The University of Florida / Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) offers excellent research and educational opportunities for students seeking careers in soil, water, and environmental sciences related to agriculture and natural resource management.
Students enrolled in the Soil and Water Sciences Department may develop their MS or PhD program in one of the following tracks, with their research project in one or more of the department's key research areas. Each program is tailored to meet the interests of the student and the needs of the student's research program.
Graduate students in this track can formulate their course work with focus in sustainable production of agronomic, turf, silviculture, and ornamental crops, with strong background in traditional soil science. This program is designed for students with a strong interest in agricultural sciences and natural resource management, as related to sustainable productivity and water quality.
Graduate students in this track can formulate their course work with a focus on environmental science. This program is designed for students with strong interest in non-traditional soil science, as related surface and groundwater quality. Distance Education students should visit the Distance Education pages or contact K. Ramesh Reddy (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Graduate students can also apply to this major to work with Soil and Water Sciences faculty to obtain graduate degrees in the Interdisciplinary Ecology Program through the School of Natural Resources and Environment.
The above tracks are within the student's primary field of study (i.e. student's major). The degree and major appear on the student's transcript. In addition, students may earn minors from other departments or concentrations, which are interdisciplinary in nature. Both minors and concentrations may appear on a student's transcript.
Soil and Water Sciences graduate students can elect to earn an interdisciplinary concentration to complement their major, including:
Graduate students in this interdisciplinary concentration in UF's Agroecology program will take courses from a set curriculum of core and elective courses. These courses will emphasize sustainability, resource management, valuation of ecosystem services, system productivity, and profitability. This program will provide students an understanding of current global issues related to agriculture and production systems and valuable skills for a future profession in agricultural science.
The interdisciplinary concentration in climate science is for students seeking to better understand climate and climate change, as well as resulting impacts and societal responses. This concentration emphasizes (1) an understanding of the interactions and feedbacks between the atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, geosphere and cryosphere that comprise the climate system; (2) system specific responses to variations in climate; (3) quantitative methods for studying and understanding climate science; and (4) human dimensions of climate science, particularly as related to economic and environmental sustainability. Graduate students, either MS-level or PhD-Level, who elect to earn the concentration, must complete a minimum of 12 credit hours with at least one approved course in each of four categories above.
Graduate students in this concentration will take courses from an established five-category-curriculum that enables graduate students to develop expertise in the research, development and implementation of geographic information systems. Students completing this program are in a strong position to meet future requirements for professional certification.
The goal of the PhD concentration in Global Systems Agroecology is to provide students with an expanded international exposure and hands-on learning in international cropping systems. The PhD concentration focuses on a strong foundation in the ecological principles that drive the study of diverse cropping systems across the world. These systems cross the full spectrum of agricultural production from traditional, alternative, and integrated soil-plant-livestock systems. Completion of this concentration provides proof of an experience level in global crop production, an achievement that many industry and academic positions currently demand at the PhD level.
Graduate students in this interdisciplinary concentration can formulate their course work in hydrologic sciences, with emphasis in hydrology, water quality, wetlands, and aquatic systems.
Tropical Conservation and Development (TCD) is an interdisciplinary certificate and concentration program available to students enrolled in MS or PhD programs at UF. Upon completion of the certificate or concentration, students have a knowledge base that includes an understanding of tropical ecology, social science theory, and integrative approaches to conservation and development, complementing a strong disciplinary base gained in Soil and Water Sciences.
The goal of the Interdisciplinary Concentration in Wetland Sciences (ICWS) is to establish a standard set of courses and activities that provide graduate students knowledge and experience that complement their majors with preparation for wetland related careers. Students meeting the curriculum requirements will receive official recognition of having completed the concentration by a statement on the participating student’s transcript and a certificate issued by the ICWS.
Graduate students currently enrolled at the University of Florida have the option of minoring in Soil and Water Sciences. The minor consists of 6 credits of SWS coursework for MS students and 12 credits for PhD students, at the discretion of the Soil and Water Sciences Graduate Faculty member who will be serving as the Minor Representative.