One of the best online master’s in agriculture will prepare you to be a leader or researcher in this vitally important field.
While a bachelor’s degree in agriculture prepares you to become a food or agricultural scientist, a master’s degree allows you to perform your own research and push the boundaries of food science like never before. It’s also a great degree for those who want to become agricultural businessmen or managers. There’s lots that this degree can offer, and online programs like these ensure that you can complete your education while working.
What Is a Master’s in Agriculture Degree?
A master’s in agriculture continues many of the same topics and concepts as a bachelor’s, but with a greater emphasis on the scientific side of the field. Students will learn to perform agricultural research and develop their own theories around food science and distribution. Additionally, many master’s in agriculture degrees incorporate more advanced business classes to prepare students to become managers and leaders in the field.
Master’s in agriculture degrees normally incorporate a thesis and are heavily research-focused.
How Much Can You Earn with a Master’s in Agriculture Degree?
A master’s in agriculture degree prepares you for a variety of potential career paths. Many degree holders will become food and agricultural scientists, who earn an average salary of $64,000 per year. Another common career choice is that of a professor of agriculture or food science, who earns an average salary of around $78,000 per year.
Still, more may become dedicated farmers or ranchers in managerial positions. These professionals earn an average salary of around $68,000 per year, although the potential earnings are much higher. The top 10% of farmers and ranchers make over $137,000 per year.
What Is Required for a Master’s in Agriculture Degree?
A master’s in agriculture degree will always require a bachelor’s degree in a related field beforehand. However, many master’s programs also prioritize applicants who have some work experience in the agricultural field. Whether as a farmhand or a manager of some kind, this work experience will help you get accepted more easily.
Master’s degrees in agriculture incorporate an interdisciplinary curriculum, with areas of study including:
- Food science
- Research methods
What Are the Best Master’s in Agriculture Degrees?
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.
Now let’s check out the 5 best online master’s in agriculture!
Oklahoma State University-Main Campus
- Tuition: $5,359(in state) / $20,381(out of state)
- $50 application fee
- 60 credit hours
- Full or part-time schedules
School WideStudent SatisfactionNot ReportedAdmission Rate74%Programs offered online6
Program LevelMedian DebtNot ReportedPrograms in Department2Popularity at School8.86%100%OSR Score
OSU’s master’s program is a natural extension of their bachelor’s level offering, and it focuses on agricultural leadership. It’s an ideal terminal degree option for students who don’t want to become an agricultural sciences teacher, and it’s among the most respected graduate programs in the nation. It’s flexible and can be tailored to meet your unique scheduling situation or academic focuses.
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
- Tuition: $7,518(in state) / $22,425(out of state)
- Three specializations available
- Several minors are also offered
- 30 credit hours required
School WideStudent Satisfaction72.40%Admission Rate64%Programs offered online1
Program LevelMedian DebtNot ReportedPrograms in Department1Popularity at School10.06%96%OSR Score
The University of Nebraska at Lincoln offers a fully online degree in agronomy, or the study of the application of plants and soil science to crop production. It’s perfect for future businessmen or agricultural professors alike, thanks to its balanced class list. The interdisciplinary degree is made even more versatile by allowing students to choose either a thesis or a non-thesis track.
Colorado State University-Fort Collins
- Tuition: $9,917(in state) / $24,312(out of state)
- 30 credit hours
- Must be completed in two years
- $50 application fee
School WideStudent SatisfactionNot ReportedAdmission Rate83%Programs offered online8
Program LevelMedian Debt$19,709Programs in Department2Popularity at School5.35%94%OSR Score
CSU at Fort Collins offers a basic master’s in agriculture, making it a versatile choice for those interested in further agricultural education without having to also concentrate on business or science. The curriculum requires students to interact with others across the country and at international locations. It also includes a focus on sustainable agriculture and leadership, making it ideal for future challenges.
Washington State University
- Tuition: $11,224(in state) / $24,656(out of state)
- Three start dates
- 30 semester credits
- $50 application fee
School WideStudent Satisfaction72.60%Admission Rate73%Programs offered online13
Program LevelMedian DebtNot ReportedPrograms in Department1Popularity at School3.20%88%OSR Score
Washington State University’s program is ideal for future agricultural educators thanks to its curriculum focus and its fully online format. In this program, you’ll be able to tailor your coursework or direct your learning experience due to its varied elective list and the presence of several certificates. Students can complete either a thesis or non-thesis option.
Murray State University
- Tuition: $8,631(in state) / $26,811(out of state)
- $40 application fee
- 31 credit hours
- Totally asynchronous schedule
School WideStudent Satisfaction73.80%Admission Rate87%Programs offered online6
Program LevelMedian DebtNot ReportedPrograms in Department1Popularity at School5.98%85%OSR Score
Murray State University’s online program comes with four possible emphases, ranging from Agribusiness Economics to Sustainable Agriculture. It’s one of the most accessible programs as well, as it does not have a GRE requirement. Start dates are available throughout the year to facilitate flexible scheduling for the majority of students.