Training in agronomy prepares graduates for professional careers in research, teaching, and extension at academic and government institutions, and for research and technical careers in industry in areas such as biotechnology, hybrid and variety development, and crop management and protection. The department may be consulted for specific career information.
Excellent facilities for research are available in the department, including fully equipped laboratories, growth chambers and greenhouses, and complete field facilities at nearby agronomy research farms and at farms throughout the state. Students have access to highly controlled, plant growth facilities at the university's Biotron and to special analytical services provided by the campus Biotechnology Center.
Prospective students should see the program website for funding information.
Minimum Degree Requirements and Satisfactory Progress
To make progress toward a graduate degree, students must meet the Graduate School Minimum Degree Requirements and Satisfactory Progress in addition to the requirements of the program.
Minimum Graduate Degree Credit Requirement
Minimum Graduate Residence Credit Requirement
Minimum Graduate Coursework (50%) Requirement
Half of degree coursework (26 out of 51 total credits) must be completed graduate-level coursework; courses with the Graduate Level Coursework attribute are identified and searchable in the university's Course Guide.
Prior Coursework Requirements: Graduate Work from Other Institutions
For well-prepared advanced students, the program may accept up to 12 credits of prior graduate coursework from other institutions toward the minimum graduate degree credit and minimum graduate coursework (50%) requirement. The minimum graduate residence credit requirement can be satisfied only with courses taken as a graduate student at UW–Madison.
Prior Coursework Requirements: UW–Madison Undergraduate
For well-prepared advanced students, the program may decide to accept up to 7 credits numbered 300 or above completed at UW–Madison towards fulfillment of minimum degree and minor credit requirements. This work would not be allowed to count toward the 50% graduate coursework minimum unless taken at the 700 level or above.
Prior Coursework Requirements: UW–Madison University Special
The program may decide to accept up to 12 University Special student credits as fulfillment of the minimum graduate residence, graduate degree, or minor credit requirements on occasion as an exception (on a case-by-case basis). UW–Madison coursework taken as a University Special student would not be allowed to count toward the 50% graduate coursework minimum unless taken at the 700 level or above.
Credits per Term Allowed
Program-Specific Courses Required
Contact the program for information on any additional required courses.
Doctoral Minor/Breadth Requirements
Doctoral students must complete a doctoral minor.
Overall Graduate GPA Requirement
Other Grade Requirements
The Graduate School requires an average grade of B or better in all coursework (300 or above, not including research credits) taken as a graduate student unless conditions for probationary status require higher grades. Grades of Incomplete are considered to be unsatisfactory if they are not removed during the next enrolled semester.
The Graduate School regularly reviews the record of any student who earned grades of BC, C, D, F, or Incomplete in a graduate course (300 or above), or grade of U in research credits. This review could result in academic probation with a hold on future enrollment or in being suspended from the Graduate School.
Every graduate student is required to have an advisor. An advisor is a faculty member, or sometimes a committee, from the major department responsible for providing advice regarding graduate studies. An advisor generally serves as the thesis advisor. In many cases, an advisor is assigned to incoming students. Students can be suspended from the Graduate School if they do not have an advisor.
To ensure that students are making satisfactory progress toward a degree, the Graduate School expects them to meet with their advisor on a regular basis.
A committee often accomplishes advising for the students in the early stages of their studies.
Assessment and Examinations
Doctoral students are required to take a comprehensive preliminary/oral examination after they have cleared their record of all Incomplete and Progress grades (other than research and thesis). Deposit of the doctoral dissertation in the Graduate School is required.
Doctoral degree students who have been absent for ten or more consecutive years lose all credits that they have earned before their absence. Individual programs may count the coursework students completed prior to their absence for meeting program requirements; that coursework may not count toward Graduate School credit requirements.
A candidate for a doctoral degree who fails to take the final oral examination and deposit the dissertation within five years after passing the preliminary examination may by require to take another preliminary examination and to be admitted to candidacy a second time.
Contact the program for information on any language requirements.
Candidates for graduate study should have a bachelor's degree in agriculture or in the biological, chemical, or physical sciences. To be admitted to the Ph.D. program in full standing, candidates must fulfill minimum requirements in chemistry, calculus, statistics, and biology. Contact the department or visit the website for details. Students considering graduate study in agronomy should make inquiries to the department several months before the desired enrollment date. In addition to the online application, the department requires a statement of purpose, GRE scores, transcripts, and three letters of recommendation. Candidates for department research and teaching assistantships can be accepted at any time of the year; however, candidates for university fellowships must apply by January 2 for fall enrollment.
Knowledge and Skills
- Articulates research problems, potentials, and limits with respect to theory, knowledge, or practice within the field of study.
- Formulates ideas, concepts, designs, and/or techniques beyond the current boundaries of knowledge within the field of study.
- Creates research, scholarship, or performance that makes a substantive contribution.
- Demonstrates breadth within their learning experiences.
- Advances contributions of the field of study to society.
- Communicates complex ideas in a clear and understandable manner.
- Fosters ethical and professional conduct.