Section 4 – Non-Thesis Project and Final Exam Requirements
Initial admission to the online Master of Science in Agriculture degree program will be into the non-thesis plan type, which is generally more suitable for distance students. Students who wish to pursue the thesis option are invited to prepare a thesis petition (see Appendix) for review by the director of the MSAG program. The director will assess the extent of the proposed project to ensure it meets the thesis expectations for the program and that acceptable arrangements are in place for mentoring the thesis research. Upon approval, the academic coordinator will facilitate the change of the student’s plan type.
The objective of the non-thesis option is to provide students who do not intend to develop comprehensive research skills with an opportunity to obtain an advanced degree of similar quality and depth as a thesis-based master’s degree program. The non-thesis degree is not recommended for individuals who intend to continue further with graduate education past the master’s degree. Additional coursework and the independent project paper or industry-immersion (internship/practicum) based paper are substituted for the intensive thesis experience.
The non-thesis option is designed for students with relevant experience in industry who are interested in expanding their expertise in a particular agricultural discipline. Knowledge acquired through this experience will be used by successful candidates to improve performance or expand opportunities for advancement in a current employment situation, or to support a student with redirecting their career opportunities towards a new discipline.