Welcome to the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences at NC State University!
We are pleased that you have chosen to continue your education by pursuing a graduate degree in Crop Science. Graduate student education is an essential and integral component of the research, teaching, extension, and service functions of the department. This handbook outlines university and departmental policies, procedures, and resources needed for successful graduate study in crop science. In addition to information relevant to the department, you will also find links to important information at the university level.
The Graduate School at NC State
You should familiarize yourself with the NC State Graduate Handbook and other information on the Graduate School website. There you will find details on residency, tuition and fees, the Graduate Student Support Plan, and much more. You will also find forms that are needed for scheduling oral exams, etc….
If you have questions about the Crop Science graduate programs, you may contact the following persons:
|For questions about course work, admissions, and other program information, please contact:
Dr. Charles Peacock
|For questions about deadlines and administrative procedures, please contact:
ARRIVING ON CAMPUS
The Department of Crop and Soil Sciences is housed in Williams Hall. When you arrive on campus, please stop by the office in 2321 Williams Hall. Angie Barefoot, Graduate Services Coordinator, will record your arrival and answer any questions you may have about the Graduate Programs in the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences.
Dr. Charles Peacock is the Director of the Crop Science Graduate Programs. He is located in room 2321 Williams Hall. Please stop by to visit with Dr. Peacock upon your arrival.
It also is important that you contact your Advisor upon arrival. Your Advisor will discuss your responsibilities as a graduate student and will assist in scheduling your course work.
If you have been awarded a research and teaching assistantship, please contact Angie Barefoot in room 2321 Williams Hall, upon your arrival on campus to process the necessary forms.
After a student is admitted to the Graduate School and enrolls for the first time, the student is required to maintain continuous registration, i.e., be enrolled each semester (excluding summer sessions) until the student either has graduated or the student’s graduate program at NCSU has been terminated. The following exceptions apply:
Leave of Absence. A student in good academic standing who must interrupt her or his graduate program for good reasons may request a leave of absence from graduate study for a definite period of time, normally not to exceed one year. To obtain a leave of absence, the student should initiate the request with the chair of his or her advisory committee and have it endorsed by the Director of Graduate Programs, who will submit the request to the Graduate School. The Graduate School should receive the request at least one month prior to the first day of the term involved. The time that the student spends on an approved leave of absence will be included in the time allowed to complete the degree, i.e., 6 years for the master’s and 10 years for the doctoral. The Graduate School will respond to any request for a leave of absence within five working days of the receipt of the request in the Graduate School.
- All students who take their final oral examination or submit their thesis or dissertation to the Graduate School during either summer session must be registered for either the first or second summer session.
- Students who complete all requirements for the degree prior to the first day of the fall or spring semester or the first summer session may graduate during the next semester or summer session without being registered for the immediately preceding semester or summer session (either session).
- In order for students to submit their thesis or dissertation to the Graduate School or have their final oral examination after the last day of a semester or summer session but before the first day of the next semester or summer session, they must be registered in the semester or summer session (either session) that immediately precedes the date that the thesis or dissertation is submitted or the examination is held.
- Students whose only remaining requirement for graduation is removal of an incomplete (IN) in a course are not required to be registered to remove the incomplete and graduate. Students who do not remove any incomplete grades in the semester or summer session following the completion of all other requirements and are not registered during the same semester or summer session, however, will have their programs terminated at the end of that semester or summer session due to non-compliance with the continuous registration policy.
Graduate students whose programs have been terminated because of failure to maintain continuous registration and who have not been granted a leave of absence during a fall or spring semester will be required to reapply for admission and pay the admission fee if they wish to resume their graduate studies at North Carolina State University.
All students must approve the Patent Agreement via Student Self-Service in the MyPack Portal by the end of their first semester of enrollment. Master’s students must have an approved Patent Agreement on file in the Graduate School before they will have either their Request to Schedule the Master’s Oral Examination or Request for Option B Graduation Checkout approved. Doctoral students must also approve the Patent Agreement agreeing to abide by the university’s patent policies before their Plan of Graduate Work will be approved.
GRADUATE ADVISORY COMMITTEE
Selection of an Advisor. In most cases, the graduate student’s Advisor is determined when a faculty member decides to both accept and financially support a qualified applicant. Assistantships are awarded based on faculty obtaining grants and allocating funding to graduate training. The Advisor is essential to the early planning of a student’s program and for selection of the Advisory Committee.
