2021-2022 Graduate and Professional Program Catalog 
    Mar 25, 2023  
2021-2022 Graduate and Professional Program Catalog

Food and Agriculture Sciences, Agricultural Economics, M.S.

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Food and Agriculture Sciences, M.S.

Objectives of the Program

The overall objective of the program is to provide the State of Maryland, the Eastern Shore region and the nation with persons possessing the M.S. degree who have the knowledge and skills necessary to fill critical employment needs in scientific, technological and economic areas related to food & agriculture. Specific objectives of the program:

  • To provide students with competencies in research and scientific knowledge needed for gainful employment in the Food and Agricultural Sciences.
  • To provide in the land‐grant tradition, a quality education with research training at the Master’s level within a framework of holistic and interdisciplinary agricultural science technology.
  • To recruit minorities and women to pursue careers in agricultural professions where they have traditionally and historically been under‐represented.
  • To assist students in developing their skills in problem solving, analytical thinking, communication and leadership.

Description of the Program

The Departments of Agriculture, Food and Resource Sciences and Human Ecology offer a graduate program leading to the degree of Master of Science (M.S.) in Food and Agricultural Sciences (FASC). Concentrations include: Agricultural Economics, Agriculture and Extension Education, Animal and Poultry Science, Food and Nutrition, Natural Resources Science and Plant and Soil Science. In typical situations, the prerequisite to graduate work is the completion of a curriculum substantially equivalent to that required of undergraduate students enrolled in the Departments of Agriculture, Food and Resource Sciences and Human Ecology at UMES. A student may qualify for graduate study, however, even though his/her undergraduate degree has been earned in a discipline other than agriculture or human ecology. Supporting or prerequisite work may be required, depending upon the student’s background and area of interest. A minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 (A=4.0) is required for Regular Admission. A student with a grade point average of 2.75 may be admitted on a provisional basis. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores (general test only), three letters of recommendation and a completed application form are required of all applicants. Foreign students must take the Internet Based Test (IBT) TOEFL and score a minimum of 80/120.

The program offers a thesis or non‐thesis option for completion of degree requirements. The thesis option is designed for students who wish to conduct a research project and is required of all students holding graduate research assistantships. Students are required to complete a minimum of 24 hours of course work and 6 hours of thesis credits for a total of 30 hours. The non‐thesis option is designed for students who do not wish to complete a thesis research project. Students who choose this option must complete a minimum of 36 hours of course work which includes a “creative component” (e.g., scholarly paper).

Each student is assigned an advisor/ major professor according to his/her area of concentration. Major professors may be either regular or associate members of the UMES Graduate Faculty. The student, in consultation with the major professor, selects his/her Graduate Committee no later than the end of the second semester following enrollment. Each student’s program of study is planned in conjunction with the major professor and Graduate Committee. For additional information on completion of degree requirements, students should consult the booklet, Guidelines for the Graduate Degree Programs in Food and Agricultural Sciences and Food Science and Technology. All students, regardless of the area of concentration or program option chosen, must maintain an overall 3.0 grade point average, complete degree requirements within 5 years of initial enrollment and pass a final oral examination.

Structure of the Program

Core courses

  • Research Methodology 3 credits
  • Statistics 3 credits
  • Seminar Three 1‐credit courses

Thesis Option ‐ Minimum of 30 credit hours

  • Core courses - 9
  • Concentration courses - 12
  • Electives - 3
  • Thesis - 6

Non‐Thesis Option ‐ Minimum of 36 credit hours

  • Core courses - 9
  • Concentration courses - 18
  • Electives - 6
  • Creative Component - 3

Application Deadlines

  • Fall Semester ‐ April 15
  • Spring Semester ‐ October 30
  • Summer Sessions ‐ April 15

Research Activities

Faculty in the Departments of Agriculture, Food and Resource Sciences and Human Ecology conduct basic and applied research in each of the concentration areas.

Annual appropriations by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA)/USDA and extramural grants support research activities by faculty and graduate students. Faculty in the Departments of Agriculture, Food and Resource Sciences and Human Ecology maintain close working relations with faculty at the University of Maryland College Park and other 1862 and 1890 land‐grant institutions, the Maryland Extension Service and the Agricultural Experiment Station. A number of UMES faculty have access to and utilize facilities of the various units that comprise the Agricultural Experiment Station. Scientists with agricultural expertise from other University System of Maryland campuses may serve on graduate committees for students enrolled in the program. Faculty, staff and students also collaborate with scientists from USDA, as well as from universities outside the University System of Maryland.

Facilities and Equipment

Faculty in the Departments of Agriculture, Food and Resource Sciences and Human Ecology maintain office space in Trigg Hall, the Crop and Soil Science Research Building, the Poultry Science Research Building, the Richard A. Henson Center, and the Food Science and Technology Building.

Several laboratories are fully equipped with instrumentation for both basic and applied research. These laboratories are located in the Crop and Soil Science, Food Science and Technology, Henson Center, and Trigg Hall buildings and accommodate research efforts in agronomy, biotechnology, food safety and quality, global information systems, host‐insect interactions, plant genetics and breeding, soil science, plant pathology, plant‐environment interactions, and water quality and nutrient management.

The UMES teaching and research farm possesses over 300 tillable acres for crop use. Animal facilities include a totally confined 60‐sow farrow‐to‐finish swine unit, and research broiler houses with capacities of up to 24,000 birds per house.

For information on this program, please contact:

Jurgen Schwarz, Ph.D.
Graduate Program Coordinator
Food and Agricultural Sciences Program
Trigg Hall, Room 1107
University of Maryland Eastern Shore
Princess Anne, Maryland 21853
Email: jgschwarz@umes.edu
Phone: 410‐651‐6168

Agricultural Economics Courses

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