Agricultural Sciences

Randy M Harp (Dean)
Location: 903-886-5358
Agricultural Sciences Web Site

Program of Graduate Work

Master of Science in Agricultural Sciences

The College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources offers a Master of Science degree program in which students may choose to emphasize course work in Agribusiness, Agricultural and Family Education, Animal Science, Plant and Soil Science, Natural Resource Management, Wildlife, Equine Science, and Horticulture. Graduate-level research is encouraged through the use of on campus laboratories and facilities, the University Instructional and Research Farm, and the Plant Science Research Farm.

The College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources also coordinates the Transition to Teaching program for degreed professionals who wish to become certified to teach Agricultural Science and Technology or Family and Consumer Sciences in secondary schools. This program consists of graduate-level courses in agricultural and family education that focus on professional development competencies required for a successful career in teaching, as well as preparation for the Texas Examination of Educator Standards (TExES). Courses may be applied to a Master of Science degree in Agricultural Sciences, provided the student is admitted to a degree program. Individuals interested in Transition to Teaching should contact the department for specific information regarding admission.

The department additionally has signed agreements with other cooperating institutions to conduct research projects at off-campus locations.

Admission

Admission to a graduate program is granted by the Dean of the Graduate School upon the recommendation of the department. Applicants must meet the following requirements for admission in addition to meeting the general university requirements in Agricultural Science.

Degree Requirements

Students may choose either the Option I (thesis) or Option II (non-thesis) program. Though not guaranteed assistantships are awarded preferentially to students who are conducting thesis.

Note: The Department reserves the right to suspend from the program any student who in the judgment of the departmental graduate committee, does not meet the professional expectations of the field. 

Successful completion of the Comprehensive Exam is required of all students.

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AEC 520 - AgriBusiness Analysis and Forecasting
Hours: 3
Fundamentals of linear programming, forecasting, and simulation based on economic theories using statistical software packages. Construction, solution, and interpretation of different types of linear programming models. Quantitative techniques for forecasting economic data. Risk analysis and decision-making using simulation.

AEC 530 - Agricultural Production Economics
Hours: 3
Agricultural production theory for optimization of resources under certainty and uncertainty. Economic theory, analytical methodology, and agribusiness firm behavior.

AEC 540 - Advanced Theory of Demand and Price Analysis
Hours: 3
The development and use of economic models for price analysis and forecasting with emphasis on the interpretation of economic relationship in agriculture. Analysis of the effects of consumer behavior upon marketing firms and upon the demand for agricultural products.

AEC 550 - Market Analysis and Structure
Hours: 3
Managerial strategies, marketing decision-making process, analyses of marketing opportunities and challenges, agricultural firms, food distribution industry, marketing system, agricultural firms under imperfect market conditions, sources of imperfections, and welfare considerations under imperfect market conditions.

AEC 560 - International Agricultural Trade
Hours: 3
Trade theory dealing with the production, marketing, and distribution of goods and services. Comparative advantage, gains from specialization, trade models, trade policy analysis, partial equilibrium analysis of free trade, welfare aspects of trade, preferential agreements, and policy issues.

AEC 589 - Independent Study
Hours: 1-4
Independent Study. One to four semester hours. Individualized instruction/research at an advanced level in a specialized content area under the direction of a faculty member. May be repeated when the topic varies. Prerequisite: Consent of department head.

AEC 597 - Special Topics
Hours: 1-4
Special Topics. One to four semester hours. Organized class. May be repeated when topics vary.

AFE 518 - Thesis
Hours: 3-6
Development and reporting of a research project under the supervision of a graduate faculty member. Note: Granting of credit for this course is dependent upon completion and approval of a thesis.

AFE 530 - History and Philosophy of Agricultural Education
Hours: 3
This course is designed to provide a historical perspective of the development and execution of school based agricultural education, educational philosophy/philosophers, and educational theory with a purpose to better understand and communicate modern agricultural education and hone one’s personal educational philosophy.

AFE 531 - Experiential Learning Theory and Application in Agricultural Education
Hours: 3
This course will examine experiential learning in light of Kolb’s experiential learning model and the three-circle model of agricultural education. The overarching goal is to make you more familiar with the concepts such that you will incorporate the concepts in your program in a practical manner.

AFE 570 - Instructional Management
Hours: 3
Instructional Management. Three semester hours. Provides students with a review of the ethical and pedagogical principles and practices needed to organize and deliver instructional programs in Agricultural Sciences and Family and Consumer Sciences.

