Sustainable Agriculture

Department of Ag

Master of Science in Sustainable Agriculture

The master's degree program in Sustainable Agriculture is designed to produce graduates with the skills needed to succeed and be leaders in a century that will bring significant changes to agriculture. This program will produce graduates with production, consultancy, research and service skills adaptable to addressing a variety of issues in modern agriculture: fuel efficiency; nutrition retention and cycling; sustainable, organic and low-input crop/livestock production; water, energy and soil conservation; local and direct marketing; etc. Graduates will be able to effectively work and communicate with professionals in a wide variety of disciplines.

Twenty-first century agriculture should not only provide a livelihood for farmers and food for consumers but also minimize its impact on the environment and natural resources as well as sustain stable local economies. Studying and developing solutions and policies to address the above require a sound and rigorous interdisciplinary approach.

The program intends to explore agriculture from a different perspective, one that integrates animal, plant, and aquaculture production with the management of natural resources, such as nutrients, soil, and water. Students who major in agriculture or related sciences and agribusiness are encouraged to enroll in this degree program.

Lincoln University has state-of-the-art farms that incorporate aquaculture, large and small ruminant production, greenhouses, vegetable and fruit production, integrated pest management and selected agronomic crops. Lincoln University also has state-of-the-art labs, including, but not limited to, chemistry and microbiology as well as a global information system (GIS) laboratory. In addition, students in the program will have the added opportunity to take online agriculture and environmental science graduate courses from the University of Nebraska Lincoln, with which Lincoln University signed a collaborative memorandum of understanding in 2008.

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Admissions Requirements

Applicants seeking admission to the Master of Science in Sustainable Agriculture program must meet the following requirements:

  • Compliance with all of the eligibility requirements of the Lincoln University Office of Graduate Studies as set forth in the Graduate Bulletin.
  • Acceptance to graduate study by the Department of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences and the Office of Graduate Studies.
  • A baccalaureate degree in agriculture or related sciences from an accredited college, with an undergraduate minimum grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.00 scale.
  • A minimum verbal plus quantitative GRE score of 282
  • For international students: A minimum score of 500 (paper test) or 173 (computer test) on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).
  • Three letters of reference.
  • Applicants must provide the Office of Graduate Studies with official transcripts of all previous college and/or university studies and official copies of GRE and TOEFL (if applicable) scores. If the transcripts are not in English, certified copies of English translations must be included.

General Guidelines

Sustainable Agriculture degree course requirements are listed below. The department has developed graduate core and elective courses for students enrolled in the program. Graduate students may also take courses offered in other departments if the courses are relevant to agriculture and the student's professional goals. Students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.00 (out of 4.00) in all coursework presented for the degree. Under the guidance of an advisor, graduate students must complete and defend a thesis to complete their studies. One credit hour of the Graduate Seminar course must be included in each student's graduate program. Students must present their research proposal to the public in a seminar at the beginning of their studies and the results of their work at the end of their studies to the public.

Requirements for M.S. Degree, Thesis Option

Students pursuing an MS in Sustainable Agriculture must complete at least thirty (30) graduate credits (twenty-four (24) semester hours of course work and six (6) hours of thesis research), not less than twenty-one (21) of which must be earned at Lincoln University. A Master's thesis shall be written and defended under the supervision of a thesis committee.

The following minimum numbers of credits in the indicated areas are required to complete the thesis option:

  • 18 credits of Sustainable Agriculture courses,
  • 6 credits of courses related to the student's area of focus, and
  • 6 credits of AGR 599, Thesis Research

Requirements for M.S. Degree, Non-Thesis Option

Students seeking an M.S. in Sustainable Agriculture with the non-thesis option must complete at least 33 graduate credits of course work. They must complete a non-thesis research or literature survey-based paper on a topic dealing with agriculture. A student wishing to pursue a non-thesis MS option must obtain approval of the topic title from her/his advisor before the commencement of work.

The following minimum numbers of credits in the indicated areas are required to complete the non-thesis MS:

  • 27 credits of Sustainable Agriculture courses, and
  • 6 credits of courses related to the student's area of focus

Core Required Courses (15 Hours Thesis Option; 10 Hours Non-Thesis Option)

AGR 503 Experimental Design & Data Analysis 3
AGR 507 Scientific Writing (Online) 2
AGR 509 Plant Nutrition and Management 3
ARG 511 Advances in Sustainable Agriculture (Online) 3
AGR 515 Soil Management for Sustainability 3
AGR 590 Graduate Seminar in Agriculture 1
AGR 599 Thesis Research (Thesis option only) 6


Elective Courses (9 Hours Thesis Option; 17 Hours Non-Thesis Option)

AGR 502 Production Economics 3
AGR 512 Pasture-Based Livestock Production 3
AGR 520 Instrumental Analysis 3
AGR 523 Applied Watershed Management 3
AGR 545 Hydrology 3
AGR 550 Genomics 3
AGR 555 Food Safety: Theory and Practice (Online) 3
AGR 528 Integrated Pest Management 3
ENV 516 Geographic Information Systems Applications 3
AGR 530 Environmental Monitoring and Remediation (Hybrid) 3
BIO 523 Ecology 4
AGR 595 Current Topics in Agriculture 3

Graduate Advisors

  • Adrian Andrei, Professor of Wildlife Management
  • Addissu Ayele, Assistant Professor of Plant Science
  • Abua Ikem, Professor of Research/Analytical Chemistry
  • Vacant, Assistant Professor of Animal Science


Graduate Thesis Research Supervisors

  • Clement Akotsen-Mensah, Assistant Professor of Research/IPM Specialist
  • Sougata Bardhan, Assistant Professor of Research/Natural Resources Management
  • Jonathan Egilla, Associate Professor of Research/Plant Science
  • Frieda Eivazi, Professor of Research/Soil Science
  • Jessica Epple-Farmer, Assistant Professor of Research/Animal Science
  • Abua Ikem, Professor of Research/Analytical Chemistry
  • Dallas Flickinger, Assistant Professor of Research/Aquaculture
  • Solomon Geleta, Assistant Professor of Research/Agribusiness
  • Tunsisa Hurisso, Assistant Professor of Research/Soil Science
  • Safiullah Pathan, Associate Professor of Research/Crop Science
  • Ye Su, Assistant Professor of Research/Agribusiness 
  • Samson Tesfaye, Professor of Research/Geology
  • Babu Valliyodan, Assistant Professor of Research/Molecular Biology and Genomics
  • James Wetzel, Associate Professor of Research/Aquaculture
  • Wesseh Wollo, Professor of Research/Agribusiness
  • Tumen Wuliji, Professor of Research/Animal Science
  • John Yang, Professor of Research/Soil Chemistry
  • Sean Zeiger, Assistant Professor of Research/Forest Hydrology and Watershed Management
  • Guolu Zheng, Professor of Research/Microbiology

Learn about our Graduate Assistantships

See the current  Graduate Bulletin for program specific requirements and information.

Contact Us

Irasema Steck, Administrative Assistant
219 Frank Hall
816 Chestnut Street
Jefferson City, MO  65101
P: 573-681-5380  F: 573-681-5955