Agronomy, MS

Cutting-edge research and industry application in the field of crop production.

Program Description

Agronomy is the application of plant and soil science to crop production and includes the study of plant genetics, breeding, biotechnology, molecular biology, physiology, biochemistry, weed control, and crop management.

The online master of agronomy degree program curriculum focuses on industry applications and research.

The online program is designed with maximum flexibility for today’s working professionals. This flexibility allows students to complete coursework in areas that are specific to career needs and interests.

The curriculum stresses the ability to apply course content to related industry work.

Graduates work in the following career fields:

  • Seed Industry: Managers, breeders, technicians, sales agronomists
  • Crop Improvement: Consulting agronomists, crop advisors, co-op managers
  • Horticulture: Nursery managers, turf & landscape specialists, golf course superintendents
  • Education: Science and agriculture teachers
  • Extension: Educators and specialists
  • Producers: Farmers and ranchers
  • Government: Specialists in regulatory agencies at all governmental levels & Communication

The online program is available in both thesis and non-thesis options. Areas of study include:

  • Plant breeding and genetics
  • Crop physiology and production
  • Weed science
  • Horticulture
  • Turf management
  • Range and forage science

Potential minors and electives include:

  • Horticulture
  • Entomology
  • Agricultural leadership and communication
  • Business and/or agribusiness
  • Natural resources
  • Teaching/education

Delivery Format

Home Campus: University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Method of Delivery: 100% Online - what's this?Program can be completed fully at a distance. Courses are asynchronous, meaning students and instructor may access content at any time and do not have to be connected to the Internet at the same time. If your program includes an internship or practicum, experiences may be completed in the student's local area.

All online courses are accessed via the Internet and use a learning management system. Technology requirements may vary by program and course, but all campuses have basic recommended requirements. High-speed Internet is required.

Interaction with professors and other students may include:

  • E-mail
  • Online discussion boards
  • Phone or video conferencing
  • Other forms of electronic and print communication

Supplemental materials for some courses may include:

  • Printed material and scanned documents
  • Digital resources accessed through university libraries
  • Videos accessed via the Internet, CDs or DVDs
  • Other media

To be successful, students taking online classes should be reasonably comfortable using a computer and the Internet. Learn more about online student tips for success.

Academic Year 2014 - 2015

Tuition rates are effective for the academic year listed. Tuition is subject to change.

Nebraska Resident:

 TuitionDistance Ed. FeeTechnology FeeLibrary FeeTotal
Per credit hour$325.50$25.00$7.35$4.00$361.85
3 credit hour$976.50$75.00$22.05$12.00$1,085.55


 TuitionDistance Ed. FeeTechnology FeeLibrary FeeTotal
Per credit hour$609.00$25.00$7.35$4.00$645.35
3 credit hour$1,827.00$75.00$22.05$12.00$1,936.05

Note: In addition to the costs outlined above, students will be assessed a $20.00 registration fee each semester they enroll in courses.

Option I (thesis):

The online Agronomy master's degree program under Option I should be chosen by those who are preparing for careers in research and scholarly work or in college or university teaching.

  • Students must earn a minimum of 30 semester hours of credit – consisting of 20 to 24 semester hours of regular coursework, and present a thesis equivalent to 6 to 10 semester hours
  • At least one-half of the required work, including thesis, must be taken in one major subject. The remaining work may be in supporting courses or in a minor consisting of at least 9 semester hours
  • Eight credit hours, in addition to the thesis, must be earned in courses open exclusively to graduate students (900 level or 800 level without 400 or lower counterparts)

Option II (non-thesis):

This option encourages a wider range of courses than is permissible under Option I.

  • Students must earn a minimum of 30 semester hours of credit in courses representing a major and either one or two minors
  • Students must complete a master's project of up to 6 hours; the project takes the place of the usual thesis
  • A program of study consisting of a major and one minor must include no fewer than 18 hours in the major and 9 hours in the minor
  • If two minors are elected, the major must total at least 15 hours and the minors at least 9 hours each

Available Courses

Below is a partial list of some courses from which you may choose. Additional courses may also be available; course offerings may vary by semester.

AGRO 811 Teaching Biotechnology 3 credit hours
AGRO 812 Crop & Weed Genetics 3 credit hours
AGRO 815A  Self-Pollinated Crop Breeding  1 credit hours
AGRO 815B Germplasm & Genes 1 credit hours
AGRO 815D  Cross-Pollinated Crop Breeding 1 credit hours
AGRO 816A Heterosis in Plant Breeding  1 credit hours 
AGRO 818 Agricultural Biochemistry  1 credit hours
AGRO 831 Spatial Variability in Soils

2 credit hours

AGRO 837 Animal, Food & Industry Uses of Grain 2 credit hours 
AGRO 838  Production of Specialty Grain Crops 1 credit hours
AGRO 846  Forage Quality  3 credit hours 
AGRO 851 Grassland Plant Identification 2 credit hours 
AGRO 896  Pest Resistance Management  2 credit hours 
AGRO 896  Teaching Plant Science  3 credit hours 
AGRO 896  Teaching Biotechnology  3 credit hours 
AGRO 932  Biometrical Genetics & Plant Breeding  3 credit hours
AGRO/HORT 813  Turf & Landscape Weed Management (Tent.) 1 credit hours 
AGRO/HORT 814  Turfgrass Disease Management   1 credit hours 
AGRO/HORT 822  Integrated Weed Management 1 credit hours 
AGRO/HORT 824  Plant Nutrition & Nutrient Management  3 credit hours 


University of Nebraska online programs have the same quality instructional faculty as on campus; individuals from a variety of backgrounds, who embody the combined qualities resulting from research experience and professional/field experience.

P. Stephen Baenziger, Ph.D., Eugene W. Price Distinguished Professor

Roch Gaussoin, Ph.D., Professor, Interim Department Head

Donald J. Lee, Ph.D., Professor

Martha Mamo, Ph.D., Professor

Stephen C. Mason, Ph.D., Professor

Deana Namuth-Covert, Ph.D., Distance Education Director

Ellen T. Paparozzi, Ph.D., Professor

Walter Schacht, Ph.D., Professor

Gary Y. Yuen, Ph.D., Professor

Guidelines for Admittance

Application to a graduate program is a two-step process. You will apply to both Graduate Studies and the academic department.

For admission requirements specific to this program, please visit the UNL Office of Graduate Studies page >

Application Deadlines

This program offers rolling admissions, please contact the department for more information.


Online Worldwide Educational Representative

Program Contact
Cheryl Griffith
Phone: 402.472.5515

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