Applied Science, MAS

Master of Applied Science Degree

University of Nebraska - Lincoln

  • Fully Online
  • 30
  • $446.00
  • $676.00

Program Overview

The online Master of Applied Science degree program is designed for students who are looking to pursue a professional degree in agriculture, food and natural resources at the master's level. Students of this program become prepared to be the problem-solvers, innovators and teachers pertaining to the great challenges our world faces related to food, energy and water in our landscapes.

Students choose the online Applied Science, MAS program because of:

  • Flexibility in coursework allows students to customize their learning experience to fit their needs and interests.
  • Convenient online courses work well for agricultural and natural resource professionals so they can advance their degree while continuing to work in their profession
  • Skill development in science and leadership to expand their career options in a variety of areas.
  • Thesis and non-thesis options are available.

The requirements for this degree include 30 credit hours of coursework with at least 15credit hours in an area of concentration, which may be interdisciplinary. 15 credit hours must be completed in a secondary area of emphasis for depth in studies.

Career Outlook: According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, overall employment of agricultural and food scientists is projected to grow 9 percent from 2020 to 2030, about as fast as the average for all occupations. About 4,400 openings for agricultural and food scientists are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire. 

Coursework: In addition to gaining the science and leadership skills necessary to expand their career options, students are able to individualize their program by choosing several areas of study, such as:

  • Agricultural Economics
  • Agronomy
  • Animal Science
  • Biochemistry
  • Entomology
  • Food Science & Technology
  • Horticulture
  • Leadership Education
  • Mechanized Systems Management
  • Natural Resource Sciences
  • Statistics
  • Veterinary Science

Specializations: Students may choose to declare a specialization when applying for admission to the Master of Applied Science, or when establishing a plan of study. If chosen, the specialization is reported on the student’s transcript.

Specialization areas in the Master of Applied Science program:

  • Community Development (36 credit hours)
  • Science for Educators (30 credit hours)
  • Beef Cattle Production (30 credit hours)

Upon completion of the program, students can apply the knowledge they have learned to a multitude of career areas, including:

  • Environmental industry
  • Food industry
  • Animal Science industry
  • Agricultural and other natural resources industries
  • Community and regional planning organizations
  • Economics and agribusiness professions
  • Teaching professions

Admissions and Requirements

To be accepted to this program, you must have:

  1. A Bachelor's degree

    Undergraduate degree in life sciences or related area, such as biological or physical science and experience in applied science

  2. 3 GPA or above on a 4.0 scale

  3. Taken the TOEFL or IELTS

    (Only required if English is not your native language)

  4. A written personal statement

    Explain why you want to pursue a Master of Applied Science degree. Please describe how obtaining this degree will help your personal, career, and/or professional goals. Describe your level of commitment to successful completion of this degree.

  5. 3 letters of recommendation

  6. Official transcripts from all previous schools

NOTE: If you reside in state(s) KY contact a program adviser before applying.

To apply to this program:

  1. Complete and submit the online application for Graduate Studies
  2. Pay $50 application fees
  3. Submit separate application to academic department

Courses You’ll Take

Course Information

Option A – Thesis required. Students can speak with their advisor to learn more about this option. 

Option B – Degree project. The student must complete at least 15 credit hours in an area of concentration, which may be interdisciplinary, and includes a 3-6 hour degree project. At least 15 credit hours in a secondary area of emphasis, which may include a minor of at least 9 credit hours selected from and approved by the minor department. Note, the examining committee must include a member from the minor department. Finally, at least 15 credit hours must be graduate-only courses. 

Students must complete 15 of the 30 credit hours exclusively in course work areas related to agriculture and natural resources. The elective courses are a small display of the course options for this requirement.

Core Courses

Course NumberCourse NameCredits
NRES/AGRI/HORT/AGRO 897Master of Applied Science Project3 - 6
Project activity for the Master of Applied Science degree. Design, develop and complete a project that requires synthesis of the course topics covered in the primary area of emphasis. Prerequisites: Admission to Master of Applied Science degree program

Elective Courses

Course NumberCourse NameCredits
AGRO 888Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Development3
This course covers the process of starting your own enterprise, including competitive environment, risk management, finance for business startups, funding, and business plan writing. Students will research a specific agricultural enterprise, then develop and present a business plan using materials from the primary area of interest. Requires completion of a shadowing assignment and analyses of case studies.
ACEN 472Agricultural Marketing and Product Development 2
Further refinement in the development of marketing plan from AECN 471. Condensation of marketing plan into executive summary and preparation of professional oral presentation. Extensive interaction with the local agribusiness community and participation in national agri- marketing competition. Prerequisites: Junior standing or permission; AECN 471.
AGRO 828Scientific Illustration3
This course provides an introduction to scientific illustration and will hone your skills in both art and observation. Students will explore the history of scientific illustration, copyright, typography, resolution and scanning principles and the creation, publication and presentation of scientific artwork. Students completing this course will have the knowledge and skills to prepare scientifically accurate, high-quality illustrations using a variety of traditional techniques for teaching, presentation and publication of scientific information. Students will also learn how to prepare graphs for scientific publication. Prerequisite: Successful completion of 12 hours of agricultural and/or biological sciences courses or permission from instructor; drawing background optional.
AGRO 906Crop Growth and Yield Modeling3
Crop growth simulation modeling is a systematic approach and powerful tool for gaining quantitative and mechanistic understanding of crop-weather-soil-management relationship and interactions, as well as for helping improve and optimize crop management based on growing season characteristics and management options. In the course, understanding and use of crop simulation models and the ability to build crop models will be emphasized. Theoretical principles of and quantitative descriptions of crop production ecology will be explained using state-of-the-art crop simulation models. Structure of crop models and simulation techniques will be illustrated. Applications of crop simulation models will also be demonstrated using practical examples. Students will have the opportunity to gain first-hand experience of running simulations of wide range of scenarios for corn and soybean growth and yield, and interpreting simulation results to serve various purposes. Prerequisites: Admission to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Successful completion of AGRO/HORT 325 or equivalent. AGRO/HORT/NRES 406/806 or equivalent recommended.
ALECOrganization of the Agricultural Mechanics Program3
Philosophy, objectives, procedures, and techniques used in organizing the program of agricultural mechanics instruction for secondary and post-high school students and adults. Determining units of instruction, evaluating student effort, procedures in shop instruction, selection of equipment, and integration into the vocational agriculture program.
AGRO 846Principles of Forage Quality and Evaluation for Grazing Livestock3
This course provides an in-depth study of the chemical characteristics of forage components as well as the interactions with ruminant physiology and digestion that influence forage feeding value and the laboratory procedures used to evaluate forages for grazing livestock. Prerequisites: Admission to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Successful completion of AGRO/RNGE 240 and ASCI 320, or equivalents. Successful completion of 3 credit hours of introductory statistics. Permission of the instructor also required.

Tuition & Fees

Nebraska Residents

Per Credit Hour


3 Credit Hours


Out of State Residents

Per Credit Hour


3 Credit Hours

About Faculty

University of Nebraska online courses are taught by expert faculty who embody the qualities resulting from research experience and professional/field experience. Students learn from faculty with a variety of backgrounds, many of whom are published researchers in their fields. NU faculty who teach online do so in a way that optimizes learning within the online modality and because technology enables students to access education they may otherwise may not be able to pursue.

Application Deadlines

Rolling admissions. Application review will begin upon receipt of all required application materials.