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Animal Sciences and Agricultural Education

Master of Science in Agricultural Science Degree Program Requirements

ASAE department graduation group photo

The Master of Science in Agricultural Science is a 30-unit degree program designated to provide advanced studies and in-depth knowledge to professionals in the agricultural industry and to provide the first graduate degree for students. The goal of the program is to prepare students for advanced academic study and/or future careers in the agricultural industry so that they may make a positive contribution in the farm to fork process. To accomplish this goal, the curriculum is flexible to accommodate a wide variety of interest areas within the agricultural industry. This flexibility provides students with the opportunity to design an individualized program of study that best addresses their academic and career aspirations. Coursework will be focused on animal science and agricultural education and communication, but may also include courses in agricultural business, chemistry, biology, food science, business, education, or in other areas with approval to meet the needs of individual student programs. A thesis, project, or comprehensive exam can be taken to fulfill degree requirements. Full-time graduate students may earn the degree within two years when working closely with an adviser. To accommodate part-time students, graduate courses are offered in the late afternoon or evening.


Admission requirements: The Master of Science in Agricultural Science assumes preparation equivalent to a bachelor of science in animal science or agricultural education from an accredited institution. Students with an undergraduate degree in other fields or from other institutions who need to make up course deficiencies must consult with the graduate coordinator. The following foundation courses, or their equivalents, are required:

a. BIOL 1A or 10 or 11 or 12 or 20;

b. CHEM 1A or 3A;

c. undergraduate level statistics course;

d. agricultural education and communication students are required to take AGED 50, 135, 150 or

    AGED 66, 166;

e. animal science students are required to take CHEM 8 or 128A/B. 129A, 150 or 155A; two

    animal science production courses; and three of the following courses: ASCI 101, 125, 135,

    145, 155, 165, 171.


The above courses, or courses determined by the graduate coordinator to be equivalents, should be completed prior to enrollment in courses that will be applied to the master's program.

Admission to unclassified postbaccalaureate standing by the university does not imply acceptance in the Master of Science in Agricultural Science program.

Applicants whose preparatory education was principally in a language other than English must pass the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Test (IELTS). Applicants must receive a minimum score of 550 on the paper-based TOEFL or a minimum of 213 on the computer-based TOEFL or a minimum of 80 on the Internet-based (iBT) TOEFL or a minimum of 6.5 overall band score on the IELTS.

Admission materials: To be considered for admission to the graduate program, the candidate must submit the following materials: evidence of a baccalaureate degree in animal science or agricultural education or in a related field with appropriate preparatory coursework from an accredited institution; official transcripts of all college work; scores from the Graduate Record Examination General Test (GRE); university application for graduate/postbaccalaureate admission to the Graduate Admissions Office; three letters of reference from employers or faculty; and a personal statement of 500 words or less indicating reasons for pursuing a master's degree and how it relates to the candidate's professional goals.


Program admission criteria: Candidates for admission will be evaluated using the following criteria: undergraduate coursework, grade point average of 3.0 or better on the last 60 semester units, recommended GRE scores (151V/151Q are equivalent to the 50th percentile), 500-word personal statement, and three letters of recommendation. Students lacking in any area with compensating strengths in other areas are encouraged to apply.

Classified standing will be granted to students who meet all of the program admission criteria. Conditional classified standing may be granted to applicants with a 2.75-2.99 GPA (last 60 semester units) and/or those required to complete prerequisite coursework. Prerequisite coursework is not included in the 30-unit master's program. Students must request classified standing in the program by the semester in which a maximum of 10 units to be used toward the degree are completed.


Program Requirements

The student, under the direction of a graduate adviser and master's committee, prepares and submits a coherent program of study individually designed within the following framework:


Core (9 units)

AGRI 200 (or BIOL 274), 220 (or ERE 220); ASCI 229


Specialization Courses (17-21 units)

100-200 level courses with prior approval of adviser and master's committee. Courses may be chosen from the following:

AGED 187, 189

AGRI 201, 280, 281

ASCI 240T, 241, 246, 247, 248, 290

CHEM 155B, 156

Courses in agriculture, biology, business, chemistry, education, food science, or other relevant courses.


Culminating experience (0-4 units)

AGRI 298 Project (4 units) or ASCI 299 Thesis (4 units) or Comprehensive Exam (0 units)


Total minimum requirements (30 units)





Graduate Advising Notes

  1. Several of the 200-level and approved elective courses have prerequisites other than courses listed as admission requirements.
  2. Students must request specific information concerning the program from the department office or graduate coordinator.
  3. Prior to admission, students should contact the graduate coordinator for assistance in program planning, selection of graduate adviser, and selection of a master's committee.
  4. To progress through the graduate program, the student must do the following: (a) Maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA, (b) Complete all prerequisite coursework, (c) Attain classified standing (d) Meet university graduate writing requirement by passing the writing component of AGRI 220 or ERE 220 (contact the department office or the graduate coordinator for more information), (e) File for advancement to candidacy, (f) Complete the program requirements, (g) File a master's committee assignment form, (h) Formally present and defend the thesis research results, complete an approved master's project, or pass a comprehensive examination.
  5. Advancement to candidacy requires the completion of 9 program units in residence (minimum GPA of 3.0), meeting the university graduate writing skills requirement, departmental requirements, and filing a petition of advancement to candidacy by the deadline one semester prior to enrollment in the culminating experience and/or application for the graduate degree to be granted.
  6. At least 9 units of the student's specialization courses must be from agriculture, agricultural education and communication, or animal science.
  7. A maximum of 9 units of 100-level courses may be used in a student's program of study to meet master's degree requirements.

See Division of Graduate Studies in this catalog for university requirements.