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Integrated Agricultural Sciences

Student working in a lab

By integrating animal science, plant and soil science, agricultural economics, and agricultural education into one program, students experience a transdisciplinary approach to research and education concerning land-use strategies, crop and animal production, distribution, sales, economics, policy, and the environment.

Students develop technical and leadership skills necessary for an effective career in addressing and solving real-world food and agricultural issues.

 Contact The Graduate College for general questions about getting started with your application, funding your degree and more.
If you have program-specific questions after reviewing the program details, we encourage you contact the following:

Graduate Advisor
Dr. Pratheesh Sudhakaran
Agriculture (AG), Room 304

“As agriculture becomes increasingly complex, we need a multidisciplinary focus to solve current problems. Employers are looking for professionals with varied backgrounds who are able to address 21st-century agricultural issues.ˮ

– Dr. Madan Dey, Professor and Chair, Department of Agricultural Sciences

Course Work

The program requires the completion of 36 semester credit hours for the thesis option and the professional option. Courses include statistics, agricultural development and policy, research methods, agroecology, foundations of ethics and leadership in agriculture, and the role of animal science in society. In addition to core classes, students will choose courses in four focused research areas: agricultural business, economics and policy; agricultural education; animal science; and crop and soil science. Students will also take courses in a variety of departments such as biology, geography, engineering technology, and others. Instruction is delivered on the San Marcos campus.

Degree Hours Research Option Minor Option
M.S. 36 Professional Option No minor
M.S. 36 Thesis No minor
Agriculture Greenhouse

Research conducted by graduate students will be connected to real-world agricultural issues, as well as recommendations from our industry advisory committee and stakeholders, including small farmers and ranchers.

Program Mission

The Department of Agricultural Sciences provides an enriched learning environment for a diverse body of graduate students and prepares them for careers in agriculture-related fields at the state, national and international levels. The department conducts multidisciplinary research and provides services that enhance the livelihood of farming communities and improve food security.

Visit program website ›

Program Faculty

Faculty specialize in:

  • agricultural economic development
  • agricultural education
  • animal endocrinology, physiology, and reproduction
  • animal nutrition
  • composting science
  • controlled environment agriculture
  • economics of aquaponics production

Meet our faculty ›

  • goat and small ruminant production
  • horticultural therapy
  • hydroponic methods
  • invasive species
  • soil health
  • recycling nutrients from food waste

Career Options

  • agricultural economist
  • farm and ranch manager
  • nursery manager
  • animal scientist
  • plant scientist
  • agronomist
  • grower
  • land conservationist
  • natural resources specialist
  • extension agent
  • agricultural loan specialist
  • agricultural credit analyst
  •  agricultural instructor
  • agricultural sales manager
  • agricultural inspector
  • hydroponic/aquaponic production manager

Application Process

Step 1

Review Requirements

Application Deadlines

Deadlines U.S. Citizen International
Fall - Priority February 1 February 1
Fall - Standard June 15 June 1
Spring October 15* October 1*
Summer I April 15 March 15
Summer II June 1 No Admission

Application Deadline
This program has a flexible deadline, which means applications received after the posted deadline may be reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis, with no guarantees for admission consideration.

Funding Information
Applications must be complete by the priority deadline to be considered for certain types of funding. Read additional information about departmental funding opportunities below.

Decision Timeline
This program reviews applications on a rolling basis.

Application Requirements

The items required for admission consideration are listed below. Additional information for applicants with international credentials can be found on our international web pages.


  Review important information about the online application.

Application Fee(s)

  • $55 nonrefundable application fee
  • $90 nonrefundable application fee for applications with international credentials

  Review important information about application fees.

Transcripts & GPA

  • baccalaureate degree in agriculture, biology, chemistry, economics, education, or a closely related field demonstrating adequate preparation from a regionally accredited university. The degree earned should indicate the ability to conduct and complete the thesis research proposed or the professional option with excellent results. Read additional information about background course work.

  • a copy of an official transcript from each institution where course credit was granted

  • minimum 3.0 GPA in your last 60 hours of undergraduate course work (plus any completed graduate courses)

  Review important information about transcripts. Official transcripts, sent directly from your institution, will be required if admission is granted.

GRE Scores

  • GRE not required


  • resume/CV detailing prior work experience, research experience, awards, scholarships, and other related qualifications
  • statement of interest (two-page maximum) including research interests, plans for graduate study, and professional aspirations and describing how your scholarly interests and relevant skills can be utilized in the program to pursue those goals
  • three letters of recommendation from non-related individuals familiar with your scholarly work and/or relevant work experience

  Review important information about documents.


Applicants are required to submit TOEFL, PTE, or IELTS scores that meet the minimum program requirements below unless they have earned a bachelor’s degree or higher from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or the equivalent from a country on our exempt countries list.

  • official TOEFL iBT scores required with a 78 overall and minimum individual module scores of
    • 19 listening
    • 19 reading
    • 19 speaking
    • 18 writing
  • official PTE scores required with a 52 overall
  • official IELTS (academic) scores required with a 6.5 overall and
    • minimum individual module scores of 6.0

  This program does not offer admission if the scores above are not met.

  Review important information about official test scores.

Additional Information

  Background Course Work
You will be required to take leveling courses if you lack sufficient background course work. Any required leveling course work must be completed with grades of B or better. Contact the graduate advisor for information regarding the background course work that may be required.

  Funding Information
If you are applying for an assistantship in the fall term, send the application letter, statement of reasons for graduate study, and two reference letters directly to the graduate advisor in the Department of Agricultural Sciences by March 31. If you are seeking an assistantship for terms other than fall, awards will be made if funds are available. The awards are based on scholastic achievement.