 5266C: Field Plot Techniques (3) Prereq: STA 3023. Techniques and procedures used in design and analysis of field plot, greenhouse, and laboratory research experiments. Application of research methodology, the analysis and interpretation of research results. Offered fall term.
AGR 5277C: Tropical Crop Production (3) Prereq: consent of instructor. Ecology and production practices of selected crops grown in the tropics. Offered spring term.
IPM 5305: Principles of Pesticides (3) Basic knowledge of pesticides and their use. Practical working knowledge of pesticides used in agricultural and horticultural settings. Offered spring term.
AGR 5307: Molecular Genetics for Crop Improvement (3) Prereq: AGR 3303. Lectures and laboratory demonstrations for a thorough understanding of concepts and applied aspects of plant molecular and cellular biology. Discussion of current research in plant biotechnology and functional genomics. Offered spring term in even numbered years.
AGR 5321C: Genetic Improvement of Plants (3) Prereq: AGR 3303. Genetic basis for crop improvement including methods for improving crop yield, pest resistance, and adaptability. Emphasis on manipulating genetic variability in self- and cross-pollinate, annual and perennial crop plants. Offered fall term.
AGR 5444: Ecophysiology of Crop Production (3) Prereq: AGR 3005 or equivalent. Physiological, ecological, and environmental responses that impact growth, development, and yield formation of cultivated crops. Offered spring term.
AGR 5511: Crop Ecology (3) Prereq: AGR 4210, BOT 3503, PCB 3043C, or equivalent. Relationships of ecological factors and climatic classifications to agroecosystems, and crop modeling of the major crops. Offered fall term and On Campus or Online.
AGR 5515: Medicinal Plant Research (3) Research on selected medicinal plants of eastern USA, including plant nutrition, ecology, and medicinal properties. Field trips to identify and collect specimens supplement laboratory exercises. Offered summer A term.
AGR 5515C: Medicinal Plant Research Lab(3) Research on selected medicinal plants of the eastern U.S., including plant nutrition, ecology, and medicinal properties. Field trips to identify and collect specimens supplement the laboratory exercises.
PLS 5632C: Integrated Weed Management (3) Overview of weed science principles and practices, emphasizing strategies for southeastern cropping systems. Situations unique to the State of Florida. Offered fall term.
PLS 5652: Advanced Weed Science (3) Prereq: PLS 4601. Classification, mode of action, principles of selectivity, and plant responses to herbicides. Weed, crop, environmental, and pest management associations in developing herbicide programs. Focus on practical principles. Offered fall term in odd-numbered years.
ALS 6031: Project Team Research: Skills in Agrobiology (3) Prereq: None. Hands-on experience in addressing a real-world problem faced by an agricultural industry partner.
AGR 6233: Tropical Grassland Agroecosystems (3) Prereq: AGR 4231C and ANS 5446 or consent of instructor. Potential of natural grasslands of tropical and subtropical regions. Development of improved pastures and forages and their use in livestock production. Offered fall term in odd-numbered years.
AGR 6237C: Research Techniques in Forage Evaluation (3) Prereq: STA 6166. Coreq: STA 6166. Experimental techniques for field evaluation of forage plants. Design of grazing trials and procedures for estimating yield and botanical composition in the grazed and ungrazed pasture. Offered summer C term in odd-numbered years.
AGR 6311: Population Genetics (2) Prereq: AGR 3303, STA 6166. Application of statistical principles to biological populations in relation to gene frequency, zygotic frequency, mating systems, and the effects of selection, mutation, and migration on equilibrium populations. Offered spring term in even-numbered years.
AGR 6322: Advanced Plant Breeding (3) Prereq: AGR5321 and STA6167. We will explore population genetics, mating designs and how to select them depending on the species, mode of reproduction and breeding strategy. The quantitative genetics associated with the mating design will be explored. Finally, how to incorporate genomic information in different breeding programs will be discussed. Offered fall term in even-numbered years.
AGR 6325L: Plant Breeding Techniques (1; max: 2) Prereq: AGR 3303 or equivalent; coreq: AGR 6322. Examination of various breeding techniques used by agronomic and horticultural crop breeders in Florida. Field and lab visits to active plant breeding programs, with discussion led by a specific breeder each week. Hands-on experience in breeding programs. Offered spring term in odd-numbered years.