AFE 571 - Program Development
Hours: 3
Program Development. Three semester hours. This course addresses the theoretical and practical principles of planning, funding, and conducting effective educational programs in Agricultural Sciences and Family and Consumer Sciences.

AFE 572 - Special Populations
Hours: 3
Special Populations. Three semester hours. Principles, procedures, and policies associated with teaching students who are representative of special populations as defined by federal career-technical education guidelines.

AFE 573 - Practicum in Teaching
Hours: 3
Practicum in Teaching. Three semester hours. Supervised teaching practicum in Agricultural Science or Family and Consumer Sciences at the secondary level. Course includes field-based teaching component and monthly seminars on strategies and issues related to the teaching profession.

AFE 574 - Assessment & Evaluation
Hours: 3
Theories and techniques used in assessing student learning and skill development and evaluating educational programs in Agricultural Science and Family and Consumer Sciences.

AFE 575 - Community Leadership & Development
Hours: 3
Theories and practices associated with organizing and implementing social and economic change within the community context. Prerequisites: None.

AFE 576 - Models Experiential Learning
Hours: 3
Application of experiential learning theories and techniques to instructional programs in secondary, postsecondary, and community-based settings. Prerequisites: Admission to graduate school.

AFE 577 - Coordinating Extension Program
Hours: 3
Techniques and practical field experience in organizing, delivering, and evaluating community-based programs through the cooperative extension model. Prerequisites: Admission to graduate school.

AFE 579 - Field Experience in Teaching
Hours: 3
Fifteen week supervised teaching internship in agriculture or family and consumer sciences at the secondary or postsecondary level.

AFE 589 - Independent Study
Hours: 1-4
Individualized instruction/research at an advanced level in a specialized content area under the direction of a faculty member. May be repeated when the topic varies. Prerequisite: Consent of department head.

AFE 595 - Research Literature and Techniques
Hours: 3
This course provides a review of significant research studies produced by investigators in the student's major field with emphasis on the investigative and verification techniques that were used.

AFE 597 - Special Topics
Hours: 0-4
Special Topics. One to four semester hours. Organized class addressing topics relevant to teaching Agricultural Science. May be repeated when topics vary.

AG 501 - Instrumentation for Agricultural Sciences
Hours: 3
Principles, equipment, and techniques for measuring variables in animal, plant, soil, and environmental sciences. Advanced exercises measuring physical and chemical properties will be explored.

AG 503 - Adult Education
Hours: 3
The purpose of this course is to advance the understanding of the basic principles behind motivating adults to learn. Procedures in implementing these principles to bring about change in adult behavior will be explored.

AG 504 - Qualitative Research
Hours: 3
Qualitative Research - Three semester hours This course investigates the different strategies/methods of conducting qualitative research such as conducting effective interviews, participant observation, and document analysis (data mining). Students will learn about the different research designs associated with qualitative research and explore data analysis and establishing validity/reliability 
for qualitative research.

AG 505 - Statistical Methods in Agriculture
Hours: 3
Introductory statistics course for graduate students in agricultural sciences. Topics include descriptive statistics, measures of dispersion, hypothesis testing, confidence intervals, analysis of variance, pairwise comparisons, and linear regression. Prerequisites: Admission to graduate school.

AG 506 - Advanced Statistical Methods in Agriculture
Hours: 3
Students will learn to work with various probability distributions (including F-distribution, Chi-square, t-distribution, standard normal distribution, normal), as well as hypothesis tests, including tests for normality, correlation, advanced regression analysis, CRD, ANOVA, general factorial models, nesting versus crossing, and non-parametric statistics. The course covers commonly used features and advanced statistical analysis using Statistical Analysis System (SAS) programming, including summarizing, combining, visualizing, and analyzing data.

AG 507 - Water Issues and Ethics
Hours: 3
This course will explore critical issues and ethical considerations related to existing and proposed water management policies and conservation promotion. Perspectives from rural and urban consumers, agricultural producers, and industry will be examined in context to these issues at the local, state, national, and global levels. Prerequisites: Admission to graduate school.

AG 508 - Gardening Across the Curriculum
Hours: 3
This course provides a review of research and resources related to school and university-based gardening programs for academic enrichment, nature awareness, nutrition improvement, and other aspects of garden-based learning. Prerequisites: Admission to graduate school.

AG 509 - Contemporary Issues in Sustainable Agriculture
Hours: 3
This course will examine the philosophical, theoretical, and practical aspects of sustainable agriculture. Course activities will provide the current or aspiring agricultural professional with sufficient background to engage and assist clientele with planning and decision-making related to the adoption of sustainable agriculture practices.

