Department of Plant and Soil Science
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
- Master of Science in Horticulture
- 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
*Degree being phased out. 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.
The department offers two majors: (1) environmental crop and soil sciences and (2) horticultural and turfgrass sciences. These areas of study are built on a foundation of the basic biological and physical sciences. Students will learn to use their knowledge to focus on the use of plants for food, fiber, fuel, and the aesthetic good of humankind; the sustainable use of resources in plant production; and the critical functions of soils in the environment.
Environmental crop and soil sciences includes the study of soils, plant genetics and breeding, biotechnology, molecular biology, plant physiology and biochemistry, weed and pest control, and crop management as applied to the sustainable production of field crops. Students also study how to use and manage soils wisely in both natural and human-affected environments Students seeking a B.S. degree in this major may choose from the following concentrations or options: (1) cropping systems management, (2) crop biotechnology, (3) crop production, (4) environmental soil and water science, and (5) forages and grazing systems..
A major in horticultural and turfgrass sciences emphasizes the application of science to the growing and use of edible plants (fruits, nuts, and vegetables), ornamental plants (annual and perennial flowers and woody plants), and turfgrasses.. Students focus on the challenges and practices of genetics and breeding, propagation, biotechnology, production, management, handling and storage, marketing, and use of horticultural plants and turfgrass. Students seeking a B.S. degree in this major may choose from the following concentrations or options: (1) horticultural biotechnology, (2) horticultural plant protection, (3) environmental horticulture,(4) viticulture and ecology, (5) horticultural science, and (6) turfgrass science.
A resident program and a distance program are offered requiring 120 semester hours. For the distance program, students will need to complete some of their general coursework at another institution and the last 30 semester credit hours at Texas Tech University.
Students taught in the Department of Plant and Soil Science are educated to meet the challenges of sustainable production of plants for food, fiber, fuel, and aesthetic beauty while preserving natural resources and environmental integrity. Graduates serve in a vast array of responsible positions in private industry, as well as with local, state, and federal agencies.
Minors. This department offers a choice of minors in environmental crop and soil sciences and horticultural and turfgrass sciences for students majoring outside the department. For more information on requirements for completing a minor, refer to “Selecting a Minor” in the introductory information about this college or contact the departmental chair.
The department offers a Master of Science in Horticulture; 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.
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.
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, 806.742.2838, Ext. 228, firstname.lastname@example.org
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. Eric Hequet, 806.742.2838, Ext. 239, email@example.com
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, 806.742.2838, Ext. 234, firstname.lastname@example.org
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. Richard Zartman, 806.742.2838, Ext. 230, email@example.comBack to Top
Richard Zartman, Ph.D., Chairperson
J.A. Love Chair and Leidigh Professor: Zartman
Rockwell Endowed Chair: Auld
Thornton Distinguished Chair: West
Professors: Dotray, Hellman, Hequet, Maas, McKenney, Wilkins
Associate Professors: Abidi, M. Burow, Montague, Woodward, Wright, Xu
Assistant Professors: Longing (visiting), Moore-Kucera, Ritchie, Sharma, Udeigwe, Young
Research Professor: Ethridge
Instructors: Elle, Plowman
Adjunct Faculty: Acosta-Martinez, R. Allen, Bouton, Burke, G. Burow, Calhoun, Cantrell, Casby-Horton, Dever, French-Monar, Gitz, Hopkins, Keeling, Kerns, Lascano, Mahan, Mauget, Maunder, Payton, Peterson, Porter, Rush, Sheetz, Stout, Trolinder, Trostle, Velten, Wallace, Wheeler, ZobeckBack to Top
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