AGR 6353: Cytogenetics (3) Prereq: AGR 3303. Genetic variability with emphasis on interrelationships of cytologic and genetic concepts. Chromosome structure and number, chromosomal aberrations, apomixes, and application of cytogenetic principles. Offered fall term in odd-numbered years.
AGR 6422C: Environmental Crop Nutrition (3)Prereq: BOT 3503. Design of cost-effective and environmentally sound crop nutrient management strategies. Diagnostic nutrient analysis, nutrient uptake, BMPs, and sustainable agriculture. Offered fall term On Campus or Online.
PLS 6623: Invasion Ecology (3) Prereq: PCB 3043C, PLS 4601, or equivalent. Mechanisms and hypotheses to explain biological invasions. Impacts of invasions on communities and ecosystems, management approaches, design and analysis of experiments. Offered spring term in even-numbered years.
PLS 6626: Invasive Plant Ecology (3) Mechanisms and hypotheses to explain non-native plant invasions. Impacts of invasions on communities and ecosystems, including natural and agricultural areas, management approaches, and design and analysis of experiments. Offered spring term in even-numbered years.
PLS 6655: Plant/Herbicide Interaction (3) Prereq: PLS 4601 and BOT 3503. Herbicide activity on plants: edaphic and environmental influences, absorption and translocation, response of specific physiological and biochemical processes as related to herbicide mode of action. Offered spring term in odd-numbered years.
AGR 6905: Agronomic Problems (1-5; max: 8 ) Special topics for classroom, library, laboratory, or field studies of agronomic plants.
AGR 6910: Supervised Research (1-5; max: 5) S/U.
AGR 6932: Computer Simulation of Crop Growth and Management Responses (3) The students will participate in the DSSAT training course at Griffin, GA held May 15-21, 2017, consisting of lectures and exercises. The lecture powerpoint-pdf files will be placed on the website to download; these will be very helpful to the students.
AGR 6932: Experimental Design & Data Analysis (3) AGR 6932 is a 3-credit hour course composed of 20 lectures, 10 homework assignments, five written paper reviews, five online discussion contributions in CANVAS to posted paper reviews, and two examinations. The first exam (midterm) is an in-class closed book exam and the second (final) is an open book, take home exam.
AGR 6933: Graduate Agronomy Seminar (1; max: 3) Current literature and agronomic developments.
AGR 6940: Supervised Teaching (1-5; max: 5) S/U.
AGR 6971: Research for Master's Thesis (1-15) S/U.
AGR 7979: Advanced Research (1-12) Research for doctoral students before admission to candidacy. Designed for students with a master's degree in the field of study or for students who have been accepted for a doctoral program. Not appropriate for students who have been admitted to candidacy. S/U.
AGR 7980: Research for Doctoral Dissertation (1-15) S/U.
- Agronomy Graduate Student Handbook
- Add/Drop Graduate Schedule Change Form
- Committee Appointment Form
- Graduate Student Evaluation Form
- MS Program of Study
- PhD Program of Study
- Exit Forms
Weed scientists in the Agronomy Department have developed, evaluated and implemented weed management strategies for terrestrial and aquatic weeds in temperate, sub-tropical and tropical environments. Strong interdisciplinary teamwork, both within and across departments, and at regional and national levels, has been a tradition the program. Current strengths of the weed science program include biology, molecular genetics, and physiology of weed species; aquatic and invasive plant research and management; weed management strategies for southeastern cropping systems; weed/crop interference mechanisms; computer decision modeling for soybean and peanut; wetland mitigation; and pasture, rangeland and non-crop weed management systems. Graduate student placement in both industry and academia has also been a traditional strength due to the diversity of the weed science program.
