Contact UsOffice of Online & Distance Education
2100 Vine Street
P.O. Box 888805
Lincoln, NE 68588-8805
Phone: (402) 472-5515
Fax: (402) 472-4345
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 Master of Science in Agronomy degree 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 goals and interests. The curriculum stresses the ability to apply course content to related industry work.
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
- Turf Management
- Range and Forage Science
Potential minors and electives include:
- Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communication
- Natural Resources
The online courses in the program are taught by world-class faculty and researchers who teach the same courses on campus. Because the curriculum and instructors for the online program are the same as for the on-campus program, the degree appears on the transcript as a Master of Science from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.
M.S. in Agronomy 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 and landscape specialists, golf course superintendents
- Education: Science and ag teachers
- Extension: Educators and specialists
- Producers: Farmers and ranchers
- Government: Specialists in regulatory agencies at all governmental levels
Survey Research & Trends in Agriculture
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition, projects a 16 percent increase in the need for scientists and technologists between 2008 and 2018. The report states the following:
- Job growth among agricultural and food scientists should be faster than the average for all occupations.
- Opportunities are expected to be good over the next decade, particularly in food science and technology and in agronomy.
- Job growth will stem primarily from efforts to increase the quantity and quality of food produced for a growing population.
- An increasing awareness about the health effects of certain types of foods and the effects of food production on the environment, will give rise to research into the best methods of food production.
A USDA study of employment opportunities for college graduates in the food and agricultural sciences for 2005-2010 listed four areas of demand: consumers and their preferences, evolving business structures, new developments in science and technology, and public policy choices and accountability. The study indicated that there are slightly more than 52,000 annual job openings with only 49,300 qualified graduates.