The 20 Best Online Master’s in Agricultural Business Management in 2023
The best online master’s in agricultural business management programs combine the best practices in business administration and agriculture. Such a combination is appropriate for the times – 21st-century agriculture has a cutting-edge, technologically driven, and complex nature.
Agribusiness management students study the entire agricultural production process with specific focus on the management of raw materials, human resources, and capital management, as well as customer and vendor relationships. Due to the comprehensive coverage of agribusiness management as a discipline, there are several connected disciplines, including agricultural economics, agricultural and consumer resources, and agricultural communication, education, and leadership.
Like other online master’s degrees, a master’s degree in agribusiness management and related areas of study takes between two and three years of full-time study. Students enrolled part-time can complete an online master’s degree program in five years. For faster time-to-completion, look for accelerated programs and/or ask about transfer credits.
There’s a misconception that online education is easy-peasy, with plenty of opportunities for cheating in assignments and exams. This is far from the truth – online programs have the same rigorous curriculum, quality of instruction, and faculty members as their on-campus counterparts!
There are also anti-cheating measures in place, such as plagiarism checkers, webcams, and other artificial intelligence-based apps. The best learning management systems (LMS) are also equipped with sophisticated assessment tools and techniques that ensure objective student performance evaluation.
The graduate coursework is a mix of business administration and agricultural systems management courses that train students in the complexities and challenges of the job ahead. While every online program has a curriculum unique to its mission and vision, the common courses in agribusiness management programs include:
- Financial statement analysis
- Strategic management
- Marketing concepts and management
- Strategic management
- Agricultural economics and their applied quantitative analysis
- Applied agribusiness economics
- Applied agribusiness logistics
- Agribusiness optimization techniques
- International agribusiness policy analysis
- Animal health, plant science, and plant pathology
Depending on the online program, agribusiness students can choose between thesis and non-thesis tracks. Students in a thesis program are required to produce a master’s thesis, an independent study that addresses a relevant topic in their area of study. Students in a non-thesis program may be required to pass a comprehensive exam or submit a capstone project, such as a needs survey, a business plan, or a set of teaching materials.
Many programs also require agribusiness students to complete practicum or internship experiences in agriculture-related companies. For working professionals already engaged in agribusiness-related occupations, their employment may be considered in compliance with the practicum or internship requirement.
Learning outcomes differ between online master’s degree programs in agribusiness management and related disciplines. Graduates, nonetheless, can demonstrate professional knowledge and skills related to agriculture markets and agribusiness management. Their skill sets include the application of business and economic theory in advancing organizational objectives in agribusiness, whether as agricultural managers or agricultural educators.
Agribusiness management professionals possess a wide range of technical and transferable skills learned from their master’s degree education and work experience. Analytical, critical thinking, and interpersonal skills, mechanical skills in the operation of farm equipment, and management skills are among the most important for success.
Admission into these online degree programs usually requires a bachelor’s with a minimum grade point average and official transcripts of records. Applicants may also be evaluated based on their work experience, letters of recommendation, and personal statements, even an interview with the admissions panel. Many programs also require applicants to show proof of completion of prerequisites during their undergraduate years, usually in agricultural and resource economics, accounting, and statistics.
Online agriculture degrees at the graduate level have comparable tuition to other areas of study, such as business administration, finance, and accounting. Official National Center for Education Statistics data reveals that the average tuition cost for master’s degree programs ranges from $12,410 (public) to $26,5971 (private) per year.
Agribusiness management students in graduate schools can apply for financial aid and tuition assistance programs to defray the cost of their online education. The best options are FAFSA loans like direct unsubsidized loans and Graduate PLUS loans, as well as TEACH and FSEOG grants. Look into institutional scholarships, fellowships, and assistantships, too. Also, ask about employer tuition assistance and military benefits.
At A Glance
The best online master’s degree in agricultural business management programs prepares students for challenging yet rewarding leadership positions in the agriculture industry and academia. Their rigorous curriculum combines business management and agriculture courses for the acquisition of expert knowledge and skills in agribusiness management, education and extension, and leadership.
Graduates are well-qualified for a wide range of occupations in the public and private sectors, from agriculture managers and educators to agricultural producers and distributors. With the ever-present need for food in human society, theirs is a profession that has unlimited possibilities, either as self-employed entrepreneurs or as employed professionals.
