Welcome to the Department of Plant, Soil, and Microbial Sciences at Michigan State University. With expertise ranging from ecosystems services and disease management, to plant breeding, genomics, and food safety, we provide leadership and deliver programs that are internationally recognized and respected and have impact at local, national, and international levels. To provide this leadership, we work in an interdisciplinary and collaborative manner to effectively address complex problems and emerging threats that challenge food production and security. Above all, we value our missions of teaching, extension/outreach, research, international, service, and stewardship.   We are home to 70 faculty, 100  graduate students, 86 post-docs and staff members, and 200 undergraduate and certificate students.

For more information see our mission statement.

Meet a Staff Member

Susan Gruber sits at her desk in room A164 in the Plant and Soil Sciences Building.

As Michigan State University adopts a new scheduling system for the coming academic year, Susan Gruber, the new undergraduate advisor for the agronomy and turfgrass students (crop and soil sciences major), encourages students to make academic advising appointments a priority.

Student Success Dashboard is the new interface for scheduling advising appointments and requires a learning curve, according to Gruber. However, the academic advisor urges students to learn and understand the new system.  

Students are encouraged to see their academic counselor once or twice a year, or as often as needed. Academic advisors are responsible for assisting students with navigating financial aid, class scheduling, and connecting students to tutors and other academic resources.

However, unlike other universities, MSU does not require students to meet with their academic advisor following their freshmen Academic Orientation Program.

[Read More about Susan Gruber]

Teaching, Research, Extension/Outreach

Featured Students


Timothy LeBlanc waters grass.

Name: Timothy (T.J.) LeBlanc

Hometown: Livonia, MI

Adviser: Dr. John R. Rogers, III

What is your Major, or Certificate Program? Turfgrass Management

Why did you choose that major or program? I’ve always loved the game of Golf, and MSU allows me to pursue a career that I’m not only passionate about, but also fits the lifestyle I want to lead. [Read more about Timothy LeBlanc.]



Christopher Gillespie in the lab.

Name: Christopher Gillespie     

Hometown: Champaign, IL

Crop and Soil Sciences Concentrations: Agronomic Sciences

Adviser: Karen Renner

Why did you choose this major and concentration? I chose this major and concentration because “a farmer is someone who is outstanding in their field.” As I hope to be one day soon! [Read more about Christopher Gillespie]

Graduate Program

Natalie Kirkwyland posing for picture.

Name: Natalie Raissa Kirkwyland

Hometown: Dryden, NY

Major Professor: Dave Douches

In what lab do you work in and what are you researching? As a member of the Potato Breeding and Genetics program, my project involves conducting potato improvement at the diploid level, either adapting wild diploid germplasm or using haploids generated from tetraploid cultivars. [Read more about Natalie Kirkwyland]