Master of Science (MS) – Thesis Option
The Master of Science, with thesis, requires a minimum of 32 semester-hours of coursework. The degree plan consists of at least 32 credit hours, typically, 20 hours will be taken in the department, 3-4 of these hours will be credited for the thesis, and a maximum of 12 hours of coursework may be in supporting field(s) of interest. While a majority of the courses must be completed on campus, Master of Science thesis option programs are permitted to apply up to 49% of online courses toward the degree program.
Coursework in the supporting fields in the MS-Thesis program may be in any academic area that contributes to a students career objectives. Examples include agricultural leadership, agricultural communications, change management, extension education, international agricultural development, research methods and sociology. A residence requirement of nine semester hours of coursework in one semester or in two consecutive five-week summer terms must be completed.
Master of Science (MS) – Non Thesis Option
Students whose career objectives are concerned with formal or informal education in agriculture may seek the Master of Science-Non-Thesis option: e.g., teaching agricultural sciences, working as an Extension educator, in leadership fields, in training and development or international agricultural development. The 36 semester-hours of coursework consist typically of 18 to 24 semester hours in the department and a maximum of 12 hours of coursework may be completed in support areas. While a majority of the courses must be completed on campus, Master of Science non-thesis option programs are permitted to apply up to 49% of online courses toward the degree program. A residence requirement of 12 semester hours of coursework in must be completed.
Master of Agriculture (MAg)-Distance Education only
Students pursuing careers in fields such as instructional design, agricultural leadership or rural community development might seek the Master of Agriculture in Agricultural Development. The program prepares individuals for leadership roles in education, natural resource management, cooperative extension service, and many other professional careers in agriculture and life sciences. All courses in this non-thesis degree program are completed at a distance that emphasizes the development of problem-solving skills involved in applying science and technology to benefit humanity.
The 36 semester hour degree program typically consists of courses in the department with a maximum of 12 hours of coursework in support areas. Distance courses are completed to meet the 12 semester hour residence requirement. Because of the diverse nature of the careers selected by MAgr graduate students, degree plans will vary considerably and are generally unique for each individual.
To demonstrate problem solving capabilities, a professional internship may be completed to provide meaningful, applied, and practical experience. An internship is generally completed at the end of formal coursework, and involves either paid or un-paid employment with a cooperating business or agency. Planned in concert by the student, university adviser and business supervisor, the internship normally lasts from three to six months. One to three credits may be earned for the internship and professional goals. A professional paper is required.
Core Curriculum Content Examination
While students are allowed the flexibility to select support courses to tailor their graduate program to match their academic interests and career aspirations, each program requires the completion of four core curriculum courses to gain content knowledge and skills:
- ALEC 610 Principles of Adult Education
- ALEC 615 History and Philosophy of Agricultural Education
- ALEC 640 Methods of Technological Change
- ALEC 695 Frontiers in Research
All students must demonstrate content knowledge in each core course. A core curriculum content exam is administered after the completion of all core courses.
For information to apply to one of our degree programs, visit the HOW TO APPLY page.
- Sample Master of Science (Thesis or No-Thesis option) Degree Plan
- Sample Master of Agriculture Degree Plan
Planning Your Steps to Graduation