Soil and Crop Sciences Ph.D. (Ithaca)

Field of Study

Soil and Crop Sciences

Program Description

The Field of Soil and Crop Sciences occupies a modern and diversified agronomic research facility. An air-conditioned, eleven-story research tower and adjoining wings incorporate fully equipped laboratory, teaching, office, and supporting spaces. Growth chambers and greenhouses are on the campus, and there are three main field stations near Ithaca. Some members of the field are staff members at the Robert W. Holley Center for Agriculture and Health or the Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research, both of which are on campus.

Many of the faculty members have research programs concerning international agricultural and environmental issues in tropical and subtropical regions.

Field crop science covers a wide spectrum, from field-scale applied projects to cell physiology and biotechnology. Studies seek to improve crop productivity and quality, both nationally and internationally, and to identify physiological factors that could be improved through plant breeding or genetic engineering.

Soil science focuses on the processes and properties of the soil environment. It emphasizes improving the suitability of soil for crop growth while preserving its value as a natural resource by using ecologically sound approaches.

Contact Information

Phone: 607 255-3267

231 Emerson Hall
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY  14853

Concentrations by Subject

  • agronomy
  • environmental information science
  • field crop science
  • soil science


Visit the Graduate School's Tuition Rates page.

Application Requirements and Deadlines

Application Deadlines:

Fall, Nov. 15

Requirements Summary:

Learning Outcomes

A candidate for a doctoral degree in Soil and Crop Sciences is expected to work independently and to demonstrate mastery of knowledge and leadership in the Field of Soil and Crop Sciences. Recipients of the doctoral degree will demonstrate the ability to initiate, lead and complete research in the field of soil and crop sciences. Candidates are expected to independently synthesize and create new knowledge, making an original and substantial contribution to the discipline in a timely fashion.


Demonstrate professional skills

  • Always maintain ethical standards in the discipline
  • Listen to, give, and receive feedback effectively

Mastery of advanced research skills

  • Recognize and apply fundamental concepts from soil and crop sciences
  • Synthesize existing knowledge by identifying and applying appropriate resources and critically analyzing and evaluating one’s own findings and those of others
  • Master application of existing research methodologies, techniques, and technical skills
  • Communicate research findings through publishing in scholarly literature and oral presentations in professional settings

Demonstrate commitment to advancing the values of scholarship

  • Show awareness of current scientific advances relevant to the field of Soil and Crop Sciences and show the ability to synthesize and discuss their implications to the Field and beyond
  • Show commitment to personal professional development through engagement in professional societies, publication, and other knowledge transfer modes
  • Show a commitment to support learning through teaching, collaborative inquiry, mentoring, or demonstration

Make an original and substantial contribution to the discipline

  • Think originally and independently to develop new concepts and methodologies
  • Identify new research opportunities
  • Apply research methodologies independently to generate new information and concepts of relevance to Soil and Crop Sciences