Feb 28, 2024
Requirements for the Master of Science Degree in Agricultural Sciences: Non-thesis Option
The non-thesis option differs from the existing Master of Science degree program by replacing the six (6) hours of thesis with a research project and two directed electives and administering written and oral comprehensive exit exams designed and administered by the student’s graduate committee. The replacement courses will not include supervised research or thesis and will be selected by the student with the approval of their graduate committee and the Graduate Coordinator. These additional courses will permit students to further focus their graduate training in specialties they and their committee believe are important to their professional development. The only exception to this is that students will be required to take one (1) hour of supervised research in their final semester of enrollment for the expressed purpose of taking their written and oral exit exams. The exit exam will permit the committee to assess the student’s overall level of professional competency and assure that graduates leave the program with a consistent level of proficiency. At the discretion of the student’s graduate committee and the Graduate Coordinator, the written and oral exit exams could include a multiple-semester research project designed to allow students following the non-thesis option an opportunity to conduct applied research.
Number of Credits Required
The non-thesis track requires additional course offerings. Instead, the present requirement of six (6) hours of thesis is replaced with two additional directed electives selected by the student and approved by the student’s Supervisory Committee and the Graduate Coordinator.
The Master of Science Non-Thesis includes concentrations in Agribusiness, Entomology, Soil and Water Science and Plant Science. Candidates are required to successfully complete at least thirty-six (36) semester hours including the six (6) hours of course work and a research project, MS candidates in all concentrations are required to take AGR 5825 (Fundamentals of Research Design) or Statistical Methods in Research 1 and 2, AGG 5931 (Professional Seminar) and AGG 5920 (Colloquium) and three (3) to five (5) courses (varying by concentration) in their major field of study and several electives approved by their Supervisory Committee. A minimum GPA of 3.0 is required to remain in the graduate program.
Exit Seminar and Final Examination
The students must give an exit seminar and pass a final examination administered by the Supervisory Committee. The exam has both written and oral components and each member of the committee participates in both exams. The oral portion of the exam is administered by the student’s Supervisory committee. The Graduate Coordinator and a representative of the Graduate Council with questioning and voting privileges must participate in the oral exam. The examination cannot be taken earlier than the term before the degree is to be awarded.
Exit E-mail to Associate Dean
All students must either send an e-mail to the Associate Dean (copied to the Graduate Coordinator) with a short statement of the quality of her /his experience as a student in the College and information regarding plans for the immediate future regarding employment (Academia or Industry) or continued education.
Students enrolled in the Master of Science degree program with Non-thesis option are not eligible for financial assistance (tuition waiver and assistantship).
Students who are already enrolled in the Master of Science degree program with thesis option, but switch to a non-thesis option will immediately become ineligible for financial assistance.
The Following Courses Are Required by all Concentrations and Majors
Select one of the following courses
Core classes (select a minimum of 15 hours)
Approved electives in concentration: 11
Graduate exit exam (Supervised Research): 1