With the world’s population now approaching 7 billion, and expected to exceed 9 billion within 30 to 40 years, the demand for food is expected to double. Therefore, our ability to sustainably produce plants for food and aesthetic purposes is more crucial now than ever before. If you want to become a scientist with the skills and knowledge to grow crops or turfgrass to provide for human needs and improve environmental quality, then the Crop and Soil Sciences major at Virginia Tech is for you!

In the CSS program, students learn the fundamentals of plant science and improvement, and soil and environmental stewardship for feeding the world, protecting the environment, and producing quality turfgrass. As a student majoring in Crop and Soil Sciences, you can count on quality academic programs relevant for today and tomorrow, opportunities for involvement and experience, and individual and personal attention from our award-winning faculty and staff. Our programs offer the rigor, flexibility, and practical knowledge that will help you succeed regardless of the path you choose. You will learn the fundamentals of soil, plant, and environmental sciences to prepare you for your career.

As a Crop and Soil Sciences major, you will:

  • Work with globally important issues – food production, grassland ecosystems, and agricultural sustainability.
  • Learn to grow more nutritious, safer crops to feed the world and improve health while reducing environmental degradation.
  • Find fulfillment and enjoyment in creating and maintaining beautiful and functional landscapes such as golf courses, sports and recreational fields, and in the booming turf and landscape industry.
  • Prepare for careers in business, research, consulting, Extension, and government, or move directly into professional studies or graduate school.

CSS Options

  • Agronomy – Learn about the science and technology of sustainable food, feed, and fiber production.
  • Crop Genetics & Breeding – Learn how to produce better quality and higher yielding crops using classical and molecular approaches to plant improvement.
  • International Agriculture – Learn how to bring population, food production and resource conservation into balance to improve food security in developing countries.
  • Turfgrass Management – Learn about golf course, athletic field, sod production, lawn and landscape management.
  • NOTE: You must declare your option your junior year. To declare your option, fill out this form, get it signed by Rachel Saville (Smyth 238-C), and then take it to Dean Sumner's office (Litton Reaves 1070)

CSS Minors

CSS Undergraduate Program Director:

Dr. Ben Tracy

Dr. Ben Tracy
Crop & Soil Sciences
335 Smyth Hall
(540) 231-8259