Ph.D. program 


The School of Plant, Environmental & Soil Sciences offers graduate programs leading to the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree. There are three optional areas of concentration within the degree programs: Agronomy, Horticulture, and Soil Science. Students interested in a particular concentration should contact a graduate advisor for specific requirements.

Students who receive advanced degrees in Plant, Environmental & Soil Sciences go on to rich and rewarding careers and leave with the challenge of contributing to the world in which they live. Graduates of our school report that their education has well prepared them for their future careers.

Plant, Environmental & Soil Sciences, Ph.D.

The departmental-level academic course plan for each student will be developed in consultation with and approved by the student’s graduate advisory committee. The advisory committee will include the student’s major professor and at least two additional members of the graduate faculty (see additional guidelines for committee members in the Requirements for Ph.D. section of The Graduate School). Additionally, the Dean of the Graduate School appoints a member of the graduate faculty to serve on doctoral general and final exam committees.

A dissertation is a requirement for the proposed degree. The curricular requirements include:

  • At least 45 hours of course work (not including dissertation research), with at least half of these at 7000 or above. Additional course work may be required at the discretion of the student’s committee. Credit for courses taken in an M.S. program is subject to approval by the student’s committee.
  • A minimum of 15 hours of dissertation credit.
  • At least two hours credit from seminar class AGRO 7001. One seminar class may be substituted with a seminar presented in the minor department if a minor is being undertaken.

Students are strongly encouraged to publish manuscript(s) from their doctoral research in appropriate peer-reviewed, scholarly journals.



Applications and supporting materials for all graduate study must be submitted through the online application site for the LSU Graduate School. Official transcripts, official test scores, and other materials that come from third-party sources must be mailed to: LSU Office of Graduate Admissions, 114 West David Boyd Hall, Baton Rouge, LA 70803. These paper documents are stored electronically and departments have access to all materials submitted by and/or on behalf of a student applying to graduate study.

Applicants for admission to the MS and PhD programs are required to submit a completed application plus transcripts of all previous college work. Applications should be submitted at least three months prior to the beginning of a new term. In addition, international applicants must submit scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or Peterson’s Test of English (PTE). GRE scores are not required for applicants. Prospective students are advised to contact faculty members who are conducting research in areas of interest. For more information about admission requirements see the LSU Graduate School Prospective Student Information page.

Financial Assistance

In the School of Plant, Environmental & Soil Sciences, both teaching and research assistantships are available to some students. Stipends are competitive with other programs around the country. Depending upon the source of funding, tuition exemptions may apply. To ensure consideration for financial aid, all application materials should be submitted in accordance with deadlines established by the LSU Graduate School. Students holding teaching assistantships may assist in the teaching of a course or teach one to two laboratory sections and may be for supervisors who may or may not be their major professor. Graduate assistants are required to work 20 hours per week.




David Picha
Professor and Director 
125A J. C. Miller Hall
Baton Rouge, LA 70803

Maud Walsh
Graduate Advisor
110 Sturgis Hall 
Baton Rouge, LA 70803

Sheila Rohwer
Graduate Administrative Assistant
104 Sturgis Hall 
Baton Rouge, LA 70803