University of Kentucky College of Agriculture
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Graduate Programs


Integrated Plant and Soil Sciences Program


Offering both M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Integrated Plant and Soi Sciences.

This new (Spring 2012) program replaces the previous PSS graduate student degree programs. All new graduate students will use the IPSS curriculum.

  • Graduate Student Bulletin  (pdf)
  • Graduate Student Guide to IPSS (pdf) [revised January 2014]


The interdepartmental graduate program in Integrated Plant and Soil Sciences offers graduate work leading to the Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees with specialization in Crop Science, Horticultural Science, Forest Science, Plant Biology, and Soil Science. Faculty belong to the Departments of Forestry, Horticulture, and Plant and Soil Sciences in the College of Agriculture.

 In 2010 Graduate Faculty in the departments of Forestry, Horticulture, and Plant and Soil Sciences, proposed an umbrella degree program to provide an integrative and creative approach to graduate education in the plant and soil sciences. The M.S. and Ph.D. Programs in IPSS were approved by the University of Kentucky Board of trustees in Spring 2011, and the Programs began in Spring 2012. The IPSS M.S. program replaces the M.S. program in Plant and Soil Sciences. The IPSS PhD program replaces the PhD programs in Crop Science, Plant Physiology, and Soil Science.  

 The objectives of IPSS are to build strength in the current graduate M.S. and Ph.D. programs in Crop Science, Plant Biology, Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, Horticulture, and Soil Science by combining these programs into an overall Integrated Graduate Program in Plant and Soil Sciences.  The integrated program offers advantages in student recruitment, training, assessment, program student numbers, and administrative efficiency. The program provides a unique opportunity to cultivate and exploit the benefits that can be derived from an interdisciplinary approach to graduate education and research. 

The IPSS program provides: (a) a dynamic environment that can evolve interdisciplinary credentials and programs tailored to suit the needs of current and future graduate students in the plant and soil science disciplines, and develop options responsive to developing scientific trends in agricultural science;  (b) interdisciplinary coursework required of all students in the program without creating intrusive changes to prior graduate curricula; (c) the opportunity for increased visibility and identity for research programs currently without separate graduate identity; (d) a more inclusive approach to graduate education for existing graduate programs and faculty.