Master in Agriculture

General

Program Description

The Master of Science program in agriculture is designed to further develop the technical knowledge and professional training necessary for those preparing for occupations in agriculture and for more advanced graduate studies. The emphasis is on current knowledge and how it may be adapted to future problems of all those engaged in producing, processing, and marketing of agricultural products. This program is implemented by selecting one of the three following options:


Option One: Thesis

In addition to 32 hours of coursework, students who pursue this option will be required to write a thesis and must be actively engaged in an acceptable research program. Students must have a score of at least 300 on both the verbal portion and quantitative portions of the GRE before they will be admitted to candidacy.

Students with a GRE score less than 300 verbal or quantitative can petition the graduate faculty of the School of Agricultural Sciences for waiver of the GRE requirement.

The school graduate advisor, together with each student pursuing this option, will appoint an advisory committee consisting of a thesis advisor, who will direct the research of the student, a second faculty member from agriculture, and a faculty member from a field related to the student's program. The advisory committee will assist the student in planning the research program and will conduct an oral examination of the student over the thesis upon completion of the student's research project. The student must also take a written comprehensive examination of his or her coursework.


Option Two: Scholarly Paper

In addition to 32 hours of coursework, students pursuing this option will be required to write a paper and must be actively engaged in an acceptable project program. Students must have a score of at least 300 on both the verbal and quantitative portions of the GRE before they will be admitted to candidacy.

Students having GRE scores less than 300 verbal or quantitative can petition the graduate faculty of the School of Agricultural Sciences for waiver of the GRE requirement.

The school graduate advisor, together with each student pursuing this degree option, will appoint an advisory committee consisting of a scholarly paper advisor, who will direct the student in the construction of his or her paper, a second faculty member from agriculture, and a faculty member from a field related to the student's program. The advisory committee will assist the student with the construction and structure of his or her scholarly paper. The student must take a written comprehensive examination of his or her coursework.


Option Three: Coursework

Students must have a score of at least 250 on both the verbal and quantitative portions of the GRE before they will be admitted to candidacy. Students with a GRE of less than 250 verbal or quantitative can petition the graduate faculty of the School of Agricultural Sciences for waiver of the GRE requirement.

A student must enroll in 9 credit hours outside of agriculture, which forms a collateral field supportive of the student's interest in agriculture. The student must maintain a "B" or better GPA in the collateral field. The student must complete a total of 32 credit hours of coursework.

The school graduate advisor will assist the student in planning his or her program. The student must take the written comprehensive examination of his or her coursework.

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Career Opportunities

Agriculture reaches far beyond the farm. It not only includes production agriculture but all of the food and fiber system, processing, support services, transportation systems, public relations and much more. Don't forget the demand for non-food uses for ag products, such as environmentally friendly biodegradable products. All of this means new jobs.

Our students can be confident that their ag degree from Northwest will give them a strong foundation to build on and make it possible to take advantage of the professional opportunities in agriculture.

Agricultural Business

  • Sales Representative
  • Loan Officer
  • Computer Analyst
  • Plant Supervisor
  • Broker
  • Agronomy
  • Crop Consultant
  • Soil Conservationist
  • Environmental
  • Conservationist
  • Plant Breeder

Agricultural Economics

  • Financial Specialist
  • Government Service
  • Policy Analyst
  • Graduate Studies
  • Animal Science
  • Artificial Insemination
  • Technician
  • Feedlot Manager
  • Animal Health Researcher
  • Consumer Information Specialist

Agricultural Education

  • High School Teacher
  • Youth Extension Agent
  • Agribusiness Sales
  • International Agriculture
  • Horticulture
  • Landscape Designer
  • Retail Sales
  • Groundskeeper
  • Turf Specialist

Agricultural Science

  • Farm Manager
  • Agricultural Journalist
  • Production Agriculture
  • Sales Representative
  • Veterinary Medicine
  • Private Practice
  • Laboratory Research
  • Public Health
  • Specialized Medicine

Agronomy

  • Crop Specialist
  • Soil Conservation
  • GIS Specialist
  • Plant Geneticist
  • Erosion Specialist
  • Agricultural Climatologist
  • District Conservationist
  • Forester
  • Land Management
  • Specialist

Horticulture

  • Greenhouse Operator
  • Landscape Designer
  • Turfgrass Management
  • Landscape Contractor
  • Extension Educator
  • Biotechnologist
  • Lobbyist for Horticulture
  • State Park Agent

Duration of Program

Students can complete this program in four trimesters (16 months, including a twelve-week summer session).

