Graduate Students

Join our award-winning researchers and change the world!

Courses and hands-on experience provide the advanced techniques that will enable you to address environmental and agricultural problems facing our global community. If you're interested in our graduate program, browse our scientist's areas of expertise and current research projects. If a subject or project interests you, reach out to that researcher. For on-campus graduate students, a faculty member must agree to be your major professor before admission into the program. Those participating in the online distance program will be expected to find a major professor by the 2nd or 3rd semester. Our graduate students are mentored by their major professor, as well as their Program of Study committee which includes a small group of faculty members, one of which must be in a different field of study.

Interdepartmental programs

Our courses and faculty are involved in a number of different interdepartmental graduate programs that include an aspect of agronomy.


Graduate Programs Policy


Getting your Masters

On campus graduate students conduct research with the goal of writing of thesis. Distance students use their professional and educational experience to complete a creative component. In addition, masters students complete a final oral exam.


Getting your Ph.D

Upon acceptance, Ph.D candidates must first pass a preliminary exam before being officially joining the program. They manage a research project and use that experience to write a dissertation. In their final oral exam, the student defends their dissertation which is open to the public. A final oral examination is given by the Program of Study Committee.



We are always looking for qualified, self-starters to join our team of incredible graduate students! 

Standard Research Assistantships 

Assistantships are largely project-based with the goal of participating in independent research to complete a thesis or dissertation. Availability depends on when faculty start new projects. Our standard assistantships are available to M.S. or Ph.D students. offer a yearly stipend, benefits, and either full or partial tuition support in exchange for about 20 hours of research service per week.

External Fellowships 

Our department also accepts a number of fellowship opportunities, both granted by Iowa State University as well as external organizations. A few examples might include the National Science Foundation, the Ford Foundation or the United Soybean Board. Apply directly to the organization hosting the fellowship.

Federally-funded opportunities


College of Agriculture Scholarships 

The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences demonstrates their dedication to graduate education by hosting a number of scholarships.

Apply for CALS scholarships


Department of Agronomy Scholarships

The Department of Agronomy has a number of awards and scholarships available to graduate students.

Department of Agronomy Scholarships