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Doctor of Philosophy in Agronomy


Brief Description of the Major Field

The PhD AGR is a thesis program of the Crop Science Cluster. Students under the PhD AGR program is expected to have a firm grasp of the underlying principles and practices in various fields of specialization in agronomy. Students are trained to conduct researches that go beyond correlative comparisons but also to determine the causative mechanisms for these. Under the program, a student may specialize in one of the three areas of study.


Prospective Students

An applicant for admission to PhD AGR program must be a holder of an MS degree in a biological field. A holder of an MS degree in a non-biological field must seek admission first to MS AGR or other related programs.



Graduates of the program may be tapped as teaching staff, researcher, or extension agent in agriculture colleges/universities, or as scientist at local and international research centers. A number of graduates are also employed at the Department of Agriculture and its attached agencies. Private institutions (e.g. multinational agricultural and chemical companies) also hire graduates as marketing specialist, technical staff, manager/supervisor, or consultant. Some graduates are also into entrepreneurial pursuits, managing own farms or other business units.



  • Crop Physiology
  • Crop Production and Management
  • Weed Science


Requirements and Mechanics to Graduate

The PhD AGR program requires a minimum of 38 units, these are 15 units of major courses, 9 units of cognate courses, 2 units of seminar and 12 units of dissertation. The major courses are composed of core courses AGR 112, AGR 240, AGR 241 and other major courses to satisfy the minimum number of units. 

For MS and PhD students with Agronomy as minor/cognate field at least 9 units of course work in Agronomy is required. AGR 241 or AGR 240 or both may be taken plus 6 or 3 units of other Agronomy courses depending on area of specialization. Students with weed science as a minor/cognate may opt not to include AGR 241/240. 

PhD students are required to pass a departmental written comprehensive examination in their area of specialization to be administered by a department committee. This examination is given once in a semester.


Graduate Courses

AGR 235. Physiology of Herbicides (3). Absorption translocation, mechanism of action, and selectivity of herbicides. 3 hrs (class). PR. BOT 20 and CHEM 40 (2)

AGR 235.1. Laboratory on Mode of Action of Herbicides (2). Laboratory phase of Agronomy 235, 6 hrs (lab). (2)

AGR 236. Herbicide-Soil Interactions (3). Herbicide adsorption, leaching, volatilization, degradation, and persistence in soils. 3 hrs (class). PR. SOIL 1 or COI. (1)

AGR 240. Environmental Physiology (3). Characterization of climatic environment and elucidation of varied response of plants to its environment with emphasis on economically important crops. 3 hrs (class). PR. BOT 20 or COI. (1,2)

AGR 241. Advanced Field Crop Physiology and Ecology (3). Management and evaluation of the effects of climatic and edaphic factors on crop growth. 3 hrs (class). PR. BOT 20 or COI. (1,2)

AGR 250. Advanced Plant Breeding I (3). Types, uses, and induction of genetic variation; systems of pollen control; selection concepts and general breeding procedures for crops in each mode of pollination; approaches in breeding for specific characters. 3 hrs (class). PR. AGR 150 (2)

AGR 251. Advanced Plant Breeding II (3). Advanced concepts and methods in population breeding and cultivar development. 3 hrs (class). PR. BIO 130b and AGR 250. (1)

AGR 254. Crop Evolution (3). Origin and evolution of crop plants and dynamics of plant domestication. 3 hrs (class). PR. AGR 50 or COI. (1)

AGR 255/BIO 255. Population Genetics (3). Genetics of population undergoing random mating and inbreeding; effects of selection, mutation, migration and other forces on the genetic composition of natural and artificial biological population. 3 hrs (class). PR. BIO 130b and MATH 26. (1)

AGR 256. Quantitative Genetics (3). Genetics of quantitative characters in random and nonrandom mating population. Application of quantitative genetic theories in breeding work. 3 hrs (class). PR. AGR 255. (2) 

AGR 258. Molecular Plant Breeding (3). Molecular markers, recombinant DNA technology, and cell and tissue culture technology in crop improvement. 3 hrs (class). PR. AGR 150 and BIO 101 or COI. (1)

AGR 270. Seed Science, Technology and Program Development (3). Advanced concepts in the science and technology of seed production, postproduction, genetic conservation, testing and quality control; policies and management of seed and related programs. 3 hrs (class). PR. AGR 170 or COI. (1)

AGR 290. Special Problems (1-3). May be taken twice provided that total number of units to be credited to the student’s program will not exceed 4 units. PR. COI. (1,2,S)

