The graduate program in Agricultural Education at Montana State University is designed to prepare graduates for entry into or advancement in formal and non-formal teaching careers. This program also provides development of professional leadership skills for other careers in agricultural leadership and communications.

The master's degree program in Agricultural Education, with its various options, provides a program that can be tailored to meet each student's career goals. In addition to the wide variety of professional courses in agricultural education, offerings are also available from all academic Departments in the College of Agriculture, including agricultural economics, animal and range sciences, land resources and environmental sciences, plant sciences and plant pathology, and veterinary molecular biology. Specialization areas such as adult education, educational administration, career education, and curriculum coordination are also available through cooperation with the College of Education, Health and Human Development. The Department offers two pathways to completion, both of which can be taken online. Plan A is the traditional thesis option while  Plan B requires a project or professional paper.

The program offers considerable flexibility to students to help them meet their professional and personal objectives. Plan A requires a thesis. A minimum of 30 credit hours must be completed, 20 credits of coursework, and 10 credits of thesis preparation. Students who choose Plan B are required to complete a professional project based on a current research issue related to the student's emphasis area. Students will take a minimum of 30 hours of coursework, 6 of which are professional paper credits. The final selection of the student's professional project will be the student's responsibility in collaboration with the advisor and the graduate committee. All Plan B students will complete a comprehensive exam and then choose one of the following three options to complete:  

  1. Create a research project formatted for journal publication.
  2. Create a research project formatted for a conference proceeding.
  3. Submit a substantial grant proposal for funding. 

Program Requirements

The requirements for students in the online program are similar to those for students following the Plan B program. Taking a minimum of 6 credits per semester, students will take a minimum of 30 semester hours of graduate coursework. Their coursework must include: Research Methods (AGED 506), Philosophy of Teaching and Learning in Agricultural Education (AGED 511), Program Planning and Evaluation (AGED 507), Creative Problem Solving (AGTE 591), and Graduate Seminar (AGED 594) two times during your program.   A final written exam and a professional paper are required in lieu of a thesis.