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Department of Plant and Soil Science

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Undergraduate ProgramGraduate ProgramCourse Descriptions

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CONTACT INFORMATION: 263 Plant Science Building
Box 42122, Lubbock, TX 79409-2122
T 806.742.2838, F 806.742.0775, www.pssc.ttu.edu/index.php

 

About the Program

This department supervises the following degree programs and certificates:

        • Bachelor of Science in Environmental Crop and Soil Sciences^
        • Bachelor of Science in Horticultural and Turfgrass Sciences^
        • Bachelor of Science in Plant and Soil Science
        • Master of Science in Horticulture Science
        • Master of Science in Plant Protection*
        • Master of Science in Plant and Soil Science
        • Master of Science in Soil Science*
        • Doctor of Philosophy in Plant and Soil Science
        • Graduate Certificate in Crop Protection
        • Graduate Certificate in Fibers and Biopolymers
        • Graduate Certificate in Horticultural Landscape Management
        • Graduate Certificate in Soil Management

*Degree being phased out, August 31, 2015. No new students.
^ Degree being phased out and consolidated with B.S. in Plant and Soil Science, January 1, 2016. No new students.

A total of 120 hours is required for a B.S. degree. Students seeking a master’s or doctor’s degree in the department should consult the chairperson about their programs before enrolling for any courses.

The department is the academic home to the Fiber and Biopolymer Research Institute (FBRI), which is internationally known for its expertise in cotton. FBRI focuses on research, education, and technology transfer pertinent to fibers, textiles, and biological based polymers. While it is an integral part of the Department of Plant and Soil Science in the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, FBRI also collaborates with departments in the Colleges of Engineering, Arts and Sciences, and Human Sciences, offering opportunities to students for special projects and thesis research.

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Undergraduate Program

The department offers a Bachelor of Science in Plant and Soil Science degree designed to build on a foundation of basic biological and physical science principles. This foundation provides students a broad base of knowledge as well as hands-on experience in many aspects of the plant and soil sciences industry. Students learn the latest methods to produce agronomic, forage, horticultural and turfgrass crops while conserving natural soil and water resources. In addition, students learn current management techniques to control or prevent plant diseases, insects, and weed species as well as efficient soil nutrient and water management.

A bachelor’s degree in plant and soil science prepares students to manage properly a wide variety of plant and soil issues, such as fertilization and pesticide application, mitigation of urban heat load through appropriate use of landscape plants, improved crop production through plant breeding and biotechnology, and appropriate management practices for vineyard and wineries.

Students may focus on one of four areas of specialization: crop science, environmental soil and water science, horticulture and turfgrass science, or viticulture and enology. This degree prepares students to meet the challenges of sustainable production of plants for food, fiber, fuel, and aesthetic beauty while preserving natural resources and environmental integrity.

The Department of Plant and Soil Sciences offers both a resident and a distance program requiring 120 semester credit hours. For the distance program, students will need to complete a portion of their general coursework at another institution and complete the last 30 semester credit hours at Texas Tech University.

Minor. The department offers a minor in plant and soil science for students majoring outside the department. For information on requirements for completing the minor, refer to “Selecting a Minor” in the introductory information about the college or contact the department’s lead academic advisor.

Curriculum Tables

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Graduate Program

The department offers a Master of Science in Horticulture (available online); a Master of Science in Plant and Soil Science with specializations in crop protection, crop science, fibers and polymers, and soil science; and a Doctor of Philosophy in Plant and Soil Science.

Master's Program

Before being recommended for admission to a master’s degree program with a major in this department, students may be requested to provide evidence of proficiency in background for graduate work or may be required to take (without graduate credit) such undergraduate leveling courses as may be designated by the department.

Master of Science degree students may pursue either the thesis or non-thesis option. The thesis option (24 hours of graduate coursework plus six hours of thesis research) is designed for students who intend to pursue a Ph.D. An oral exam over the research is required for the thesis option. The non-thesis option (36 hours of graduate coursework) is considered a terminal degree. An oral exam is required during the graduating semester for the non-thesis option.

