Master of Agricultural Science

Sep 22, 2019

When choosing a master's degree program in agricultural science you can specialize in food science, animal science, soil science or agricultural engineering. Read on to find out more about some of these graduate programs and their admission requirements.

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Master's degree programs in agricultural science cover a broad range of disciplines, and several schools across the country offer them. Below you can learn more details about four different types of master's degrees in the agricultural sciences.

Master's Degrees in Agricultural Science

Food Science

A master's degree in food science can arm students with the fundamentals of the discipline necessary to assess and solve problems related to food, through completion of 30 credits or 2 years of study. The coursework often provides them with the required knowledge of food chemistry, food microbiology, food processing and other related areas, which can be applied to the preservation, processing, packaging and evaluation of foods. Graduates with a master's degree in food science typically begin their careers in food quality assurance, research and development, food safety or food production.

Soil Science

A soil science master's degree often includes about 30 credits and can provide the learner with valuable knowledge and insight into the chemistry, biology and physics of soil, as well as environment-friendly and sustainable practices, which can be used to better understand and manage resources in agricultural and natural ecosystems. The programs often acquaint the prospective graduate with areas such as soil conservation, crop production and environmental issues, and the coursework and training are geared toward careers in agricultural and environmental sciences. Soil science master's degree holders often begin their professional journey in agricultural consulting, sustainable agriculture, labs or teaching.

Animal Science

A master's degree program in animal science requiring at least 30 credits can prepare students by helping them build knowledge of the many aspects of the animal agriculture industry. Coursework could cover areas such as animal nutrition, animal breeding, animal genetics, animal physiology, meat and food science. On-site experience is invaluable for those learning animal science and so that students have easy access to animal centers and meat labs. Graduates typically begin their careers in agricultural industries and laboratories, animal management or in academia.

Biological and Agricultural Engineering

A master's degree in biological and agricultural engineering typically requires at least 30 credits and often spans 2 years. Programs can equip the learners with the knowledge and skills of engineering principles, which can be applied to solve problems regarding agricultural production, biological systems and the environment. Coursework could include subjects such as environmental engineering, natural resource engineering, bioprocess engineering, machinery systems, and food and fiber processing. Graduates can look forward to careers in agricultural engineering, water resources protection, water treatment systems and green infrastructure.

Admission Requirements

Applicants are commonly required to hold at least a bachelor's degree that is relevant to the master's degree they are trying to achieve. Typically, schools seek a minimum GPA of 3.0 but that may vary, while GRE scores may or may not be required. Proficiency in the English language is mandatory.

A master's degree program in agricultural science can provide learners with comprehensive training in focus areas such as soil, food, animals, water, and the environment. A graduate in any of these disciplines has a wide gamut of career options ahead of them.

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