Individuals with an undergraduate degree in engineering or a related field may be interested in pursuing a graduate program to prepare for careers working with crop/livestock production, environmental issues, or equipment safety. There are a number of relevant master's degree programs in agricultural engineering available at universities around the United States. Below, we will look at some details about these programs in greater depth by covering some general program information, common courses, and admission standards.
Information About Master's Programs in Agricultural Engineering
Students who choose to pursue a master's degree program in agricultural engineering will typically be required to complete around 30 credit hours in coursework and research to fulfill the degree requirements. Some programs may require that students complete a master's thesis, while others may give students several degree completion options. Below, we will look at five different courses that are commonly found in these programs.
Instrumentation for Agricultural Engineering
It is likely that these programs will require students to take a course that focuses on an aspect of instrumentation in agricultural engineering. In this type of class, students will learn about the basics of instrumentation theory, as well as various techniques that can be used for data acquisition and systems control. Some courses may focus on instrumentation for a certain type of agricultural engineering, like hydrologic systems, in which case the course may have a stronger focus on topics like water quality and hydrologic research.
Students in agricultural engineering programs may also take a course that focuses on waste management. In this class, students will learn about different waste management systems and plans, as well as about topics like handling and treating different animal waste products. In addition, this course may also cover the impact of waste on the environment.
Agricultural engineering programs often include a course that focuses on systems modeling. Students will learn about different mathematical and analytical approaches to modeling biological and agricultural systems. Topics that may be discussed in this class include differential equations, fluid power systems, classical control theory, and feedback and stability.
Design of Water Structures Systems
These programs may also require that students take a course focusing on the design of different agricultural systems, like water systems. In this type of class, students will learn how to design, monitor, and evaluate hydraulic and water systems. Some topics that may be covered include watershed hydrology, soil preservation, and agricultural water quality.
Open Channel Hydraulics
Another course that may be part of the curriculum of a master's in agricultural engineering program is one that relates to open channel hydraulics. This type of class will typically address both the theory of hydraulics as well as real-life applications that could be used when dealing with naturally flowing bodies of water. Some topics that may be included in the course include flow type, ways of measuring flow, flood studies, and curve development.
Admission Standards for Master's Degree Programs in Agricultural Engineering
In general, agricultural engineering master's degree programs require that students already have achieved a bachelor's degree in some field of engineering. Those with degrees in math or science may be considered upon completion of certain prerequisites. When applying to these programs, students will typically need to supply admission committees with past transcripts, a completed application form, letters of recommendation, and a personal statement.
To summarize, students who are interested in the field of agricultural engineering can find master's degree programs at a number of universities around the United States. These can prepare them for doctoral study, as well as a choice of diverse careers.