In this article, we list the top ranked and most affordable online master's in agriculture business/agribusiness for 2016-2017.
A master's in agribusiness, or agricultural economics, is typically an interdisciplinary degree comprised of studies in agriculture, economics, business, management, and marketing. This type of program is uniquely focused on the food and agribusiness sector and is designed to equip students with the necessary skills to lead and influence various agricultural industries. Today, some of the nation's most well known institutions offer online graduate degree programs in agribusiness and related fields.
We reviewed approximately 50 accredited colleges and universities that offered an online master's in agribusiness, agricultural business, agricultural economics, agricultural engineering and management, food defense studies, and other related degree programs. We chose schools with rankings from major publications like Forbes magazine or U.S. News and World Report. From our pool of schools, we then selected the most affordable of these recognized institutions based on in-state graduate tuition/fees published by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) College Navigator. We then listed the schools in order of affordability.
Below are the resulting selections for the top 20 most affordable online master's degrees in agriculture business (agribusiness) or related program.
#20 – Pennsylvania State University
Online Master's in Professional Studies – Agricultural Biosecurity and Food Defense
University Park, Pennsylvania
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $20,270
Variations of the online master's in agriculture business degree include agricultural biosecurity and food defense. This unique online master's degree program is offered at Pennsylvania State University and designed for busy professionals who want to learn more about safeguarding the food supply chain in America. Courses include agricultural biosecurity – protecting a key infrastructure, disaster communication, exploring imagery and elevation data in GIS applications, homeland security – policies and programs, social and ethical issues, and violence and threats – insurgency. A culminating research project is required and must relate to agricultural biosecurity. The university is ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, the school ranks as the 47th best national university.
#19 – Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Online Master's in Agricultural and Life Sciences
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $14,116
For those interested in pursuing an online master's in agriculture business or related degree program, Virginia Tech offers a master's in agricultural and life sciences with five concentration options. The program is designed for working professionals who want to earn a graduate degree without having to commute to class. All classes are delivered online and include agribusiness marketing policy and business strategies, agricultural non-point source pollution, international agricultural development and trade, research methods, and soils for professionals. Students may focus their studies on a concentration area. These concentration options include education, environmental science, food safety and biosecurity, leadership studies, and plant science and pest management. Virginia Tech is ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report as the 70th best national university.
#18 – Oregon State University
Online Master's in Natural Resources
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $13,722
Oregon State University offers an alternative to the online master's in agriculture business degree program. Students interested in agricultural studies can pursue a master's in natural resources entirely online. The 45-credit program covers courses in ecology and production, human systems, methodology, and sustainable natural resources. Students may also choose an area of emphasis to help focus their studies. Emphasis areas include fisheries management, sustainable natural resources, or wildlife management. There is also a custom-designed option for those who want to create their own concentration based on interest and career goals. Oregon State University is highly ranked as among the best national universities by major publications like U.S. News and World Report.
#17 – Washington State University
Online Master's in Agriculture
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $12,745
The master's in agriculture from Washington State University may be an alternative for those interested in an online master's in agribusiness. The program is 100% online and offers several specializations, including economic sciences. Students may choose either a thesis or non-thesis track and tailor their coursework to suit their professional goals. All classes are delivered online by the same professors who teach on campus. Courses include economics for agricultural decision-making, research methods, and world agricultural systems. Washington State University is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as the 140th best national university and the 71st top public school in the nation.
#16 – Ohio State University
Online Master's in Plant Health Management
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $12,425
Ohio State University offers a graduate degree that is designed for those interested in online master's in agribusiness programs. Students may earn an online master's in plant health management with minimal campus requirements. One course, plant disease diagnosis, is required to be taken in either Columbus or Wooster, depending on the year. Other required courses that are delivered online include introduction to experimental design, pesticide science, plant disease management, and principles of weed ecology and management. Ohio State is ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report as a top public institution. In fact, the most recent publication of Best Colleges ranks the school as the 52nd best national university and the 16th top public school.
#15 – Murray State University
Online Master's in Agriculture – Agribusiness Economics
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $11,568
Murray State University's online agriculture master's degree program offers an agribusiness economics emphasis. The degree may be completed entirely online and includes courses like agribusiness management, agricultural policy, experimental design and statistical analysis, research in agriculture, research methodology, and training and presentation development strategies for agricultural audiences. The program may be completed in one or two years, and the department provides recommended course sequences depending on which completion time is selected. Murray State is ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, the most recent edition of Best Colleges lists the school #28 for best regional universities in the South.
