Academic Programs Catalog

College of Agriculture and Natural Resources

Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences

James J. Kells, Chairperson

 


Undergraduate Programs

The department offers a Bachelor of Science degree in Crop and Soil Sciences, with three concentrations:  agronomic sciences, turfgrass management, and advanced studies.  The undergraduate curriculum is designed to prepare students to apply scientific principles of crop and soil management for careers in agriculture, agribusiness, turfgrass management, government agencies, and related areas.

Students in agronomic science study the close relationship between crop science and soil science. The goal of the crop scientist is to increase plant production, grain quality, and profit by utilizing genetics, breeding, physiology, and pest management. The goal of the soil scientist is to improve soil fertility and the chemical, physical, and microbial characteristics of the soil. These two subjects are combined in agronomic sciences to develop an integrated approach to the management of crops and soils. Demands for new applications are constantly emerging. There are many complex interactions in plant growth and genetics; the physical, chemical, and biological factors involved in improving crop yields; and the soil-plant-animal relationships that determine the sustainability of cropping systems. Department faculty are nationally and internationally recognized for excellence in both the basic and applied plant and soil sciences and work as partners with agricultural industries to serve agriculture, the citizens of Michigan, the nation, and the world.  Students are well prepared for employment in various positions within the food production industry to help feed a burgeoning human population, while understanding the importance of agricultural sustainability.  They are highly sought by agribusinesses and governmental agencies to help address food production issues for the future.

The Turfgrass Management concentration encompasses many of the same agronomic principles and applies them to the management of grasses for use on golf courses, athletic fields, home lawns, and recreational areas. Turfgrass adds beauty to the landscape, minimizes sound and air pollution, stabilizes the soil, and reduces the heat load on homes through transpirational cooling.

Students in the advanced studies concentration are fully prepared to accept employment upon graduation, but take additional courses to prepare them for graduate study. These include additional mathematics, chemistry, biochemistry, and statistics courses.

The department also offers minors in agronomy, international agriculture, sustainable agriculture and food systems, and in turfgrass management.


Crop and Soil Sciences

The Crop and Soil Sciences major is based upon the continuously expanding knowledge base of the biological and physical sciences and the utilization of those sciences to produce food and fiber of high quality on a competitive basis to promote sustainability, and to obtain increased nutrient–use efficiency, proper land use, increased plant adaptation to environmental and other stresses, decreased soil erosion, and decreased environmental pollution. Crop and soil scientists utilize the principles of genetics, plant breeding, crop physiology, weed science, turfgrass science, soil physics, soil fertility, soil genesis and classification, and soil chemistry.

Majors complete a common core of courses and one concentration: Agronomic Sciences, Turfgrass Management or Advanced Study. Students enrolled in this degree program, based on the agreement of cooperation between Michigan State University and Beijing Forestry University, Northeast Agricultural University, Sichuan Agricultural University, and Suzhou Polytechnic Institute of Agriculture in China must complete the concentration in Turfgrass Management.

  1. Agronomic Sciences is designed to prepare students to work as agronomists. These scientists have career opportunities in agricultural business and in government agencies such as departments of agriculture and/or natural resources, the Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Extension Service. They also work and consult pest management specialists and managers of grower organizations and with land appraisal firms, agencies involved with environmental issues, and in international agriculture.
  2. Turfgrass Management is designed to prepare students for the rapidly expanding area of urban agriculture. Graduates have career opportunities in the industries involved with management of golf courses, athletic fields, lawns and park and grounds management.
  3. Advanced Study is specifically designed for those students who plan to pursue graduate studies. Although students who complete the other concentrations may pursue graduate study, this concentration requires the completion of advanced levels of mathematics and advanced courses in the basic science.

Students may qualify to teach agriscience in high school under a plan of study cooperatively developed by the student’s faculty advisor and the Department of Community, Agriculture, Recreation and Resource Studies.

