In this article, we feature the top-ranked and most affordable online master’s in agriculture degree programs for 2016-2017.
An advanced degree in agriculture is useful for careers in business, education, forestry, journalism, science, and many other fields. The agriculture major focuses on business, economic, and social sciences as applied to the agricultural industry. This versatile program opens the doors to various types of jobs and career paths. Online master’s in agriculture degrees are available at some of the nation’s top-ranked institutions. Online programs allow students to pursue their master’s degree in agriculture without needing to abandon their day job and family or life obligations.
We reviewed 97 accredited colleges and universities that offered an online master’s in agriculture, agricultural education, or related degree program. Schools with rankings from at least one major publication like Forbes magazine or U.S. News and World Report were selected. We then chose the most affordable schools based on current graduate tuition and fees listed with the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) College Navigator. We listed the schools in order of affordability, with our #1 spot going to the most affordable program.
Below are the resulting selections for the 20 most affordable top online master’s in agriculture degree programs for 2016-2017.
#20 – Green Mountain College
Online Master’s in Environmental Studies, Resilient and Sustainable Communities, and Sustainable Food Systems
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $15,400
Green Mountain College offers several online agriculture degree programs for those interested in earning an advanced degree in agriculture. From a sustainable MBA to an MS in environmental studies, students may earn an online degree in a specific area of interest that may open the doors to various careers in the agriculture industry. All courses are delivered online, and students complete work at their own pace. Students must also attend a 3-4 day residency each year on the Vermont campus to meet with professors and fellow classmates. Green Mountain College is a private and nationally ranked liberal arts institution. In fact, U.S. News and World Report has ranked the school as among the best national liberal arts colleges in the country.
#19 – Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Online Master’s in Agricultural and Life Sciences
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $14,116
The online master’s in agriculture and life sciences program from Virginia Tech is intended for working professionals who are unable to commute to campus due to career and life obligations. The program offers flexible courses and the ability to concentrate studies in one of five specialization areas. Available concentrations include education, environmental science, food safety and biosecurity, leadership studies, and plant science and pest management. Virginia Tech is an accredited and ranked institution. In fact, major publications like U.S. News and World Report rank the school as the 70th best national university. Also, several of the school’s online graduate degree programs have also earned top rankings.
#18 – Washington State University
Online Master of Science in Agriculture
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $12,745
Washington State University’s online master’s in agriculture degree program is designed for educators, practitioners, and those already working in agriculture. Classes are taught entirely online, so that students have access to coursework at all hours of the day without driving to campus and disrupting their daily lives. Several specializations are offered to enhance the degree in an area of interest. Specializations include agriculture and food systems, horticulture, and plant pathology. A thesis or non-thesis track is also available. WSU is accredited and ranked with major publications. In fact, U.S. News and World Report ranks the school as the 140th best national university.
#17 – University of Florida
Online Master’s in Agricultural Education and Communication
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $12,737
The University of Florida offers an accredited online master’s in agriculture degree program that may be completed entirely online in just two years. All courses are offered online and taught by the same university professors who teach on campus. There are no residency requirements, so that working students do not have to sacrifice their current career to attend classes. Online classes may include agricultural media production and media writing, public opinion and agricultural and natural resources issues, and teaching methods in agricultural education. University of Florida is ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report as the 47th best national university and the 18th most innovative school.
#16 – Ohio State University
Online Master’s in Agricultural and Extension Education
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $12,425
Ohio State University’s online agriculture degree is designed for working professionals who need access to graduate education to advance their current and prospective agricultural careers. Thesis and non-thesis options are available and courses are delivered entirely online, with one face-to-face session held every September. Five specialization areas are also offered, including agricultural communication, agricultural education, community and extension education, international development, and leadership. Also, the degree is not considered to be terminal. This means students who are interested may pursue doctoral education in the near future. Currently, Ohio State ranks as the 52nd best national university by U.S. News and World Report.
#15 – Murray State University
Online Master’s in Agriculture
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $11,568
Murray State University offers several agriculture master’s programs online. Students may select various areas of emphasis, such as agribusiness economics, agriculture education, sustainable agriculture, or veterinary hospital management. There is also a general MS in agriculture degree program that is offered entirely online and without an emphasis area. Online courses may include experimental design and statistical analysis, graduate computer applications in agriculture, presentation and training strategies in agriculture, research in agriculture, and research methodology. Murray State is ranked and accredited. In fact, U.S. News and World Report ranks the school as the 28th best regional university in the South.
