Graduate students will be working with award winning faculty who have a passion for agronomic and environmental improvement. Purdue Agronomy's holistic approach through the combination of teaching, research and extension prepares students for careers in academia, industry, and government.

Application Deadlines

U.S. Resident Applicant

Fall: April 15

Spring: October 15

Summer: April 15

International Applicant

Fall: April 15

Spring: September 15

Summer: February 15

Application requirements

Your application package to the Department of Agronomy is complete once all the following information has been received.

(International Applicants) All official documents must be in English language, or they must be in the native language AND accompanied by an official translation.

  1. Graduate school application to Department of Agronomy.
  2. Privacy Act Release form.
  3. Official transcripts of grades from each college or university at which you matriculated, which are to be sent to Chairman, Graduate Committee by the Registrar(s) of the respective university or universities.
  4. Three letters of recommendation.
  5. Statement of Purpose.
  6. A nonrefundable fee of $60 for domestic applicants and $75 for international applicants (drawn on U.S. funds through a U.S. bank) is required for application for graduate study at Purdue University. It is University policy that no action be taken on your application until the fee is received. If you have a previous graduate record at Purdue, you are not required to pay an application fee.
  7. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores (test results should be requested from E.T.S. including both institution [R1631] and department [0104 ] codes).
  8. (​International Applicants) TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) scores if you are applying from abroad (A minimum TOEFL score of 550 will be required for admission to Purdue University Graduate School for all non-native speakers of English, effective for the fall semester of 1990. Test results [institution code 1631] should be requested to be sent from E.T.S. to Purdue University).
  9. (International Applicants) TWE (Test of Written English) scores if you are applying from abroad (A TWE score of five or above (scale: 1=low, 6=high) will be evidence of acceptable proficiency in English composition. Students who do not submit TWE scores with their application or students scoring less than five on the TWE will be referred by the Graduate School to the Office or Writing Review for further evaluation of their proficiency in English composition).

Degrees offered

A Masters (non-thesis), Masters (thesis) and Doctoral degrees are all offered.

The Agronomy Department offers M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in plant genetics and breeding, plant physiology, crop production, soil science, agroecology, land management, and climate. Our graduate programs emphasize developing and applying basic scientific principles to optimize agricultural systems management. We emphasize research with a global application as we hope to instill skill sets that allow for increased system resilience in response to the rapidly changing world.

DEGREE REQUIREMENTS

Master's Degree Non-Thesis

  • 33 credit hours, including 1 hour seminar
  • 3 credit hours, but not more than 6 credits of special problems GRAD 612 required
  • Total of 36-39 credit hours

Master's Degree - Thesis

  • 24 credit hours (Must include 1 credit hour of GRAD 612) 
  • 6 research credit hours
  • Total of 30 credit hours

Doctoral Degree

Current students who do not have an approved plan of study by the graduate school will have the option to follow the current requirments or be included int he new plan. Students who have an approved plan of study by the graduate school do not qualify for this option. Students entering in January 2011 can only follow the new credit hour requirement. 

  • 27 course credits
  • 9 departmental core credits
  • Total of 36 credit hours

*Six credit hours may be independent study, but not with the student’s major professor. Students must have prior approval from the Agronomy Graduate Committee for independent study credits - provide objectives, syllabus and deliverables.

GRADUATE STUDENT SCHOLARSHIPS AND AWARDS

The Axtell Award was established to provide recognition and support for outstanding M.S. and Ph.D. students in plant breeding, genetics and genomics. Dr. Axtell was the Lynn Distinguished Professor of Agronomy, a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a faculty member in Agronomy for 34 years.  He was noted for his interdisciplinary approaches to research and his commitment to improving the quality of life of the poor in developing countries through crop improvement. 
Awarded spring semester

The Barber Scholarship was established to provide recognition and support for outstanding M.S. and Ph.D. students in soil fertility and plant nutrition.  He was named the John B. Peterson Distinguished Professor in 1988 and elected to membership in the National Academy of Sciences in 1987.  Dr. Barber used the principles of physiology, chemistry, and physics to analyze the process of soil nutrient uptake by plant roots.  He studied, separately for P and K, the mechanisms of movement of nutrients in the soil, the mode of nutrient uptake, and the role of surface area and length of roots, soil water and temperature to the overall process of nutrient uptake.  He showed that processes were unique for each nutrient and that rate of nutrient uptake increased with root growth.
Awarded spring semester

The Phillips Award was established to provide recognition and support for outstanding MS and Ph.D. students interested in extension.  Dr. Phillips, former Agronomy Department Head, was known for his enthusiasm, positive approach, fairness, education and ability to create and maintain a collegial and supportive work environment.  He was recognized within the department for creating a "family" attitude.  Some of the innovations adopted under his leadership included multi-media resource centers for crops, soils and remote sensing courses, teaching seminars for graduate teaching assistants, computer hardware and software to assist research, teaching and extension programs and the use of closed circuit television for delivery of courses and extension programs at off-campus locations.
Awarded spring semester

The Joe White Award was established to provide recognition and support for outstanding MS and Ph.D. students in soil chemistry and mineralogy.  Dr. White was a Professor of Agronomy from 1947 through 2004.  His research was at the forefront of soil chemistry and mineralogy, which led to significant improvements in environmental stewardship and improved crop productivity.  Environmental molecular science has become a mature discipline and Dr. White was one of the key pioneers in this field.  Recipients of this award must demonstrate the Joe L. White philosophy:  working on applied problems in soil chemistry and mineralogy through basic research.
Awarded spring semester