Requirements for the Bachelor of Science Degree in Crop and Soil Sciences

  1. The University requirements for bachelor's degrees as described in the Undergraduate Education section of this catalog; 120 credits, including general elective credits, are required for the Bachelor of Science degree in Crop and Soil Sciences.

    The University's Tier II writing requirement for the Crop and Soil Sciences major is met by completing two courses as specified below:

    Agronomic Sciences:  Both of the following courses:  Crop and Soil Sciences 488 and 492.  Those courses are referenced in items 3. a., and 3. b. below.

    Turfgrass Management:  Both of the following courses:  Crop and Soil Sciences 382 and 492.  Those courses are referenced in items 3. a., and 3. b. below.

    Advanced Study:  Both of the following courses:  Crop and Soil Sciences 488 and 492.  Those courses are referenced in items 3. a., and 3. b. below.

    Students who are enrolled in the Agronomic Sciences or Turfgrass Management concentrations of the Crop and Soil Sciences major leading to the Bachelor of Science degree in the Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences, may complete an alternative track to Integrative Studies in Biological and Physical Sciences that consists of the following courses:  Plant Biology 105 and 106 and Chemistry 141, 143, and 161.  The completion of Plant Biology 106 and Chemistry 161 satisfies the laboratory requirement.  Plant Biology 105 and 106 and Chemistry 141, 143, and 161 may be counted toward both the alternative track and the requirements for the major referenced in item 3. below.

    Students who are enrolled in the Advanced Study concentration of the Crop and Soil Sciences major leading to the Bachelor of Science degree in the Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences, may complete an alternative track to Integrative Studies in Biological and Physical Sciences that consists of the following courses: Plant Biology 105 and Chemistry 151, 152, and 161. The completion of Chemistry 161 satisfies the laboratory requirement. Plant Biology 105  and Chemistry 151, 152, and 161 may be counted toward both the alternative track and the requirements for the major referenced in item 3. below.

