Online Master of Science in Agronomy

Questions? Please contact...
Kathy Schindler
Dept. of Agronomy & Horticulture
402.472.1730

 

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The University of Nebraska-Lincoln's Department of Agronomy and Horticulture offers a complete online M.S. in Agronomy degree program designed for today's working agribusiness professionals and individuals seeking careers in agribusiness-related fields.

About

Agronomy is the application of plant and soil science to crop production and includes the study of plant breeding, genetics, biotechnology, molecular biology, physiology, biochemistry, weed control and crop management.

Students may choose from either a thesis-based (Option I) or non-thesis-based (Option II) M.S. in Agronomy degree program. Both options allow students maximum flexibility in selecting coursework that meets their career goals and interests. They can both be completed online.

Masters of Agronomy students can also choose between a variety of specializations. A specialization is a well-defined area of study that has been approved by the Graduate Council and will appear on a student's transcript along with their degree and major. Specializations are optional in most programs.

Specialization Options:

  • Crop Physiology and Production
  • Plant Breeding and Genetics
  • Plant Pathology
  • Range and Forage Sciences
  • Weed Science

Students in the M.S. in Agronomy program can also receive Continuing Education Units (CEUs) through the Certified Crop Adviser program. For more information on CEUs, visit the Certified Crop Adviser website or, once you have completed applicable courses, please contact Deana Namuth-Covert, 402.472.1549, who can help you register for your CEUs.

Option I (Thesis)

The Option I thesis program requires completion of a minimum of 30 credit hours, consisting of 20 to 24 hours of graduate coursework, and a thesis of 6 to 10 hours. A minimum of 15 hours, to include the thesis, must be taken in agronomy. The remaining 15 hours may be in supporting courses or in a minor consisting of at least 9 hours. Up to 15 hours of approved graduate coursework from other institutions may be applied to the Option I program at UNL.

Admission Requirements*

  1. Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university, preferably in agronomy or a closely related field, with an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher.
  2. Successful completion of the following prerequisites:
  • One semester calculus
  • One semester chemistry
  • One semester physics (excluding soil physics)
  • Two semesters biological sciences
  • An additional semester of either physics or chemistry

The above requirements can be met by having satisfactorily completed the courses, having taken equivalent courses, testing out of the courses, exceeding the entry level requirements of the undergraduate degree institution and having these courses waived, or by taking the deficient courses early in the graduate program.

*Applicants with more than two deficiencies will not be reviewed for admission. It is recommended that you enroll in appropriate courses to remove deficiencies, and then reapply.

How to Apply

Required by the Office of Graduate Studies

Required by the Department of Agronomy and Horticulture through GAMES

After you submit your online application for Graduate Admission, please allow one business day for us to establish your access to our application system, GAMES, where you will submit the following items that are required by the Department of Agronomy and Horticulture:

  1. GRE general test scores (Institution Code R6877; Department Code 0104)
  2. Resume or curriculum vita
  3. Statement of interest and goals
  4. Three letters of recommendation

Deadline

There are no set deadlines for submitting applications; they are accepted on a rolling basis throughout the year.

Non-Degree, Post-Baccalaureate Option

Students may be allowed to enroll in courses before being admitted to the certificate program by applying as a non-degree, post-baccalaureate.


Option II (Non-thesis)

The Option II non-thesis program requires completion of at least 36 credit hours of graduate-level coursework, of which up to 6 hours can be devoted to the master's project, which takes the place of the usual master's thesis.

The program requires selection of one or two formal minors of 9 credit hours each. If one minor is selected, students must complete a minimum of 18 hours in agronomy courses; while a minimum of 15 hours in agronomy courses is required if two minors are selected. Up to 18 hours of approved graduate coursework from other institutions may be applied to the Option II program at UNL.

All degree requirements for the Option II program, including presentation of the master's project, can be completed at a distance; and students are not required to visit the UNL campus at any time. Because this is a non-thesis program, it is considered a terminal degree in that it does not prepare students to matriculate directly into a doctoral program.

Examples of what students have done for their Option II M.S. in Agronomy project:

  • Developed lesson plans
  • Wrote an extensive, term paper
  • Developed assessment tools to measure learning
  • Created animations on subject matter covered in their coursework
  • Adapted already-completed research for a new purpose

Admission Requirements*

  1. Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university, preferably in agronomy or a closely related field, with an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher.
  2. Minimum of one semester in each of the following areas:
  • Plant production or plant system management
  • Soil science
  • Biological science
  • Chemistry
  • Algebra

The above requirements can be met by having satisfactorily completed the courses, having taken equivalent courses, testing out of the courses, exceeding the entry level requirements of the undergraduate degree institution and having these courses waived, or by taking the deficient courses early in the graduate program.

*Applicants with more than two deficiencies will not be reviewed for admission. It is recommended that you enroll in appropriate courses to remove deficiencies, and then reapply.

How to Apply

Required by the Office of Graduate Studies

Required by the Department of Agronomy and Horticulture through GAMES

After you submit your online application for Graduate Admission, please allow one business day for us to establish your access to our application system, GAMES, where you will submit the following items that are required by the Department of Agronomy and Horticulture:

  1. Resume or curriculum vita
  2. Statement of interest and goals
  3. Three letters of recommendation.  Letters may be addressed to UNL Agronomy & Horticulture Graduate Committee Chair, 279 Plant Sciences Hall, Lincoln, NE 68583-0915.