Advisory Committee Appointment. An Advisory Committee, which is composed of at least three members for a Master’s program and four members for a Doctoral program, is selected in consultation with the Advisor during the student’s first semester in residence. Once appointed, the Advisory Committee will provide ideas and suggestions relevant to the research being proposed and will assist in preparing an appropriate Plan of Graduate Work.
Plan of Graduate Work. The Plan of Graduate Work (POW) is initiated by the student in the Student Information System of MyPack Portal section of the university website and in consultation with the chair of the Advisory Committee. The POW is reviewed and must be approved by all members of the Advisory Committee and the Director of Graduate Programs. The latter submits the POW to the Dean of the Graduate School for approval. Students are encouraged to develop and submit a POW by the end of their 12 initial months in a degree program. The Director of Graduate Programs will only endorse a Request for Permit to Schedule Master’s Oral Examination after the POW has been reviewed and submitted to the Graduate School. Doctoral students are required by the Graduate School to have an approved POW before a Graduate School Representative will be assigned and a Request for Approval to Schedule Doctoral Oral Examination will be approved. The Request for Permit to Schedule Master’s Oral Examination must be submitted at least 10 working days (two weeks) prior to the proposed examination and the Request for Approval to Schedule Doctoral Oral Examination must be submitted at least 10 working days (two weeks) prior to the proposed examination (see Section VIII).
The Graduate School Representative. The Department of Crop and Soil Sciences requires that a Graduate School Representative be appointed for Doctoral oral examinations. The appointment of the Graduate School Representative is made by the Dean of the Graduate School after the Doctoral student’s Plan of Work has been approved. The Representative is selected at random from any discipline not represented by a regular member of the Advisory Committee. The Graduate School Representative has a unique role on the Doctoral examination process and serves to protect the interests of the student, the Advisory Committee, and the Graduate School. The Graduate School Representative also is a “disinterested person” to whom the Dean may turn for judgement and counsel. Because the primary responsibility of the Representative is that of an observer, the Representative should never take a dominant role in the oral examinations, although he or she should be invited to participate and is expected to contribute to the scholarly atmosphere of the examination.
GRADUATE PROGRAMS IN CROP SCIENCE
A. Master of Crop Science (M.R.). The Master of Crop Science is a non-thesis program designed to address the needs of Agricultural Extension Agents and other professionals who are seeking an advanced degree, but are limited by time/or location. Additional course work, reports, or special problems are required in place of a thesis. Program requirements are 36 semester hours of graduate work on the Plan of Work including a minimum of 20 hours of 500-800 level course work, unless the student’s graduate committee requires more hours.
B. Master of Science (M.S.). The Master of Science in Crop Science is a research-oriented degree requiring a thesis. Advanced study opportunities include weed science, plant breeding, genetics and molecular biology, sustainable agriculture and agroecology, field crop, forage, and turf management and plant physiology and biochemistry. Program requirements are 30 semester hours of graduate work on the Plan of Work including a minimum of 20 hours of 500-800 level course work, unless the student’s graduate committee requires more hours.
C. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD.). Candidates for the Doctoral degree in Crop Science must demonstrate an ability to conduct original research and scholarly work at the highest levels without supervision. The degree is not granted simply upon completion of a stated amount of course work but rather upon demonstration by the student of comprehensive knowledge and high attainment in scholarship. Doctoral degrees at NC State require a minimum of 72 graduate credit hours beyond the bachelor’s degree. For a student with a Master’s degree from another institution, a maximum of 18 hours of graduate credit from the master’s degree may be applied toward this minimum. If a student completes a Master’s degree at NC State and continues for a Doctoral Degree without a break they can transfer up to 36 hours.
Information with more detail about the specifics of the degree requirements are available in the GSC’s office.
THESES OR DISSERTATIONS AND EXAMINATIONS
Final Oral Examination for Master’s Students. It is the responsibility of the student to schedule the final oral examination. To schedule the oral exam, the student must contact committee members to establish a mutually acceptable date and time. The examination may be scheduled only when all requirements, except completion of final course work for the final semester, have been satisfied. To schedule the oral examination, the Advisor will submit at least two weeks prior to the proposed date of the examination a written notification to the Director of Graduate Programs for a Request for Permit to Schedule Master’s Oral Examination. Request for Permit must be received in the Graduate School at least ten working days prior to the proposed examination date.