#14 – Colorado State University
Online Master’s in Agricultural Sciences – Integrated Resource Management
Fort Collins, Colorado
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $11,357
Colorado State University offers an online agriculture degree designed for working professionals who want to complete a master’s in agriculture degree within two years. All courses are delivered online through the school’s College of Agricultural Sciences. The same professors who teach on campus deliver coursework online. These courses may include animal production systems, building the business, integrated forage management, managing for ecosystem sustainability, products to profit, and understanding and managing animal resources. Colorado State is a nationally ranked and accredited institution. In fact, major publications like U.S. News and World Report ranks the school as the 127th best national university.
#13 – University of Georgia
Online Master of Agricultural and Environmental Education
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $10,750
The University of Georgia offers an accredited online master’s in agriculture program that is designed to prepare professionals to lead and teach about environmental, food, and social systems as related to agriculture. Thesis and non-thesis options are available and graduate assistantship opportunities are offered. All classes are delivered online and include agribusiness marketing, analysis of agribusiness and natural resource issues, introduction to agricultural policy, quantitative approaches to agribusiness management, and selling in agribusiness. University of Georgia is ranked by major publications like Forbes magazine and U.S. News and World Report. In fact, U.S. News ranks the school as the 61st best national university and the 50th best college for veterans.
#12 – Auburn University
Online Master of Agriculture in Agronomy and Soils
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $10,418
Auburn University offers an accredited online agriculture degree program designed to offer graduate distance learning to working adults. The 30-credit program offers a non-thesis or thesis track, with all classes delivered entirely online. Courses include advanced crop science, analyses of plant and animal data, landscape entomology, nutrient management, plant genetics and crop improvement, and soil resources and conservation. Auburn is accredited and ranked by major publications. In fact, U.S. News and World Report ranks the school as the 102nd best national university and the 83rd best college for veterans. Also, several of the school’s online graduate programs have earned recognition.
#11 – North Carolina State University
Online Master’s of Agricultural and Extension Education
Raleigh, North Carolina
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $10,224
North Carolina State University’s agriculture master’s programs online are designed for individuals who currently teach agriculture in school, or desire to work with a cooperative extension service. All classes are delivered online and taught by the same professors who teach on the Raleigh campus. Courses include adult education in agriculture, foundations of agricultural and extension education, curriculum development in agriculture, and scientific inquiry in agricultural and extension education. A total of 36 credit hours and a culminating project are required for the degree. NC State is nationally ranked by U.S. News and World Report as the 89th best national university in the country. Also, the institution earns a #50 ranking for being a best value school.
#10 – Kansas State University
Online Master’s in Agricultural Education and Communication
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $9,972
Kansas State University’s online agriculture master’s degree is a unique program that focuses on agricultural education and communication. All coursework is delivered online and designed to equip students with knowledge of agricultural and extension education. Classes include foundations of agricultural education, principles of teaching and learning, program planning and evaluation, and research methods in agricultural education. Kansas State is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Also, the institution is ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report as the 146th best national university and the 77th top public school.
#9 – University of Tennessee at Martin
Online Master’s in Agriculture and Natural Resources
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $9,648
The University of Tennessee at Martin offers an accredited and affordable online agriculture degree that is designed for busy students who desire to meet the growing needs of the agriculture business and natural resources systems. Three available concentrations are offered: Agribusiness and risk management, natural resources systems management, and system science in agriculture. All classes are delivered online and include advanced agricultural marketing, agricultural risk analysis and decision-making, international travel study, scientific writing and presentations, statistical methods in agriculture and natural resources, and topics in agriculture. The University of Tennessee at Martin is a regionally ranked institution. According to U.S. News and World Report, the school ranks as the 50th best regional university in the South.
#8 – University of Missouri
Online Master’s in Agricultural Leadership
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $9,506
The University of Missouri offers an accredited online agriculture master’s degree program that is designed to prepare those interested in becoming agricultural educators, public relations specialists, and youth specialists. Students also have the option of pursuing a teacher certification in agricultural education, although the certification program must be completed on-campus. Thirty-two credits for the non-thesis option and thirty credits for the non-thesis options are required to complete the degree. All classes are delivered online and are taught by the same professors who teach on-campus. Online courses include advanced teaching methods, evaluation of educational programs, introduction to applied statistics, and philosophical foundations. University of Missouri is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as the 103rd best national university in the country.
