The Ph.D. curriculum is currently under revision to incorporate new majors. The coursework listed below is thus subject to change. 

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. Further, 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.

The PhD concentration emphasizes coursework at deeper levels within the ecological foundation of agroecology and in the three core areas within the discipline: production, natural resource conservation, and societal impacts. 2 majors are available (Agronomy or Soil and Water Sciences), and the curriculum also includes participation in a 3 to 6 months international internship from one of the UF Agroecology Partner Institutions (Click here for more information)

Degree completion includes GPA of 3.0 in 90 credit hours (30 comprise the concentration and major), supervisory committee-approved Agroecology dissertation research, seminar presentation on research performed at Partner Institution, and final examination with supervisory committee. Supervisory committee needs to include a member from both the Agronomy and the Soil and Water Sciences Departments.

Applicants must possess:

  • Master of Science degree with a major in agriculture, agronomy, crop science, soil science, or an equivalent degree in an allied field such as horticulture, entomology, environmental engineering, natural resources, or ecology, and bachelor’s degree with an upper-division GPA of 3.0
  • GRE quantitative score in 150-160 range
  • UF Faculty Member support to encourage applying for graduate assistantship
  • Option for direct entrance from BS to PhD for highly qualified individuals with backgrounds in undergraduate research, internships, work experience, and high scores.

How to apply:

  • Formally apply online to the University of Florida: The cost for application is $30 plus a $7 handling fee.
  • Select the major, either “Agronomy” or “Soil and Water Sciences”
  • Self-report GPA and GRE test scores
  • Insert name of UF faculty member with whom you have conversed about dissertation research as a graduate assistant
  • Upload: Statement of Purpose, Resume, Transcript copies
  • After submitting, let us know! Email:

Application Deadlines:

  • January 1st (Agronomy major) or January 15 (Soils major) for Fall admission and Graduate Assistantship consideration – indicate on UF application “Agroecology” as “Specialization.”

Scholarships opportunities for the 2017-2018 academic year:

Curriculum for the PhD

Core Curriculum in crop, soil and water sciences that emphasize sustainability, resource management, valuation of ecosystem services, system productivity, and profitability.

  • ALS 5155 Global Agroecosystems –  3 Credits Fall – Fundamentals of Agroecology and Sustainability
  • AGR 5511 Crop Ecology – 3 Credits Fall
  • AGR 5444 Ecophysiology of Crop Production – 3 Credits Spring
  • SWS 5050 Soils for Environmental Professionals 3 Credits Fall or Spring
  • SWS 5246 Water Sustainability – 3 Credits Spring
  • AGR 6233 Tropical Grasslands Agroecosystems – 3 Credits Fall odd years.

Elective courses(9-10 credits; one course from each category): PhD students in Agroecology are required to take at least one course from each of the groups below:

Social Science and Economics:

  • FNR6669 - Policy and Economics of Natural Resources (3 credits) (highly recommended)
  • AGG5607 – Communicating in Academia (3 credits)
  • AEC 5454 - Leadership Development for Extension and Community Nonprofit Organizations (3 credits)
  • AEC 6325 - History and Philosophy of Agricultural Education (3 credits)
  • AEC 6211 – Delivering Educational Programs in Agricultural Settings (3 credits)


  • ABE 5643C - Biological Systems Modeling (3 credits) (highly recommended)
  • ABE 5646 - Biological and Agricultural Systems Simulation (3 credits)
  • ABE 5015 - Empirical Models of Crop Growth & Yield Response (3 credits)
  • ABE 6254 - Simulation of Agricultural Watershed Systems (3 credits)
  • ABE 6644 - Agricultural Decision Systems (3 credits)
  • ABE 6933 - Crop Simulation (3 credits)


  • PCB 5338 - Principles of Ecosystem Ecology (3 credits) (highly recommended)
  • WIS 5496 - Research Design in Wildlife Ecology (Fall - 3 credits)
  • WIS 5521 - Plant-Animal Interactions (every other year – 3 credits)
  • WIS 5555C - Conservation Biology (Fall – 3 credits)
  • PCB 6447C - Community Ecology (4 credits)

ALS 5905 - International Research Immersion (3 credits): All PhD students in the Agroecology concentration must have an understanding of international cropping systems. The program currently has international partner institutions with which academic agreements are in place. The student and committee will define the most applicable international location, depending on the specifics of each program. Each student must spend from three to six months abroad at one of our Partner Institutions, during which time students are expected to participate in ongoing research at the host institution with resident faculty mentors. During this time, the student can enroll in distance education classes offered by the program as well as attend local classes offered by the international institution (at his own costs). Following this experience, the student presents a seminar to his/her advisor describing his involvement in the research at the partner institution.