Both Master of Science degrees are available at a distance; each requires a minimum of 36 hours of graduate coursework without a thesis. Students must take the last 6 semester credit hours from Texas Tech, and an oral exam is required during the semester of graduation.

Doctoral Program

The department offers a Doctor of Philosophy in Plant and Soil Science that requires at least 60 or more semester hours of coursework beyond the baccalaureate degree. Doctoral students can specialize in crop protection, crop science, fibers and biopolymers, horticulture, and soil science. The specialization should be chosen at the time of the preliminary examination. If the preliminary examination for admission to doctoral studies reveals weaknesses in the student’s subject matter background, the student may be required to take remedial courses designated by the graduate faculty of the department. The student’s advisory committee will make recommendations concerning language requirements and basic work in other sciences.

A Ph.D. candidate in the department is required to take written and oral comprehensive qualifying examinations prepared and conducted by the graduate committee. The purpose of these examinations is to determine whether or not a candidate possesses a depth of knowledge in their area of specialization, a breadth of knowledge in supporting areas, understanding of the scientific method, and the ability to communicate knowledge in an organized and scholarly manner.

Research, teaching, and scholarship stipends are often awarded to qualified applicants. Nonresident tuition is often waived with the award. Students having this support have special responsibilities in research and/or teaching.

Graduate Certificate Programs

Crop Protection. The 12-hour Graduate Certificate in Crop Protection provides supplementary training and updated credentialing in the development of crop protection chemicals. Contact: Dr. Peter Dotray, 806.834.3685, peter.dotray@ttu.edu

Fibers and Biopolymers. The 12-hour Graduate Certificate in Fibers and Biopolymers provides professionals an opportunity to understand the meaning and complexity of cotton production and processing and its impact on cotton apparel, home furnishings, and industrial cotton products. Contact: Dr. Noureddine Abidi, 806.834.1221,n.abidi@ttu.edu

Horticultural Landscape Management. The 12-hour Graduate Certificate in Horticultural Landscape Management addresses a need in the green industry, which is one of the largest agricultural industries in Texas, to help professionals update their credentials. Industry changes in recent years have left many professionals seeking the kind of supplementary training this certificate provides. Contact: Dr. Cynthia McKenney, 806.834.0722, cynthia.mckenney@ttu.edu

Soil Management. The 12-hour Graduate Certificate in Soil Management allows potential soil scientists to obtain the required number of college credit hours in soil courses required by the Natural Resource Conservation Service and have a tangible certificate to indicate they have the requisite education. Contact: Dr. Jennifer Moore-Kucera, 806.834.5485, jennifer.moore-kucera@ttu.eduBack to Top

 

Course Descriptions

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Faculty

Click here to view alphabetical listing of all TTU faculty and their academic credentials.

Eric F. Hequet, Ph.D., Chairperson

B.L. Allen Endowed Chair of Pedology: Weindorf
J.A. Love Endowed Chair: Hequet
Rockwell Endowed Professor of Horticulture: McKenney
Leidigh Professor: Dotray,
Thornton Distinguished Chair: West
Professors: Hellman, Hequet, Maas
Associate Professors: Abidi, M. Burow, Montague, Moore-Kucera, Woodward, Wright, Xu
Assistant Professors: Lewis, Longing, Mendu, Ritchie, Sharma, Udeigwe, Young
Research Professors: Ethridge, McLendon
Instructors: Elle, Plowman, Qualia
Adjunct Faculty: Acosta-Martinez, R. Allen, Baughman, Bouton, Burke, G. Burow, Cantrell, Casby-Horton, Dever, Gitz, Keeling, ascano, MLiebl, ahan, Mauget, Maunder, Morgan, Parajulee, Payton, Peterson, Porter, Rush, Sheetz, Stout, Trolinder, Trostle, Ulloa, Wallace, Wanjura, Wheeler, ZobeckBack to Top