A GRE score is not required for admission into the Option II (Non-Thesis) M.S. in Agronomy program.

Deadline

There are no set deadlines for submitting applications; they are accepted on a rolling basis throughout the year.

Non-Degree, Post-Baccalaureate Option

Students may be allowed to enroll in courses before being admitted to the certificate program by applying as a non-degree, post-baccalaureate.

Courses

The Option I thesis program requires completion of a minimum of 30 credit hours, consisting of 20 to 24 hours of graduate coursework, and a thesis of 6 to 10 hours. A minimum of 15 hours, to include the thesis, must be taken in agronomy topic areas.

The Option II non-thesis program requires completion of at least 36 credit hours of graduate-level coursework, of which up to 6 hours can be devoted to the master's project. The program requires selection of one or two formal minors of 9 credit hours each. If one minor is selected, students must complete a minimum of 18 hours in agronomy courses; while a minimum of 15 hours in agronomy courses is required if two minors are selected.

Course Delivery

Through our online course system, students can: submit assignments and projects; access course syllabi, announcements, grades, and exams; and communicate with instructors and students via announcements, discussion boards and real-time chats.

There are not required set class meeting times. For the most part, students simply access the materials at their convenience.

The only equipment required to access most of the courses are internet access and access to email.

What is required for courses and how the courses are conducted are explained in more detail on each of the individual course's webpages. If you click on the individual course links below, it will give you more information about course delivery requirements for each course.

Schedule

This schedule outlines the courses that are available each term. M.S. in Agronomy students can pick and choose from these courses to fulfill their course requirements within a timeframe that works for them.

Spring 2014 (in progress)
Number Course Name Credits
AGRO/HORT 814 Turfgrass Disease Management 1
AGRO/HORT 822 Integrated Weed Management 1
AGRO/HORT 824 Plant Nutrition & Nutrient Management 3
AGRO 831 Spatial Variability in Soils (offered even-numbered years) 2
AGRO 837 Animal, Food & Industry Uses of Grain 2
AGRO 838 Production of Specialty Grain Crops 1
AGRO 851 Grassland Plant Identification 2
Summer 2014
Number Course Name Credits
AGRO/HORT 821 Learning Biotechnology 3
AGRO 846 Forage Quality (Offered even-numbered years) 3
AGRO 896 Plant Pathology: Principles & Applications 3
Fall 2014
Number Course Name Credits
AGRO 811 Crop Genetic Engineering 2
AGRO 815A Self-Pollinated Crop Breeding 1
AGRO 815B Germplasm & Genes 1
AGRO 815D Cross-Pollinated Crop Breeding 1
AGRO 818 Agricultural Biochemistry 2
AGRO/HORT 888 Business Management for Agricultural Enterprises 3
Spring 2015
Number Course Name Credits
AGRO 437 (1/12-2/27/15) Animal, Food and Industrial Uses of Grain 2
AGRO 438 (3/2-4/17/15) Producing Grain for Animal, Food & Industrial Uses 1
     
Summer 2015
Number Course Name Credits
AGRO/HORT 832 Learning Plant Science 3
AGRO 896 Plant Pathology: Principles & Applications 3
Fall 2015
Number Course Name Credits
AGRO/HORT 412/812 Crop & Weed Genetics 1
AGRO 896 Plant Pathology: Principles & Applications 3

Tuition and Fees

To determine the tuition and fees required for the M.S. in Agronomy program, please see Student Account's breakdown of 2013-2014 Academic Year Tuition Rates and Explanation of Fees.

Department of Agronomy and Horticulture courses fall under the category "CASNR" and are listed under the "Graduate/Professional Tuition" section.

The tuition costs vary depending on whether or not you are living in Nebraska (resident) or not living in Nebraska (non-resident).

Fees

Distance Education students are required to pay the following fees:

  • Distance Education Fee - $25 per credit hour
  • Technology Fee - $7.35 per credit hour
  • Library Fee - $4 per credit hour

Scholarships and Financial Aid

Most of the department's fellowships are tied to Graduate Research Assistantships which are limited to on-campus, M.S. students.

These fellowships also require students to be at full time status. Graduate students are considered full-time students if they are enrolled for at least nine credit hours during an academic semester or at least six credit hours during summer sessions, whether or not the student holds a graduate assistantship. More information on graduate student full time status is available on the Graduate Studies bulletin.

For more information on scholarships or financial aid available for graduate students, please visit the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid website.

VA Benefits

Deb Quinn, 402-472-4130, is the contact in Registration and Records for VA benefits for graduate students.

Additional information for military students is also available on the University of Nebraska Online Worldwide website.

Library Resources

UNL Libraries offers a variety of research options for distance students. Visit the UNL Libraries website to get connected to online scholarly journals and research articles. On this website, click on the E-Resources link which connects you to popular databases for research articles. 

Another option for distance students is the Libraries' Interlibrary Loan program. It will ask you to create an account using a username of your choice and your password is your NUID.

There are also subject librarians who can help you find additional resources in your area of interest. For Agronomy, the subject librarian is Leslie Delserone