Crop Sciences, MS

for the Master of Science in Crop Sciences (on campus & online)

head of department: Adam Davis

director of graduate studies: Nathan Schroeder

director of online MS degree program:  DoKyoung Lee

director of admissions committee: Nathan Schroeder


department website:

department faculty:

overview of grad college admissions & requirements:

college website:

department office: AW-101 Turner Hall, 1102 South Goodwin Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801

phone:(217) 244-0396

Graduate Degree Programs in Crop Sciences

Crop Sciences, MS (on campus & online)

Bioinformatics: Crop Sciences, MS

Crop Sciences, PhD


Applicants are considered for admission to the Master of Science program if they have a bachelor's or equivalent degree comparable to that granted by the University of Illinois. Admission to the Ph.D. program will be considered for applicants with the M.S., those nearing completion of the M.S., and in some cases, those with the B.S. Because of the diversity of programs in the Department of Crop Sciences, the preparation that is needed varies considerably. Strong letters of reference, evident motivation to undertake graduate study, and good preparation in basic science courses enhance an applicant's credentials. For some programs, greater emphasis is given to previous training in plant sciences, chemistry, or mathematics. A grade point average equivalent to at least a B in the last 60 semester hours of undergraduate course work plus any graduate level work completed is required.  All applicants whose native language is not English are required to submit the results of the TOEFL or IELTS as evidence of English proficiency.  Official scores are required to be submitted directly from TOEFL/ETS or IELTS to the University.  Additional information for international applicants can be found at:

Graduate Teaching Experience

Experience in teaching is considered an important part of the graduate experience in this program.

Faculty Research Interests

Please refer to the following webpage for a detailed listing of our faculty and their areas of interest

Financial Aid

Fellowships and assistantships are available to outstanding on campus MS students on a competitive basis. Awards for financial assistance are based principally on a candidate’s academic record, statement of plans, and letters of reference.

for the Master of Science in Crop Sciences (on campus & online)

Candidates must complete 32 hours of graduate study as approved by their graduate guidance committee with at least a B average.  An oral final examination is required of all M.S. candidates, and written examinations may be required at the option of the examining committee.

The Online M.S. in Crop Sciences program enables students to strengthen their education typically through part-time study, as most students are working professionals. Courses are delivered mainly through online and other distance education technologies and occasional site-based programming (site-based courses are optional and not required to complete the degree). The Crop Sciences Online M.S. degree program is completed as a non-thesis degree. The program has a 30-plus year history of providing high quality University of Illinois courses and began granting off-campus MS degrees in 1986 to agriculture professionals across Illinois, as well as in neighboring states. Students may enroll in individual courses for personal or professional advancement or may apply for admission to the master's degree program in Crop Sciences. Students who successfully complete three qualifying courses may also receive a Professional Development Certificate in Crop Sciences.

The Online M.S. in Crop Sciences program also works in conjunction with the Natural Resources and Environmental Studies Online M.S. program and the Agriculture Education Online M.S. program to offer a diverse set of courses. The Department of Crop Sciences is looking to the future and the needs of non-traditional students. Therefore, new courses are continually in development for online delivery and blended formats. A student may complete their entire degree requirements online from anywhere in the world and they are available to in-state students and out-of-state students at the same tuition rates. For more information on Crop Sciences, the Online M.S. in Crop Sciences degree program or certificate offerings, please visit

For additional details and requirements refer to the Graduate College Handbook.

This degree program can be completed either on campus or online; with or without a thesis, the requirements are listed below:

Thesis Option
CPSC 594Professional Orientation CPSC1
CPSC 598Seminar (required each semester; maximum applied toward degree)4
Electives including at least 4 hours of graded coursework at the 500 level other than CPSC 599 (elective courses are chosen in consultation with faculty advisor)20
CPSC 599Thesis Research (minimum applied toward degree)7
Total Hours Thesis32
Non-Thesis Option
CPSC 594Professional Orientation CPSC1
CPSC 598Seminar (required each semester for on-campus MS program; not required for online MS program)0 or 4
Electives including at least 4 hours of graded coursework at the 500 level other than CPSC 599 (elective courses are chosen in consultation with faculty advisor)27-31
Total Hours Non-Thesis32

Other Requirements

Other requirements and conditions may overlap
Minimum 500-level Hours Required overall: 12
Minimum GPA: 3.0