    The completion of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources mathematics requirement may also satisfy the University mathematics requirement.
  2. The requirements of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources for the Bachelor of Science degree.
    Certain courses referenced in requirement 3. below may be counted toward College requirements as appropriate.  For students who select the Advanced Study concentration, the completion of Mathematics 124 and 126 satisfies the College's mathematics requirement.
  3. The following requirements for the major:
    a. All of the following courses (7 credits):
    CEM 161 Chemistry Laboratory I 1
    CSS 110 Computer Applications in Agronomy 2
    CSS 210 Fundamentals of Soil Science 3
    CSS 492 Professional Development Seminar II 1
    b. One of the following three concentrations (61 to 72 credits):
    Agronomic Sciences (61 or 62 credits):
    (1) All of the following courses (53 credits):
    CEM 141 General Chemistry 4
    CEM 143 Survey of Organic Chemistry 4
    CSS 101 Introduction to Crop Science 3
    CSS 101L Introduction to Crop Science Laboratory 1
    CSS 192 Professional Development Seminar I 1
    CSS 288 Principles of Weed Management 3
    CSS 330 Soil Chemistry 2
    CSS 340 Applied Soil Physics 2
    CSS 350 Introduction to Plant Genetics 3
    CSS 360 Soil Biology 3
    CSS 470 Soil Resources 3
    CSS 480 Soil Fertility and Management 3
    CSS 488 Agricultural Cropping Systems: Integration and Problem Solving 3
    CSS 493 Professional Internship in Crop and Soil Sciences 3
    ENT 404 Fundamentals of Entomology 3
    MTH 116 College Algebra and Trigonometry 5
    PLB 105 Plant Biology 3
    PLB 106 Plant Biology Laboratory 1
    PLP 405 Plant Pathology 3
    (2) One of the following courses (3 credits):
    HRT 361 Applied Plant Physiology 3
    PLB 301 Introductory Plant Physiology 3
    (3) One of the following courses (2 or 3 credits):
    CSS 222 New Horizons in Biotechnology 2
    CSS 441 Plant Breeding and Biotechnology 3
    CSS 451 Biotechnology Applications for Plant Breeding and Genetics 3
    (4) One of the following courses (3 credits):
    EC 201 Introduction to Microeconomics 3
    EC 202 Introduction to Macroeconomics 3
    Turfgrass Management (67 credits):
    (1) All of the following courses (64 credits):
    CEM 141 General Chemistry 4
    CEM 143 Survey of Organic Chemistry 4
    CSS 178 Turf Irrigation 3
    CSS 181 Pesticide and Fertilizer Application Technology 3
    CSS 232 Turfgrass Management 4
    CSS 262 Turfgrass Management Seminar 1
    CSS 267 Performance Turf Design and Construction 2
    CSS 269 Turfgrass Strategies: Integration and Synthesis 2
    CSS 272 Turfgrass Soil Fertility 2
    CSS 282 Turfgrass Physiology 2
    CSS 292 Management of Turfgrass Weeds 3
    CSS 330 Soil Chemistry 2
    CSS 340 Applied Soil Physics 2
    CSS 350 Introduction to Plant Genetics 3
    CSS 360 Soil Biology 3
    CSS 470 Soil Resources 3
    CSS 493 Professional Internship in Crop and Soil Sciences 3
    EC 201 Introduction to Microeconomics 3
    ENT 364 Turfgrass Entomology 3
    MTH 116 College Algebra and Trigonometry 5
    PLB 105 Plant Biology 3
    PLB 106 Plant Biology Laboratory 1
    PLP 266 Turf Pathology 3
    (2) One of the following courses (3 credits):
    HRT 361 Applied Plant Physiology 3
    PLB 301 Introductory Plant Physiology 3
    Advanced Study (72 credits):
    (1) All of the following courses (68 credits):
    BMB 401 Comprehensive Biochemistry 4
    CEM 151 General and Descriptive Chemistry 4
    CEM 152 Principles of Chemistry  3
    CEM 251 Organic Chemistry I 3
    CEM 252 Organic Chemistry II 3
    CSS 101 Introduction to Crop Science 3
    CSS 101L Introduction to Crop Science Laboratory 1
    CSS 192 Professional Development Seminar I 1
    CSS 288 Principles of Weed Management 3
    CSS 330 Soil Chemistry 2
    CSS 340 Applied Soil Physics 2
    CSS 350 Introduction to Plant Genetics 3
    CSS 360 Soil Biology 3
    CSS 470 Soil Resources 3
    CSS 480 Soil Fertility and Management 3
    CSS 488 Agricultural Cropping Systems: Integration and Problem Solving 3
    CSS 499 Undergraduate Research 3
    ENT 404 Fundamentals of Entomology 3
    MTH 132 Calculus I 3
    PLB 105 Plant Biology 3
    PLB 106 Plant Biology Laboratory 1
    PLP 405 Plant Pathology 3
    (2) One of the following courses (3 credits):
    HRT 361 Applied Plant Physiology 3
    PLB 301 Introductory Plant Physiology 3
    (3) One of the following courses (3 credits):
    CSS 441 Plant Breeding and Biotechnology 3
    CSS 451 Biotechnology Applications for Plant Breeding and Genetics 3
    (4) One of the following courses (3 credits):
    EC 201 Introduction to Microeconomics 3
    EC 202 Introduction to Macroeconomics 3
    (5) The following course:
    STT 421 Statistics I 3


Minor in Agronomy

The Minor in Agronomy, which is administered by the Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences, is designed to serve students with majors in fields other than Crop and Soil Sciences who are interested in agronomy and who plan to pursue careers in agriculture for which a basic familiarity with the science of cropping systems is important. The minor will provide an opportunity for students to gain a fundamental understanding of the science of food production, including crop management, soil management, and plant breeding and biotechnology.