The following requirements must be met prior to scheduling the examination:
- Patent Agreement approved online;
- Graduate Advisory Committee appointed by Graduate School;
- Plan of Graduate Work approved by the Graduate School;
- Grade point average (GPA) of 3.00 or higher
Preliminary and Final Oral Examinations for Doctoral Students. It is the responsibility of the student to schedule the preliminary and final oral examinations. To schedule the oral examinations, the student must contact committee members and the previously appointed Graduate School Representative to establish a date and time. The Advisor then will submit at least two weeks prior to the proposed date of the examination a written notification to the Director of Graduate Programs for a Request for Approval to Schedule Doctoral Oral Examination (see copy on Appendix page A-3). The Request for Approval must be received in the Graduate School at least five working days prior to the proposed examination date.
The following requirements must be met prior to scheduling oral examinations:
- Patent Agreement approved online;
- Graduate Advisory Committee appointed by Graduate School;
- Plan of Graduate Work approved by the Graduate School;
- Grade point average (GPA) of 3.00 or higher;
- Completion of all course work relevant to the preliminary examination;
- The proposed date for the preliminary oral examination is no earlier than the end of the second year of graduate study and not later than one semester (four months) before the final oral examination;
- Written preliminary examination completed successfully;
TUITION AND NORTH CAROLINA RESIDENCY
Out-of-state students are eligible for tuition remission for their first year of funding but they must make a good faith effort to gain in-state residency for tuition purposes within the first year of being in North Carolina. It is very important that students begin making residency acts as soon as they arrive in North Carolina. Part of this process is obtaining a NC address, updating your driver’s license, car registration and voter registration documents. More complete information is available at the website: https://ncresidency.cfnc.org/residencyinfo/
Teaching Requirement. All Crop Science graduate students are required to assist in the teaching program within the department. Master’s students are required to complete one TA assignment. Doctoral students are required to complete two TA assignments. Academic credit for teaching can be gained by registering for Mentored Teaching (CS 685 or CS 885).
Seminar Requirement. Master’s students are required to register for a minimum of one credit hour of seminar (Masters: CS 601). Master of Science and Doctoral students are required to present an “exit” seminar covering the results of their thesis or dissertation research.
Professional Meetings. Graduate students are encouraged to attend professional meetings.
Departmental Vehicles. All state vehicles are for official use only. Operators of state vehicles must abide by all state laws and regulations. Only persons employed by the University are allowed to operate state vehicles due to insurance considerations. Graduate students on assistantships meet the employment criterion; graduate students not on assistantships should check with their Advisor. Students operating state vehicles should check with their Advisors concerning procedures for purchase of gasoline, maintenance, etc.
Financial Support for Research. Materials, supplies, equipment, in-state travel, and support services required for research by graduate students will be provided through State and Federal funds or from grants and contracts. All requests by graduate students for services and support are to be directed through their Advisors.
Service Laboratory and Analytical Equipment. Requests by graduate students for analytical services to support their research should be channeled through their Advisors. Requests to use analytical instruments in the Service Laboratory should be directed to the lab technician in Room 3319 Williams Hall. Requests to use instruments or equipment in other laboratories should be directed to the faculty member in charge of that laboratory.
Safety Training. Use of some facilities within the Department and other University locations require safety training. The Department provides safety training sessions for the Grinding Room (see the lab technician in Room 3319 Williams Hall, for information and signup).
Annual Leave and Sick Leave. Graduate assistants do not earn vacation or sick leave.
Outside Employment. Outside employment that interferes with the Departmental obligations of graduate students is prohibited. Additionally, no University supplies, equipment, facilities, or personnel may be used in connection with outside employment.
The department does not maintain a common area for student computer use. Many faculty members, however, have computer facilities available for student use in individual labs and work areas. You should check with your advisor about the availability of computer facilities in their areas.
Guidelines for using Departmental Computer and Peripherals:
In addition to the rules and regulations of the University for use of university-owned computer equipment, students should be aware of the following:
1. Networked computers in the Crop and Soil Sciences Department operate in a Microsoft Windows Network environment, and each student needs to be assigned a username and password in order to be attached to a network environment.
2. Any computer to be attached to a network connection within the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences must be registered and assigned a name and IP number before it can be connected.
3. Individual faculty members may have additional guidelines about the use of computers in their individual work areas. Please discuss issues such as loading new software, use of printers and paper, or changing computer configurations with the appropriate faculty member before making these changes.