National and international strengths in the Plant Physiology, Nutrition and Management Program area include forage evaluation, management, and utilization; diversified row crop and forage management; conservation tillage, multiple-cropping systems; utilization of urban and agricultural wastes as nutrient sources for crop production; and alternative crop plants. The University of Florida has maintained a strong international reputation in evaluation, management and utilization of tropical and cool-season forages. Recently, emphasis has been placed on environmental impact of forage production practices. Management recommendations have been developed that facilitate increased efficiency of nutrient cycling in grazed pastures and use of dairy wastes for production of forage crops while minimizing environmental impact. For field crops, an important strength has been the presence of a highly diversified crop management team that possesses expertise in cultivation practices of numerous crop plants including peanut, cotton, tobacco, corn, small grains, soybean, sugarcane and rice. Also, conservation tillage and multiple-cropping systems have been tested and implemented by Florida producers. Departmental scientists in this program area have developed management recommendations and programs for newly-released crop cultivars. The Agronomy Department has also had a strong program in energy crops and alternative crops.
Traditional strengths have been documenting and understanding the physiology of crops at the leaf, whole plant and crop canopy level, particularly in response to global climate change factors and other environmental factors, and to develop computer simulations of crop growth, development, and yield in response to various environmental factors. Significant contributions include documenting crop responses to rising carbon dioxide and climate change factors and development of crop simulation growth models for grain legumes that incorporate physiological mechanisms and allow hypothetical responses to climate change, crop management and genetic improvement. Current strengths are outstanding national and international reputations for crop systems modeling and research programs for assessing the effects of atmospheric carbon dioxide and anticipated global climate change on crop production.
The strength of the Genetics Program Area has been in traditional, applied breeding programs to develop improved cultivars of forages, legumes, sugarcane and small grains. Forage and field crop scientists in the Department have released 28 crop cultivars since 1988. Breeding programs from the Agronomy Department contribute crop cultivars which dominate production acreage in areas of adaptation both within the U.S. and internationally. Recent accomplishments of the program include the release of many important cultivars: e.g., improved peanut (yield, disease resistance and oil quality), small grain (pest resistance) and forage crop (pest resistant clover, rust resistant ryegrass) cultivars. The contribution of these programs to the graduate study of plant breeding has also been a major strength. Molecular biology programs are now making significant contributions to the more traditional forage, peanut, and sugarcane breeding programs. A strong team approach is essential to development of multiple trait cultivars to serve our agricultural industry and to research value-added traits to increase the value of our commodities. It is imperative that an appropriate balance be maintained between whole plant and molecular genetics for both teaching and research programs.
- to provide forage nutritive value analysis for interdisciplinary IFAS researchers throughout the State of Florida
- to support IFAS-wide plant breeders and geneticists by helping determine the DNA content of plant samples through the Plant Ploidy Analysis Research Program (PPARP)
- to provide hands-on training and experience in laboratory procedures to post-doctoral associates and undergraduate and graduate students
- Acid Detergent Fiber (ADF)
- Crude Fiber (CF)
- Dry Matter/Organic Matter
- Total Nitrogen
- In Vitro Organic Matter Digestion (IVOMD)
- Neutral Detergent Fiber (NDF)
- Neutral Detergent Fiber (NDF) with Ankom digester
- Total Phosphorus
Sample Submission Checklist
All samples should be dried at 60°C and ground through a 1 mm screen. Any material left on the screen should be rerun, not discarded or put into the sample bag, as particle size will greatly affect results (especially IVOMD).
Place samples in 6 oz. Whirl-Pak bags only. Fill bag approximately one-half full (between 10 and 25 grams). Bags with either too little or too much sample will make it difficult to obtain a representative sample for analyses.
Use a Sharpie, Magic-Marker, or other permanent marker to write the sample number directly on the sample bag. Place numbers on the bottom one-half of the bag.
Number all samples in the experiment from 1 to N. For experiments with greater than 400 samples please contact Dr. Lynn E. Sollenberger or Richard P. Fethiere to decide on the ordering of samples by reps or the potential for use of NIR.
Mail or bring samples to:
2088 McCarty Hall
P.O. Box 110300
Gainesville, FL 32611-0300
Questions for the Lab?
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The certificate program will offer courses from diverse, interdisciplinary background, emphasizing sustainability; resource management; crop eco-physiology; environmental nutrient and water management. Students will be able to describe and analyze the interactions of production agriculture and the natural environment. Completion of the certificate will provide the students an understanding of current global issues related to agriculture and production systems and valuable skills for a future profession in the agricultural sciences.
