Texas Tech University, a state research university located in Lubbock, offers an online Master of Science (MS) in Agricultural Communications program. The program is offered through Texas Tech’s College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources in partnership with the university’s College of Media and Communication. This is a fully online program that offers most of its courses using asynchronous instruction, which means that students can access pre-recorded lectures and other course materials at their convenience, 24-7. The program does not require students to attend any in-person sessions at Texas Tech’s Lubbock campus.
The online MS in Agricultural Communications is designed primarily for students who hold a bachelor’s degree in communication, journalism, advertising, broadcasting, public relations, or a related field. However, the College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources does not restrict admission to the program based on an applicant’s undergraduate major and will consider applications submitted by students whose bachelor’s degree is not in one of the fields mentioned above.
Texas Tech’s online MS in Agricultural Communications provides training and instruction in various aspects of managing messaging, public relations, and other communication functions in farming, livestock, and other agricultural businesses. The curriculum is designed to prepare graduates for work in media, marketing, and public relations management and consulting for agribusiness enterprises, as well as for work in agricultural education and in state and federal government agencies that handle agricultural matters. Through the College of Media and Communication, students in the program can take courses in mass media, marketing, and online and social media management tools and techniques in addition to the program’s core courses in agricultural communication. Depending on the number of courses taken per term, students typically graduate from the program in roughly two to three years.
The program curriculum consists of two required core courses and an additional four courses that are chosen from a list of five electives. The core courses are: Risk & Crisis Communications in Agriculture and Natural Resources; and Foundations of Agricultural Communications. Students must then complete four of the following five courses: Knowledge Management in Agriculture and Natural Resources; Advanced Imaging and Design in Agricultural Communications; Public Opinion in Agriculture and Natural Resources; Methods of Technological Change; and Utilizing Online Media in Agricultural Communications. In addition, all students in the program take two research courses: Research Methods and Analysis in Agricultural Education and Communications; and Assessing Program Effectiveness in Agriculture and Extension Education.
Students who enroll in Texas Tech’s online MS in Agricultural Communication can choose between a thesis track and a non-thesis track. The non-thesis option gives students a choice of taking a comprehensive exam that tests their command of the agricultural communication theories and practices covered in the program’s coursework or completing an agricultural communication research project. Students who opt for the thesis track earn an additional six credits completing their master’s thesis, while non-thesis track students select up to four additional electives in areas that may include advertising, agricultural education, agricultural leadership, communication studies, journalism, marketing, and public relations.
Texas Tech University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
Online Master of Science in Agricultural Communications
Department: College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources
Websites: Department and Program
Structure: Online program with no required campus visits
Instruction Methods: Majority of courses use asynchronous instruction
Campus Visits Required: No
Program Length: Students can complete the program in ~2 to 3 years (4 to 6 semesters depending on how many courses they take per term)
Start Dates: Fall, Spring and Summer admission
Curriculum and Graduation Requirements
Thesis Required: No
Capstone Options: Thesis and non-thesis options (non-thesis option students must complete a comprehensive exam)
Credits Required: 36 credits (10 courses plus thesis or 12 courses)
Example Courses: Risk & Crisis Communications in Agriculture and Natural Resources; Foundations of Agricultural Communications; Research Methods and Analysis in Agricultural Education and Communications; Public Opinion in Agriculture and Natural Resources
GPA Requirements: No minimum GPA required
Testing Requirements: GRE requirement has been waived for the 2020-21 and 2021-22 application cycles
Admission Requirements: Bachelor's degree; resume or CV; letter of interest; three letters of recommendation; answers to department specific questions
Estimated Tuition*: ~$12,672 + fees (in-state); ~$27,396 + fees (out-of-state)
Cost per Credit Hour: $352 per credit hour (in-state); $761 per credit hour (out-of-state) (tuition equals College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources Designated Tuition and Differential Tuition plus Board Authorized and State Tuition)
State Authorizations: Program accepts students from all 50 states