West Texas A&M University

Buff Transit Tracker
Agriculture Graduate Program (Ph.D., M.S.)

Department of Agricultural Sciences

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Degree

Major in Agriculture (Major Code: 7500)

The Ph.D. program requires a minimum of a baccalaureate degree plus a master of science (thesis preferred) with at least one degree in an agriculture discipline prior to admission to the Ph. D. program. The degree will require a minimum of 90 semester
credit hours (sch) beyond the baccalaureate degree with the following requirements. (Students with a DVM or other agriculture related professional degree may be admitted and will be considered on a case-by-case basis with consideration by the potential advisor, the program director, the department head, and the deans of the college and graduate school. Students with other backgrounds may also be considered but may be expected to develop expertise in agriculture either before or after admission to the program.)

A core of 24 semester credit hours, including 12 semester credit hours of formal core courses:

  • AGRI 7375—Systems Agriculture I
  • AGRI 7381—Systems Methods
  • AGRI 8303—Systems Agriculture II
  • AGRI 8000—12 semester credit hours of dissertation
  • AGRI 7101—One semester credit hour of graduate seminar in leadership - offered once per year and repeated three times for a total of three semester credit hours
Multi-disciplinary Breadth
A minimum of 9 additional semester credit hours with a minimum of 3 hours each in at least two of three departmental disciplines (AGBE, ANSC, PSES) to insure multidisciplinary breadth. The courses are to be chosen from:
  • AGRI 8070 – Graduate Experiences in Systems Agriculture (1 to 3 sch for a total of 3 sch) – summers only with faculty outside focus area
  • AGRI 7302 – Agricultural Perspectives on Environmental Risk
  • AGRI 7376 – Biotechnology in Agriculture
  • AGBE 7301 – Organization, Operation and Management of Agribusiness (previously 8301)
  • AGBE 7302 – Policy, Trade and the Agribusiness Firm (previously 8302)
  • ANSC 7301 – Integrated Animal and Resource Management (previously 8301)
  • ANSC 7302 – Case Studies in Integrated Animal Management (previously 8302)
  • ANSC 7325 – Forage Resource Utilization by Grazing Animals
  • PSES 7301 – Advanced Plant and Soil Management (previously 8301)
  • PSES 7302 – Plant, Soil and Environmental Resource Management Perspectives (previously 8302)
  • PSES 7325 – Soil-Plant-Water Relationships
  • PSES 7344 – Agricultural Waste Management Graduate Statistics

Graduate Statistics
A minimum of 6 semester credit hours of graduate level statistics equivalent to AGRI 7318 and 7301 (formerly 8301) or above must be completed in residence for the Ph. D. degree. If this requirement is satisfied during the M. S. degree, 6 semester credit hours of electives, including research, may be substituted at the discretion of the student’s advisory committee and approval of the Director of the Doctoral Program with concurrence of the Department Head, Dean of the College, and Dean of the Graduate School.

Discipline Depth
A minimum of 6 semester credit hours of Ph. D. level courses to be chosen from:

  • AGBE 7301 or 7302, whichever was not taken to satisfy requirements for multi-disciplinary breadth, or other AGBE 7000 level or above course
  • AGRI 7302 (formerly 8302), or other AGRI 7000 level or above course
  • ANSC 7302 (formerly 8302), or other ANSC 7000 level or above course exclusive of ANSC 7301
  • PSES 7302 (formerly 8302), or other PSES 7000 level or above course exclusive of PSES 7301

At the discretion of the committee, the six semester credit hours may be in a single discipline.

Additional Credit Hour Requirements
Forty-five semester credit hours of electives from 6000 level or above courses, including research credits. No more than 9 sch may accrue from AGRI 8095, AGBE 8095, ANSC 8095, PSES 8095 or other independent or directed studies, and no more than 6 sch may accrue from directed studies in a single discipline.

Credit for Master of Science
Up to 6 sch thesis, plus up to 2 sch seminar, plus up to 32 sch from lecture, laboratory, or independent study courses may be applied to the 90 required semester credit hours beyond the baccalaureate degree upon request of the student’s graduate advisory committee and approval of the Program Director, the Department Head, Dean of the College, and the Dean of the Graduate School and Research. Upon admission to the doctoral program, students must be continuously enrolled taking a minimum of 3 sch during each fall and spring term. Full-time students must take a minimum of 9 sch during the fall and spring terms and 6 sch during the summer term(s).
After advancement to candidacy, students in residence must continuously enroll in dissertation hours adequate to maintain full-time student status, complete a substantial multi-disciplinary research project and write a dissertation of appropriate length and rigor. Students not in residence must make appropriate arrangements with their advisors which recognize adequately the investment of resources and time made by the University and the Faculty and subject to full administrative approval through the
Director of the Program, Department Head, Dean of the College, and Dean of the Graduate School. A final defense of the dissertation and final examination of the candidate will be conducted by the student’s advisory committee. Should the student fail the final examination, the advisory committee shall outline the deficiencies to be corrected for the student to re-defend the dissertation. A minimum of four months must elapse before a second defense may be attempted. Should the student fail to pass the second time, the student will be automatically dismissed from the program.
Work completed in the doctoral program of another recognized graduate school will be considered on the recommendation of the departments concerned, but no assurance can be given that such work will reduce the course or residence requirements here. In no case can transferred credit reduce the minimum residency requirement of 45 semester credit hours.

Master of Science (M.S.) Degree

Majors in Agriculture

Students seeking the M.S. degree in agriculture will select one of the following areas of concentration:

  • Agricultural Business and Economics (Major Code: 5522)
  • Agriculture (Major Code: 5513)
  • Animal Science (Major Code: 5523)
  • Plant, Soil and Environmental Science (Major Code: 5524)

Thesis Option (30 credit hours)

  • At least 18 hours credit from 6000-level and above courses.
  • At least 18 hours credit in courses offered in the Department of Agricultural Sciences.
  • At least one hour credit in graduate seminar (up to three hours credit can be used toward degree requirements).
  • AGRI 6316, and 7318 or other courses with approval.
  • Six hours credit of thesis (AGRI 6301 and 6302).
  • No more than four hours credit from individual study courses.
  • Successful completion of thesis and comprehensive exam.

Non-Thesis Option (36 credit hours)

  • At least 18 hours credit from 6000-level and above courses.
  • At least 18 hours credit in courses offered in the Department of Agricultural Sciences.
  • One hour credit in graduate seminar.
  • AGRI 6316 or other courses with approval.
  • Six hours credit in a supplementary area. (Not from courses in agricultural business and economics, animal science, or plant, soil and environmental science.
  • No more than six hours credit from individual study courses.
  • Successful completion of comprehensive exam.
Apply Now