The College of Agronomy (COA) has one national first-level discipline, i.e., Crop science, which is the only national first-level discipline in the universities in Henan at present. Under Crop science there are two second-level disciplines, which are 1) Crop cultivation and farming and 2) Crop genetics and breeding. The crop science PhD training program of COA started in the year 2000, which is the first PhD training program approved by the Chinese government for Henan Universities. Four research directions have been established in the Crop science discipline of COA, which are 1) Crop genomics and molecular breeding, 2) Innovation and application of crop genetic resources, 3) Genetic dissection and improvement of crop growth, development, yield and quality traits in annual double-cropping system, and 4) Theory and technology of smart agriculture for highly efficient crop cultivation and production.
The College of Agronomy began to recruit postgraduate students in 1962, and was granted the right to grant doctoral degree in crop science in 2000, crop cultivation and tillage were approved as national key disciplines in 2002, the postdoctoral research station of crop science was established in 2003, and crop science was recognized as national key disciplines in 2007. The postgraduate program rely on the national 2011 Plan Henan Food Crop Collaborative Innovation Center, the National Wheat Technology Innovation Center, the National Key Laboratory of Wheat and Maize Crop Science, CIMMYT-China (Henan) Wheat and Maize Joint Research Center and the national key discipline of Crop Science and other national and provincial and ministerial platforms. There are 75 doctoral supervisors, 189 Master's supervisor. There are 581 full-time master students and 175 doctoral students. The tutors include the academicians of the Chinese Academy of Engineering Jianmin Wan, Jianping Chen, Xinyou Zhang, Chunjiang Zhao, Weigang Xu, and a group of national Distinguished Young Scholars, Yangtze River Scholar professor, national Ten thousand people Plan, National Outstanding youth and Young Yangtze River Scholar and other national talents.
There are three master programs: Crop Cultivation and Tillage, Crop Genetics and Breeding, Agronomy and Seed Industry. In the past five years, 1,022 master students have been recruited, and a total of 617 postgraduate students have been awarded master’s degree, including 401 students receiving academic master's degrees and 216 receiving master's degrees in Agronomy and Seed Industry. In 2023, 221 postgraduate students were recruited, including 76 in Crop Genetics and Breeding, 50 in Crop Cultivation and Tillage, and 95 in Agronomy and Seed Industry.
The doctoral program has two directions: Crop Genetics and Breeding and Crop Cultivation and Tillage. In recent years, the doctoral student index of the College of Agriculture has increased steadily, and a total of 151 doctoral students have been enrolled in the past five years (including 35 in 2023), and a total of 112 doctoral degrees have been awarded, including 64 in Crop Genetics and Breeding and 48 in Crop Cultivation and Tillage.
The employment rate of the postgraduate students in the school has always been high, of which the employment rate in 2023 is as high as 91.02%. More than 80% of the graduate students are engaged in agriculture related works, covering various fields such as crop germplasm resource identification, molecular breeding and cultivation of new variety, promotion demonstration and standardized intelligent crop production. The employment units of doctoral students are mainly concentrated in universities, research institutes, government and large enterprises. In the past five years, a large number of outstanding graduate students and advanced models have emerged in the program, 75 people have won the honorary title of provincial or ministerial level or above, 43 people have won the national scholarship; 509 high-level papers have been published, among which, a few studies have been published in prestigious journals such as Molecular Plant, Advanced Science, Plant Biotechnology Journal and New Phytologist etc. A total of 15 graduation dissertations were awarded the excellent theses for doctoral or master's degree of Henan Province.