Successful applicants to the M.S. program typically have an undergraduate GPR of 3.000 or substantially better, strong letters of support for admission to the graduate program from faculty mentors, a well written letter of application, and in the case of international students strongly demonstrated competency in English via TOEFL scores or other testing instruments. Applicants for the Ph.D. program who have successfully completed a prior M.S. degree usually have similar or greater qualifications than those outlined for admission to the Masters programs. The Department does not require official GRE scores for acceptance.
Admissions decisions are made on a rolling basis for fall, spring, and summer semesters. Foreign nationals not already located in the U.S. will need to apply and be accepted approximately six months prior to their entering semester in order to complete all immigration procedures. Domestic students can apply up to 1 month prior to the start of a semester. Although that is the official deadline, students applying that late are typically too late to find a faculty member with an available opportunity for new graduate students and are encouraged to apply several months prior to the start of a term.
Application Process and Requirements
Step 1: Find a Faculty Advisor
- Find a SCSC faculty member who is willing to serve as your major professor (i.e., faculty advisor or “chair”).
- Check several professors’ research interests and read a couple of their papers.
- Then contact them with your information—research/professional interests, educational and work or research experience, goals CV, plus your GPA, and unofficial transcripts, if you have these already.
NOTE: Your admission application will not be reviewed until a faculty member has agreed to serve as your committee chair.
Step 2: Fill out the Texas A&M University Application
- Apply for admission using the Texas A&M University Graduate CAS Centralized Application Service (CAStm).
- Applicants are limited to one application per entry term. For information regarding specific programs and scholarships, visit Texas A&M Graduate and Professional School.
- U.S. applicants: For details on these steps, see the Office of Admissions application process.
- International applicants: For details on these steps, see the Office of Admissions international application process.
- For more information on Graduate Studies at Texas A&M, visit the Graduate School website.
Step 3: Statement of Purpose and Curriculum Vitae
- Applicants are required to submit a Statement of Purpose and a Curriculum Vitae (CV) through GradCAS.
Step 4: Letters of Recommendation
- Three (3) letters of recommendation must be submitted in Grad CAS. These should preferably be from professors or those who are familiar with your academic background and potential.
Step 5: Official Transcripts
Applicants will upload unofficial transcripts as part of their application process. Official transcripts are only required once an applicant is admitted.
Step 6: Admissions Requirements
- A minimum 3.0 GPA.
- International students are required to verify English language proficiency using one of the methods outlined by the Office of Admissions details can be found at Texas A&M University Office of Admissions.
- Admission decisions may also be influenced by consideration of research experiences (for M.S. and Ph.D. applicants) or professional training (for M.S. non-thesis) and achievements beyond undergraduate study that demonstrate potential for success in a graduate program.
Step 7: Admission Decisions
- You will learn whether you have been admitted via letters to you from the Texas A&M University Office of Admissions and the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences.
- Your admission application will not be reviewed until you have confirmed a faculty chair.
Step 8: Tuition and Fees
- To learn more about the cost of study at Texas A&M, explore the Student Business Services website.
Step 9: Financial Support
- Check out the SCSC Financial Support page for more information on graduate student funding.
- All financial support is determined by the prospective chair.
Writing an Effective Statement of Purpose
The statement of purpose is a critical component of your graduate school application used to evaluate your potential to succeed in graduate school. Generally, it should include the following three components.
Describe your Interests and Motivations
- Be brief! This section gives you an opportunity to articulate the reasons why this program fits your interests and goals.
Summarize Previous Academic Milestones
- Describe any relevant research-related activities or other projects you have worked on that demonstrates your skills and preparedness for graduate school. Please include any details, such as project title, program, leaders, partners, etc. to help the readers evaluate the impact of your participation and specify your role in those activities.
- If you have produced any scholarly products in the course of your academic work, such as journal articles, research reports, or theses, these should be highlighted as evidence of scholarly work.
- Describe any relevant work experience, especially if similar to what you wish to study in graduate school. You can also indicate how your previous experiences helped you focus your graduate studies.
Elaborate on your Academic Interests
- In as specific of terms as possible, describe what you would like to study in graduate school. This conveys your understanding of current research themes in your discipline. This can be done in many ways to showcase your knowledge of critical problems or significant questions that are relevant to horticultural science.
- If you have already identified a professor to serve as your primary advisor (or co-advisors), please mention them explicitly. Any information about particular projects that you will be part of in the course of your studies and associated faculty mentors will inform the readers of your intended scope of work.
For Your Consideration
- Professors are the people who read these statements. Your writing style should be for a professional audience that is well-versed in the technical terminology appropriate to faculty across all programs in soil and crop sciences. Demonstrate, through direct evidence, your potential for success as a graduate student.
- SCSC is committed to enhancing diversity within our programs and the broader profession. We encourage applications from individuals who identify with historically under-represented groups in academia; students who have experienced, and worked to overcome, educational or economic disadvantage and/or have personal or family circumstances that may complicate their continued progress in research careers; and first-generation college students. If there is something important that happened to you that affected you academically, state it. Write it affirmatively, showing your perseverance despite obstacles.
- Organize your statement well, but be precise, ideally within 1-2 single-spaced pages. End your statement in a positive manner, indicating your excitement and readiness for the challenges ahead of you.