Why should I consider the University of Nebraska–Lincoln for my online master’s degree or graduate certificate?

Nebraska's Department of Agronomy and Horticulture online program has much to offer online graduate students.

  1. Exceptional faculty who are at the top of their careers and are committed to student success;
  2. The M.S. degree offers a flexible class selection that is driven by students and their advisor;
  3. Responsive staff with quality customer service;
  4. Advanced educational credentials help careers move forward.

How many credits does it take to complete a master’s degree?

It takes 30 credits to complete the master’s degree under the Option I (thesis) track.

It takes 36 credits to complete the master’s degree under the Option II (non-thesis) track.

How many credits does it take to finish the grasslands management and/or three horticulture certificates?

It takes 12 credits to earn a graduate certificate.

Do I need a faculty advisor prior to applying to a program?

Applicants do not need a faculty advisor prior to applying. Our staff will help find you one. PLEASE NOTE: Faculty members must agree to accept, sponsor and mentor students. Unfortunately, this means that occasionally we cannot find advisors for every student, meaning we have to deny some applications as a result.

Faculty advisors for horticulture certificates and grassland management certificate will be assigned.

Student admission letters will include their faculty advisor’s name.

What is a specialization?

Specializations are completely optional for online master’s degree students. A specialization is a well-defined area of study .

Online M.S. in Agronomy students can choose from the following specializations:

  • Crop Physiology & Production
  • Plant Breeding & Genetics
  • Range & Forage Sciences

What is a minor?

A minor is a formal area of study with a minimum of 9 credit hours from the same university department (i.e. entomology, natural resource sciences, etc.). Option II students must have at least 1 minor. Option I students are not required to have a minor. Minors must be approved by the university Office of Graduate Studies via the Memorandum of Courses (MOC).

What is a full-time course load for a graduate student?

At Nebraska, a full-time graduate student course load is 9 credits per semester and 6 credits in the summer. Because many online graduate students work full-time, it’s recommended that they take 2-6 credits a semester or summer.

What are the grade requirements for a graduate student?

  • A minimum grade of B is required for graduate credit in 800-level courses with undergraduate counterparts (i.e. 400/800 level) within the student’s major department. A grade of B- is not acceptable.
  • A minimum grade of C or P (pass) is required for graduate credit in 800-level courses in minor, major or supporting areas of work. A grade of C- is not acceptable. A grade of B- or lower received in a minor course will result in a minor comprehensive exam being required.

What if my GPA is under 3.0?

Applicants with a GPA below 3.0 may apply to the university as a non-degree seeking post-baccalaureate student and take classes to improve their GPA. After successfully completing courses to improve their GPA, individuals may reapply to the M.S. in Agronomy or any of the graduate certificates using coursework as evidence of graduate certificates using coursework as evidence of graduate-level success. There will be a second application fee when reapplying.

How long will an online M.S. degree take to complete?

Most online students complete their M.S. degrees within 3-5 years. By taking 12 credits a year, students may earn their Option II degree in 3 years, and by taking 10 credits a year, students may earn their Option I degree in 3 years. Some students may complete their degrees sooner by bringing in transfer credits or taking a ¾ or full-time course load. Transfer credits should be approved by the faculty advisor.

What is the maximum time length I can take to complete my program?

Students must complete their M.S. degree within 10 years. After that, course credits will expire. Certificate students must complete their certificate within 5 years.

How do I apply?

Submit an official application for admission through the Office of Graduate Studies at

Along with your application, you’ll need to submit an application processing fee, official transcripts of all institutions attended, three professional letters of recommendation, a resume/curriculum vitae, and a 1-2 page personal statement indicating your background, interests and goals.

Is there financial aid for online students? 

Students should complete the FAFSA application to be eligible for federal financial aid and check with their employer to see if they offer tuition assistance or reimbursement. The Department of Agronomy and Horticulture does not offer tuition assistantships or fellowships for online students at this time.

How much does it cost to attend the University of Nebraska–Lincoln?

Nebraska tuition and fee information can be found at the student accounts website.

What’s the difference between the M.S. thesis (Option I) and M.S. project (Option II)?

The primary difference between Option I and Option II is whether students complete a thesis. Visit M.S. in Agronomy for more information.

Can I switch between options?

Yes, but students must meet all admission prerequisites for the option they are switching to. Additionally, Option I students must have access to thesis research equipment, space, requirements, etc. and be supervised by a Ph.D. colleague in close proximity to the location of the research. If you have addition questions about this, please contact Leah Sandal