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
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. The M.S. degree is also available in an on-line format.
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 for the five specializations include:
a. Agricultural education or community and extension education specialization: focusing on the production of a teaching manual, teaching matrials, field study, student self-study package, evaluation material, or a needs survey.
b. Agricultural Communication specialization - focusing on production of a communication campaign, an online website, an educational video, a magazine/publication, a multimedia package, or a crisis plan.
c. Leadership specialization - focusing on strategic planning, team building, diversity, professional ethics, strengths assessment, or visioning.
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.
1. Candidates must complete a minimum 30 semester hours of graduate credit for the Master of Science (M.S.) thesis option degree and a minimum of 35 hours for the M.Ed. and M.S. non-thesis option. At least 24 semester hours of graduate credit must be completed at OSU over a period of at least two semesters.
2. Master's degree programs are planned by the student, their faculty adviser, and advisory committee and submitted to the DGS before 15 credit hours are completed. The Master’s student’s advisory committee is comprised of at least two AEE Graduate Faculty members. For committees with more than two members, the majority of the committee must be faculty from the AEE graduate program. The DGS will communicate any concerns about the proposed program to the student’s faculty adviser.
3. Master's programs must be completed within six years from the term of the first course counted on the graduate degree program. If the degree program is not completed within six years, then all course work taken more than six years previously must be replaced with new course work (or competence must be documented in the courses by taking an examination or presenting a portfolio demonstrating the student's competence).
4. The M.S. program (thesis option) should include a thesis research project that reflects individual scholarship and addresses a topic significant and important to the student's specialization area.
5. The M.S. non-thesis option and M.Ed. 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 specialization. The committee must approve the project. Examples of projects include:
- a teaching manual, teaching materials, student self-study package, evaluation material, needs survey (agricultural education and community and extension education specializations)
- a communication campaign, online website, educational video, magazine/publication, multimedia package, crisis plan (agricultural communication specialization)
- a strategic plan, team building plan, diversity plan or exercise, strengths assessment, or a visioining activity (leadership specialization)
6. Additional course and degree requirements are available in the department's Graduate Program Handbook
Students who lack international course work or experience are encouraged to address this dimension in their program through a course, seminar, or study-abroad experience.
Note: A minimum of 3 credit hours of enrollment in AEE 8999 (Research) are required to complete the M.S. thesis. In addition, students may also enroll in AEE 8851 and AEE 8861 (1 credit hour for each) while planning the thesis project (i.e., writing Chapters 1 and 3 of the thesis).
M.S. students should plan to enroll in AEE 8999 for at least 3 hours during the term(s) when the research is being conducted, thesis draft is being written, and the final oral exam is completed.
*To meet Ohio professional licensure requirements, additional courses will most likely be required.