According to the World Wildlife Foundation, agriculture is the largest industry in the world, with over one billion people working in this field at a variety of levels. It also plays an essential role in business, and so the growing field of agribusiness seeks to make this industry as efficient as possible, given the advances in technology made every day. As more information about sustainable practices become available, the more they can be taught to help agribusiness professionals advance in their profession. It is also a widely applicable field, and job titles include agribusiness manager, farm business manager, agricultural journalist, or agriculture teacher.
When considering a graduate degree in this field, it is essential to consider a few factors. First, students should check to see if a program has areas of specializations that interest them. Some examples of emphases include Agricultural Communication, Crop Physiology and Production, and Food Science and Management. Next, many programs offer the choice between a thesis and a project as a capstone experience. If you’re looking to pursue further study, a thesis is a good option. However, a project can serve as a professional development that is worth bringing up in a job interview. Lastly, students should check to see whether a program is entirely online, entirely in person, or a combination of the two. For those working full-time, an online program is likely going to be more flexible. With that in mind, check out the 15 Best Online Master’s in Agriculture and Agribusiness!
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Featured Online Schools
#15 SOUTHERN ARKANSAS UNIVERSITY
MASTER OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION WITH AN AGRI-BUSINESS EMPHASIS
Southern Arkansas University starts us off with its Master of Business Administration with an Agri-Business emphasis. This curriculum includes 33 credits of coursework and can be completed online. Alternatively, students can finish a two-year degree through a combination of online and night classes. The program also has three start dates, giving students the chance to begin their coursework at a time that is most convenient for them. Examples of courses include Agriculture Markets and Prices, International Trade of Agriculture Products, and Management of Agricultural Production. This program is within the Rankin College of Business at SAU, which is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International.
Net Price: $12,333
#14 WASHINGTON STATE UNIVERSITY
MASTER OF SCIENCE IN AGRICULTURE
Students can earn their Master of Science in Agriculture at Washington State University. This program is geared toward working professionals looking to gain experience and advance professionally. It is offered entirely online, and students can take advantage of three different start dates throughout the year. They can also opt to focus their studies in areas of Food Science and Management and Plant Health and Management. Additionally, there is the option to complete a thesis, though students can also choose a project-based option or an internship as an alternative. This degree requires 30 semester credits for graduation.
Net Price: $17,885
#13 UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE
DUAL MASTER OF SCIENCE AND MASTER OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION IN AGRICULTURAL AND RESOURCE ECONOMICS
The University of Tennessee allows students to complete a dual degree program in which students graduate with both a Master of Science and a Master of Business Administration in Agricultural and Resource Economics. This course of study saves students up to 20 credits by completing the program as a dual degree because only 60 credits in total are required for students to earn both the M.S. and the MBA. The program is geared toward students who wish to serve in leadership roles at agribusiness firms, especially within the context of a global market. This program also includes an internship component where students gain real-world experience that ensures students have the necessary expertise to take on upper-level roles in their profession.
Net Price: $20,995
#12 UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA
MASTER OF SCIENCE IN AGRONOMY AND HORTICULTURE
The University of Nebraska offers a Master of Science in Agronomy and Horticulture. This program requires 30 to 36 credits of coursework. Students can choose from optional specializations in Plant Pathology, Water Resources Planning and Management, Agricultural Meteorology, Crop Physiology and Production, Environmental Studies, and Great Plains Studies, among many others. They can also complete a minor College STEM Education. As part of this program, students must complete a comprehensive exam, though students can decide whether or not they wish to write a thesis as part of their graduate studies.
Net Price: $16,813
#11 UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA
MASTER OF AGRICULTURAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION
Taking a leadership-oriented approach to agriculture, the University of Georgia has a Master of Agricultural and Environmental Education program that helps students understand the intersection between food, the environment, and society. This program requires 36 semester hours of coursework, and it has many options to help students earn their degree in a way that is most equitable to their needs. Students choose if they’d prefer to complete their degree online or in person. Students may also opt to write a thesis or not. UGA also has both fall and spring admission. Students can take part in professional development opportunities and the experience of faculty members while in this program.
Net Price: $15,934
#10 OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY
MASTER OF SCIENCE IN AGRICULTURAL COMMUNICATION, EDUCATION, AND LEADERSHIP
Ohio State University offers a Master of Science in Agricultural Communication, Education, and Leadership. Within this degree, students can choose from five specializations, which are Agricultural Communication, Agricultural Education, Community and Extension Education, International Development, and Leadership. This degree can be completed either online or in-person, and students can opt between a thesis and a non-thesis option. In the thesis option, students work with a faculty adviser to develop their research in a way that meaningfully contributes to the field. The non-thesis option requires a project. Thirty credit hours are required for the thesis option, while 35 are necessary for the non-thesis option.
Net Price: $18,042
#9 UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS
MASTER OF SCIENCE IN AGRICULTURAL AND EXTENSION EDUCATION
The University of Arkansas has built its Master of Science in Agricultural and Extension Education to help professionally develop those working in agricultural science education. Students benefit from the expertise of faculty that specializes in the areas of agricultural education, agricultural communication, and agricultural system technology management. This program is offered entirely online, making it accessible to those working full-time. It requires 33 credit hours of study, and students can choose between a thesis and a non-thesis option. Typically, students finish their degrees in two to three years, enrolling in fall, spring, or summer. It is important to note that students must submit scores from either the GRE or the GMAT for admission.