Best Online Master’s in Agribusiness Management Schools
Texas Tech University
Hybrid Master of Agribusiness Program
Texas Tech University, a public research university, offers its Master of Agribusiness degree program through its Gordon W. Davis College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources. The 36-credit online master’s degree program can be completed in four semesters and requires professional internship experience.
Students, most of whom are current agribusiness professionals, gain advanced business, economics, and agriculture via a rigorous interdisciplinary curriculum. The program’s mission is to meet the increasing demand for agribusiness professionals whose knowledge and skills will advance the agriculture industry’s reach and influence. Undergraduate students may also participate in the accelerated BS/MAB program.
Mississippi State University
Hybrid Master of Agribusiness Management Program
MSU’s outstanding Master of Agribusiness Management degree program provides students with an interdisciplinary degree experience with an equal focus between business, agriculture, and life sciences. The courses are designed to prepare students for leadership careers in the agribusiness sector and for students interested in doctorate degrees in successful careers in academia and research as agriculture educators.
The 31-credit program has an internship component, and students are required to pass a comprehensive oral exam. Students tackle business administration courses, including strategic management marketing and agribusiness courses like agricultural economics and agribusiness firm management. Foundational requirements include financial management and accounting.
Kentucky State University
Hybrid Master of Agribusiness Program
KYSU, a historically black land grant university, enables working professionals the opportunity to earn a top-notch Master of Agribusiness degree. The 42-credit online master of agribusiness degree program features full-time credentialed faculty members, many of whom are senior executives in the food, agriculture, and animal health sector. Students are required to participate in four week-long on-campus sessions over the 2.5-year program, as well as in informational webinars and professional development sessions.
The graduate coursework includes agribusiness financial management, applied agribusiness economics, and advanced food and agribusiness management. There’s also a seminar in agricultural economics and a master’s thesis requirement.
University of Florida
Hybrid Master of Agribusiness Program
UF, a land grant institution, is known for its online Master of Agribusiness program that welcomes applicants with and without bachelor’s degrees in agriculture economics, economics, and business administration. Once accepted, students learn the advanced knowledge and skills in agribusiness management that make them well-qualified for leadership positions in government, corporations, and nonprofits.
The 30-credit curriculum features courses in quantitative methods, strategic human resource management, and risk management for agribusiness management. Students must also complete a professional capstone with a choice of a special project or an internship. Part-time enrollment is allowed for working professionals.
Kansas State University
Hybrid Master of Agribusiness Program
Kansas State University empowers working professionals to become leaders in the agriculture industry through its online Master of Agribusiness program. The business-focused graduate program integrates business management principles and practices with animal health and agribusiness skills. Students become effective problem solvers that enable them to find viable solutions for contemporary and emerging issues in the food and agriculture industry.
The 36-credit program has a master’s thesis requirement where students identify an issue and propose solutions or add to the existing body of knowledge in the agribusiness sector. Other requirements include one-week on-campus sessions at Kansas State University for start dates, final exams, and presentations.
Delaware Valley University
Online Master of Science in Agribusiness Management Program
DelVal strives to meet the growing need for agribusiness professionals through its MS in Agribusiness Management online program. Students learn to be creative, innovative, and flexible to become successful professionals in leadership positions in the food and agriculture industry. While the selective admission process requires a bachelor’s degree, applicants can choose between two start dates, benefit from the self-paced online classes for prerequisites, and have no GRE/GMAT requirements.
The 30-credit curriculum in the Master of Science degree consists of 10 courses, including managerial economics, applied decision analysis, and agribusiness supply chain management. Students can also choose to submit a master’s thesis. Required prerequisites include agricultural and resource economics, accounting, and statistics.
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Online Master of Agricultural and Life Sciences – Agribusiness Concentration Program
Virginia Tech, a public land grant university, takes pride in its online Master of Agricultural and Life Sciences – Agribusiness Concentration program. Adult learners may also be interested in the other concentrations, including food safety and biosecurity, environmental science, and plant science and pest management.
The agribusiness concentration features courses in marketing policy and business strategy, strategic management, and finance and risk management in relation to the agribusiness industry. Students also develop soft skills, including critical thinking, communication, and problem-solving skills.