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Course Requirements

Option One: Thesis

All agriculture students in the graduate program who choose the Thesis Option are required to take the core courses listed below (AGRI 03691; AGRI 03699; AGRI 03693; MATH 17637). Based on the option chosen i.e. Animal Science or Agronomy Track options students will be required to choose 9 - 12 credit hours of electives in their program area (Agronomy or Animal Science) and another 6 - 9 credit hours outside of their program area. Choice of courses will be determined through consultation with their advisors.

Required Courses

AGRI 03691 Methods of Research in the Life Sciences 3
AGRI 03699 Research in Agriculture 1 to 5
MATH 17637 Computer Methods in Statistics II 3
AGRI 03693 Seminar in Agriculture 1

Agronomy Track

In addition to the core courses listed above (AGRI 03691; AGRI 03699; AGRI 03693; MATH 17637) students choosing the Agronomy Track option, will be required to choose 9 - 12 credit hours of electives in Agronomy and another 6 - 9 credit hours outside of Agronomy/Agriculture. Choice of courses will be determined through consultation with their advisors. Agronomy Track students choosing the Thesis Option will work with their advisor on a research project and submit a thesis on their research to their graduate committee. (Coursework option - non-thesis described below)

Animal Science Track

n addition to the core courses listed below (AGRI 03691; AGRI 03699; AGRI 03693; MATH 17637) students choosing the Animal Science track option will be required to choose 9 - 12 credit hours of electives in Animal Science and another 6 - 9 credit hours outside of Animal Science. Choice of courses will be determined through consultation with their advisors. Animal Science track students choosing the Thesis Option will work with their advisor on a research project and submit a thesis on their research to their graduate committee. (Coursework option - non-thesis described below)

Total Credit Hours: 30

Students, in conjunction with their advisor, must petition the graduate faculty of the agricultural sciences department in order to be admitted to and pursue the thesis option. Students must have a combined verbal/quantitative score of at least 284 on the GRE before full acceptance into the program.

Students having a combined verbal/quantitative GRE score of less than 284 can petition the graduate faculty of the Agricultural Sciences Department for a waiver of the GRE requirement.

The graduate program director, together with each student pursuing this option, will appoint an advisory committee consisting of a thesis advisor, who will direct the research of the student, a second faculty member from agriculture, and a faculty member from a field related to the student’s program. The advisory committee will assist the student in planning the research program and will conduct an oral examination of the student over the thesis upon completion of the student’s research project.

Option Two: Coursework

Required Courses

All agriculture students in the graduate program who choose the Coursework option are required to take the core courses listed below (AGRI 03691; AGRI 03693; MATH 17637). Based on the track chosen i.e. Animal Science or Agronomy Track options students will also be required to take two (2) credit hours of special topics class. Agronomy track students will be required to take AGRI 03649 -Special Topics in Agronomy; whereas Animal Science Track students can choose between AGRI 03669 - Special Topics in Animal Science or AGRI 03679 - Special Topics in Dairy Science. The Special Topics class would vary based on the interest area of the student. Students choosing the Coursework Option will also be required to take 12 credit hours of electives in their program area (Agronomy or Animal Science) and another 10 credit hours outside of their program area. Choice of elective courses will be determined through consultation with their advisors.

AGRI 03691 Methods of Research in the Life Sciences 3
MATH 17637 Computer Methods in Statistics II 3
AGRI 03693 Seminar in Agriculture 1
AGRI 03649 Special Topics in Agronomy 1 to 3
AGRI 03669 Special Topics in Animal Science 1 to 3
AGRI 03679 Special Topics in Dairy Science 1 to 3
AGRI 03698 Scholarly Paper in Agriculture 1 to 3

TOTAL CREDIT HOURS: 30

Students must have a combined verbal/quantitative score of at least 284 on the GRE before full acceptance into the program.