This minor is available as an elective to students who are enrolled in bachelor’s degree programs at Michigan State University other than the Bachelor of Science Degree in Crop and Soil Sciences or the Bachelor of Science Degree in Environmental Soil Science. With the approval of the department and college that administer the student’s degree program, the courses that are used to satisfy the minor may also be used to satisfy the requirements for the bachelor’s degree.

Students who plan to complete the requirements of the minor should consult the Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences and have their program of study approved in advance and in writing.

Requirements for the Minor in Agronomy

Complete 16 to 19 credits from the following:

               
1. All of the following courses (10 credits):  
  CSS 101 Introduction to Crop Science 3
  CSS 101L Introduction to Crop Science Laboratory 1
  CSS 210 Fundamentals of Soil Science 3
  CSS 488 Agricultural Cropping Systems: Integration and Problem Solving 3
2. One of the following courses (2 or 3 credits):  
  CSS 222 New Horizons in Biotechnology 2
  CSS 350 Introduction to Plant Genetics 3
  CSS 441 Plant Breeding and Biotechnology 3
3. One of the following courses (2 or 3 credits):  
  CSS 135 Crop Scouting and Investigation 2
  CSS 151 Seed and Grain Quality 2
  CSS 201 Forage Crops 3
  CSS 212 Advanced Crop Production 2
  CSS 251 Organic Farming Principles and Practices 3
         CSS 288 Principles of Weed Management 3
  CSS 424 Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems: Integration and Synthesis 3
  CSS 431 International Agricultural Systems 3
  CSS 467 Bioenergy Feedstock Production 3
4. One of the following courses (2 or 3 credits):  
  CSS 330 Soil Chemistry 2
  CSS 340 Applied Soil Physics 2
  CSS 360 Soil Biology 3
  CSS 470 Soil Resources 3

Minor in International Agriculture

This minor is available as an elective to students who are enrolled in bachelor’s degree programs and is designed for students who have an interest in international agriculture. It seeks to increase student understanding of global agriculture, particular agriculture-related problems and issues in developing and developed nations, and issues related to sustainability and stewardship of the Earth. Students who complete this specialization will be prepared for effective employment in the arena of international agriculture and/or multinational firms.

The College of Agriculture and Natural Resources in cooperation with the Departments of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics, Animal Science, Food Science and Human Nutrition, Forestry, Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences, and the College of Social Science in cooperation with the Department of Geography participate in the Minor in International Agriculture. The Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences is the primary administrative unit.

The student’s program of study for the specialization must be approved by the Department of Plant, Soil, and Microbial Sciences in advance and in writing. With the approval of the department that administer’s the student’s degree program, courses that are used to satisfy the requirements for the minor may also be used to satisfy the requirements for the bachelor’s degree.

Requirements for the Minor in International Agriculture

The student must meet the requirements specified below:

               
1. Foreign Language (0 to 8 credits)  
  Complete the equivalent of one year of a foreign language. The requirement may be met by completing two semesters of a foreign language at MSU or by obtaining a sufficient score on the appropriate foreign language placement test to place into a 200-level course in that language.  
2. Study Abroad Experience (6 to 12 credits)  
  Complete at least one study abroad experience that has a minimum duration of five weeks or two experiences of shorter duration.  
3. Both of the following courses (4 credits):  
  CSS 294 Issues in International Agriculture 1
  CSS 431 International Agricultural Systems 3
4. One of the following courses (3 credits):  
  ABM 427 Global Agri-Food Industries and Markets 3
  ANR 250 Global Issues in Agriculture and Natural Resources 3
  ANS 480 Animal Systems in International Development 3
  EEP 260 World Food, Population and Poverty 3
  GEO 410 Geography of Food and Agriculture 3
  HNF 406 Global Foods and Culture 3

 


Minor in Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems

The Minor in Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems is designed to foster active learning about agriculture and food systems for undergraduate students from different disciplinary backgrounds. Contemporary agriculture and food systems issues will be considered in biological, ecological, social, and economic contexts.

