Powell Group

For more than 100 years, our department has served the citizens of the Commonwealth of Virginia, the nation and the world.
As a department with strong expertise in both environmental and agronomic (crops and soils) sciences, we are committed to improving present and future health and livelihoods through a deeper understanding of processes involving living organisms, soil, and water across a range of managed and degraded ecosystems. We focus strong expertise in agronomy, plant genetics and breeding, soil science, water quality, landscape restoration, and nutrient and waste management on the improvement of agroecosystem productivity, the discovery of important processes, the restoration of essential functions, and on improving management of ecosystem services in a wide variety of rural and urban landscapes.
Our award‐winning faculty conduct research and outreach programs that create positive impacts locally and internationally. More than 60 graduate students are currently studying toward M.S. and Ph.D. degrees. We are committed to individual and personal attention and outstanding learning opportunities for our students. We have assistantship support available on a competitive basis for qualified Ph.D. and M.S. students in all areas of study.

Research Focus Areas

  • Agronomy
    • Cropping systems management
    • International agriculture
    • Forage and grassland ecology
    • Turfgrass management
    • Nutrient management
  • Crop Breeding, Genomics and Bioinformatics
    • Breeding and genomics of small grains and soybeans
    • Crop physiology
    • Bioinformatics
  • Environmental Science
    • Environmental chemistry, microbiology, and physics
    • Waste management
    • Rehabilitation of drastically disturbed landscapes
    • Soil and water quality
    • Land use and ecosystem services

.More information about faculty research specialties can be found on our Faculty Research Interests page.
To Apply
and apply on‐line. As a part of the application process, you will need to provide GRE and TOEFL (if applicable) scores, a statement of interest, a short vita, scanned copies of transcripts of previous academic work and contact information for three individuals willing to provide on‐line letters of reference. Note: Official transcripts will be required for final acceptance of all successful applicants.
If you are interested in applying for admission to graduate school at Virginia Tech, please visit the Virginia Tech Graduate School website.