Cal Poly Pomona

Graduate Program

Master of Science in Agriculture
Agricultural Science

In the department of Food Marketing & Agribusiness Management/Agricultural Education

New Graduate Student Resource Guide

The Master of Science Degree in Agriculture, Agricultural Sciences option provides students the opportunity to enhance knowledge and competence in a selected area of specialization as well as encourages individual study and research. The curriculum is designed to assist individuals employed in a variety of agricultural occupations to become more proficient in research methodology and design, statistical analysis, technology utilization and in an advanced concentration area of their choice. Students desiring additional experience with industry can include as a part of their program as internship with an industry of their choice. This degree has successfully enhanced the careers of individuals employed in public schools, cooperative extension, food processing, marketing and distribution, public and private research organizations, and the agronomic and horticultural industries. Graduates of the program have been successfully employed throughout the world.

Admission to the Program

An applicant for admission to the Master's Degree Program in Agricultural Sciences should have a baccalaureate degree in agriculture. Applicants without a baccalaureate degree in agriculture will be required to take undergraduate leveling courses in the College of Agriculture prior to being unconditionally admitted into the program. A cumulative undergraduate grade point average of 2.75 overall or 2.75 in the final 90 units of course work is required. In addition, the Department of Agricultural Business Managemen/Agricultural Education must be in receipt of three letters of recommendation from individuals familiar with the applicant's academic qualifications and potential as a graduate student. Foreign students seeking admission into the program must present a score of 550 on the TOEFL (writing test) Exam. An applicant not meeting these standards may be conditionally admitted with the approval of the program's Graduate Admissions Committee. The conditional student must comply with the requirements of admission within two quarters.

The student, along with an appointed advisory committee, will develop a program by the end of second quarter based on the student's interests and preparation. This will include the selection of a major professor to direct the thesis work. The student's approved program will include required basic core courses, a selection of additional courses in a specialization, electives, independent study, and a thesis or comprehensive exam. The student must have on file an approved program within two quarters of admission to the master's program. Students electing to complete additional course work and the comprehensive examination in lieu of the thesis must be agricultural education teachers.

Advancement to Candidacy

Admission to the program does not admit a student to candidacy for the degree. Advancement to Candidacy is contingent upon the recommendation of the Graduate Coordinator. A student who has not been admitted to candidacy is not eligible to register for the thesis (AGS 696) or comprehensive examination (AGS 697). In order to advance to candidacy for the Master of Science in Agriculture, Agricultural Science option, a student must:
1 ) complete at least 12 units of graduate course work at Cal Poly with a GPA of 3.0 or better;
2) pass the Graduate Writing Test; and,
3) with the major professor and Graduate Coordinator, develop and file a program of study. The official program of study must be prepared and submitted for approval no later than the end of the second quarter of attendance.


1. The degree program shall include a minimum of 45 quarter units of which at least 24 units shall be in graduate level courses. Additional course work may be required to eliminate subject matter deficiencies.
2. A grade point average of 3.0 (B) or better must be maintained in all upper division undergraduate and all graduate courses. No course with a grade lower than "C" (2.0) may apply toward the fulfillment of degree requirements.
3. No more than 13 units of acceptable graduate credit may be transferred from another graduate institution. No more than 13 units taken through Extension may be used on a contract. No more than 13 units of acceptable graduate credit may be petitioned by an undergraduate student. A total limit of 13 transfer and/or extension and/or units petitioned for graduate credit may be included on a master's contract.
4. Graduate students enrolled in the Single Subject Credential program who have completed their undergraduate degree may complete more than 13 units of the master's program prior to admission under the following conditions:
a. The student must meet the requirements for unconditional admission into the masters program.
b. Prior permission from the department Graduate Coordinator must have been obtained.
5. The student will develop a program based upon the curriculum outline that follows, in consultation with the major professor and the department Graduate Coordinator and be approved by the Graduate Studies Analyst.
6. Advancement to candidacy is required.
7. A candidate completing thesis must submit two final copies for binding in accordance with university regulations and successfully complete a final oral examination covering the thesis and the candidate's area of specialization.
8. The candidate must be enrolled in the university during the quarter of graduation.


