Why should I consider the University of Nebraska–Lincoln for my online master's degree or graduate certificate?

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Nebraska's Agronomy & Horticulture online program offers these points of excellence:

  1. Exceptional faculty who are at the top of their careers and are committed to student success;
  2. The M.S. degree offers a flexible class selection that is driven by the student and his/her advisors;
  3. Responsive staff with quality customer service;
  4. Students are part of a supportive community of learners; and
  5. Advanced educational credentials help careers move forward.

How many credits does it take to complete a master's degree?

It takes 30 credits to complete the Option I (Thesis) track:

It takes 36 credits to complete the Option II (Project with a Minor) track: https://agrohortonline.unl.edu/option2-nonthesis.

How many credits does it take to finish the Grasslands Management certificate or one of the three Horticulture certificates?

It takes 12 credits to earn a graduate certificate. Classes in these four graduate certificate programs are offered in conjunction with the AG*IDEA program. Advisors recommend class selections.

Do I need a faculty advisor prior to applying to a program?

You do need a faculty advisor to be accepted into the program. If you don't have one prior to applying, our staff will help you find one. At the graduate level, faculty members must agree to accept, sponsor and mentor students. Unfortunately, that means that occasionally we don't find advisors for every students.

The faculty advisor for the Horticulture certificates is Dr. Ellen Paparozzi. The faculty advisor for the Grasslands Management certificate is Dr. Walt Schacht.

Student admission letters will include the faculty advisor's name. However, if the faculty advisor's name doesn't appear in MyRed.nebraska.edu, students may refer to their admission letter or contact Leah Sandall or Danielle Lopez to find out their advisor's name.

What is a Specialization?

A specialization is a well-defined area of study (approximately 12-18 cr.) that has been approved by the Graduate Council and will appear on a student's transcript along with their degree and major. Specializations are optional in most programs and may be selected by formally submitting the Memorandum of Courses (MOC) to Graduate Studies. Agronomy specializations available online are: Crop Physiology & Production; Plant Breeding & Genetics, and Range & Forage Sciences. A Horticulture specialization available online is Public Horticulture Administration.

What is a minor?

A minor is a formal area of study with a minimum of 9-credit hours from the same UNL department. The Option II master's track requires at least 1 minor and may include 2 minors. The Option I master's thesis track does not require a minor.  Minors must be approved by Graduate Studies through the Memorandum of Courses (MOC).

What are the application deadlines?

Nebraska's Department of Agronomy & Horticulture accepts applications for fall, spring and summer terms. Please check the chart below for deadlines.

Domestic Students
International Students
(requiring a new or renewed Visa)

Students with an advisor:

  • Fall - July 15
  • Spring - Dec. 1
  • Summer - April 15

Students with an advisor:
  • Fall - May 15
  • Spring - Oct. 1
  • Summer - Feb. 15
Students without an advisor:
  • Fall - May 15
  • Spring - Oct. 1
  • Summer - Feb. 15
Students without an advisor:
  • Fall - March 15 (beginning with Fall 2020 apps.)
  • Spring - Aug. 1
  • Summer - Dec. 15

What is a full-time course load for a graduate student?

At Nebraska, a full-time graduate student course load is nine (9) credits per semester or 6 (six) credits in the summer. Because many online graduate students work full time, it's recommended that they take 2-6 credits a semester or summer.

What are the grade requirements for a graduate student?

  • A minimum grade of B is required for graduate credit in 800-level courses with 400 or lower counterparts within the students major department or area. A grade of B- is not acceptable.
  • A minimum grade of C or P (pass) is required for graduate credit in 800-level courses in minor, collateral, or supporting areas of work. A grade of C- is not acceptable. A grade of B- or lower received in a minor course will result in a minor comprehensive exam being required.

What if my Grade Point Average (GPA) is under 3.0/4.0?

Students with a GPA (Grade Point Average) below 3.0/4.0 may apply to Nebraska as a Non-Degree Seeking Post-Baccalaureate student and take classes to improve their GPA. Graduate students should earn good grades in their classes and display momentum in classwork and knowledge. After 1 or 2 semesters, they may re-apply to the MS in Agronomy or Horticulture degree using the coursework as evidence of graduate-level success. There is a second $50 application fee.

How long will a Master's of Science (M.S.) degree take to complete?

Many online students complete their Master's of Science degrees within 3-5 years. By taking 10 credits a year, a student may earn his/her M.S. Option I degree in 3 years. By taking 12 credits a year, a student may earn his/her M.S. Option II degree in 3 years. Some students may complete their degrees sooner by bringing in transfer credits or taking a 3/4 or full-time course load. Transfer credits should be approved by the faculty advisor or graduate committee.

What's the maximum time length I can take to complete my program?

Students should complete their Master's degree within 10 years. After that, the courses begin to "expire." Certificate students student complete their certificate within five years.

How do I apply?

Graduate Studies is the main office for graduate applications at Nebraska. Apply at the online application web site. All documents - transcripts, references, resumes and the statement of interests and goals should be uploaded into this system as Word or pdfs (portable document formats).  

Under the Admission webpage, select from one of these drop-down choices:

  1. Degree Objective - M.S. in Agronomy or Horticulture (may include specialization here);
  2. Non-Degree, Graduate Certificate Objective:
    1.     Certificate in Advanced Horticulture;
    2.     Certificate in Floriculture and Nursery Production Management;
    3.     Certificate in Ornamentals, Landscape and Turf;
    4.     Certificate in Grassland Management;
  3. Non-Degree, Post-Baccalaureate (Check the box under this selection for Express Admission - usually 48-72 hours).

To apply for the Plant Breeding & Genetics Professional Certificate, please contact Leah Sandall at lsandall5@unl.edu or 402-472-9295.

Is there financial aid for online students?

Students should complete the application on the FAFSA.gov website to be eligible for federal financial aid and check with their employer to see if there is tuition assistance or reimbursement. The University of Nebraska-Lincoln Department of Agronomy and Horticulture doesn't offer tuition assistantships for online students.

How much does it cost to attend the University of Nebraska–Lincoln?

Graduate Courses – CASNR Online/Distance Education

Tuition & Fees for students enrolled for 2018-19:  https://studentaccounts.unl.edu/graduate-tuition.

Graduate TuitionDistance Ed. FeeTechnology FeeLibrary FeeTotal
Per Credit Hour $356.50 $35.00 $11.00 $6.25 $408.75
3 Credit Hours $1096.50 $105.00 $33.00 $18.75 $1,226.25
Graduate TuitionDistance Ed. FeeTechnology FeeLibrary FeeTotal
Per Credit Hour $628.50 $35.00 $11.00 $6.25 $680.75
3 Credit Hours $1,885.50 $105.00 $33.00 $18.75 $2,042.25

Note: Students will be charged a $20 registration fee per semester.

Undergraduate Courses – College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources (CASNR) Online/Distance Education

Tuition & Fees for online students enrolled for 2017-18: https://studentaccounts.unl.edu/undergraduate-tuition.

Tuition for ONLINE Undergraduate StudentsDistance Ed. FeeTechnology FeeLibrary FeeTotal
Per Credit Hour $280 $35.00 $11.00 $6.25 $332.25
3 Credit Hours $840 $105.00 $33.00 $18.75 $996.75
Undergraduate online TuitionDistance Ed. FeeTechnology FeeLibrary FeeTotal
Per Credit Hour $568.75 $35.00 $11.00 $6.25 $621
3 Credit Hours $1,706.25 $105.00 $33.00 $18.75 $1,863

Note: Students will be charged a $20 registration fee per semester.

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