New Mexico State University
Online Master’s of Agriculture with Agribusiness Concentration Program
NM State, a public land grant university, enables ambitious individuals to earn their online Master’s of Agriculture with an Agribusiness Concentration degree while maintaining full-time employment. Students develop advanced knowledge and skills in business administration with practical applications in agribusiness management. Graduates are able to start their own agribusiness ventures and assume leadership positions as executives and consultants.
Students must earn 33-36 credits in rigorous coursework that features courses in economic and financial analysis, quantitative methods, agricultural policy, agribusiness marketing and management, and computer applications. Students may choose between a creative component or a master’s thesis.
Washington State University
Online Master of Science in Agriculture – Food Science and Management Concentration Program
Washington State University offers its online MS in Agriculture – Food Science and Management Concentration program as an interdisciplinary degree that brings together organizational management, food science, and environmental economics. Graduates possess the knowledge and skills for both agribusiness research and management leadership positions in the public and private sectors, even on the international stage.
Students learn the ropes of crop physiology, plant science, and plant pathology, animal and food science, and agricultural sciences from expert faculty members. Students are also provided the opportunity to customize their coursework and learn from anywhere in the world.
Tarleton State University
Online Master of Science in Agricultural and Consumer Resources – Agribusiness Concentration Program
Tarleton State University, a public research university, welcomes working professionals with a bachelor’s degree in agriculture and other related fields to its online MS in Agricultural and Consumer Resources – Agribusiness Concentration program. Students can choose between the thesis and non-thesis options; the non-thesis option can be completed in 12 months of full-time study.
The 36-credit program requires all students to complete core courses, however, many of which are in agricultural science. These include Environmental Issues and Agricultural Policy, Advanced Farm and Ranch Management, Management Practices of Agribusiness, and Advanced Agricultural Marketing.
State University of New York at Morrisville
Online Master of Science in Food and Agribusiness Program
SUNY Morrisville’s cohort-based, two-year MS in Food and Agribusiness program’s rigorous interdisciplinary curriculum combines organizational management, agricultural economics, and econometrics, among others. Students then gain valuable insights into the complexities of the interconnected agricultural systems, both in the national and international stages. Their learning venues include didactic coursework featuring lectures by expert faculty members, group projects, and case studies that culminate in consulting projects or master’s degree projects.
The 34-credit coursework includes the completion of a comprehensive exam. Courses include agribusiness economics, leadership and organizational behavior, and quantitative methods for agribusiness.
Texas A&M University
Hybrid Master of Agriculture in Agricultural Development Program
The Master of Agriculture in Agricultural Development program at Texas A&M University emphasizes a problem-solving approach instead of research in finding solutions for current agriculture issues. Students are in it for agricultural leadership in integrated resource management, rural community development, and agricultural extension and education. Graduates have a wide range of opportunities in the field of agriculture, thanks to their expansive knowledge of agricultural development.
The 36-credit program requires students to submit a professional paper and/or complete a professional internship experience. The maximum time to completion is seven years.
Hybrid Master of Science in Agricultural Economics Program
Purdue University, a land grant institution, offers a 21-month MS in Agricultural Economics program with courses organized into 12-week modules. Students must attend the five residency sessions and complete a capstone project to earn the master’s degree; there’s an international residency, too. Students progress through the master’s program as a cohort and interact with MBA students.
The coursework includes Economics for Food and Agribusiness Managers and Strategic Food and Agribusiness Management.
Murray State University
Online Master of Science in Agriculture – Agribusiness Economics Concentration
Murray State University, a regional university, offers professional agriculturists the opportunity to advance their education and careers through the MS in Agriculture – Agribusiness Economics Concentration degree program. Applicants must possess a bachelor’s degree in agriculture, either major or minor, or equivalent coursework. Students are encouraged to pursue doctoral degrees in agriculture science and related disciplines, too.
Students choose between the thesis and non-thesis options and must earn 29-31 credits to earn the graduate degree. Courses include research methodology, agribusiness management, and agricultural finance.
Oklahoma State University
Online Master of Science in Agricultural Education and Leadership Program
OK State’s MS in Agricultural Education and Leadership program prepares students for challenging yet rewarding careers in agricultural and extension education in the formal and non-formal sectors. Students also have the opportunity for leadership positions in agribusiness management, agricultural communication, and government service sectors.
