Degree – Master of Science in Agriculture, MS
Concentration: Agronomy Professional Option

Description of Program

The Master of Science in Agriculture Professional Option is an online program designed to accommodate the demands and needs of students and potential employers in the field of agriculture. The Agronomy program equips students with advanced knowledge and skills to address major problems confronting growers of horticultural crops, crop production, and research techniques.

Learning Outcomes

  • Apply advanced knowledge and skills to analyze and solve major problems confronting growers of agronomic and horticultural crops
  • Analyze research results and make policy recommendations that will conserve natural resources
  • Apply integrated practices to maximize productivity and protect the environment
  • Analyze data, interpret results, and prepare research reports

Admission Requirements:

Students applying for entrance to the Master of Science in Agriculture are required to submit an application for admission, Apply Online (

  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Official transcript from an accredited school (if a student has attended more than one school, transcripts must be submitted from all schools attended). At least one transcript must document the student has a bachelor’s degree.

Decisions are made only after receipt of all credentials by the department’s admission committee. The department uses an admission formula to accept students. The entire application packet, including all supporting materials, must be submitted to the Graduate School. Official test scores must be submitted from Education Testing Service (ETS) and must not be older than five years, official transcripts from the sending school, and Credential Evaluations (International students) from an approved Credential Evaluation Service.

Standardized Test:

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test is the official standardized test required for admission to the Master of Science in Agriculture. WAIVED

Degree Requirements:

The curriculum for the Master of Agriculture in Agronomy Professional Option requires 33 credit hours of coursework and a thesis for degree completion. An oral defense of the thesis is required for progression to degree completion.
Students complete 21 hours of required core credits and 12 hours of electives.

Graduation expectations require the following:

  • A minimum of 27 credit hours of graduate instruction must be completed in residence at Alcorn State University
  • Earn no more than two Cs in coursework
  • Write an acceptable non-thesis research project
  • Official transcripts on file for all transfer credits accepted by the University

Academic advisors are allowed to accept up to six semester credit hours earned at an accredited university with a grade of “B” or higher for graduate coursework completed. Substitutions of coursework are allowed with the approval of an advisor and department administrators up to nine hours if the substitution(s) meet curriculum requirements.

See Transfer of Credits Policy for additional information.
See the Substitution of Courses Policy for additional information.

Academic Track: Non-Thesis

The non-thesis project is an exit requirement for the Master of Science in Agriculture in Agronomy Professional Option online program. This discipline has specific expectations for selection of topics and the type of non-thesis project. Students pursue independent research on a question or problem of their choice in the relevant disciplines under the guidance of a graduate faculty to produce a three-chapter paper that reflects understanding of the topic. The student translates research into practice and may assist a principal investigator in research.

Master Degree Audit:

Before candidacy for graduation can be confirmed, each student progression to degree completion will be evaluated to determine if student has met all academic requirements for course work and other aspects of the student’s course of study and Graduate School requirements. When these requirements are met, the student is cleared for graduation.

Time to Degree Completion

Alcorn’s time to degree completion policy allows 6 years to complete the agronomy professional option program. Degree completion depends on the pace a student completes the curriculum. If the time exceeds six years, the student must petition the Graduate School to consider an appeal for more time to degree completion.

See the Student Academic Appeals Policy for Expiration of Timeline for additional requirements

Degree Plan and Course Sequence

Non-Thesis Option
Core Courses (21 Hours)
AG 610 Thesis I
BT 544 Advanced Plant Breeding
PS 535 Advanced Soil Classification
PS 537 Soil Conservation and Land Use
PS 541 Agricultural Plant Pathology
PS 559 Advanced Soil Fertility
PS 590 Advanced Research Techniques

Elective Courses (12 Hours)
AN 500 Administration of Agriculture Education
AN 510 Agricultural Education Media
PS 539 Soil Microbiology
PS 548 Advanced Soil Management
PS 550 Bioenergy and Bioproduct Development
PS 551 Plant Metabolism and Biochemistry
PS 580 Soil Chemistry
PS 595 Experimental Design
PS 597 Agricultural Environmental Law
PS 601 Special Problems in Vegetables and Small Fruit
PS 602 Special Problems in Forage Production

For More Information Contact:
Dr. Victor Njiti ▪ 601.877.6572 ▪ [email protected] (Department of Agriculture)