A number of two-year community colleges and four-year universities offer distance learning programs in agribusiness. They typically are designed to teach students how to properly manage resources, assess risks and better understand the science of agriculture.
These programs, which can lead to associate's degrees, master's degrees and diplomas, can often be completed totally online. To apply to graduate-level programs, prospective students must hold a bachelor's degree and submit GRE scores. Distance learners access their school's online classroom environment to retrieve assignments, view lectures and interact with instructors or peers using methods like discussion boards, chat rooms or Web conferencing.
Program Information and Requirements
Like those attending traditional campus-based programs, online students studying this field learn about the economic, legal, financial and managerial aspects involved in running successful farms and other agricultural businesses. The following list provides details about a few schools' agribusiness programs to highlight what these online learning options typically entail.
University of Northwestern Ohio
The University of Northwestern Ohio in Lima is a not-for-profit private school authorized to grant undergraduate and graduate degrees. The university's distance-learning program is in place for those students unable to attend traditional classes and allows students to earn diplomas and degrees entirely online.
The institution offers a 1-year agribusiness diploma program that requires a selection of general education courses along with classes focused on business, technology and science relevant to the field. Upon successful completion of the program, students are awarded agribusiness management diplomas and are prepared for entry-level positions in the agribusiness field. Online courses in the program include the following:
- Animal science
- Agricultural economics
- Management principles
- Agricultural technology
The school offers an online associate's degree in agribusiness marketing and management technology with similar coursework that takes about two years to earn.
Based in Wyoming, Casper College's distance-learning program in agribusiness is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools' higher learning commission. The agribusiness program is available entirely online; and although the college doesn't offer a diploma program, it does offer an Associate of Science in Agribusiness.
This online agricultural business degree program is designed for those interested in pursuing careers with farm equipment and supply companies, on farms or at ranches. Students must earn at least 64 semester credits -- including general education coursework -- to be awarded this agribusiness degree. The online curriculum includes the following courses:
- Plant and fungal biology
- Farm and ranch business management
- Livestock production
- Forage crop science
University of Tennessee
The University of Tennessee in Martin also offers an online program in agribusiness. Though it does not offer a specific diploma program, this distance-learning department offers a master's degree program in the field. Prospective students must have a bachelor's degree in agriculture, wildlife science, natural resources or a related field. GRE scores are also required for admission.
Students enrolled in this distance learning master's-level agribusiness program have the option to complete a concentration, with one of those offered being in agribusiness and risk management. The program includes required courses in agriculture, statistics and research in addition to concentration coursework. Distance learners learn about the following topics:
- Agricultural engineering technology
- Waste management technology
- Farm real estate appraisal
- Natural resources management
- Agricultural risk analysis and decision making
- Strategic management
- Agriculture finance
This graduate program offers thesis and non-thesis options. To be eligible for graduation, students must pass written and oral final exams.
Students who are interested in studying the intersection between business and agriculture can find distance learning opportunities at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Degree and diploma programs are offered through a number of schools, including the University of Northwestern Ohio, Casper College, and the University of Tennessee.