EXPIRED--Graduate Education--OLD (for archive purposes)

Elizabeth Swoope  |  5/11/2016 3:04:11 AM

Degree Programs

The School of Plant, Environmental, and Soil Sciences offers graduate programs leading to the Master of Science (M.S.) and the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degrees. Students in Agronomy concentrate their graduate studies in soils, applied plant physiology, weed science, crop breeding and genetics, or biotechnology. Students in Horticulture may specialize in any phase of horticulture, including breeding and genetics, propagation, physiology, mineral nutrition, weed control, plant growth and development, postharvest physiology, and food processing. Laboratories and experimental farms are available for each area of specialization within the department.

Each student develops a course of study and research program, with assistance from a major professor, who is approved by the Graduate Advisory Committee and the department head. The traditional degree program requires at least 30 hours of graduate credit for the M.S. degree and at least 60 hours for the Ph.D. degree. A final seminar and oral examination are required for the M.S. degree; a written and oral general examination and a seminar and final oral examination on the dissertation are required for the Ph.D. The nonthesis option M.S. degree, approved only under special circumstances, requires a minimum of 36 graduate credit hours of well-defined course work.


Applicants for admission to the SPESS graduate program must first be admitted by the Graduate School. SPESS offers graduate degrees in the following areas of concentration: Agronomy, Weed Science, Horticulture, Soil Science, and Environmental Management. However, due to the recent formation of SPESS, you must select “Agronomy” as the degree program when applying to the Graduate School. A GRE score of 1,000 or greater is required for admission to the SPESS graduate program. There is no required GPA for admission to the SPESS graduate program, however, the GPA will be a determining factor in the acceptance of your application. Three letters of recommendation must be forwarded directly to the department head (M. B. Sturgis Hall, Room 305, Baton Rouge, LA 70803). After a student's application is reviewed in SPESS, a recommendation concerning the student's acceptability into the SPESS graduate program is made to the Graduate School.

Graduate Advisors


H. Magdi Selim
M. B. Sturgis Hall, Room 305, Baton Rouge, LA 70803
Telephone: (225) 578-1332
Fax: (225) 578-1403


David Weindorf
307 Sturgis Hall, Baton Rouge, LA 70803
Telephone: (225) 578-0396
Fax: (225) 578-1403


Financial Aid

Both teaching and research assistantships are offered by the department. The minimum stipend for each is $13,500 per year for the M.S. degree and $15,000 per year for the Ph.D. Students holding teaching assistantships may assist in the teaching of a course, or teach one to two laboratory sections. Research assistants are required to work up to 20 hours per week. Students are assigned to supervisors who may or may not be their major professors. Professors with grant funds may elect to provide assistantship awards higher than the minimal levels.

The American Floral Endowment (AFE) has established a new floriculture scholarship for students in Masters or PhD programs at land-grant universities like Louisiana State University. For more information please click here: American Floral Endowment scholarship information.


This department includes 59 research laboratories, plus numerous student and faculty offices, eight classrooms, and teaching laboratories. All laboratories are equipped with state-of-the-art multimedia facilities. Graduate students have access to a modern computer laboratory with Internet access. Students are encouraged to attend professional meetings. Their travel expenses to these meetings are usually paid by grant funds. Field work may be conducted within the Baton Rouge area at the Central Research Station. In addition, field research may be conducted on one or more of 17 branch stations or on commercial farmer fields when appropriate.

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Graduate School

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