The Postgraduate Course in Agronomy – Soil Science (CPGA-CS) has its foundation in the ideals and joining effort of two academic and research groups, the National School of Agriculture (ENA) and the National Centre for Education and Agronomic Research (CNEPA). It was created in 1965 as a specialization course, and right after that, in 1966, the CPGA-CS advanced to the Master Science (M.Sc.) level, becoming one of the three courses in Graduate School of the Universidade Rural do Brasil. The other courses were Veterinary Medicine and Parasitology and Organic Chemistry.
After the Brazilian university system reform, which was started in 1968 and completed in 1972, the Master Science course in Agronomy – Soil Science was one of three recommended for continuity due to its excellence in research and education. In 1972, the CPGA-CS was recognized as a graduate course by the federal government regulatory agency for upper level education in Brazil (CAPES).
From this official starting point, many candidates in the soil science fields of Genesis and Classification, Chemistry, Microbiology, Physics, Fertility and Plant Nutrition, acquired their M.Sc. degrees in the CPGA-CS. In 1979, with the increase of personnel and students, the program initiated the Doctor Science (D.Sc.) course, also approved by CAPES.
Composed by the Soils Department, Institute of Agronomy, UFRRJ, and with support of research laboratories in other locations of UFRRJ and at research institutions, the CPGA-CS follows, since its foundation, a policy of rationalization and optimization of material and human resources. Under this principle and considering the potential for advising and training researchers from the National Research Center for Agrobiology (Embrapa Agrobiology), as well as its physical infrastructure, laboratories, library and experimental areas, that institution became a partner of the CPGA-CS. This historical partnership between the Soils Department of UFRRJ and Embrapa Agrobiology is one of the factors that contribute to the excellence achieved by both institutions, and defines the CPGA-CS as an inter institutional program since its origin.
In 2002, the program updated the research lines and projects in the following major areas: Soil Biology, Soil Fertility and Plant Nutrition, Soil Management and Environmental Quality, Pedology and Soil Physics. The research projects were grouped according to the following subjects: Soil Fertility and Fertilizers; Mineral Nutrition and Plant Ecophysiology; Morphology, Genesis and Classification of Soils; Soil Management and Impacts on Agricultural Systems; Soil Chemistry and Pollution; and Soil Organisms and Interaction with Plants.
Triennial Evaluation Reviews in 2007 and 2010 and for the periods 2004-2006 and 2007-2009, conferred to the CPGA-CS the rank “6” by CAPES (with the maximum value of 7), which qualifies the program in a level of excellence and qualification, according to production and performance, equivalent to international research and education centers of excellence.
The consolidation of the CPGA-CS is marked by an increasing development in these 43 years, from the first dissertation defended in 1970; it has so far produced 370 Dissertations (1970-2013) and 172 Theses (1982-2013). The academic production is available via CD- ROM “Collection of CPGA-CS Theses (1970-2000)” or upon request. Since 2006, the Dissertations and Theses became available on the home-page address – http://www.ia.ufrrj.br/cpga-cs, and on the Brazilian Digital Bank of Theses and Dissertations (DBTD) through the Central Library of UFRRJ.
Also available on the site http://www.ia.ufrrj.br/cpacs/index.php the information about student applications, bylaws and courses, research lines and projects, and access to CPGA-CS advisors curricula (in Portuguese).