New online master’s degree for the ag industry
Washington State University is launching a new online degree program to meet the growing need for highly skilled field practitioners and managers in today’s technologically advanced agricultural industry.
The Master of Science in Agriculture with emphasis in plant health management (PHM) couples WSU’s plant sciences and plant protection programs with business management courses. The result is a new degree that gives students the ability to go from field to lab to executive boardroom without breaking stride.
The program is accepting applications now for its first cohort this fall and is offering online information sessions for prospective students wishing to learn more.
The new program, offered by the College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences (CAHNRS), follows another track in this program that was recently launched with great success: Food Science and Management. This purposeful pattern of online course delivery signals a desire to cater to working students. Although the new offering follows traditional asynchronous learning, the program has also included optional research and field opportunities for students living in proximity to one of WSU’s four research and extension centers.
John Stark, director of the Puyallup Research and Extension (R&E) Center, expressed a desire to work with new PHM graduate students. “Students may take their classes online, but we are ready for students near Puyallup to augment their studies at our research farm.”
While the degree waives the traditional thesis requirement, students are expected to complete a capstone research project with their current employer or in a related industry.