Skip to main content Skip to navigation
Washington State University Factsheets

Master of Science in Agriculture

Program URL:
Faculty working with Students: 1
Students: 20
Students receiving assistantships or scholarships: 0%
Priority deadline:
  • Fall June 1
  • Spring October 1
  • Summer March 1
  • Pullman: Yes
  • Global Campus: Yes
Tests required:
  • 550 TOEFL Minimum score
  • 80 TOEFLI Minimum score
  • 7.0 IELTS Minimum score

Degree Description:

The M.S. in Agriculture program is designed to provide practitioners and professionals with an opportunity to strengthen and diversify their expertise in agriculture-related disciplines. The program is completely web-based and can be completed from anywhere in the world, although students may choose to take courses on the Pullman campus. Outstanding faculty participation from a diverse array of academic disciplines makes the program truly interdisciplinary. Faculty are a included from animal science, crop and soil sciences, entomology, horticulture, landscape architecture, plant pathology, food science, and economic sciences. With support from an advising committee, students have the opportunity to tailor their coursework to meet their personal and professional learning goals.

To enable students to become outstanding educators and practitioners in agricultural disciplines, the program will foster the development of excellent communication and teaching skills, as well as a comprehensive understanding of research approaches used to address agricultural issues.

Both non-thesis (coursework emphasis) and thesis (research emphasis) tracks are available to students pursuing the MS in Agriculture degree. The non-thesis plan is generally more suitable for distance students.

The non-thesis option requires the completion of additional coursework, preparation of an independent project paper, and an oral defense of concepts discussed in the independent project paper or immersion-based training, and relevant course work. The non-thesis option provides students who do not intend to develop comprehensive research skills with an opportunity to obtain an advanced degree of similar quality and depth as a thesis-based master’s degree program. Additional coursework and the independent project/paper or immersion-based training are substituted for the intensive thesis experience. The non-thesis option is designed for students with relevant experience in industry who are interested in expanding their expertise in a particular agricultural discipline. Knowledge acquired through this experience will likely be used by successful candidates to improve performance or expand opportunities for advancement in a current employment situation, or to support a student with redirecting their career opportunities towards a new discipline.

Students interested in a thesis plan should address this in their application ‘Statement of Purpose.’ In general, the thesis option requires both the successful completion of coursework, and the preparation and oral defense of the thesis based on a research project the student conducted. The thesis option is ideal for people who are interested in pursuing or expanding a professional career involving the scientific aspects of an agricultural discipline. The thesis plan also is suitable for individuals who intend to continue their graduate education.

Admission Requirements:

Applicants must meet the minimum admission requirements of the WSU Graduate School. These requirements include a bachelor’s degree with an undergraduate grade point average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. A Bachelor’s of Science degree is preferred, in a related area such as agriculture, plant science, biology, entomology, plant pathology or horticulture. Without this relevant background, students may be required to complete 6 to 9 semester credits of agriculture courses at the beginning of their degree program, and these courses may or may not be counted toward the degree program requirements.

Student Learning Outcomes:

 To prepare students to become experts in professional fields related to agriculture. Students will:

  1. Expand breadth of knowledge and expertise in agricultural disciplines and closely related fields.
  2. Increase depth of knowledge and expertise in agriculture as related to the student’s professional goals.
  3. Enhance ability to adapt to emerging changes in technology, economics, societal influences, and communication that have a dramatic impact on the agricultural industry.

 To prepare students to become outstanding educators or practitioners in agricultural disciplines. Students will:

  1. Develop critical thinking skills and ability to assess and comprehend societal problems, stakeholder concerns and scientific questions that formulate major issues to  be addressed through applied and/or basic research.
  2. Develop scientific literacy by independently assessing, interpreting, and summarizing literature and other sources of knowledge on the research topic.
  3. Develop research objectives and hypotheses through the use of logic and critical thinking.
  4. Propose, evaluate or execute experimental protocol regarding stated hypothesis.
  5. Collect, summarize, and interpret research data.
  6. Effectively communicate at different levels the results of research in written, graphic, and verbal modes.

To prepare students to become outstanding leaders and team players in collaborative and interdisciplinary application of their expertise to address local, regional, national and/or  global problems associated with agriculture. Students will:

  1. Acquire advanced knowledge and skills necessary to function as an effective leader, manager, or team player.
  2. Be able to identify, assess and address the interactions among the many issues associated with agriculture and society at large.
  3. Foster commitment to ethical behavior and appreciation for diversity, global cultures, traditions and perspectives.

 To provide students with an experiential-based research opportunity designed to translate content provided in coursework to reality. The program will:

  1. Identify adviser in the student’s interest area.
  2. Provide guidelines for non-thesis projects, practicums, and thesis projects.

 To both enhance the visibility and impact of graduate programs in agricultural sciences and provide students with a pathway for manifesting their career objectives. The program will:

  1. Increase the number and diversity of high quality applicants and students in the program.
  2. Strengthen the college’s role in distance delivery by expanding access beyond Washington State boundaries.
  3. Place more WSU graduates in lead positions within agricultural related fields.

Career Opportunities:

Graduates may find employment in government agencies, national labs, academia, private business, and agricultural consulting.

Career Placements:

Our alumni occupy positions in business and industry, production and business management, teaching, extension, federal and state government, community colleges, school administration, and as owners of independent businesses.


Faculty members from the following departments can serve on committees for this degree (click the degree to view the faculty lists). For a list of WSU Extension faculty that can serve on committees, contact Lisa Lujan at

Faculty Members:

Faculty, CAHNRS

Serves as: chair, co-chair, or member of graduate committee

Contact Information:

Lisa Lujan
Pullman, WA