The Rothgeb Scholarship was established in memory of Wayne P. Rothgeb, who served in the U.S. Army Air Corps from 1941 through 1945.  He was a flight leader and assistant operations officer in his squadron, and he received the Air Medal with four clusters and a unit citation.  Wayne Rothgeb received his B.S. degree in Agriculture from Purdue University in 1948, then for two years held the position of assistant county agricultural agent for Jay County, Indiana.  From 1951 to 1985 he was farm director for KWJG-TV in Ft. Wayne, IN.  He was named National Farm Broadcaster of the Year in 1984.  In 1980 he was awarded the Certificate of Distinction from the Purdue Agricultural Alumni Association, recognizing his contribution to agriculture through professional accomplishments, activity in organizations, and community service.
Awarded spring semester

The Nyquist Scholarship is intended to recognize graduate students in the disciplines of plant genetics, plant breeding, plant genomics and/or related agronomic sciences which include a significant genetics component.  During his 35-year career in Agronomy, Dr. Nyquist distinguished himself as a dedicated teacher, an outstanding scholar, and wonderful mentor.  He taught four graduate-level courses in the area of statistical methods and quantitative and statistical genetics.  He wrote many handouts totaling over 3000 pages which extended the subject matter beyond that available in the textbooks and the literature.  Through his leadership in teaching, he greatly unified and strengthened the whole training program in quantitative genetics and breeding at Purdue in both the plant and animal areas.
Awarded spring semester

An annual graduate student award intended to recognize the most significant research achievements of our graduate students.  Any graduate student currently enrolled in an MS or Ph.D. program in the department (including students enrolled in interdisciplinary programs), and whose major professor is a member of the Agronomy Department faculty (including partial and adjunct appointments) are eligible for nomination.   student can receive each award only once.
Awarded spring semester

An annual graduate student award intended to recognize the most significant extension achievements of our graduate students.  Any graduate student currently enrolled in an MS or Ph.D. program in the department (including students enrolled in interdisciplinary programs), and whose major professor is a member of the Agronomy Department faculty (including partial and adjunct appointments) are eligible for nomination.  A student can receive the award only one time.
Awarded spring semester

An annual graduate student award intended to recognize the most significant teaching achievements of our graduate students.  Any graduate student currently enrolled in an MS or Ph.D. program in the department (including students enrolled in interdisciplinary programs), and whose major professor is a member of the Agronomy Department faculty (including partial and adjunct appointments) are eligible for nomination.  A student can receive the award only one time.
Awarded spring semester

M.O. Pence served the Agronomy Department and the people of the State of Indiana as an outstanding extension educator over many years.  To honor him and to encourage the development of future leaders in agronomy extension and/or applied research, the scholarship fund was established.  The selection criteria includes 1) demonstrated career interest in agronomy extension (or similar activity in industry) and/or in applied agronomic research, 2) leadership ability and/or [potential, and 3) academic performance.
Awarded spring semester

Dr. Bailey received his undergraduate degree from Iowa State University followed by his M.S. and Ph.D. from Purdue University.  He retired after a 42 year career with the Environmental Protection Agency, where he was a research scientist in the areas of soil and surface chemistry.  He was a prolific researcher whose contributions in the areas of environmental science, pesticide fate, and heavy metal speciation and clay chemistry served as benchmarks in this field and garnered numerous awards including Presidential Citations from four administrations.
Awarded fall semester

Dr. Bauman received his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. (1950) from the University of Illinois.  Dr. Bauman was a research agronomist with the Agricultural Research Service, USDA in Tifton, Georgia and Wooster, Ohio from 1953-1959.  He joined Purdue University in 1959 as professor of genetics and plant breeding where he served until his retirement in 1986.  Dr. Bauman was recognized among his colleagues as a very skillful and productive corn geneticist and breeder. He and his associates were the first to apply the technique of nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy to determine oil content of individual corn kernels.  Genetic analysis to estimate the importance of epitasis in determining yield and other plant characteristics developed by Dr. Bauman, has been refined and is widely utilized by other researchers in a number of crop species.
Awarded fall semester

An endowment fund in honor of Drs. Loyal F. “Pete” Bauman and Donald P. Doolittle (Animal Sciences) for their extraordinary contributions as teachers, mentors, and friends to many students whom they served during their careers at Purdue University.
Awarded fall semester

A scholarship was established in honor of Dr. George Scarseth, a former faculty member and head of the Agronomy Department, who was a pioneer in reduced tillage farming.  He promoted new ideas and approaches in crop production.  Scarseth was known for his talents as a teacher, speaker and writer, and was often invited to give a guest presentation.  He published widely including two books: Man and His Earth in 1962 and Humans and Its Earth in 1964.  As a researcher, he was especially well recognized for his soil fertility studies, options for increasing yield and early no-till or minimal tilling practices.  He also explored various regions of the world for crop production, not just those with seemingly ideal conditions.  He continued his research long after leaving Purdue, working nearby at the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Awarded fall semester

The Dow AgroSciences Scholars, created in 2012, is intended to recruit outstanding graduate students and recognize graduate students who demonstrate academic excellence, initiative, problem solving, and leadership.  Two awards (or more) will be issued each year based on the number of qualified applications received in the Agronomy or Plant Breeding and Genetics program.
Awarded spring and/or fall semester

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LEXIE WILSON

Graduate Program Administrator