The minor is available as an elective to students who are enrolled in bachelor’s degree programs at Michigan State University. With the approval of the department and college that administers the student’s degree program, the courses that are used to satisfy the minor may also be used to satisfy the requirements for the bachelor’s degree. The student’s program of study must be approved by the Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences in advance and in writing.

Requirements for the Minor in Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems

The student must complete 15 credits from the following:

1. All of the following courses (6 credits):  
  CSS 124 Introduction Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems 2
  CSS 224 Sustainable Farm and Food Systems 1
  CSS 424 Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems: Integration and Synthesis 3
2. One or two of the following courses (3 to 6 credits):  
  Agricultural Sciences  
  CSS 101 Introduction to Crop Science 3
  CSS 360 Soil Biology 3
  CSS 431 International Agricultural Systems 3
  CSS 442 Agricultural Ecology 3
  ENT 479 Organic Pest Management (W) 3
  HNF 150 Introduction to Human Nutrition 3
  HRT 203 Principles of Horticulture 3
  HRT 251 Organic Farming Principles and Practices 3
  HRT 341 Vegetable Production and Management 3
  HRT 486 Biotechnology in Agriculture: Applications and Ethical Issues 3
3. One or two of the following courses (3 to 6 credits):  
  Social Sciences          
  ABM 400 Public Policy Issues in the Agrifood System 3
  CSUS 343 Community Food and Agricultural Systems 3
  EEP 255 Ecological Economics 3
  EEP 260 World Food, Population and Poverty 3
  GEO 410 Geography of Food and Agriculture 3
  HNF 406 Global Foods and Culture 3
  RCAH 292B Engagement and Reflection 3

 

 


Minor in Turfgrass Management

The Minor in Turfgrass Management, administered by the Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences, is designed to serve students that plan to work in the landscape, recreational, or the sports management industry. Students will gain an understanding of the fundamentals of maintaining a turfgrass-playing surface or the turfgrass within a lawn or landscape.

The minor is available as an elective to students who are enrolled in bachelor’s degree programs at Michigan State University. With the approval of the department and college that administer the student’s degree program, the courses that are used to satisfy the minor may also be used to satisfy the requirements for the bachelor’s degree.

Students who plan to complete the requirements of the minor should consult the undergraduate adviser in the Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences to have their program of study approved in advance.

Requirements for the Minor in Turfgrass Management

Complete a minimum of 15 credits from the following: 

1. All of the following courses (8 credits):
CSS 210 Fundamentals of Soil Science 3
CSS 232 Turfgrass Management 4
CSS 262 Turfgrass Management Seminar 1
2. One course from each of the following three areas (7 or 8 credits):
Management of Turfgrass Cultural Practices
CSS 178 Turfgrass Irrigation 3
CSS 267 Performance Turf Design and Construction 2
CSS 272 Turfgrass Soil Fertility 2
CSS 282 Turfgrass Physiology 2
Management of Turfgrass Pests
CSS 181 Pesticide and Fertilizer Application Technology 3
CSS 288 Principles of Weed Management 3
ENT 364 Turfgrass Entomology 3
PLP 266 Turf Pathology 3
General Turfgrass Management
CSS 171 Operations Budgeting for Golf Course Managers 2
CSS 202 World of Turf 2
HRT 214 Landscape and Turfgrass Business Operations 2


 

Graduate Study

The Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences offers programs leading to Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in crop and soil sciences, plant breeding, genetics and biotechnology—crop and soil sciences, and in plant pathology. The department also offers a Doctor of Philosophy degree program in crop and soil sciences—environmental toxicology.

Students enrolled in the Doctor of Philosophy degree program may elect a Specialization in Biotechnology. For additional information, refer to the statement on the specialization.

