Agroforestry: Online Master's Degree
Master of science in natural resources with an emphasis in agroforestry (MS)
Agroforestry, as a sustainable set of farming practices that integrate crops and/or livestock with trees and shrubs, is increasingly recognized as an integral component of a multifunctional working landscape. For family farms with on-farm income under $250,000 per year, economic returns from the farming enterprise have been decreasing steadily over the past few decades. Concurrently, environmental problems resulting from intensive agriculture have been well documented. Reduced biodiversity, increased erosion, lower soil fertility, greenhouse gas emission, and non-point source pollution of ground water and streams have all been identified as problems associated with intensive monoculture systems. Over the past 30 years viable small farms have been disappearing from the U.S. agricultural landscape leaving a legacy of failing rural communities. Strategic deployment of agroforestry and associated specialty crops across the landscape offer promise as alternative land-use practices with potential for alleviating some of these environmental and economic problems.
The need for trained professionals in agroforestry has been expanding. The Center for Agroforestry at the University of Missouri's new online master's with a focus in agroforestry degree program seeks to help fill that need.
The Center for Agroforestry at the University of Missouri, established in 1998, is one the world's leading centers contributing to the science and practice of agroforestry.
The MS with a focus in agroforestry curriculum will be a 30-credit non-thesis degree through the forestry department at the University of Missouri with a 16-credit required core including a professional paper, optional 3-credit field internship and elective course work. This MS is designed to be a flexible degree that can meet the advanced educational goals of a wide range of students. The program was developed to provide advanced study and experience in agroforestry and related fields that are not readily available at other colleges and universities in the U.S. or abroad.
Course options include:
- Agroforestry Theory, Practice and Adoption (highly recommended to take this course first)
- Ecological Principles of Agroforestry
- Agroforestry Economics and Policy
- Agroforestry for Watershed Restoration
A 3-credit field internship may be required to complete the non-thesis master's degree. The details of the internship will be developed in discussions with the major adviser and master's committee; however, a final report approved by the major adviser or internship supervisor will be required.
With the approval of the major adviser and master's committee, electives will be chosen from a group of relevant course offerings from the department of forestry and other units across campus. The online master's program has no on-campus / face-to-face requirements; the entire degree can be completed online.
Please Note: Enrollment in courses as a post-baccalaureate student does not assure acceptance into the Graduate program.