AGR 291. Special Topics (1-3). May be taken twice provided that total number of units to be credited to the student’s program will not exceed 4 units. PR. COI. (1,2,S)

AGR 299. Graduate Seminar in Agronomy (1). May be taken twice for a maximum of 2 units. I hr (class). PR. Graduate standing. (1,2)

AGR 300. Master’s Thesis (6). (1,2,S)

AGR 400. Doctoral Dissertation (12). (1,2,S)


AGRI 211. Design and Assessment of Farming Systems (3). Critical analysis, designing and evaluating farming systems. 3 hrs (class). PR. AGRI III or COI. (2)

AGRI 221. Advanced Ecological Agriculture (3). Dynamics of agroecosystem in relation to ecological agriculture practices, issues and concerns. 3 hrs (class). PR. AGRI 121 or COI. (2)

Crop Science

CRSC 245. Stress Physiology of Plants (3). Response of plants to various environmental stresses; morphophysiological, biochemical and genotypic variation as bases for adaptation to stress. 3 hrs (class). PR. BOT20. (1,2)


Faculty Information


Highest Educational Attainment

Faculty Rank


Edna A. Aguilar


Associate Professor

Farming Systems, Crop Production and Management

Teresita H. Borromeo



Rice Breeding, Plant Genetic Resources Conservation and Management, Plant Physiology

Ma. Lourdes S. Edaño


Assistant Professor

Sustainable Agriculture, Crop Production and Management, Farming System

Pamela G. Fernandez



Sustainable/Ecological Agriculture, Seed Physiology, General Conservation

Jose E. Hernandez



Plant Breeding, Cereal Breeding, Crop Production and Management

Tonette P. Laude


Assistant Professor

Plant Breeding, Corn Production

Teodoro C. Mendoza



Farming Systems, Ecological Agriculture, Eco-physiology

Maria Fatima O. Mercado


Assistant Professor

Seed Technology, Sustainable/Ecological Agriculture, Crop Production

Bong M. Salazar


Assistant Professor

 Crop Physiology

Pompe C. Sta. Cruz



Crop Physiology, Crop Nutrition, Crop Production and Management

Oscar B. Zamora



Crop Physiology/Ecology, Crop Production and Management, Agroforestry


Contact Information

Key Person: Dr. Jose E. Hernandez, Director

Phone Number:  (049) 536-2448; 536-2468

Email Address:  [email protected]





 Source: UPLB website

The UPLB Graduate School marked milestones with the launching of two new masters-level degree programs and the celebration of its 42nd founding anniversary on December 1.

At the Thanksgiving Dinner-Fellowship held at the Graduate School multi-purpose hall, UPLB Chancellor Fernando C. Sanchez, Jr. led the launching of the Master of Science in Entomology, an off-campus program implemented in partnership with ANFLO Management and Investment Corporation (ANFLOCOR) in Panabo City, Davao del Norte. He also relaunched the Professional Masters in Tropical Marine Ecosystem Management (PM-TMEM), a joint program with the UP Marine Science Institute (MSI) of UP Diliman and UP Visayas.

read more

Article by Mark Jayson E. Gloria, UPLB website

UP President Alfredo E. Pascual enjoined the UPLB graduate education faculty to intensify the internationalization of graduate programs during the Graduate Faculty Conference on Feb. 15 at the Tagaytay International Convention Center. Pascual, who gave the keynote speech during the Conference, said that UP’s mandate as a research, graduate, and regional/global university are intertwined and interrelated. He also commended UPLB’s tradition of excellence as a graduate and research university, especially in agriculture, forestry, veterinary medicine, and biotechnology.

read more

Posted on March 4, 2015 by upweb_wordpress in In the News, Article by Jo. Florendo B. Lontoc, photos by Abraham Arboleda

Responding to the mandates officially spelled out in Republic Act 9500 or the new UP System Charter of 2008, which elects UP to be a research and graduate university, among other roles, the UP Los Baños Graduate School convened a faculty conference to plot the path of the school to the future. The conference titled “Responding to the Challenges of a Research and Graduate University” was held on February 15 and 16, 2015 at the Tagaytay International Convention Center. It was attended by around 260 participants consisting of junior and senior graduate faculty members, committee chairs of degree-granting units, college deans, institute directors, department chairs, and heads of UP campuses.

read more

What was once a silent and unoccupied area at the back of the Graduate School (GS) Building will soon become the site of a modern hub for graduate and international students of UPLB.

It will be called the Graduate School International Student and Cultural Center Building, as officially announced during the groundbreaking ceremony on Dec. 2.

