The Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) subplan of the PSM in Applied Biosciences GIDP is designed to prepare students who wish to possess a graduate-level education that integrates science and engineering-based approach to provide specific controlled environments for plant productivity while optimizing resources including water, energy, space, capital and labor, and more specifically incorporate knowledge in management and business. Graduates of this track will be prepared for careers in controlled environment agriculture industry, academia and government.
The CEA is an agricultural production practice for year round continuous production of nutritionally high quality foods, with crop yields that can exceed field production by as much as 10-fold, and with the potentials to utilize local renewable energy resources, and optimize water, energy, space, capital, and labor resource use efficiency well above field traditional capabilities. This production technology, can employ crop production systems, provide harvest much less dependent of season, and can generate higher crop yields, quality, safety, nutritional value, with consistency and predictability, while utilizing less land in an environmentally friendly way.
There has been significant advancement in agriculture due to enhanced cultivars by plant breeding, minimized use of chemicals and effects of pests by integrated pest management, improved production quality, produce uniformity and reduced labor via automation and mechanization. These continuous advancements in production practices and technology have maintained an acceptable food quality and low cost food supply, however, resulted in more demand for highly educated and skilled employees. The controlled environment agriculture systems are integrated systems consisting of hydroponics, mechanization and automation, climate control, production management processes which demand continuous system monitoring and control. Thus, technical understanding and crop production skills are needed for specific crop needs and through understanding of plant and microclimate interactions are needed so the systems can be effectively operated and precisely controlled to improve growth, production quality, and resource use efficiency. This necessitates potential graduates to acquire technical, production, management, people, business skills.
Therefore, the CEA PSM track will prepare students for rewarding employment in the controlled environment agriculture sector with technology, science and engineering, business and management oriented education and training to prepare current and future employees to meet the needs of this important industry segment to successfully compete in the global market place.
The Graduate College sponsors several Graduate Interdisciplinary Programs (GIDPs) in addition to the many interdisciplinary possibilities available through regular graduate degree programs. GIDPs transcend departmental boundaries by facilitating cutting edge teaching and research at the nexus of traditional disciplines. The high value placed on interdisciplinary research and education is indicative of The University of Arizona's enthusiasm and commitment to fostering innovation and creativity among its faculty and students.
The same as all Applied Biosciences track:
Students who wish to apply to the PSM degree in Applied Biosciences must have the minimum qualifications:
A Bachelors (or equivalent) degree with a major in an area of biosciences from an accredited institution.
A minimum 3.0 GPA
A desire to pursue a professional career in the applied biosciences.
Students should apply directly to the specific track in the program they wish to pursue. The application should be submitted online (only) via the Graduate College website (http://grad.arizona.edu). Be prepared to submit the following materials:
Scans of all transcripts (official versions will be requested if you are selected for admission)
GRE scores (recommended but not required; general test only)
TOEFL scores (required if you are not a native speaker of English)
GPAs for all undergraduate work
A one to two page statement of interests, which outlines your background (including any professional experience) and your professional goals.
You should separately arrange with two references (typically former or current professors or work supervisors) who can comment on your skills, training and potential for the PSM in Applied Biosciences. You will need to include their names and email addresses in your online application.
Recommended GRE Subject tests: general test only
Minimum GRE Verbal: 130-170, in 1 point increments
Minimum GRE Quantitative: 130-170, in 1 point increments
Minumum GRE Written: 0-6, in half point increments
Minimum TOEFL: 79 (IBT) 550 (paper based) -required for all intenational students or
Minimum IELTS: 7 (no subject area below a 6) - (if not TOEFL) required for all international students
There is no funding support directly available from this program.
In common with other ABS tracks, the CEA track requires the successful completion of 36 units (credit hours), within the course of a minimum of 2 years and a maximum of 6 years.
The CEA track includes a wide selection of courses relevant to the mission of the PSMAB and the IMB track. These courses are grouped into clusters. The track has the following curricular requirements:
Core Science Courses................12 Units
Plus Courses...............................12 Units
Courses recommended for the CEA track clusters are listed in the attached Table. Other classes may be substituted for the classes listed in the attached Table with the agreement of the Director of the Graduate Studies (DGS) and the Advisor and the Committee of the student. Initial selection of the appropriate courses within each cluster and for the study plan in general will be done by agreement between the student and the DGS, based on a draft study plan assembled by the student and submitted to the DGS. This plan should be based on the particular needs and interests of the student, considering the career path the student is pursuing. Fine tuning and other necessary changes of the course plan will be made by the Advisor and the student’s Committee, in agreement with the DGS.
Please find a list of recommended courses for Controlled Environment Agriculture track from the ABS-PSM Student Handbook 2016-2017, pages 16 - 17.
Administrative policies are outlined in the program bylaws here