Distance Learning in Agriculture and Allied Sciences – Preparation for a Field in High Demand

Several universities have recently started offering distance learning in agriculture programs that make it easy for you to get qualified in agricultural engineering and allied sciences from the convenience of your own home. Some of these include agronomy, turf-grass management, plant pathology, horticulture, hydroponics, weed sciences, pasture management, animal nutrition and husbandry amongst several other agriculture-related disciplines.

In recent years, there has been an ever-increasing demand for salaried agricultural and food scientists for conducting lab research in a variety of areas that directly impact the food and agriculture industry. There has also been a rise in demand in recent times for qualified staff for managing the technically challenging aspects of agribusinesses. Let us take a look at some of these distance learning in agriculture programs, and the courses they offer.

Kansas State University

This University distance learning in agriculture program is accredited by the Northwest Association of Colleges and Schools. It offers a master’s degree program in Agribusiness that is geared towards advanced learners. If you plan to register for this program, you would be required to make two one-week on-campus visits annually, for the duration of the course.

Oregon State University

Oregon State University offers an online B.S. degree in General Agriculture, through the Universities’ Extended Campus. To be eligible for applying for this course, you would have to complete educational instruction worth a full year of biology and two terms of chemistry, all having lab components. The University is accredited by the Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges.

University of Illinois Online

University of Illinois Online offers the following distance learning in agriculture programs:

Professional Development Sequence In Dairy Science (Certificate)
The program is open to undergraduates and students with a bachelor’s degree. Classes are conducted via the internet.

Online Master’s Degree in Agricultural Education
This is a professional degree for students who wish to become high school or community college instructors of agriculture programs. The minimum requirement is a four-year degree in agricultural education or allied fields of study.

Texas A&M University

Texas A&M University offers a Master of Agriculture online degree program that is intended to prepare individuals for a fulfilling career in natural resource management, plant sciences, poultry sciences and life sciences. This is a non-thesis degree program. Texas A&M University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Delivery methods include videoconferencing over the internet and CD-ROM presentations for interactive learning. There are no residency requirements.

University of Georgia (Center for Continuing Education)

The University of Georgia offers a distance learning in agriculture certification course on the Principles of Turfgrass management. This course was originally designed and developed in association with the Professional Lawn Care Association of America (PLCAA).

Iowa State University

Iowa State University currently offers two masters degree programs:

Master of Agriculture
This degree aims to provide graduates, who are professionally involved in the agricultural and food system with advanced training in the science, technology and business of agriculture. The course also emphasizes leadership development and the use of statistical analysis.

Master of Science in Agronomy
This distance learning in agriculture program emphasizes the development of technical skills involved in crop management, soil and water management, and pest management. It is a non-thesis degree. Both these programs are delivered in the state of Iowa via the Iowa Communications Network, and in the U.S. and Canada via the medium of the internet.

Jim Zorn is web master of the Guide to Distance Learning. Please visit to learn more about online colleges and universities, distance learning degrees, majors and courses offered.

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