Our graduate degree recipients hold positions of leadership throughout the world. You will conduct research alongside world-renowned faculty who are committed to providing you with an exceptional and nurturing environment for personal and professional growth.

  • M.S. Thesis Option program helps students develop into researchers. Coursework is no longer the primary focus, and students learn how to create, plan, and carry out independent research. On-campus students are admitted to this program.
  • M.S. Non-Thesis Option program guides students in the acquisition of professional expertise beyond the undergraduate degree. Online students are admitted to this program.
  • M.S. Online Option allows non-traditional and global students to earn an advanced degree off campus.

For additional details and requirements for each program, refer to the department's graduate handbook and the course catalog.

Choose Your Research Discipline
From bioinformatics to plant breeding, our graduate program offers diverse research areas where you can pursue your interests.

Master of Science, Thesis

Candidates must complete 32 hours of graduate study as approved by their graduate guidance committee with at least a B average. An oral final examination is required of all M.S. candidates, and written examinations may be required at the option of the examining committee.

Master of Science, Non-thesis

The Crop Sciences Online M.S. degree program is completed as a non-thesis degree. 

Courses are delivered mainly through online and other distance education technologies and occasional site-based programming (site-based courses are optional and not required to complete the degree).

Master of Science, Online

Students may enroll in individual courses for personal or professional advancement or may apply for admission to the master's degree program in Crop Sciences. 

The Online M.S. in Crop Sciences program also works in conjunction with the Natural Resources and Environmental Studies Online M.S. program and the Agriculture Education Online M.S. program to offer a diverse set of courses. The Department of Crop Sciences is looking to the future and the needs of non-traditional students. Therefore, new courses are continually in development for online delivery and blended formats. A student may complete their entire degree requirements online from anywhere in the world and they are available to in-state students and out-of-state students at the same tuition rates.

Learn more about the online program.

Choose Your Research Discipline

From bioinformatics to plant breeding, our graduate program offers diverse research areas where you can pursue your interests.

Choose Your Research Discipline

From bioinformatics to plant breeding, our graduate program offers diverse research areas where you can pursue your interests.

Bioinformatics and Biometry

Bioinformatics and Biometry (statistical) research helps researchers obtain valid answers to their questions. They separate biological and physical experimentation from known sources of variation to evaluate and interpret results. Biometry and Bioinformatics are crucial in determining agricultural best practices.

Crop Production

The crop production group investigates and compares standard and alternative crop production practices and systems to evaluate their impact on crop yield, profit, environmental and ecological consequences, and agricultural sustainability.

Environmental Sciences

Environmental Sciences works to understand the impact of agricultural practices on the environment and the impact of the environment on agriculture through air, soil, and water research. We hope to improve agricultural profitability while decreasing adverse effects on the environment locally and internationally.

Horticultural Food Systems

Horticultural food systems research focuses on sustainable agriculture and explores ways to grow crops that are more productive and nutritious while reducing the impact on air, water, and soil quality.

Integrated Pest Management

Integrated pest management (IPM) is the selection and use of pest-control actions to promote favorable economic, ecological, and sociological agriculture outcomes. Scientists use multiple pest-control tactics to provide protection against pest damage and enhance environmental stewardship.

Plant Breeding, Genetics, and Cytogenetics

Plant geneticists apply genetic principles to improve plants for human, animal, and energy use. Research in this area is successful in achieving higher yields, disease resistance, and nutritional quality—all essential components in increasing food security around the world.

Plant Molecular Biology and Physiology

Within plant molecular biology and physiology researchers explore the genetic and molecular basis of important plant traits such as seed composition, disease resistance, stress tolerance, and mineral nutrition. In studying the cellular processes that control these traits, we seek to generate both basic scientific knowledge and new strategies for crop improvement.

Plant Pathology

Plant pathologists study plant pathogens, pests, and how interactions with plants and environments lead to disease susceptibility or resistance. The knowledge produced by plant pathologists about the etiology of plant diseases leads to a better understanding of how to manage plant disease problems. Plant pathology is an integral part of sustainable, environmentally friendly agricultural production systems.

Weed Science

Weed science is a very dynamic field of research integrating cultural, mechanical, chemical, and biological management techniques to obtain economically and environmentally sustainable weed management systems.

Contact Us

Christina Pierce-Tomlin
Graduate Programs Coordinator

AE-112 Turner Hall
1102 S. Goodwin Ave.
Urbana, IL 61801

Christina Pierce-Tomlin