Required Courses

ABM 575 Statistics for Agriculture (4)
AS 545 Design and Analysis of Experimental Research (4)
AGS 41 0/410L Technological Applications in Agricultural Education (2,1)
AGS 510 Analysis and Application of Ag Educational Research (3)
AGS 550 Research Methodology in Ag Ed (3)
AGS 580 Current Issues in Ag Ed (3)
AGS 694 Thesis Research (1-6)
and AGS 696 Master's Degree Thesis (1-6)
OR *AGS 697 Comprehensive Exam (1)

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Elective Courses
Choose 13-24 units with the consent of the student's major professor and graduate committee.

* Students electing this option will include 1-11 additional units of electives in their program in lieu of AGS 694 (1-6) and AGS 696 (1-6). Note qualifications for this option listed under admission to the program.

Graduate Course Descriptions

AGS 505/505L Young and Adult Programs and Adult Leadership (2/1)
Organization, history, philosophy, administration and procedures in advising Future Farmer Chapters and conducting classes for out-of-school youth and adults. Surveys and plans for development of rural and urban adult programs, F.F.A. and Young Farmer programs, techniques and methods. 2 lecture/discussions; 1 two hour activity. Concurrent enrollment required.

AGS 510 Analysis and Application of Agricultural Education Research (3)
Integrated approach to the scientific approach in Agricultural Education. Emphasis on the research problem, statistical analysis, fundamentals of measurement, research method and communicating research. This course will explore computer accessibility and offerings at Cal Poly Pomona and expose students to various techniques in computer analysis of data case studies. Independent research. 3 lecture/problem-solving. Prerequisites: ABM 375/375L and AGS 410/410L or equivalent.

AGS 540 Evaluation of Ag-Ed Programs (3)
Evaluation of Ag-Ed departments. Emphasis given to a well-balanced program providing instruction, supervised occupational experience, and youth activity. 3 lecture/problem solving.

AGS 550 Research Methodology in Agricultural Education (3)
Current findings and research problems in the field of agriculture and their application to the industry. Each seminar to have a subtitle identifying the discipline. AGS 450 may be substituted for AGS 550 by those individuals who have completed the Agricultural Specialist Credential. AGS 450 may not be used to meet the 500-600 course level requirement. 3 seminar/discussions. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.

AGS 560 Internship (1-3)
On-the job experience with public and private agencies for graduate students. Professional experience new to the student to enhance the level of competence in agriculture. One unit credit for each 40 hours of experience. Written reports necessary. Approval required before enrolling. Students are permitted to take only 1-3 units per quarter.

ABM 575 Statistics for Agriculture (4)
A summary of statistical tools and techniques used in agriculture. Application of computer to selected statistical techniques. Open to graduate students only. 4 lectures.

AGS 580 Current Issues in Agricultural Education (3)
Recent developments in agricultural education including job market, staffing, funding, state and federal legislation. Delivery systems for subject matter programs in agricultural education and their relationship to local educational agencies (L.E.A.'s). 3 seminar/discussions.

AGS 591 Directed Study (1-2)
Individualized study, research, or readings in a specialized area under the direction of a faculty member. May be repeated for a maximum of 4 units. Students are permitted to take only 1- 2 units per quarter.

AGS 5991599A/599L Special Topics for Graduate Students(1-4)
Group study of selected topics, the title to be specified in advance. Instruction by lecture, activity, laboratory or a combination. Prerequisite: Permission of major professor and graduate committee.

AGS 692 Independent Study (1-2)
Individualized study, research, or readings in a specialized area proposed by the student and conducted under the direction of a faculty member. May be repeated for a maximum of 4 units. Students are permitted to take only 1-2 units per quarter. Unconditional standing required.

AGS 694 Thesis Research (1-3)
Research conducted in area of specialization under the direction of a faculty member as part of the preparation for writing a thesis. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 units. Students are permitted to take only 1-3 units per quarter. Unconditional standing required.

AGS 696 Master's Degree Thesis (1-3)
Compilation, evaluation, interpretation, and presentation in thesis form of supervised research. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 units. Students are permitted to take only 1-3 units per quarter. Advancement to Candidacy required.

AGS 697 Comprehensive Examination (1) (Credit/No credit)
Preparation for and completion of the written comprehensive examination. Advancement to Candidacy required.

AGS 699 Master's Degree Continuation (O)
Registration or an approved leave of absence is required for any quarter following the final assignment of the "SP" grade until the completion of the thesis or comprehensive examination. The candidate must be enrolled in the university during the quarter in which he/she graduates. Advancement to Candidacy required.

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