#14 – Colorado State University
Online Master's in Integrated Resource Management
Fort Collins, Colorado
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $11,357
Colorado State University offers an integrated resource management degree, which may appeal to those interested in online master's in agribusiness programs. In fact, students earn a master's in agriculture with an emphasis in integrated resource management. Courses are delivered entirely online and the degree may be completed in two years. Required courses include analyzing and managing the business, building the business, integrated decision making, products to profit, understanding and managing animal resources, and understanding policy and emerging issues. While no thesis is required, students must complete a professional paper to satisfy the degree. Colorado State is ranked #127 by U.S. News and World Report as a best national university.
#13 – University of Georgia
Online Master's in Food Technology
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $10,750
For those interested in food safety, the University of Georgia offers an accredited master's in food technology. The program may appeal to online agriculture master's degree students who want to learn more about food safety and current regulation practices. All classes are delivered online and include contemporary advances and issues in food packaging technology, innovation in food processing, integration of multidisciplinary topics in food, marketing of value-added foods, and microbial hazards in food. According to major publications like U.S. News and World Report, University of Georgia ranks #61 among the best national universities and the 21st top public school in the United States.
#12 – Auburn University
Online Master's in Agriculture
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $10,418
One of the top online agriculture master's degree programs on our list is found at Auburn University. This 30 to 36-hour program offers specializations in agronomy and soils, turfgrass management, and soil and water environmental sciences. Required courses may include bioenergy and environment, experimental methods, nutrient management, and soil chemistry. A thesis is not required for the online degree, although a special problems course and project must be completed. Auburn is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as the 102nd best national university and the 46th top public school. Several of the school's online graduate programs are also ranked.
#11 – North Carolina State University
Online Master's in Biological and Agricultural Engineering
Raleigh, North Carolina
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $10,224
One of the top online agriculture master's degree programs is found at the highly ranked and affordable North Carolina State University. The school offers an online master's in biological and agricultural engineering, intended for working professionals who want to pursue an online agriculture degree that does not require extensive research. The program is specifically geared toward those who want to focus their studies in environmental engineering and bioprocess engineering. Online courses include agricultural waste management, introduction to land and water engineering, and precision agriculture technology. NC State is a nationally ranked institution. In fact, U.S. News and World Report ranks the school as the 89th best national university and the 50th best value school in the country.
#10 – Purdue University
Online MS-MBA in Food and Agribusiness
West Lafayette, Indiana
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $10,002
Purdue University offers a degree program designed for those interested in earning an online master's in agricultural economics or agribusiness. Completion of the program earns an MS-MBA in food and agribusiness management from Purdue's Kelley School of Business. Completion time for the program is approximately 27 months. This unique, two-program degree offers online courses that include economics for food and agribusiness managers, financial management, law and ethics in business, strategic food and agribusiness management, and strategic marketing management. Purdue is ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report as the 61st best national university in the country.
#9 – Kansas State University
Online Master's in Agribusiness
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $9,972
Kansas State University offers an affordable online master's in agribusiness degree program that is designed for entry and mid-level agribusiness managers who want to gain a thorough understanding of current agribusiness issues that will help advance their careers. Forty-two credits are required, with most classes delivered entirely online. Four one-week on-campus sessions are required during the two to two-and-a-half year program. Online courses include agribusiness financial management, agribusiness risk management, applied agribusiness economics, international agribusiness policy analysis, marketing concepts and research, and optimization techniques for agribusiness. Kansas State is ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, U.S. News ranks the school as the 146th best national university and the 77th top public school in the country.
#8 – University of Tennessee at Martin
Online Master's in Agriculture and Natural Resources – Agribusiness and Risk Management
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $9,648
Interested in an online master's agricultural economics program? University of Tennessee at Martin offers an online master's in agriculture with an agribusiness and risk management concentration. The degree is comprised of 36 hours of graduate course work with 18 hours of concentration work. Online courses include advanced agricultural marketing, agricultural production economics, agricultural risk analysis and decision-making, applied management science in agricultural systems, project management issues in agriculture, and strategic management issues in agriculture. A final oral and written examination is also required. The University of Tennessee at Martin is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as the 50th best regional university in the South and the 19th top public school in the nation. Several of the school's online graduate degree programs have also received recognition.