Students having a combined verbal/quantitative GRE score of less than 284 can petition the graduate faculty of the Agricultural Sciences Department for a waiver of the GRE requirement.

A student must complete 9 credit hours outside of agriculture, which forms a collateral field supportive of the student’s interest in agriculture. These courses will be chosen in conjunction with and approved by, the graduate program director. The student must maintain a “B” or better GPA in the collateral field.

The department graduate program director, together with each student pursuing this degree option, will appoint an advisory committee consisting of a major advisor from the student’s chosen field of interest and a second faculty member from agriculture. This committee will assist the student in planning a program.

Writing Sample

All graduate students are required to submit a writing sample during the first trimester of their coursework. The writing sample will be evaluated by the graduate faculty of the Department of Agricultural Sciences to determine if there is a need for supplemental coursework in writing skills.

Comprehensive Assessment

Students pursuing Option One (Thesis) or Two (Coursework) must also take a written comprehensive examination of his or her coursework.

Admission Requirements

To be considered for admission to graduate studies at Northwest, an applicant should submit an application well in advance of enrollment date. The application along with official transcripts of all previous degree(s) and credits earned from all accredited institutions, and GRE, GMAT scores or alternative requirements, if applicable, must be submitted to the Graduate Office. (See specific admission requirements for the program desired.)

A member of the graduate faculty of your department will serve as the major advisor. The major advisor will assist students in approving and submitting the Degree Audit to the Graduate Office. When updates are complete, the student will be notified to review and agree to the Degree Audit. The major advisor must approve any additional changes to the student's Degree Audit by notifying the Graduate Office.


There are three categories for admission:

  1. Regular admission to graduate study requires a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 2.50 on a 4.00 scale and official scores from the GRE or GMAT test or alternative admission requirements. This admission does not constitute admission to a specific program. See specific program requirements in this catalog. A writing assessment is required during the first trimester of enrollment. Graduate students who earn below a 3.00-grade point average for two consecutive terms of enrollment will be suspended for one term. A student who has been re-admitted after a one-term suspension and who does not achieve 3.00-grade point average for the term of re-admission will not be permitted to continue in that master’s degree program.
  2. Conditional admission to graduate study may be allowed if the student's undergraduate GPA does not meet the GPA as required by the department. The student must achieve a 3.00 GPA in his or her first eight semester hours of graduate study or be subject to suspension for one calendar year. This conditional admission does not constitute admission to a specific program. See specific program requirements in this catalog. A writing assessment is required during the first trimester of enrollment. Conditionally-admitted students initially enrolled in eight or more hours, who withdraw from all graduate classes during their enrollment as a conditional student, will also be suspended from graduate study for one calendar year. Re-admission is possible after one year by application for re-admission to the program.
  3. Admission as a non-degree graduate student for professional growth purposes requires that the student furnish proof of a baccalaureate degree from an institution accredited by a regional accrediting association. The student will be classified as a “non-degree” graduate student. A non-degree seeking student, who later wishes to enter a degree program, must undergo the full application and admission review process. No more than nine graduate hours earned as a non-degree student may be applied or transferred into a regular degree program. Graduate students enrolled in graduate certificate programs or in programs planned for certification only may apply additional credits toward the degree if approved by the program advisor. Courses applied to the degree may not be older than eight years. Non-degree seeking students are not eligible for Financial Assistance.

How To Apply

If you are interested in applying to Graduate School and enrolling in classes, you should begin by completing the Application for Graduate Studies. Application forms are also available at all Graduate Centers and online. In addition to submitting an application, you should contact the school where you did your undergraduate and/or graduate work to request that your transcripts be sent to Northwest. These transcripts must be official copies. You must complete the required entrance exams: GMAT, GRE, etc. (see your Program of Study or Graduate Academic Catalog for specific information).

Last updated September 2018

About the School

Originally established in 1905, Northwest Missouri State University is a state-assisted, four-year regional university that also offers graduate degree programs. Northwest Missouri State University fo ... Read More

Originally established in 1905, Northwest Missouri State University is a state-assisted, four-year regional university that also offers graduate degree programs. Northwest Missouri State University focuses on student success - every student, every day. It will be THE university of choice for a comprehensive, exceptional student experience. Read less