The Crop Science Graduate Student Listserv Group for E-mail Communications. A listserv group for students is available for interactive e-mail communication among graduate students in the Department of Crop & Soil Sciences. Graduate students will be added to the listserv group by providing Angie Barefoot with their unity e-mail address. Students then will receive an e-mail message acknowledging their subscription to the listserv. Angie Barefoot is a member of the listserv group and uses it to send announcements to graduate students.
UNIVERSITY GRADUATE STUDENT ASSOCIATION
- The University Graduate Student Association (UGSA) functions as a voice for graduate students in dealing with problems concerning graduate education. All graduate students are automatically members of the association. The UGSA President has full voting membership on the Administrative Board of the Graduate School, and UGSA has the ability to broach responsible grievances to the administration on behalf of any graduate student. The UGSA Web Site Home Page can be accessed at https://orgs.ncsu.edu/gsa/
- UGSA Council. The UGSA Council consists of elected representatives from each department and meets each month to discuss issues that are of concern to all graduate students. Information about new academic policies, social events, and other activities of concern to graduate students are welcome. Graduate students are urged to attend meetings of the UGSA Council and to participate in UGSA committees.
UNIVERSITY GRADUATE STUDENT ASSOCIATION TRAVEL FUND
- The UGSA has a Travel Award program is a highly competitive award that is intended to cover the entire cost of attending a conference (up to $1,500). The application form can be found at
If you have any questions contact the UGSA Vice-President of Academic Affairs: email@example.com.
CROP AND SOIL SCIENCES GRADUATE STUDENT ASSOCIATION
CSSGSA Officers for 2019-2020
President: Sydney Graham
Vice President: Kaitlyn Markey
Treasurer: Sandy Ramsey
Secretary: Theresa Piskackova
Social Coordinator: Shannon Bradley
GSA Rep: Noah DeWitt
Seminar Coordinator: Jalen Hairston
International Coordinator: Lais Bastos Martins
Article I. Name & Purpose
Section 1. This organization shall be known as the Crop and Soil Sciences Graduate Student Association.
Section 2. The purpose of this organization shall be to lobby the administration on behalf of the Crop and Soil Sciences graduate students.
Article II. Membership
Section 1. All Crop and Soil Sciences students enrolled in graduate school at North Carolina State University.
Article III. Officers
Section 1. The elective officers shall be as follows: President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, GSA Representative, Social Coordinator, Seminar Coordinator, and International Associate.
Section 2. Any Crop and Soil Sciences graduate student that will be enrolled the entire term is eligible for office. Officers shall serve a term of one year. Officers will be elected before the conclusion of the spring semester of each year. Elections will be conducted by, but not limited to paper ballots distributed to every Crop and Soil Sciences GSA member’s mailbox in Williams Hall. An officer may not be reelected to the same office unless no other members are nominated to run for that office. In the event that an office is not filled in an election, or an office becomes vacant, the elected officers shall share the duties of that office until their terms are finished or another election is held. The Vice President shall be responsible for the elections.
Section 3. The Crop and Soil Sciences GSA membership may impeach officers for: ineligibility as specified in Article III, Section 2; failure to perform his or her constitutional duties as specified in this Constitution.Officers may only be impeached with a three-quarter’s majority vote of all voting Crop and Soil Sciences GSA members. Impeachment proceedings and voting will take place at regular meetings in the same fashion as other issues as specified in Article VI, Section 2.
Section 4. The officer responsibilities shall include, but are not limited to:
President: Shall preside over all Crop and Soil Sciences Graduate Student Association meetings; organize the Willie Woltz lecture series; act as a liaison between the Crop and Soil Sciences Graduate Student Association and the Crop and Soil Sciences administration; shall attend all Crop and Soil Sciences faculty meetings and report any pertinent information to the other officers and/or members at the regular meetings; choose an adviser from the crop concentration if elected as a soil student or choose an adviser from soil concentration if elected as a crop student.
Vice President: Shall coordinate the annual Wernsman Seminar; organize a philanthropy event; alternate GSA representative.
Secretary: Shall organize department GSA documents in a manner accessible by current and future members; keep record of department GSA meetings and meeting notes; write graduate student agenda for future meetings and tasks; document and maintain graduate student calendar of events; communicate agenda and calendar with other graduate students; assist with duties of other officers.
Treasurer: Shall keep records of department GSA finances (spending and revenue); archive financial records in a manner accessible by all current and future members; purchase supplies and materials for various graduate student hosted events; purchase snacks for the lounge and restock inventory as needed; maintain spreadsheet for lounge snacks (cost and inventory); maintain “register” for lounge snack money; adds profit from snack sales to the student account.