UP System, UPLB, and Nagoya University bigwigs were present during the occasion, which served as one of the highlights of the School’s 43rd founding anniversary.

               UP President Alfredo E. Pascual and Vice-President for Legal Affairs Hector Danny D. Uy joined UPLB Chancellor Fernando C. Sanchez, Jr., Graduate School Dean Jose V. Camacho, Jr., and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Portia G. Lapitan in the traditional groundbreaking ceremonies. read more

UP and Nagoya University (NU), through President Alfredo E. Pascual and UPLB Chancellor Fernando C. Sanchez, Jr. and NU President Seiichi Matsuo, respectively, have inked an agreement for UPLB to host the Nagoya University Asian Satellite Campus (NUASC) through the UPLB Graduate School.

This agreement makes the Philippines the eighth country to host the NUASC through which the Transnational Doctoral Programs for Leading Professionals in Asian Countries will be implemented. This will enable Filipino doctoral candidates to enroll in NU doctoral programs without having to be physically present in Nagoya for the whole duration of the course.

The agreement was formalized at the Executive Conference Room in BM Gonzalez Hall, UPLB on Dec. 2. Dr. Jose V. Camacho, Jr., dean, Graduate School and Dr. Fumio Isoda, director, Nagoya University Asian Satellite Campuses Institute, served as witnesses of the signing of the memorandum of agreement (MOA). read more

UPLB and Nagoya University (NU) formally opened the NU satellite campus in the Philippines and held the International Symposium on the Internationalization of Graduate Education at Acacia Hotel in Alabang, Muntinlupa City on March 8.

UPLB Chancellor Fernando C. Sanchez, Jr.  said in his message during the opening program that to be a globally competitive research and graduate university, UPLB must pursue joint programs and collaborative activities with international academic and research institutions. He cited as an example the Philippines Transnational Ph.D. Program for Leading Professionals in Asian Countries being implemented by UPLB and NU.  

UP President Alfredo E. Pascual added that the program takes the University to a higher level and a step closer to being a globalized institution in terms of research and graduate education.  It will also allow experts to build lifelong partnerships with NU without leaving the country. He issued a challenge for UPLB to become a leader in global intellectual conversations of tomorrow. read more

The Graduate School (GS) and the College of Public Affairs and Development (CPAf), together with UP Mindanao, launched the Mindanao Development Studies Seminars (MDSS) on May 13-14 at UP Mindanao, Davao City. 

The MDSS aims to stimulate critical discussion about contemporary issues and challenges affecting the development of Mindanao. 

Dr. Portia G. Lapitan, vice chancellor for academic affairs who delivered a speech on behalf of Chancellor Fernando C. Sanchez, Jr. reiterated the importance of Mindanao in the development of the country. She expressed her hopes that through the MDSS, participants would gain a more thorough insight of the issues affecting Mindanao.

“It is also my hope that this seminar would pave the way for scholars to engage in further discourse about Mindanao’s key concerns and strive to influence national policies that would benefit the people of Mindanao,” she added. read more


The Graduate School will hold its Hooding and Recognition Ceremony on June 24 at the DL Umali Freedom Park. During this occasion, the students who will have finished their doctoral program will be conferred their degrees through a ceremony in which their academic regalia (hoods) would be put on them by their advisers and University officials led by Chancellor Fernando C. Sanchez, Jr and Dr. Jose V. Camacho, Jr., dean of the Graduate School.

The guest of honor and keynote speaker for this year’s ceremonies is Dr. Chamnian Yosraj, president of Maejo University in Thailand. Dr. Yosraj is a UPLB alumnus, having earned both his MS and Ph.D. degrees in Animal Science in 1983 and 1990, respectively. read more

The UPLB Graduate School (GS) held its 2016 Hooding and Recognition Ceremonies on June 24 at the DL Umali Freedom Park. Of the 279 graduates, 229 obtained master’s degrees and 50 earned doctorate degrees.

In his opening remarks, Chancellor Fernando C. Sanchez, Jr. expressed confidence that the graduates will exceed expectations around them. “UPLB has prepared you to become leaders who have the intellectual capacity and the heart to contribute to your respective communities,” he said.  He also encouraged the graduates to use the knowledge they gained from the University not only in pursuing academic and intellectual endeavors, but also in addressing social concerns. read more

“How do you thank your benefactors? How do you thank the Filipino taxpayers? How do you thank the Filipino people as a whole?” asked UP President Alfredo E. Pascual to the 2,245-strong UPLB Class of 2016 on June 25 at the DL Umali Freedom Park.