The certificate is awarded by the University of Florida and also designated on student's UF transcript.
12 credit hours of course work required. All courses offered both On-campus and Distance format.
The programs can be completed entirely online and are available to on-campus students as well.
Since this certificate program will be offered entirely via distance mode, it gives the students the flexibility to study from anywhere in the world to earn a graduate certificate from the University of Florida. The program maintains the high academic standards of the University of Florida. The Certificate Programs are designed for scientists, extension agents, consultants and others for professional development and continued education.
Read More about this curriculum on the Agroecology website.
Developed to provide a basic foundation in agroecological principles and a unique hands-on experience at an international Partner Institution blended with campus or online coursework. Students enroll in fall semester to take ALS 5155 “Global Agroecosystems” either online or as a campus student and in one elective 3-credit hour course. In a different term one enrolls and participates in a 3-6 month international internship from one of our Partner Institutions. (Following the experience, the student develops a project and presents a video-conferencing seminar to Agroecology faculty.)
Research projects at partner institutions vary, as well as locations and suggested time of year. During the application process, choices are discussed with the applicant, as well as added expenses incurred by the student for the internship abroad experience. Partner institution offerings depend upon variables such as growing and harvest seasons, mentor availability, campus housing for interns, research goals, the student’s schedule, and more. Visit this link to our current Partner Institutions and research choices.
Read More about this curriculum on the Agroecology website.
The certificate program will offer courses from diverse, interdisciplinary background, emphasizing sustainability; resource management; crop eco-physiology; environmental nutrient and water management. Students will be able to describe and analyze the interactions of production agriculture and the natural environment. Completion of the certificate will provide the students an understanding of current global issues related to agriculture and production systems and valuable skills for a future profession in the agricultural sciences. Please visit this link for more information.
The certificate is awarded by the University of Florida and also designated on student's UF transcript.
Courses are offered online for distance students, or for classroom + online for students on a campus.
The program maintains the high academic standards of the University of Florida. The Certificate Programs are designed for scientists, extension agents, consultants and others for professional development and continued education.
Tuition is calculated by a combination of residency status, location relative to the main campus, and degree-seeking status. Those enrolled in the “online/self-funded MS degree” are coded to match a flat tuition rate of $565 per credit hour or less. Those enrolled as non-degree seeking students and coded as “Certificate” (taking courses online) are charged a flat tuition rate of $542.57 per credit hour. Students on a campus may view tuition on the UF Bursar’s website.
Applicants must have an earned bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution or equivalent. Two biology, two chemistry, and one plant science course will satisfy the prerequisite for nearly all the graduate courses.It is not necessary to be admitted to the Graduate School to earn a certificate, but students who later enroll in a graduate program may petition to transfer up to 15 UF graduate-level credit hours (grade B or better) to their graduate degree program. All students are required to maintain a GPA of 3.0; grades earned below “C” are failing grades and factor into the overall GPA. Certificate completion is evaluated on satisfying the minimum core and elective courses with passing grades, a GPA of 3.0 and passing a comprehensive final exam on the core courses. In final term of certificate registration, the student must apply for certificate completion by the UF Graduate School’s posted deadlines on its academic calendar.
Prerequisites and Computer Requirements
Prior to enrolling in any course, the student must ensure that either the prerequisites for the course, if any, have been met, or he or she must obtain approval from the course instructor to waive the requirement. Students must have a PC with access to the internet and a UF Gatorlink account. High-speed connections to the internet are a prerequisite.
The application deadlines for certificates:
July 1 for Fall Admission
November 1 for Spring Admission
Start your application for a Graduate Certificate - Submit an online application for a graduate certificate www.admissions.ufl.edu
Upload an unofficial transcript showing awarding of Bachelor's degree and a resume.
It is required that you have your previous University send an official transcript as soon as possible after applying to School Code 5812 UF Office of Graduate Admissions. You will not be merged into the Registrar's system to receive a registration appointment until the official transcript has been received.
Read More about certificate choices and curriculum on the Agroecology website.
For assistance or questions with the graduate program, please contact:
Cynthia Hight; 352-294-1586
For assistance or questions with the graduate program, please contact:
Cynthia Hight; 352-294-1586