#7 – Iowa State University
Online Master’s in Agricultural Education
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $9,172
For those with a passion for teaching and love for agriculture, Iowa State University offers an agriculture master’s online degree program designed to prepare students for careers in this unique career. The program is 100% online and requires no campus meetings or residencies. In fact, online students earn the same degree as their on-campus peers. Courses include foundations of agricultural education, introduction to research, instructional methods, learning theory, and program planning. Iowa State is ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report. The most recent edition of best colleges ranks the school as the 108th best national university and the 89th best college for veterans.
#6 – Texas A&M University
Online Master of Agriculture in Agricultural Development
College Station, Texas
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,656
The online agriculture master’s degree program from Texas A&M University emphasizes agricultural development and prepares students for leadership roles in agribusiness careers. This non-thesis degree program requires 36 semester credit hours and a professional paper that may be earned for the completion of an internship. Three certificates may also be earned via distance learning: Agriculture eLearning development, military land sustainability, and regulatory science in food systems. Texas A&M is accredited and ranked by major publications like Forbes magazine and U.S. News and World Report. In fact, U.S. News ranks the school #70 for best national universities. Other rankings include #21 for best value schools and #58 for best colleges for veterans.
#5 – University of Nebraska
Online Master’s in Agronomy
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,556
Students looking for an advanced online agriculture degree that emphasizes the science and technology of plant production and usage can find an affordable option at University of Nebraska. Successful completion of the degree program earns a master’s in agronomy. Four areas of specialization are also offered, including crop physiology and production, horticulture, plant breeding and genetics, and range and forage science. A thesis and non-thesis track are also offered. The thesis requires 30 semester hours of credit, while the non-thesis requires 36 semester hours and the completion of one or two minors. Potential minors include agricultural leadership, entomology, horticulture, natural resources, and teaching education. Accredited and ranked, University of Nebraska is listed as the 103rd best national university in the country.
#4 – University of Arkansas
Online Master’s in Agricultural and Extension Education
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,096
University of Arkansas offers an accredited online master’s in agriculture designed for agricultural teachers, extension agents, and professionals who want to advance their careers in agriculture. The program is entirely online and requires 33 credit hours to complete. Most students take two to three years to complete the online master’s. Thesis and non-theses options are available and online courses include interpreting social data in agriculture, philosophy of agricultural and extension education, research methodology in the social sciences, and technical communication in the social sciences. The school is ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, U.S. News ranks the institution as the 129th best national university and the 107th best college for veterans.
#3 – Texas Tech University
Online Master of Science in Agricultural Education
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $7,390
Texas Tech University’s online agriculture master’s degree is designed for working professionals who hold a bachelor’s in agriculture or related degree. Through online courses and projects, the program prepares students for careers as agricultural educators, extension agents, and private business agriculture leaders. Online classes include advanced methods in agricultural leadership, college teaching in agriculture, human dimensions of international agricultural development, investigations in advanced agricultural mechanics, and program development in agricultural and extension education. Students must maintain a minimum of a C grade in each of the major courses. The university is ranked by publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, U.S. News ranks Texas Tech as the 168th best national university in the country.
#2 – Oklahoma State University
Online Master’s in Agriculture
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $7,230
Oklahoma State University offers accredited online agriculture degree programs designed for working professionals interested in earning an online master’s in agriculture or related discipline. Three available online degrees are offered: MS in Agricultural Education, Master of Agriculture in Agricultural Education, and Master of Agriculture in Agricultural Leadership. All classes are delivered online and require no campus visits. The university and its programs are accredited and ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, U.S. News ranks Oklahoma State as the 149th best national university and the 120th best college for veterans. Several of the school’s online master’s programs have also received rankings.
#1 – Southern Arkansas University
Online Master of Science in Agriculture
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $5,714
Southern Arkansas University’s online master’s in agriculture program is designed to prepare students to succeed in agricultural leadership and management positions and extension education. While the program is considered to be an on-campus program, all classes are available with an online option. Courses include advanced leadership for agriculture professionals, adult education in agriculture, methods of organizing and teaching career orientation, and philosophy of agricultural education. A total of 33 credit hours are required for completion of the program. Southern Arkansas University is ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report as a best regional institution in the South. The university’s affordable graduate tuition costs earn it a top spot on our list of the most affordable schools for an online master’s in agriculture degree for 2016-2017.