Graduate Instruction and Course Description

Areas of Concentration

Crop and soil sciences; areas of specialization include plant breeding and genetics, biotechnology, environmental science, crop physiology, crop production, weed science, pesticide residue, seed technology, soil chemistry, soil classification, soil fertility, soil microbiology, and soil physics.

Prerequisites to Degree Programs

While extensive undergraduate training in agriculture and physical and biological science is desirable, no specific prerequisites are required. Deficiencies in undergraduate major or prerequisites for advanced courses may be included in the student's program.

Requirements for the Master of Science Degree

Thesis option

- minimum of 24 semester hours of course work as outlined by the student's graduate advisory committee plus six semester hours of theses credit. The student will be given an oral examination after the thesis is completed.

Requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy Degree

After a student has been admitted to the Graduate School and accepted by the department as being qualified for advanced work, the student is assigned to a major advisor. The major advisor will, in consultation with the department head, select a graduate committee. This committee will serve both in an advisory capacity for the student's program and as the dissertation and examination committee. The student's graduate advisory committee will determine the number of hours of course work to be completed for the degree.

The student must take candidacy examinations (prelims) in at least five fields of study after completing approximately two years of graduate study and at least one year before completing all other requirements. Preliminary examinations must be written and oral. Further details regarding requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy degree are available in the Crop, Soil, and Environmental Sciences Departmental office.

Courses: Crop, Soil, and Environmental Sciences (AGRN) 

  • 400V Special Problems

    (1-6)( Fa, Sp, Su) Work on special problems in agronomy or related field.
  • AGRN 4013 Advanced Crop Scienc

    e (Sp) Fundamental concepts of crop physiology, crop improvement, seed science, and crop production systems. Recitation 3 hours per week. Prerequisite: AGRI 2103.
  • 4043 Environmental Impact and Fate of Pesticides

    (Fa) Environmental issues associated with pesticide use, including fate of pesticides in the environment, ecological impact of pesticides, and exposure risks to humans. Course recommended for students who have 12 hours of biological and/or physical sciences. Lecture 3 hours per week. (Same as PLPA 4043 and ENSC 4043.)
  • 4100L Plant Breeding Lab

    (Fa. Even years) Corequisite: AGRN 4103.
  • 4103 Plant Breeding

    (Fa. Even years) Basic principles involved in plant breeding programs to improve crop plants and seed programs. Lecture 2 hours, laboratory 2 hours per week. Prerequisite: ANSC 3123. Corequisite: AGRN 4100L.
  • 4130L Weed Identification, Morphology, and Ecology Lab

    (Fa) Corequisite: AGRN 4133.
  • 4133 Weed Identification, Morphology, and Ecology

    (Fa) Study of weeds as economic pests occurring in both agricultural and nonagricultural situations and including poisonous plants and other specific weed problems. Gross morphological plant family characteristics which aid indentification; habitat of growth and distribution; ecology; competition; and allelopathy are discussed. Lecture 2 hours, laboratory 2 hours per week. Prerequisite: AGRN 2103 or HORT 1003 and AGRN 2003 or consent of the instructor. Corequisite: AGRN 4130L.
  • 4140L Principles of Weed Control Lab

    (Sp) Corequisite: AGRN 4143.
  • 4143 Principles of Weed Control

    (Sp) Advanced concepts and technology used in modern weed control practices and study of the chemistry and specific activity of herbicides in current usage. Lecture 2 hours per week and laboratory 2 hours per week. Prerequisite: CHEM 2613/2611L and AGRN 2003 or the consent of the instructor.Corequisite: AGRN 4140L
  • 4220L Soil Fertility Lab

    (Fa) Corequisite: AGRN 4224.
  • 4224 Soil Fertility

    (Fa) Study of the soil's chemical, biological, and physical properties, and human modification of these properties, as they influence the uptake and utilization of the essential nutrients by plants. Lecture 3 hours, laboratory 2 hours per week. Prerequisite: AGRN 2203/2201L.
  • 4250L Soil Classification and Genesis Lab

    Corequisite: AGRN 4253.
  • 4253 Soil Classification and Genesis

    (Sp) Lecture and field evaluation of soil properties and their relation to soil genesis and soil classification with emphasis on soils of Arkansas. Lecture 2 hours and laboratory 2 hours per week. Prerequisite: AGRN 2203. Corequisite: AGRN 4250L.
  • 4263 Environmental Soil Science

    (Sp) Study of the behavior of pesticides, toxic organic compounds, metals, nutrients, and pathogenic microorganisms in the soil/plant/water continuum. Lecture 3 hours per week. (Same as ENSC 4263) Prerequisite: AGRN 3214.
  • 5001 Weed Science Practicum

    (Su) Training for membership on weed team, through participation. Prerequisite: Graduate standing.
  • 5013 Crop Physiology

    (Fa. Odd years) Understanding and quantitative measurement of physiological processes, plant responses, and environmental parameters in relation to the production of crops. Prerequisite: BOTY 4304.
  • 502V Special Problems Research

    (1-6) (Fa, Sp, Su)
    Original investigation on assigned problems in agronomy. Prerequisite: Graduate standing and consent.
  • 5033 Plant Nutrition

    (Fa, Even years) Study of water uptake, ion absorption, translocation and metabolism in higher plants. Lecture 3 hours per week. Prerequisite: BOTY 4304 and CHEM 2613/2611L.
  • 504V Special Topics

    (1-4) (Fa, Sp, Su. On demand)
    Topics not covered in other courses or a more intensive study of specific topics in agronomy. May be repeated. Prerequisite: graduate standing.
  • AGRN 5053 Scientific Writing

