Skip to main content

Master of Science - Thesis Option

This program is viewed as having a dual role. Candidates work towards improving their professional proficiency and status while developing knowledge and skill related to research. A course in research methods and statistics must be included in the program of study. Candidates must pass a final oral examination conducted by the candidate’s graduate committee. The oral examination focuses on courses taken, professional experiences, and defense of the thesis.

Students will become well-versed in the following learning areas while in their tenure as a graduate student in the Agricultural Education program at Iowa State University:

  • Delivery Systems: Select, organize, and implement appropriate delivery systems to fit a variety of teaching and learning situations.
  • Learning Systems: Model and utilize appropriate learning principles and theories in agriculturally related learning situations.
  • Evaluation: Select, organize, and implement appropriate formative and summative evaluation strategies for accountability and program improvement.
  • Philosophy and Knowledge Base of Agricultural Education: Develop a foundation for one’s personal philosophy of agricultural education by synthesizing and evaluating appropriate philosophical models.
  • Needs Assessment Analysis: Develop and evaluate appropriate strategies for analyzing and assessing educational needs, situations, and processes.
  • Planning and Development: Organize educational programs utilizing appropriate planning and development models.
  • International Agricultural Education and Technology Transfer: Organize and evaluate international agricultural education programs based upon the principles of technology transfer.
  • Research Design and Analysis: Design, conduct, report, and evaluate quantitative and qualitative research utilizing appropriate design and analysis models.
  • Administration, Supervision and Leadership Development: Organize, conduct, and evaluate activities that further the mission of Agricultural Education, provide growth opportunities for its practitioners, and foster development of a vision for the profession.
  • Policy and Trends in Agricultural Education: Monitor the development of trends and administration of policies in and outside the discipline of Agricultural Education and explain their impact or potential impact on the discipline.

Admission Procedures

Before applying for admission, students are encouraged to acquaint themselves with the Department of Agricultural Education and Studies. Contact any of our faculty and staff at anytime with questions. It is important that your educational goals and interests align with the expertise and focus areas of the department. If you decide that one of our programs would help you to achieve your personal and professional goals, we cordially invite you to apply for admission. Directions for admission that are outlined on the Internet at:

Admission Requirements

The components listed below will be uploaded into the Office of Admissions portal. 

Key components of the application for admission include:

  • Application form. There is a “Statement of Purpose” section on the application form. Statement of purpose writing guide (pdf)
  • Three letters of reference.
    Note: At least one letter of recommendation should be from a university professor. Ask your university
    references to comment on your past academic performance, potential to succeed in graduate school,
    character and work habits, and whether or not they believe that a graduate program in Agricultural
    Education/Professional Agriculture is consistent with their knowledge of your personal and professional
    goals. It is recommended that the other two letters be from professionals in education or business and
    industry who are familiar with your overall abilities and goals. Ask references to be specific and identify
    factors that will help the admissions committee make an appropriate admissions decision. Please do not
    ask friends and relatives to submit reference letters.  When you add your recommenders and their email addresses to the Docfinity system, they will receive a link to upload their recommendation letter directly into the Docfinity system and your application.
  • An official transcript from all schools attended after high school.
  • A resume or vita.
  • International students must meet the Graduate College English Proficiency requirement as described in the following document:

Application Deadlines

March 15 - Deadline for persons desiring admission in the following summer or fall semester.

October 15 - Deadline for persons desiring admission for the following spring semester.

Program of Study Requirements

Program Requirements Required Course or Equivalent Credits
Introduction to Research AGEDS 510 3
Instructional Methods AGEDS 520 3
Program Planning/Evaluation AGEDS 524 3
Learning Theory AGEDS 533 3
Foundations of Agricultural Education AGEDS 550 3
Statistics Various 3
Components of a Thesis/Dissertation (pdf)
AGEDS 699 3
Electives   9
Total Required Credits   30

Note: 22 credits must be earned at Iowa State University.

Other courses available through the Department

  • AGEDS 511 Professional Agricultural Presentation Practices. Online and resident. 3 cr.
  • AGEDS 561 Technology Transfer and the Role of Agricultural and Extension Education. Online and resident. 3 cr.
  • AGEDS 568 Qualitative Interviews and Analysis. On-line only. 3 cr.
  • AGEDS 615. Seminars various topics. 1 cr.
  • AGEDS 625 Leadership, Administration, Supervision and Management of Agricultural Education Programs.  Resident only. 3 cr.

For a specialization in Agricultural Extension Education, click here

The master's POS committee in Agricultural Education consists of at least three members of the graduate faculty.  It must include two members, including the major professor, from the major or program.