Social Coordinator: Shall plan group gatherings (meals, parties, etc.); maintain department display boards for students; plan outreach activities for graduate students on and off campus; look for activities graduate students should be involved with; work with faculty social committee; advertise events from other departments that may be pertinent to the department; maintain and coordinate online communication between graduate students; advertise fundraising opportunities to increase graduate student funds; take and collect pictures at events or important moments; manages social media outlets for the graduate students (i.e., Graduate Student of the Week features on Facebook and the Crop and Soil Sciences webpage); coordinate coffee and doughnut hour.
GSA Representative: Shall attend monthly university GSA meetings to maintain funding for the department GSA; attend monthly GSA committee meetings to maintain funding for the department GSA; vote at university GSA meetings in a manner supporting department graduates; inform graduate students about university GSA meeting discussions.
Seminar Coordinator: Shall coordinate and participate in placement of seminar snacks; assign seminar snack responsibilities to individual graduate students who can assist with snack duties; solicit and maintain seminar snack donations at regular seminars; maintain funds for seminar snacks separate from GSA account money; mentor students on seminar duties to enhance likelihood of a competent successor.
International Associate: Shall be an international graduate student with full-time status; focus on supporting and advocating for interests of international students; organize events to help international students integrate into departmental community (e.g., welcome event); coordinates activities between international students and US students; helps international students find information about the school (including visa issues and employment options) and local attractions of interest to graduate students.
Section 5. Any of the duties above may be freely exchanged between consenting officers.
Article IV. Dues
Section 1. No dues shall be exacted from members.
Article V. Amendments
Section 1. Amendments to the constitution shall be presented by members of the Crop and Soil Sciences Graduate Student Association in writing and read at a regular meeting but shall not be voted upon until the next regular meeting, and then only after informing each member of the proposed amendments. A majority of two-thirds of the members present and voting shall be required.
Article VI. Meetings
Section 1. The officers shall meet at the discretion of the president, but no less than twice per semester.
Section 2. Any member of the Crop and Soil Sciences Graduate Student Association may submit any topic for discussion to the council in writing. Any issue that is received at least one week prior to the meeting will be included in the newsletter and will be discussed at the following meeting. A vote as to what action will be taken can take place at the meeting or be postponed until the following meeting. A two-thirds majority of the members attending the meeting will be necessary before any action is taken. If a two-thirds majority is not reached, the issue may again be submitted to the council in writing.
Section 3. Issues that receive a two-thirds majority vote will become the responsibility of a committee. The committee’s function will be to further research the issue and at such time as is deemed appropriate by the council, carry out any appropriate actions necessary. The committee will consist of at least three Crop and Soil Sciences GSA members at least one of which will be a council member. If there are not three members willing to serve on a specific committee, the issue will be dropped. Any issue that is dropped can be resubmitted to the council in writing as specified in Article VI, Section 2.
Section 4. Meetings shall be conducted as follows:
- Call to order by the President.
- Treasurer’s report.
- Vice President’s Crop and Soil Sciences faculty meeting report.
- Representative’s report.
- Committee reports and discussion of old issues.
- Discussion of new issues.
Section 5. Crop and Soil Sciences Graduate Student Association meetings shall loosely follow Robert’s Rules of Parliamentary Order www.robertsrules.org . The President shall be the final arbiter of the parliamentary rules. The President may limit debate to reasonable time limits and may impose reasonable time limits on individual speeches. A majority of members present may overrule these limits if they so desire. Such a resolution shall be voted upon immediately and without debate. Meetings should occur no less than once per semester.
Section 6. Each member shall have one vote. The President must select the method of voting from the following choices: roll call, show of hands, voice, or secret ballot.
Article VII. Willie Woltz Lecture Series
Section 1. The President will be responsible for the organization of the Willie Woltz lecture series. The Vice President will be responsible for the nominations and elections. Elections will be conducted by, but not limited to paper ballots distributed to every Crop and Soil Sciences GSA member’s mailbox in Williams Hall.
Article VIII. Ratification
Section 1. To ratify this constitution, the membership must approve it by a two-thirds majority vote of the membership of the Crop and Soil Sciences Graduate Student Association who participate in the voting.
Section 2. This constitution supersedes in all ways any other constitution the Crop and Soil Sciences Graduate Student Association has ever had.