    (Fa) Open to students especially those in agriculture and life sciences. The course will cover searching scientific literature, writing theses, proposals, journal articles and other scientific documents. Emphasis on style and techniques used in publication. Lecture and workshop 3 hours per week.
  • 5103 Scientific Presentations

    (Fa) Experience in procedures required for professional presentations of scientific papers, seminars, posters, and research findings at meetings, in conferences, and with discussion groups. Instruction in organization of materials, visual aids, and good speaking habits. Lecture 3 hours per week. Prerequisite: Graduate standing.
  • 5120D Crop Molecular and Physiological Genetics Discussion Drill

    (Sp. Even years) Corequisite: AGRN 5124
  • 5124 Crop Molecular and Physiological Genetics

    (Sp. Even years) Study of genome organization and expression in agronomic and horticultural plants, with emphasis on genes regulating physiological processes. Lecture 3 hours, discussion 1 hour per week. (Same as HORT 5124.) Prerequisites: BOTY 4304 and ANSC 3123, or ZOOL 3323. AGRN 5103, CHEM 5813, and 5843 are recommended but not required.
  • 5200L Applied Math Methods in the Life Sciences Lab

    (Fa. Odd years) Laboratory computer experience designed to reinforce material taught in AGRN 5204. Laboratory consists of a single 2-hour period each week. (Same as AGST 5200L) Corequisites: AGRN 5204.
  • 5204 Applied Math Methods in Life Sciences

    (Fa. Odd years)
    Methods of data presentation and mathematical descriptions of research data in the life sciences including graphical presentations, linear regression, growth equations, kinetics, transport equations, and compartmentalization. Analytical, numerical, and statistical approaches to the solution of research problems in life sciences will be emphasized. Lecture 3 hours and lab 2 hours per week. (Same as AGST 5204) Prerequisites: MATH 2564 and AGST 4023. Corequisite: AGRN 5200L.
  • 5210L Analytical Research Techniques in Agronomy Lab

    (Fa) Laboratory experiments designed to reinforce principles of research techniques taught in AGRN 5214. Experiments are conducted by individuals or by teams. Laboratory consists of a single, 4-hour period each week. Corequisite: AGRN 5214.
  • 5214 Analytical Research Techniques in Agronomy

    Preparation and analysis of plant and soil samples utilizing spectrophotometry, isotopes, and chromatographic separation methods. Additionally, measurements are made of photsyntheses, respiration, water relationships, light, and temperatures in whole plants. Lecture 2 hours, lab 4 hours per week. Prerequisite: BOTY 4304, CHEM 2613/2611L. Corequisite: AGRN 5210L.
  • 5220L Soil Physics Lab

  • 5224 Soil Physics

    (Sp) Physical properties of soils and their relation to other soil properties, growth of plants and transport of water, oxygen, heat, and solutes such as pesticides and plant nutrients. Lecture 3 hours and laboratory 3 hours per week. Corequisite: AGRN 5220L. Prerequisites: AGRN 2203 and MATH 1203.
  • 5243 Advanced Soil Fertility

    (Sp. Even years) Advanced consideration of the chemical, physical, and biological phenomena which influence the nutrient supplying power of the soil. Lecture 3 hours per week. Prerequisite: AGRN 4224.
  • 5260L Soil Microbiology Laboratory

    (Fa. Odd years)
    Laboratory exercises related to the study of microorganisms in soil and the biochemical processes for which they are responsible. Laboratory 3 hours per week. (Same as MBIO 5260L) Corequisite: AGRN 5264.
  • 5264 Soil Microbiology

    (Fa. Odd years) A study of the microorganisms in soil and the biochemical processes for which they are responsible. Lecture 3 hours and laboratory 3 hours per week. (Same as MBIO 5264) Prerequisite: MBIO 2013/2011L. Corequisite: AGRN 5260L.
  • 5453 Soil Chemistry

    (Fa. Even years) Application of the principles of chemistry to processes of agronomic and environmental importance in soils. Soil clay mineralogy, soil solution thermodynamics, structure and reactivity of humus, surface complexation and ion exchange, electro-chemical phenomena, and colloidal stability. Prerequisite: AGRN 2203 and CHEM 1123/1121L.
  • 600V Master's Theses

    (1-6) (Fa, Sp, Su) Prerequisite: Graduate standing and consent.
  • 6110L Herbicide Behavior Lab

    (Fa. Even years)
    Corequisite: AGRN 6113.
  • 6113 Herbicide Behavior

    (Fa. Even years) Biochemistry, physiology, and behavior of herbicides in plants, soils, and the environment. Lecture 2 hours, laboratory 2 hours per week. Corequisite: AGRN 6110L. Prerequisites: AGRN 4143, BOTY 4304, and CHEM 3813.
  • 622V Advanced Topics in Soil Science

    (1-3) (Fa, Sp) Topics include doctoral-level concepts in soil physics, soil chemistry, and soil microbiology/biochemistry not considered in other soil science courses. May be repeated. Prerequisites: Graduate standing.
  • 6253 Forage-Ruminant Relations

    (Sp. Odd years) Advanced chemical, physical, and botanical characteristics of forage plants, the dynamics of grazing, intake and digestion, and techniques of measuring forage utilization and systems analysis at the plant-animal interface. Lecture 3 hours per week. (Same as ANSC 6253). Prerequisites: ANSC 3143 and AGRN 3113.
  • 700V Doctoral Dissertation

    (1-18) (Fa, Sp, Su) Prerequisite: Graduate standing.