Net Price: $15,966
#8 UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI
MASTER OF SCIENCE IN AGRICULTURAL LEADERSHIP, COMMUNICATION AND EDUCATION
Students can earn their Master of Science in Agricultural Leadership, Communication and Education at the University of Missouri. Within this program, students can choose whether or not they wish to write a thesis. The thesis option requires 30 credits of coursework while the non-thesis option requires 32 credits. The non-thesis option is split into two options: the creative component and the creative component with a teacher certification option. The first is a course of study in which students must complete a project. The teacher certificate option, on the other hand, helps students to earn their certification to teach in Missouri at a high school level.
Net Price: $17,762
#7 AUBURN UNIVERSITY
MASTER OF AGRICULTURE OR MASTER OF SCIENCE IN AGRICULTURAL ECONOMICS AND RURAL SOCIOLOGY
Auburn University offers both a Master of Agriculture and a Master of Science in Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology. The MAG requires 32 credits of coursework while the MS has both a thesis and non-thesis option, each of which needs 30 credits for graduation. For both programs, students must have completed at least 15 credit hours in economics, sociology, statistics, or related subjects. Additionally, the GRE is part of the admissions process for both the MAG and the MS. Auburn also has a doctoral program in Applied Economics, which can include coursework completed in agricultural economics.
Net Price: $22,613
#6 IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY
MASTER OF SCIENCE IN AGRICULTURAL EDUCATION
The Master of Science in Agricultural Education at Iowa State University helps students to advance professionally as well as to develop them as scholars. Students can opt to complete the program on campus or through distance education. The program requires 30 credit hours of coursework, and it has three options for study: a thesis option, a non-thesis option, and a teacher certification option. The thesis option necessitates that students have taken a course in developmental psychology and allows them to work closely with faculty members to conduct research. Some courses available to students in this program include Professional Agricultural Presentation Practices, Technology Transfer and the Role of Agricultural and Extension Education, as well as Leadership, Administration, Supervision and Management of Agricultural Education Programs.
Net Price: $13,949
#5 TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY
MASTER OF AGRICULTURE
Texas A&M University offers a Master of Agriculture program that is completed entirely through distance education. Thirty-six credits are required for graduation, and students do not have to write a thesis in this program, as Texas A&M more heavily emphasizes practical skills. Students are required to complete an internship and it is typically done at the end of the program. Texas A&M has been ranked No. 24 in Top Public Schools and No. 37 in Most Innovative Schools by U.S. News and World Report.
Net Price: $19,554
#4 KANSAS STATE UNIVERSITY
MASTER OF AGRIBUSINESS
Kansas State University has a unique Master of Agribusiness program. The degree is meant to help mid-level professionals working in agribusiness to develop decision-making skills within the context of current issues in the field. Sample courses include Applied Agribusiness Logistics, Advanced Food and Agribusiness Management and Optimization Techniques for Agribusiness. Overall, the program requires 42 credits of coursework, and it can be finished online or onsite. It usually takes two and a half years for students to earn their degree.
Net Price: $17,465
#3 PURDUE UNIVERSITY
DUAL MASTER OF SCIENCE AND MASTER OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION IN FOOD AND AGRIBUSINESS MANAGEMENT
Purdue University recognizes the importance and the ever-increasing complexity of food and agribusiness. The school prepares its students for success with the dual Master of Science and Master of Business Administration in Food and Agribusiness Management degree. The program is a joint effort of Purdue’s Kelley School of Business and its College of Agriculture. This course of study is completed mostly online on an asynchronous schedule, meaning that students can work on coursework at a time that is convenient for them. The degree is typically finished in 27 months and includes a one-week international residency. The dual degree requires 57 credit hours of coursework.
Net Price: $12,117
#2 NORTH CAROLINA STATE UNIVERSITY
MASTER OF AGRICULTURAL AND EXTENSION EDUCATION
North Carolina State University works to deepen the experience of current agriculture educators through its Master of Agricultural and Extension Education. While this program does not provide certification to teach in a high school, students can combine this degree with the Licensure in Education for Agricultural Professionals program at NCSU. The degree requires 36 semester hours of coursework, which includes a final project. The project can take many different shapes, and some have researched for their project, worked to better a course or curriculum, or a mentoring project. Other courses taken throughout the program include Adult Education in Agriculture, Program Planning in Agricultural and Extension Education, and Teaching Agriculture in Secondary Schools
Net Price: $13,442
#1 TEXAS TECH UNIVERSITY
MASTER OF AGRIBUSINESS
At #1 on this list is Texas Tech University’s Master of Agribusiness. This program provides quantitative training for agribusiness professionals and those looking to enter the field. The program can be finished in four semesters if students are enrolled full-time. The curriculum culminates in a professional internship that allows students to apply what they have learned through their course of study. For Texas Tech students who are working toward their Bachelor of Science in Agricultural and Applied Economics, there is the option to complete their MAB at an accelerated pace. The degree requires 36 credit hours of graduate coursework, and students must take a final examination to graduate. Some courses included in this program include Agribusiness Analysis, Agribusiness Law, and Price as well as Applied Regression and Least Squares Analysis in Agricultural Sciences.
Net Price: $15,820