Jun 13, 2024  
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog 
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]


Rajiv Khosla, Head
Gerard J. Kluitenberg, Director of graduate studies

2004 Throckmorton Hall
Fax:  785-532-6094


Program objectives

The Department of Agronomy offers courses of study leading to degrees of master of science and doctor of philosophy in many diverse crop, soil, and range science specializations. These study areas include: agricultural climatology, crop-climate modeling, crop ecology, crop physiology, crop production, cytogenetics, environmental chemistry, environmental physics, forage management, plant breeding, plant genetics, range science, soil biochemistry, soil fertility, soil genesis and classification, soil microbiology, soil-plant-water relations, soil physics/biophysics, soil/water chemistry, soil/water conservation, soil/water management, and weed science.

The department consists of 55 graduate faculty members, about 65 graduate students, and several postdoctoral fellows and visiting scientists. The faculty are dedicated to providing students individualized training needed to address the many challenges facing agriculture.

Graduate programs are designed to accommodate the interest and objectives of the student. These programs require students to conduct original research. Students receive thorough training in investigative techniques by using modern facilities and through experienced guidance by faculty. Critical parts of the process involve the preparation of research findings in the form of a thesis or dissertation and their publication in a scientific journal. Students are encouraged to develop independent thought as well as a broad spectrum of knowledge. Flexibility in graduate training is possible because of the large number of faculty and the diversity of their research interests.

Facilities and equipment

The Department of Agronomy laboratories are well equipped with modern instrumentation for research in the many areas of specialization. Controlled environment chambers and greenhouses are available. Excellent dryland and irrigated field research facilities are available at the agronomy farms near Manhattan, at seven agronomy experiment fields, and at four Agricultural Research Centers located throughout the state. A large inventory of field, plot and laboratory equipment enable graduate students to plan and implement complex research programs which address challenges facing agriculture. Vehicle support provides student access to the diverse cropping and grazing systems present in Kansas. The Rannells Range Research Unit and the Konza Prairie enable native range investigations to be conducted at Manhattan. Special facilities which can be utilized by graduate students include the USDA Wind Erosion Lab, USDA Grain Marketing Lab, Agronomy Soil Testing Lab, and other service labs. Reference materials from the University Library are complemented by the Agronomy Graduate Library, housed within the department. Graduate students benefit from excellent computer and networking facilities through the mainframe computer center. State-of-the-art personal computers are available for use by all students.


Incoming students commonly have a bachelor or master of science degree in agriculture, agronomy, crop science, soil science, or a related physical or 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 prerequisites for admission to the program. Preparation in the biological, physical, and mathematical sciences is considered fundamental for all areas of graduate study in agronomy. Course requirements for each student are determined by a supervisory committee with consideration given to the student’s qualifications and professional interests and goals.


Research and teaching assistantships and research fellowships are available to graduate students in the Department of Agronomy. A majority of the students enrolled in Agronomy are supported during their graduate study. Nearly 50 percent of graduate students are appointed to a half-time graduate research assistantship. Stipends are competitive with leading universities. Graduate teaching and research assistants are assessed the in-state rate for tuition and fees. Graduate teaching assistants receive a substantial reduction of in-state tuition. An excellent graduate scholarship program provides additional assistance to several graduate students each year.

Application procedure

Applications are accepted at any time. However, students desiring admission and consideration for an assistantship for the fall semester are urged to submit their applications early, preferably before February 1, to enhance their chances for admission and financial support. The completed application form, statement of objectives, transcripts, and letters of recommendation are used to determine qualifications for graduate work. GRE scores are not required.


Doctor of Philosophy

Master of Science

Other Programs