Master of Applied Science Degree

The Master of Applied Science degree is designed for those whose educational objective is to pursue a professional degree in agriculture, food, and natural resources at the master's level. The Master of Applied Science is a practitioner degree for:

  • Individuals directly involved in agriculture, food, and natural resource related industries
  • Working agricultural and natural resource professionals and science educators needing advanced education

The program is available to both residential and distance students.

Master's Degree Areas of StudyView list of online courses (PDF)

Agricultural & Extension Education
Agricultural Economics & Agribusiness
Agronomy and Horticulture
Animal Science
Food Science and Technology
Natural Resources

SpecializationsSpecializations are offered in the following

Entrance Requirements:

  • Undergraduate degree in agriculture or significant practical experience in agriculture and a degree in related areas
  • A minimum GPA of 3.0 is recommended
  • A GRE is not required

Online or In the Classroom

While some areas of study are supported by distance-delivered courses to the extent that a student may complete a degree without ever being on campus, others are completed in the more traditional residential student setting.


Since this is a college-wide degree program, there is wide latitude in the selection of areas of study. An individual curriculum is designed for each student with the goal of best fitting the student's educational objective(s). The student, advisor, and supervisory committee jointly establish this curriculum. View Advisor Guidelines for MAS Students (PDF)

A unique feature of the master's program is the degree project. The degree project replaces the traditional master's thesis and is specifically intended to be of immediate value in the student's workplace for career advancement.

Project Guidelines

  1. Identify in collaboration with the advisor a research project in an area of interest associated with the primary area of study.  This  occurs about when half the 36 credits have been completed and the Memorandum of Courses is filed.
  2. Prepare a paper or literature review describing the research project and findings.  As a guide, the paper should be between 15-20 pages in length.
  3. The paper should be presented to the student’s academic committee.  The presentation should be no more than 20 minutes in length with an additional 10 minutes reserved for questions and answers.  The presentation may be presented using slides or some form of multimedia, e.g., animations, video, etc. 
  4. The chair of the committee, usually the advisor, will facilitate the review, which should involve time for the committee to review the paper and presentation, and assign a final grade.  
  5. Once approved, the committee will sign the "Final Exam" form, assign a grade, and then file the appropriate graduate forms with the Graduate Office.  

Degree Requirements

  • 36 credit hours of graduate course work (with 12 credit hours open exclusively to graduate credit).  To maximize flexibility, there are no set core courses required. 
  • At least 18 credit hours in an area of concentration (may be interdisciplinary), including a degree project;
  • At least 9 credit hours must be completed in a secondary area of emphasis for breadth
  • A 3 to 6 credit hour Degree Project
  • A comprehensive examination, either written and/or oral (The successful completion of the Degree Project, including examination by the Examining and Advisory Committee, may serve in lieu of a written comprehensive examination)
  • The final examination over the Degree Project and program of study is oral (Where appropriate, a professional competency or certification exam may be required as part of the final examination)
  • Not less than 50% of the course work (excluding Degree Project) of the minimum number of graduate credits required, must be University of Nebraska-Lincoln credit.
Dan Cotton

Questions? Please Contact

Dan Cotton

Coordinator of CASNR Distance Education Office