Students who are enrolled in Master of Science degree programs in the Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences  may elect a Specialization in Food Safety. For additional information, refer to the statement on the specialization in the College of Veterinary Medicine section of this catalog.



Crop and Soil Sciences - Master of Science

The department offers the following areas of specialization within the field of crop and soil sciences:  plant breeding and genetics; crop physiology, ecology, and management; weed science;  turfgrass management; soil genesis and classification; soil microbiology and biochemistry; soil physics; soil chemistry; soil biophysics; soil fertility; and environmental and pollution aspects of soil science, including the study of waste disposal on land. Graduate programs of study are designed to reflect the individual needs and interests of students.

Master of Science

In addition to meeting the requirements of the university and of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, students must meet the requirements specified below.

Admission

Applicants for admission to the master's degree program should have a bachelor's degree in crop and soil sciences or in a related field such as botany or chemistry.  Applicants should also have substantial academic background in the physical sciences (including chemistry and physics), in the biological sciences (including botany), and in mathematics.  The completion of an undergraduate crop and soil sciences major with an agricultural science specialization would be considered ideal.  Students with deficiencies in their backgrounds will be required to complete collateral courses in addition to the courses that are required for the master's degree.

Requirements for the Master of Science Degree in Crop and Soil Sciences

The student may elect either Plan A (with thesis) or Plan B (without thesis).  A total of 30 credits is required for the degree under either Plan A or Plan B.  In addition to courses in the major, a minor or study in areas related to crop and soil sciences is required.  Students are encouraged to select such courses as botany, biochemistry, chemistry, geology, plant pathology, and statistics.  The student is required to complete satisfactorily one semester of teaching.



Crop and Soil Sciences- Doctor of Philosophy

In addition to meeting the requirements of the university and of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, students must meet the requirements specified below.

Requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Crop and Soil Sciences

In addition to courses in the major, a minor or study in areas related to crop and soil sciences is required.  Students are encouraged to select such courses as botany, biochemistry, chemistry, geology, plant pathology, and statistics.  The student is required to complete satisfactorily one semester of teaching.



Crop and Soil Sciences- Environmental Toxicology

For information about the Doctor of Philosophy degree program in crop and soil sciences—environmental toxicology, refer to the statement on Doctoral Program in Environmental and Integrative Toxicological Sciences in the Graduate Education section of this catalog.

 


Plant Breeding, Genetics and Biotechnology - Crop and Soil Sciences

The Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences offers Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degree programs in plant breeding, genetics and biotechnology–crop and soil sciences. The requirements for admission and the requirements for the degree are specified in the statement on Interdepartmental Graduate Programs in Plant Breeding, Genetics and Biotechnology.

 


Plant Pathology - Master of Science

Plant pathology graduate students may study in one or more emphasis areas, including phytobacteriology, mycology, virology, epidemiology, host parasite interactions, soil microbiology, disease management and molecular biology. Commodity-oriented strategic research areas in which the above emphasis areas may be studied include vegetable crops, fruit crops, nursery, landscape and ornamentals, field crops, turf crops, and forest and tree pathology. Students are urged to take courses which provide a broad background in biological and physical sciences in addition to training in specialized areas.

In addition to meeting the requirements of the university and the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, students must meet the requirements specified below.

Admission

Regular admission may be granted to those students who have a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent, a 3.00 grade point average, and appropriate training in the biological and physical sciences and mathematics.

Provisional admission may be granted to those students who do not meet the requirements for regular admission.

Requirements for the Master of Science Degree in Plant Pathology

The master’s degree program in plant pathology is available under either Plan A (with thesis) or Plan B (without thesis). The student’s program of study is arranged by a guidance committee which includes the major professor.

For both Plan A and Plan B, students must:

  1. Complete at least 30 credits including at least two graduate-level seminar courses in the biological sciences, one of which must be Plant Pathology 894.
  2. Acquire teaching experience by assisting in at least one course.
  3. Demonstrate a reading knowledge of a foreign language if required by the guidance committee.

