- Offered as:
- Graduate program
Crop science is the study of the world's major food, feed, turf, and fiber crops and their environment. It is a broad discipline encompassing breeding, genetics, production, and management.
The program at WSU emphasizes developing and applying new technology to ensure a safe and abundant food supply and a sustainable agro-ecosystem.
A minor in crop science is a perfect addition to majors in agriculture and plant sciences, but it can be added to almost any major.
Washington State University also offers both Ph.D. and master's degrees in crop science. For a quick overview of admission requirements, see the crop science fact sheet on the WSU Graduate School website. For information about requirements, courses, and faculty research, visit the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences web site.
- Strengths of the program
- Receive top-quality classroom, field, and laboratory experiences required for well-paying careers in industry, government, and farming.
- Pursue research in such areas as organic crop production systems, plant breeding, biotechnology, groundwater contamination prevention, and turf and golf course management.
- Study under professors who are among the nation’s most productive and creative in the field.
- Develop skills that can help solve environmental and food problems or create enjoyable living conditions.
- Requirements and featured courses
The minor in crop science is available to students in any major.
A minimum of 16 credit hours is required, at least 9 of which must be in 300 to 400-level courses taken through WSU.
You can choose from courses like these:
Ecology and Management of Weeds
World Agricultural Systems
Advanced Cropping Systems
Plant Breeding for Organic Agriculture
Plant Genomics and Biotechnology
And there are more...
Contact an advisor in the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences for more information about planning your courses and taking the necessary prerequisites.
Check the WSU Catalog for degree requirements and a complete list of course offerings. All students must meet requirements as outlined in the catalog in order to graduate.
- Scholarships and financial aid
A variety of state, federal, and university-sponsored programs are available to help students with educational costs.
Washington State University awards millions of dollars in financial aid and scholarships to students every year based on financial need, academic merit, or a combination of the two.
In addition to general university scholarships and other financial aid, the University's academic colleges, schools, and departments offer scholarships specifically for students majoring in their areas.
To get all the financial help WSU can provide, start by doing these two things:
- Complete the University's general scholarship application so you can be eligible for scholarship consideration.
- Complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) so WSU can consider you for aid (scholarships, grants, loans, etc.) based on financial need.
- Careers in crop science
Crop scientists (or agronomists) are involved in improving food, feed, and fiber production. They study metabolic and developmental processes of crop plants and seeds, develop improved crop varieties through plant breeding and biotechnology, design sustainable crop production and management systems that conserve natural resources while enhancing crop yields, and investigate the impact of cropping systems on agricultural and nonagricultural ecosystems.
Employment is available in government and commercial agencies such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service, Natural Resource Conservation Service, and Cooperative Extension; the Environmental Protection Agency; the Washington State Department of Ecology, Department of Agriculture, and Department of Natural Resources; and in food processing companies, insurance agencies, and commercial concerns dealing with farm products, fertilizers, and agricultural chemicals and seeds.
Opportunities also exist for further study and employment in international agriculture such as through the U.S. Agency for International Development and The World Bank, international research institutes, church-run agricultural development organizations, and the U.S. Peace Corps.
Teaching, research, and extension careers are available in community colleges and universities for graduates with advanced degrees.
A few examples of specific careers in crop science:
- Agronomic or environmental consultants
- Crop advisors
- Farm managers
- Corporate or academic researchers
- Turfgrass/golf course managers
- Soil surveyors
- Soil conservationists
- Land-use managers
- Soil fertility specialists
- Research technologists
- Global information systems specialists