Graduate Programs

Master's Degree Programs

A Master’s degree prepares a person with additional knowledge and necessary skills in the field in order to teach, become a practitioner, or conduct research. Candidates have the option to choose among five areas of specialization:

  • Agricultural Communication
  • Agricultural Education
  • Community and Extension Education
  • International Development
  • Leadership

Students pursuing a Master's degree are expected to develop an individualized project in cooperation with their adviser and advisory committee.  ACEL offers both the M.S. (thesis or non-thesis option) and the M.Ed. degrees. Course work is comprised of a combination of core foundation courses, specialization requirements, electives, a cognate area outside Agricultural and Extension Education, and a Master's project or thesis.

Master of Science (M.S.)

  • M.S. - Thesis Option The purpose of a thesis is to discover new knowledge.  Students will work closely with their adviser and graduate advisory committee to identify an appropriate topic and conduct research to discover new knowledge in a systematic manner.  M.S. programs should include a thesis research project that reflects individual scholarship and addresses a topic significant and important to the student's specialization area.  Each M.S. thesis option program must have a minimum of 30 semester credit hours. 
  • M.S. - Non-Thesis Option This option requires a non-thesis project that, generally, applies or restructures existing knowledge.  A project will be a creative endeavor.  Examples include:  a teaching manual, teaching materials, field study, student self-study package, evaluation material, a needs survey, a communication campaign, an online website, an educational video, a magazine/publication, a multimedia package, or a crisis plan.

Masters of Education (M.Ed.) 

  • The M.Ed. should focus on one of five areas of specialization:  Agricultural Communication, Agricultural Education, Community & Extension Education, International Development or Leadership. Each M.Ed. program must have a minimum of 35 semester credit hours. M.Ed. programs must include a Master’s project that addresses a specific topic or problem in the specialization area, involving a synthesis of theories and knowledge; culminating in a tangible contribution to the resource base of the specialization.

Doctoral Degree (Ph.D.)

Individuals seeking the Ph.D. degree with a major in Agricultural Communication, Education, and Leadership are expected to have the necessary background and experiences to enhance their success in the specialization area. A minimum of 44 semester credit hours beyond the master's degree or 80 semester credit hours beyond the baccalaureate degree is required.

Each Ph.D. degree program is an individually tailored program of course work and learning experiences designed to fulfill the needs and interests of each student in developing his/her academic potential as a scholar in the chosen specialization and research.  It provides for depth and breadth of knowledge and a variety of experiences in teaching, research and service activities.  Students work with their faculty advisers to develop and design an individual program with the advice and consent of the advisory committee.