#7 – University of Missouri
Online Master's in Agricultural Leadership
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $9,506
The University of Missouri offers an alternative degree program for those interested in an online master's in agriculture business. Students may earn an MS in agricultural leadership, communication, and education entirely online from Mizzou. The program is designed for those interested in pursuing careers as agriculture educators, public relations administrators, or youth specialists. Thesis and non-thesis options are available. Some of the online courses include foundations of agriculture communication, international agriculture, risk and crisis communication, technological change, and utilization of online media as related to agriculture. University of Missouri is ranked as the 103rd best national university and the 47th top public school by U.S. News and World Report.
#6 – Iowa State University
Online Master's in Seed Technology and Business
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $9,172
For those interested in an online master's in agriculture business, the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Iowa State University offers a unique degree program. Students may enroll in the seed technology and business master's degree program, which is delivered entirely online. Business courses cover seed-related issues, while practical applications are the focus of the science and technology classes. All courses are delivered online and include crop improvement, introduction to the seed industry, marketing and logistics, seed production, and seed trade policies and regulation. Iowa State is ranked nationally by U.S. News and World Report. In fact, U.S. News ranks the school as the 108th best national university in the country.
#5 – Texas A&M University
Online Master's in Agricultural Systems Management and Agricultural Development
College Station, Texas
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,656
Texas A&M University offers several online master's in agribusiness-related degree programs, including agricultural development and agricultural systems management. The agricultural systems management program also offers an emphasis in food processing technology and is designed for those without a bachelor's degree in engineering. The program does not require a thesis, but does require a senior project (or professional paper). The master's in agricultural development is specifically designed for those interested in agribusiness careers. While the program is also a non-thesis degree, a 12-semester hour residence requirement must be completed. Online courses include developing funded research projects, leadership of volunteers, and philosophy of agricultural education. The university is ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report as the 70th best national university in the country.
#4 – University of Nebraska
Online Master's in Agricultural Economics
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,556
Interested in an online agriculture master's degree that emphasizes business? University of Nebraska offers online MS in agricultural economics degrees that focus on international trade and development, natural resources and environmental economics, and production economics. All coursework is delivered online and covers topics such as analytical methods in economics and business, economics of agricultural production, environmental law, law and economics, production economics, and natural resource economics. University of Nebraska is a nationally ranked public institution. In fact, U.S. News and World Report ranks the school as the 103rd best national university and the 84th best college for veterans. Several of the university's online graduate programs have earned top-15 rankings by U.S. News.
#3 – University of Arkansas
Online Master of Laws in Agricultural and Food Law
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,096
University of Arkansas's online master's in agricultural and food law may appeal to those interested in an online master's in agriculture business degree. The program is 100% online and covers specialized courses that focus on consumer, farmer, and processor perspectives. Full-time and part-time enrollment options are available, and the program may be completed in as little as two semesters or up to four years. Online courses include agricultural policy and the federal budget, agriculture and the environment, food law and policy, regulated markets in agriculture, and selected issues in agricultural and food law. The institution is ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, U.S. News ranks the school as the 129th best national university.
#2 – Oklahoma State University
Online Master's in Agribusiness
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $7,230
One of the top online master's in agricultural economics or agribusiness degree programs on our list is found at Oklahoma State University. Students may earn a master's in agribusiness entirely online. The program is designed for those interested in becoming decision-makers in agricultural roles and leadership positions. This non-research degree is perfect for those who do not desire research studies but plan to enter the workforce immediately following graduation. Courses in agribusiness and agricultural economics include advanced agricultural finance, advanced farm and ranch management, agribusiness management, management and organization theory, and managerial economics. Oklahoma State is nationally ranked by U.S. News and World Report and has one of the top 100 business programs in the country.
#1 – Sam Houston State University
Online Master of Agriculture – Sustainable Agriculture and Food Environment
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $7,213
The top online master's in agricultural economics or related degree program on our list is found at Sam Houston State University. The program is designed for those interested in an online master's in agriculture business, sustainable agriculture, or related degree. This full distance education program is delivered entirely online with classes that explore topics in advanced agricultural studies and sustainable food systems. Online courses include advanced agriculture and food entrepreneurship, applied horticultural science, consumer and food technology, diversified animal production, agriculture sales and communication, and sustainable energy and resources. Sam Houston State is ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report as a best national university. Also, the school's online graduate degree programs have earned recognition. Sam Houston State offers our most affordable master's degree programs in agriculture business or related studies.
This concludes our ranking of the top 20 most affordable online master's in agriculture business/agribusiness for 2016-2017.