Today’s Online Environment and Agriculture Graduate Programs are often planned out to meet an upswing in the demand for sustainable solutions that factor in people, planet and profit.i Under the umbrella of these programs, students could focus on agribusiness, resource management, corporate responsibility and more.
For at-work professionals, online Environment and Agriculture Graduate programs could make it more convenient to earn a Masters or Doctorate degree. A graduate degree in agricultural sciences could prepare students to navigate modern social, economic, environmental health and safety interests of various enterprises.
Certificates, while non-degrees might also provide accessible credentials for those who want to study agricultural sciences at the graduate level. For instance, some online sustainability certificate programs entail about 15 credits and may serve to orient professionals about the latest green technology or business practices.
Agricultural Sciences span a wide range of subjects that relate to how humans use and develop natural resources for their benefit.
At the graduate level, students might be exposed to a holistic set of core courses in their chosen discipline. Plus, there is often a selection of emphases in which to anchor research and work towards expertise. Two of the broad categories include (1) agriculture, (2) green and sustainable energy.
For those who want to amp up their administrative powers, both agriculture and agribusiness graduate programs could include courses to help students gain agriculture business management skills. Participants might therefore study how to manage people, finance, and information technology, markets, and farm production.
That said, agriculture is all about the production, processing, marketing, and use of foods, fibers and byproducts from plants, crops and animals. An online agriculture degree program syllabus might thus include coursework in production management and agricultural engineering
Agribusiness, by contrast, is the study of business that is involved in these industries. An online agribusiness degree program might thus weight a syllabus more heavily in accounting, finance and analysis courses.
For example, an online Master of Agribusiness is often compared to an MBA. Unlike a MBA, a MAB program aims to integrate analytical concepts and management issues such as human resources and marketing. Then, to help students apply these concepts directly to animal health and agribusiness problems rather than general business concerns.
Sustainability is often associated with environmental protection and conservation, though it also has broader concerns like economic impact and social responsibility. Online sustainability graduate programs could therefore cover a wide range of issues and topics. i
DID YOU KNOW?
“Many large corporations, some non-profit organizations, and some government agencies employ sustainability professionals.” i
Many programs are both structured and flexible in terms of what, when, and where you study.
In some cases, online programs mirror a university’s on-campus curriculum, but course material is uploaded to a web platform. Students may make use of video conferencing, chat, email and online discussion boards to keep in contact with faculty and network with classmates.
In other programs, students may need to attend campus with their cohort at brief, scheduled intervals. The rest of the time, courses may be completed one at a time and students might need to spend 5-8 hours per week listening to lectures, attending live online sessions and completing homework assignments.
Online Masters in Environment and Agriculture programs could prepare graduates to conduct research, innovate and improve systems in plant science, production, use of natural resources, and environmental issues. Apart from theory, most programs entail some type of final project, thesis or written exam.
While most Environment and Agriculture Masters Programs range around 36 credits, curricula are closely tied to a program’s theme. To this point, there are various related programs and focus areas that may be offered online.
There are also some online Masters in Agriculture programs that target those who want to teach agriculture. These programs might include courses in research methods, principles of teaching and learning, lesson and program planning, and student evaluation.
To enter a Masters level program in agriculture or sustainability, students typically must have successfully completed a Bachelors degree with a minimum GPA as set by the grad school. GRE and/or GMAT scores may be required.
An online Masters in Agriculture is often draws on multiple disciplines. Students could be exposed to a blended curriculum that might include courses in animal science, business, range science, ecology, wildlife, policy, and human resources.
This fusion of topics could enable students to understand how agricultural resource systems work together in a comprehensive way, and how to apply them in an agricultural management setting. For example, students might examine economic and environmental variables with an eye toward sustainable solutions vis a vis production.
Aside from coursework, which could be completed online, students typically take part in internships that may be arranged with their advisor. A final exam and project may be expected.
Online Doctoral Degrees in Environment and Agriculture are terminal programs where students might conduct extensive research to be able to contribute to their field.
Applicants to online agriculture PhD programs usually need both a Bachelors and Masters degree upon entry to the program, though minimum GPA requirements vary. Students are usually required to complete about 90 graduate course credits beyond the Bachelors degree.
These are often made up of qualitative and quantitative research methods along with graduate statistics and writing classes to help students prepare for their final dissertation. The rest of the curriculum is typically both comprehensive and focused in the student’s chosen area.
An online Doctor of Management - Environmental and Social Sustainability degree program could help professionals prepare to guide organizational policy and action in an eco-friendly direction.
Students could reasonably expect to take a series of management and leadership courses to study how to effectively manage change and make strategic, data-informed decisions. A focus in enviro-social sustainability might enable students to think systematically about policy, governance and organizational performance.
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University of Nebraska - Lincoln