If you want to accelerate or expand your agricultural career opportunities, earning an online master’s degree in agriculture is a sure way to make that happen.
Are you thinking about growing your agricultural career to increase prospects in other job arenas, open the door for higher-level ag positions, or speed up your ability to get promoted in your current position? Enhancing your academic portfolio to include a master’s degree in agriculture could be the ideal way to elevate your career to the next level or even expand your existing opportunities and fast-track your employment dreams.
What Is an Online Master’s Degree in Agriculture?
A master’s degree in agriculture is typically used to provide extended expertise and skilled knowledge in a focused area of the life sciences. Program participants can choose from a variety of concentrations or focuses, including environmental science, animal science, food safety and biosecurity, plant pathology, science and pest management, as well as agricultural engineering. Some programs also offer professional certifications as part of their master’s program. Note that some institutions offer students the ability to take courses in their degree programs for continued education purposes without completing the full master’s program. However, students typically must apply to the whole master’s program to take any of the courses.
How Much Can You Earn With an Online Master’s Degree in Agriculture?
A master’s degree in agriculture creates exposure to even more career opportunities. Work as a food or plant scientist, a plant pathologist, a biosystems or agricultural engineer, or even an animal scientist with your extended education. The US Bureau of Labor and Statistics indicates that master’s holding animal scientists earned an annual income of $60,300 in 2019, while food scientists and technologists earned $68,970. Research and development engineers earned about $76,229 annually.
Additional agricultural occupation opportunities can include working for land grant universities, state and local governments, and even corporations focused on scientific research. While a master’s in agriculture creates even more career opportunities, professional degrees, certificates, and doctoral degrees are often encouraged in jobs that require leadership responsibilities and policy-making decisions.
What Is Required For an Online Master’s Degree in Agriculture?
Pursuing an online master’s degree in agriculture is only available after first completing a bachelor’s program from a fully accredited university. Though not required, the degree is encouraged to be in a science-focused field. Admissions applications typically call for a GPA of 3.0 in the undergraduate program. Additional items for the application can vary depending upon the scholastic institution. However, many agricultural master’s programs require official transcripts from the undergraduate degree institution, a resume, and up to three personal recommendations for program admittance consideration.
What Are the Best Online Master’s Degrees in Agriculture?
OSR uses six data points: three school-wide and three program-specific. For school-wide, OSR uses Student Satisfaction, Admission Rates, and the number of programs the school offers online. For program specific, OSR checks the Median Debt of graduates from that program, how many degrees are offered within that program’s umbrella department, and what percentage of students at that school graduated from that department.
The six statistics are displayed by each school. The sliding bar under each statistic represents how that school compares to other US institutions. “Not reported” means a school did not release that information to the US Department of Education. A more detailed description of the OSR process can be found on the methodology page.
Colorado State University-Global Campus
- Tuition: $8,400(in state) / $8,400(out of state)
- Total of 30 credits for completion
- Completion in two years for full time students
- Part-time study options available
School WideStudent Satisfaction65%Admission RateNot ReportedPrograms offered online15Student-Faculty Ratio27 to 1Average Aid Per Student$6,737Graduation RateNot Reported100%OSR Score
Earn a master’s degree in agricultural sciences from Colorado State University, a land grant university, and focus on problem-solving and sustainable agriculture practices. Students will study integrated resource management to learn how to strategically analyze environmental and economic variables so they can operate using the most sustainable production methods.
Murray State University
- Tuition: $8,631(in state) / $26,811(out of state)
- Total of 31 credit hours required
- Transfer-friendly program
- Accelerated graduate programs available
School WideStudent Satisfaction73.80%Admission Rate87%Programs offered online6
Program LevelMedian Debt$21,500Programs in Department1Popularity at School5.98%93%OSR Score
Murray State University offers you the opportunity to concentrate in education, sustainability, or veterinary hospital management when pursuing an online master’s degree in agriculture. Students can choose between the institution’s thesis or non-thesis programs of study. Thesis option students will have an oral presentation as part of the final while non-thesis programs require an advisor-approved project for degree completion.
Washington State University
- Tuition: $11,224(in state) / $24,656(out of state)
- Total of 30 credit hours required
- A course in research is required
- Students need a background in a related agricultural science field for application
School WideStudent Satisfaction72.60%Admission Rate73%Programs offered online13
Program LevelMedian Debt$20,349Programs in Department1Popularity at School3.20%90%OSR Score
When you pursue an online master’s degree from Washington State University, students can choose between an MS in Agriculture or a master’s in agriculture that focuses on food science and management. Thesis and non-thesis programs are both available. If you prefer a non-thesis program, students are allowed to select an immersion-based internship option or the more traditional route of a project-based program.
Southern Arkansas University Main Campus
- Tuition: $5,130(in state) / $7,650(out of state)
- Two-year program completion with full-time study
- Total of 33 credit hours required
- Transfer applications are encouraged
School WideStudent Satisfaction76.60%Admission Rate69%Programs offered online2
Program LevelMedian Debt$16,750Programs in Department1Popularity at School4.54%88%OSR Score
For a Master of Science in Agriculture that incorporates advanced agricultural knowledge, leadership skills, and management training, earn your online degree from Southern Arkansas University. The program focuses on creating critical thinking and problem-solving skills that incorporate modern technology in the most effective way possible. In addition, this program builds students that are personally and socially responsible in an effort to enhance their civic presence in the local and global economy.
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
- Tuition: $12,935(in state) / $26,069(out of state)
- Total of 30 total credits for completion
- Seven areas of concentration
- Two courses per semester for completion in five semesters
School WideStudent SatisfactionNot ReportedAdmission Rate70%Programs offered onlineNot Reported
Program LevelMedian Debt$23,250Programs in Department1Popularity at School6.08%86%OSR Score
The master’s of agriculture and life sciences degree from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University offers students seven hours of core coursework, six hours of agricultural electives, 12 hours of specialized concentration work, and five hours of project and report work. A minimum GPA of 3.0, strong scientific writing experience, and excellent communications skills are encouraged for success in the program.