Master of Science in Agronomy

Master of Science in Agronomy

Shaunicy Thomas talks about her experiences being an online Master of Science graduate student in the Department of Agronomy and Horticulture, University of Nebraska–Lincoln. (May 2022 graduate)

Stacy Breesawitz, a former student in the online M.S. in Agronomy program at UNL, wearing a blue flannel shirt.

"While I had no preconceived notions about how the Online M.S. in Agronomy program would go, my time as a graduate student at UNL has been a wholly transformative experience that has contributed to both my professional and academic growth in ways I could not have previously imagined. It’s no secret that online classes have challenges different than that of a normal seated class, but the program was designed to provide the support necessary to help me succeed even with these hurdles. With a dedicated course acting as a hub for the fulfillment of benchmarks and key information relayed in a timely and professional manner from faculty and staff, the program does an excellent job of providing a roadmap for completion while keeping students on target. My education here has allowed me to rewrite my personal history and forge a new path in life with a career field of my choosing. I am genuinely excited to see what the future holds and grateful for the opportunity I have had to complete my graduate studies at UNL. I appreciate all of the faculty and staff for their effort and energy which has been put into making the Online M.S. program a reality. "

— Stacy Breesawitz, M.S., May 2021 graduate of online M.S. in Agronomy program at University of Nebraska-Lincoln

A master’s degree in agronomy can help equip you with the knowledge and skills to make a big difference. By applying your knowledge of agronomy – including plant breeding, genetics and crop management – you’ll be prepared to increase global food security, preserve the health of the environment, and perform research that will help spur new technological innovations.


Students pursuing an online M.S. in Agronomy Degree can choose between two tracks.

Option B (Project)

30 credit hours total

  • Minimum of 15 credit hours (including AGRO 894) in agronomy courses
  • Minimum of 15 credit hours (including AGRO 894) in graduate-only courses
  • 3 credit hours of AGRO 894 (project hours)
  • Successful completion of AGRO 991
  • Optional minor; minimum of 9 credit hours

Option A (Thesis)

30 credit hours total

  • Minimum of 15 credit hours (including AGRO 899) in agronomy
  • Minimum of 8 credit hours (in addition to AGRO 899) in graduate-only courses
  • 6-10 credit hours of AGRO 899 (thesis hours)
  • Successful completion of AGRO 991
  • 20-24 credit hours of graduate coursework (minor optional)

We strongly recommend that online students pursue the Option B project track. The majority of students in the online program choose the Option B track because it meets their educational and professional goals. The Option A track requires students to: 1) work with a local PhD mentor through their employer or elsewhere (i.e. nearby research university) to conduct research, 2) have access to resources to conduct adequate thesis research, such as funding, equipment, facilities, etc., and 3) be in close proximity to the location of their research.

milo and bees


Option A and B students may choose to pursue a minor of at least 9 credit hours as part of their program of study. Select the minor of interest to view online courses.

ear of corn


While our program does not require students to have specializations, we understand that studying what you’re personally interested in is important. That’s why we offer the following specializations for our online students:

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

* Requires admission into the Grassland Management Graduate Certificate program.

If you choose to declare one of these specializations, be sure to get in touch with your advisor to determine what courses you should take to meet the specialization requirement.

Ready to Apply?

In addition to meeting the admissions requirements for your program of study, we require an official application for admission (along with a $50 non-refundable application processing fee), official transcripts from all institutions attended, a curriculum vitae or resume, a personal statement, and three professional letters of recommendation.

For international students, a TOEFL score of 550 (paper-based) or 79 (internet-based) or an IELTS score of 6.5 is also required.

Online Programs at Nebraska

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AgroHort Online Graduate Student Services

Lisa Hilfiker

Lisa Hilfiker

Graduate Program Coordinator

Please contact Lisa at or 402-472-8393 to receive information about our programs or for any questions you may have.

Questions? Contact Lisa