Additional Requirement for Plan A:

Pass a final oral examination in defense of the thesis.

Additional Requirement for Plan B:

Pass a final examination or evaluation.

 


Plant Pathology - Doctor of Philosophy

The objective of this program is to provide a high quality plant pathology graduate experience to equip students with the skills necessary for research, teaching and extension, or other agriculture-related positions that require the Doctor of Philosophy degree.

In addition to meeting the requirements of the university and the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, students must meet the requirements specified below.

Admission

Regular admission may be granted to those students having a master’s degree or its equivalent, a 3.00 grade point average, and appropriate training in the biological and physical sciences and mathematics. Outstanding students without a master’s degree may be accepted.

Provisional admission may be granted to those students who do not meet the requirements for regular admission.

Requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Plant Pathology

All doctoral students in plant pathology must meet the requirements specified below:

               
1. Pass a preliminary examination.  
2. Acquire teaching experience by assisting in two courses.  
3. Complete:        
  a. All of the following courses:  
    PLP 405 Introductory Plant Pathology 3
    PLP 810 Current Concepts in Plant Pathology 3
    PLP 894 Seminar in Plant Pathology 2
  b. One of the following courses:  
    PLP 812 Epidemiology of Plant Diseases 3
    PLP 881 Molecular and Biochemical Plant Pathology 3
    PLP 885 Plant Diseases in the Field 2
  c. Two of the following courses:  
    ENT 870 Nematode Management in Crop Systems 3
    PLP 847 Advanced Mycology 4
    PLP 880 Plant Virology 4
    PLP 884 Prokaryotic Diseases of Plants 4
4. Additional requirements such as reading knowledge of a foreign language may be required by the guidance committee.  
5. Pass a written comprehensive examination.  
6. Pass a final oral examination in defense of a dissertation.  



Graduate Specialization in Ecological Food and Farming Systems

The Graduate Specialization in Ecological Food and Farming Systems is designed to foster an understanding of biogeochemical, socioeconomic, and policy concepts using experiential learning within the individual’s program of study as a venue for multidisciplinary work. For global perspectives, students are encouraged to participate in either a study abroad course with ecological food and farming systems content, or in a course with international focus.

The specialization is available as an elective to students who are enrolled in master’s or doctoral degree programs at Michigan State University. With the approval of the department and college that administers the student’s degree program, the courses that are used to satisfy the specialization may also be used to satisfy the requirements for the master’s or doctoral degree. The students program of study must be approved by the advisor for the specialization in the Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences in advance and in writing.

Requirements for the Graduate Specialization in Ecological Food and Farming Systems

The student must complete 13 to 14 credits from the following:

               
1. All of the following courses (7 credits):  
  ACR 811 Community, Food and Agriculture: A Survey 3
  CSS 442 Agricultural Ecology 3
  CSS 892B Ecological Food and Farming Systems Seminar 1
2. One of the following courses (3 credits):  
  CSS 424 Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems:  
        Integration and Synthesis 3
  CSS 431 International Agricultural Systems 3
  CSS 893 Special Topics 3
  ENT 479 Organic Pest Management 3
  ENT 848 Biological Control of Insects and Weeds 3
  An international course approved by the student’s advisor for the specialization.  
3. One of the following courses (3 or 4 credits):  
  ACR 823 Contemporary Issues in Animal-Human Relationships 3
  ACR 853 The Industrialization of American Agriculture 3
  ACR 854 Agriculture and Social Movements 3
  ACR 891B Advanced Topics in Community, Food, and Agriculture 2
  AEC 861 Agriculture in Economic Development 3
  FW 858 Gender, Justice, and Environmental Change: Issues and Concepts 3
  GEO 410 Geography of Food and Agriculture 3
  An international course approved by the student’s advisor for the specialization.  
  Students may enroll in Community, Agriculture, Recreation and Resource Studies 891B more than once.