President Pascual was the keynote speaker during the 44th Commencement Exercises of UPLB that started at six o’clock in the morning, a deviation from the usual afternoon-to-evening ceremonies in the University. He was introduced by Chancellor Fernando C. Sanchez, Jr. read more

UPLB and Kobe University (KU) in Japan have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to jointly develop academic programs and projects that will benefit both in their instruction, research and training programs.

The MOU, which covers a 5-year period, was signed by KU President Hiroshi Takeda on March 23 in KU while UPLB chancellor, Dr. Fernando C. Sanchez, Jr. signed it on April 21 at the BM Gonzalez Hall in UPLB. read more

UPLB, through the Graduate School (GS) and the College of Economics and Management (CEM) has launched the off-campus Master of Management program for employees of the Procurement Service of the Department of Budget and Management (PS-DBM) at the DBM headquarters in Paco, Manila on Nov. 26.

PS-DBM has provided partial scholarships to its deserving employees who will be on the MMgt program that is being implemented by UPLB for continuing organizational development in the former. According to Atty. Tomas C. Syquia, executive director of PS-DBM, “to be the best, we must be taught by the best,” referring to the choice of UPLB as the partner institution. read me

In celebration of its 37th anniversary, the International Students Association (ISA), in cooperation with the International Student Services of the Office of Student Affairs (OSA), staged its annual cultural night at the DL Umali Hall on Oct. 14.

According to Dr. Nina Cadiz, OSA director, the event was “meant to promote the welfare and cooperation of foreign students in UPLB and to promote the benefits of internationalization in a University” such as UPLB.

With the theme “Unifying Force for Global Community,” the event featured song and dance performances of students from the Philippines, Indonesia, Timor Leste, Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Bangladesh, and Nigeria. read more

In order to modernize pedagogy and equip faculty members with technology-mediated teaching strategies, the Interactive Learning Center (ILC) and Graduate School (GS) co-sponsored the workshop on Graduate Program Innovations: Hands-On Training on Blended Learning for faculty members on July 27-28, at the ILC Computer Laboratory, CAS Annex I Bldg.   

Dr. Jose V. Camacho, Jr., GS dean, lauded the participants for attending the workshop despite the fact that they were on teacher’s leave. He said that since faculty members are in the forefront of the internalization efforts of the University and UPLB-GS has already embarked on off-campus offering, there is a need to conduct training programs on technology-mediated approaches that would help enhance the graduate programs of the University. read more

The UPLB Graduate School (GS) conducted its 2015 Hooding and Recognition Ceremonies on July 3 at the DL Umali Hall, conferring degrees on 48 Ph.D. and 212 masters candidates. It also gave recognition to its top five Ph.D. and masters candidates, and two recipients of special awards.

In his opening remarks, Chancellor Fernando C. Sanchez, Jr. advised the graduate students to actively participate in collaborative research activities that promote knowledge building and policy making, to publish their work, and serve the people. He further explained that as the ASEAN integration promotes mobility among faculty and students, it also presents UPLB an opportunity to pursue research and development policies in the region. read more

The Graduate School welcomes new staff officials to improve and strengthen its graduate services. On 15 November 2017, Dr. Mark Dondi M. Arboleda, former School Secretary since 2015, was officially appointed as Associate Dean; Dr. Aimee Lynn A. Barrion-Dupo as School Secretary; and Ms. Nanette A. Aquino as Assistant Secretary. Read more

Dr. Aimee Lynn Barrion-Dupo, Graduate School Secretary, was one of the 68 awardees of the UP Scientific Productivity System for CY 2017. 

The UP Scientific Productivity System (SPS) aims to support the development of science and technology; and encourage and reward scientific productivity. 

The nominees are evaluated according to the following: Scientific Productivity as measured by scientific publications, significant technological output and discoveries; Scientific Standing; and professional Standing

Visit http://ovpaa.up.edu.ph/up-scientific-productivity-system-2/ for more details on the UP Scientific Productivity System.



Dr. Mark Dondi M. Arboleda takes-over as secretary of UPLB Graduate School effective March 4, 2015.

He succeeds Dr. Willie P. Abasolo who was appointed by the UP Board of Regents as the new dean of the College of Forestry and Natural Resources on March 3, 2015.

Read More


The 43rd Commencement Exercises of UPLB will be held on Saturday, July 4, 2015 at the D.L. Umali Freedom Park in front of the D.L. Umali HAll (UPLB Auditorium).

Click here to download the instructions





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