Agribusiness Management

Program Overview

The Master of Science in Agricultural Business and Leadership is offered with two concentrations: a) Agribusiness Management, and b) Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communication (ALEC). The degree is offered with two options, thesis or non-thesis. A completely online degree option is available for non-thesis students.

The thesis option in Agribusiness Management concentration requires a minimum of twenty-nine (29) credit hours of coursework and a thesis of four (4) credit hours. The candidate for the degree in this concentration must complete twelve (12) credit hours of core courses: AGSC 5060, AGSC 5110, AGSC 5120, AGSC 5610, AGSC 5620; twelve (12) credit hours minimum of required courses in the concentration; and nine (9) credit hours maximum of electives.  

The non-thesis option requires a minimum of thirty-five (35) credit hours of coursework. The candidate for the non-thesis degree must complete eleven (11) credit hours of core courses: AGSC 5060, AGSC 5110, AGSC 5350, AGSC 5610, AGSC 5620; fifteen (15) credit hours minimum of required courses in the selected concentration; and nine (9) credit hours maximum of electives. These courses must be approved by the Advisor and Department Chair. 

 Admission Requirements

Applicants must have the equivalent of a bachelor's degree from an accredited four-year degree-granting college or university with a major in Agricultural Sciences, Agricultural Economics, Agribusiness Management, Economics, Business Management or closely related areas, a minimum quality grade point average of 2.50 on a 4.00 point scale, and a minimum score of 290 on the GRE (verbal and quantitative) or 370 on the MAT for unconditional admission. Higher GPAs from accredited colleges and universities or GRE scores may be used to compensate for some minor deficiencies in admission requirements. 

Program study

The degree candidate must file a program of study after completing at least nine semester hours of graduate credit, but before completing fifteen hours of graduate credit. The program lists the courses that will be used to satisfy degree requirements, as well as detailing how other requirements will be met. The student may later change the program of study with the written approval of the Department and the Graduate School. 

When the candidate files the program of study, he or she may also apply for admission to candidacy. The candidate must have a grade point average of 3.0 or above and successfully defended the thesis proposal (thesis option) or successfully passed the written and oral comprehensive examinations (non-thesis option) to be eligible for admission to candidacy. 

Program of Study  
Core Courses  

12-credit hours required for thesis students OR 11-credit hours required for non-thesis students. 

  • AGSC 5060 - Statistics for Research (3)  
  • AGSC 5110 - Research Methods (3)  
  • AGSC 5120 - Thesis Writing (Thesis Option) (4)  
  • AGSC 5350 - Independent Study of Contemporary Issues and Problems (3) (Non-thesis students are required to take AGSC 5350. Thesis students may take AGSC 5350 as an elective course).
  • AGSC 5610-5620 - Graduate Seminar in Agricultural Sciences (1-1)  

Concentration Required Courses:  

Agribusiness Management: 12-credit hours minimum for thesis students OR 15-credit hours minimum for non-thesis students. 

  • AGSC 5012 – Food Supply and Value Chain Management (3) CIP 
  • AGSC 5014 - Food Marketing and Retail Management (3)  
  • AGSC 5080 - Agribusiness Management and Market Analysis (3)  
  • AGSC 5090 - Food and Fiber Industry (3)  
  • AGSC 5100 - Environmental, Resource Economics and Management (3)  
  • AGSC 5300 - Applied Microeconomics in Agribusiness (3)  
  • AGSC 5310 - International Agricultural Trade and Marketing (3)  
  • AGSC 5330 - Agribusiness Strategy (3)  

Concentration Elective Courses  

Electives: 6-credit hours maximum for thesis students OR 9-credit hours maximum for non-thesis students with the approval of the advisor and department head. 

  • ACCT 5000 - Foundation in Accounting (3)  
  • AGSC 5040 - Program Planning, Development and Evaluation (3)  
  • AGSC 5350 - Independent Study of Contemporary Issues and Problems (3)  
  • BISI 6130 - Management and Evaluation of Information Systems (3)  
  • ECON 6110 - Managerial Economics (3)  
  • MGMT 6020 - Organizational Behavior, Ethics and Leadership (3)  

Students may take a 3-credit hour guided elective course as recommended by the major advisor. 

PDF version: Program of Study - ABM

degree requirements

Thesis Option

Each student must pass Research Methods (AGSC 5110) and Statistics for Research (AGSC 5060), must have a thesis advising committee appointed and must have advanced to candidacy before enrolling in Thesis Writing (AGSC 5120).

The candidate must submit a thesis on a topic approved by the major advisor. Upon completion of the thesis, the candidate must satisfactorily pass an oral examination conducted by the Thesis Examination Committee. Students choosing this option in Agribusiness Management concentration will require 33 hours of coursework which will include four (4) credit hours of thesis research. 

non-thesis option

This option is for students who would like to focus on training in specialized areas to meet the needs of employers in agricultural product processing, marketing organizations, input supply firms, teaching, agricultural extension services, and various state and federal government agencies. This program is not recommended for students who have further aspirations toward pursuing a Ph.D. degree. 

Students choosing the non-thesis option will be required to take a minimum of 35 hours of course work which will include AGSC 5350 - Independent Study of Contemporary Issues and Problems. Graduate students with guidance from their major advisor will identify contemporary issues and problems in agricultural and environmental sciences, conduct a comprehensive literature review, write a report in the format of a review paper and make an oral presentation to his or her advisory committee. 

Comprehensive Examination: Upon completion of core and concentration required courses including AGSC 5350, students choosing the non-thesis option must take a comprehensive written and oral examination administered by the student's advisory committee and other faculty members representing appropriate subject matter areas. The student's major advisor will serve as chairperson of the committee conducting the examination. If a student fails the comprehensive examination, one retake will be allowed. Should the student again fail, a third and final examination may be taken upon completion of additional course work (minimum of 6 hours) to be selected by the student's advisory committee.  

For more information, contact the Director of Graduate Programs: , (615) 963-6054.