Moodle and Desire2Learn are the learning management systems used in the delivery of agricultural education and leadership-centric curriculum. Students may also choose from several concentrations like community education, career education, and educational administration through courses offered at the College of Education and Human Sciences. Students choose between the thesis and format report options.
Illinois State University
Online Master’s in Agriculture – Agricultural Education and Leadership Concentration Program
ISU, among the country’s top ten largest producers of educators, offers one of the best Master’s in Agriculture – Agricultural Education and Leadership programs. The multidisciplinary degree program prepares students for successful careers in formal and informal education in the agriculture sector.
Students may or may not be required to complete foundation courses, depending on their academic background. All students must complete the 36-credit curriculum. The program also has two tracks – the thesis and non-thesis options – that enable students to tailor their academic experiences to their professional goals.
Iowa State University
Online Master of Science in Agricultural Education Program
Iowa State University provides exciting opportunities for agriculture professionals to become respected educators through its MS in Agricultural Education program. The 30-credit, 100% online program is aligned with Iowa State’s reputation for exceptional agriculture education with applications in agricultural communication, extension, and leadership.
Students can choose from several elective courses that enable them to customize their degrees according to their career goals. Online students receive the same standard of instruction, follow the same curriculum, and learn from the same professors as their on-campus counterparts.
University of Tennessee
Online Master of Science in Agricultural Leadership, Education, and Communications Program
The MS in Agricultural Leadership, Education, and Communications program at the University of Tennessee features 30-credit coursework and a final written examination. Students choose from several electives to complete the 9-credit elective component.
Students learn the wide range of leadership styles and skills necessary for success in the leadership, education, and communication sectors. The program allows students the choice between a master’s thesis and a non-thesis track, but all students are required to complete the academic requirements before the graduate degree is conferred.
The University of Tennessee also offers a dual degree program – both a Master’s in Agricultural Leadership, Education, and Communications and an MBA in Agricultural and Resource Economics can be earned.
Ohio State University
Online Master of Science in Agricultural Communication, Education, and Leadership Program
Offered by the top-notch OSU, the MS in Agricultural Communication, Education, and Leadership program features a contemporary curriculum for working professionals. Students can choose from several specializations, including Agricultural Communication, International Development, and Agricultural Education, Community and Extension Education. The program also allows students the choice between a comprehensive exam, a capstone project, or a master’s thesis as a culminating requirement.
The 100% online program features courses in Leadership and Administration in Agricultural and Extension Education, Strategic and Program Planning, and Documenting Change through Evaluation and Accountability.
University of Arkansas
Online Master of Science in Agricultural and Extension Education Program
UArk offers an excellent MS in Agricultural and Extension Education program for current and aspiring teachers of agricultural science, formal and informal educators, and extension agents. The agricultural professional program makes it possible for working professionals in agricultural communications and applied agricultural technologies to develop their teaching skills.
The 33-credit agricultural and extension education graduate program has a thesis and non-thesis track and a time-to-completion of 2-3 years. Students can also choose from specializations in agricultural education, agricultural system technology management, and agricultural communication.
Frequently Asked Questions
What career paths are there for graduates of Master’s in Agricultural Business Management programs?
Agribusiness management professionals can work in the agriculture industry, in natural resources management, and in financial institutions, as well as government agencies and nonprofit organizations. Among their choices in the occupation are agriculture managers and consultants, agriculture production supervisors, compliance analysts, and lobbyists.
Is an online Master’s in Agricultural Business Management degree worth it?
Yes, of course, with average annual pay significantly higher than the median yearly wage for all occupations. Agribusiness managers, for example, can earn up to $124,652 per year; the average yearly salary is $77,324.
What’s next for graduates of Master’s in Agricultural Business Management programs?
Look into certifications that enhance your professional credibility as an agribusiness manager. Examples include Certified Crop Advisor (CCA), Certified Livestock Manager (CLM), Sustainable Agriculture Certification (SAC), and Food Safety Modernization Act Produce Safety Rule Compliance Certificate.
The best online master’s degree in agribusiness-related programs open doors of opportunities for ambitious individuals who want to gain a competitive advantage in leadership positions in the all-important, ever-evolving agriculture industry. Graduates use their comprehensive knowledge and skills in agribusiness administration, education and leadership, and communication in the advancement of modern agriculture in society.
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