AG 512 - Methods of Technol Change
Hours: 3
Methods of Technological Change - Three semester hours This course will focus on the processes by which professional change agents (for example, extension agents) influence the introduction, adoption, and diffusion of technological change. The interlocking relationships of technology, culture, and society and the role of the change agent in affecting those relationships will be covered. Students will learn how to predict and minimize the undesirable consequences of change and how to enhance the development of communication skills required when working with people.

AG 518 - Thesis
Hours: 3-6
Thesis. Three to six semester hours. Development of a research project under the supervision of a staff member. Granting of credit for this project is dependent upon the completion and approval of the thesis.

AG 532 - Sci Meth Ag Research
Hours: 3
The course is for graduate students in an option 1 (thesis) graduate program and introduces students to the processes of scientific investigation, research methodologies and techniques, data interpretation, experimental design options, and scientific methodologies involved with planning, executing, interpreting and the scientific writing of research projects.

AG 533 - Grant Writing
Hours: 3
This course provides the student with practical skills in identifying grant sources and developing proposals. The course will focus primarily on agriculture, food, family, community, and youth initiatives appropriate for master’s students, as well educational projects applicable to professionals at the secondary, postsecondary, or extension/outreach level.

AG 589 - Independent Study
Hours: 1-4
Individualized instruction/research at an advanced level in a specialized content area under the direction of a faculty member. Prerequisites: Consent of department head. Note May be repeated when the topic varies.

AG 595 - Research Lit Techniques
Hours: 3
Research Literature and Techniques. Three semester hours. A careful study of the latest research literature and techniques available in different fields of agriculture. A research paper will be required according to the interests of the individual student.

AG 597 - Special Topics
Hours: 1-5
Special Topics. One to four semester hours. Organized class. May be repeated when topics vary.

AGED 597 - Special Topics
Hours: 0-4
Special Topics. One to four semester hours. Organized class. May be repeated when topics vary.

AMC 589 - Independent Study
Hours: 1-4
Independent Study. One to four semester hours. Individualized instruction/research at an advanced level in a specialized content area under the direction of a faculty member. May be repeated when the topic varies. Prerequisite: Consent of department head.

AMC 597 - Special Topics
Hours: 1-4
Special Topics. One to four semester hours. Organized class. May be repeated when topics vary.

ANS 510 - Advanced Ultrasound Techniques for Body Composition in Livestock
Hours: 3
This course is designed to provide students with basic knowledge and techniques of real-time ultrasound to measure body composition in Livestock. Students will compose and present a research paper to class members and Professor.

ANS 511 - Adv Reproductive Physiology
Hours: 3
Recent advances in mammalian reproductive physiology. Special emphasis on endocrine chemistry and cellular action. Prerequisites: ANS 311.

ANS 512 - Endocrinology of Domestic Animals
Hours: 3
Study of the anatomy and physiology of the endocrine system, hormone-producing cells, synthesis of hormones, mechanisms of hormone action, and effects of hormones on physiological processes in domestic animals. Study of hormone-related diseases and disorders.

ANS 513 - Environmental Physiology of Domestic Animals
Hours: 3
Principles of environmental physiology and animal adaptation with emphasis on mechanisms of temperature regulation and related nutritional and metabolic-hormonal functions.

ANS 515 - Advanced Animal Nutrition
Hours: 3
Principles of animal nutrition; anatomy and physiology of the digestive system; biochemistry of digestion, absorption, and metabolism; and animal nutrition research methodology with emphasis on domestic animal species.

ANS 522 - Animal Breeding
Hours: 3
Animal Breeding. Three semester hours. An advanced course dealing with problems in population genetics as applied to domestic animals. Heredity and environmental interaction, methods of selection, mating systems, and biometrics of animal improvements. Prerequisite: ANS 310.

ANS 589 - Independent Study
Hours: 1-4
Independent Study. One to four semester hours. Individualized instruction/research at an advanced level in a specialized content area under the direction of a faculty member. May be repeated when the topic varies. Prerequisite: Consent of department head.

ANS 597 - Special Topics
Hours: 1-4
Special Topics. One to four semester hours. Organized class. May be repeated when topics vary.

EQSC 589 - Independent Study
Hours: 0-4
Individualized instruction/research at an advanced level in a specialized content area under the direction of a faculty member. May be repeated when the topic varies

EQSC 597 - Special Topics
Hours: 1-4
Organized class. May be repeated when topics vary.

FDSC 511 - Food in Social Context
Hours: 3
This course will examine cultural, sociological, economic, geographic, and political factors affecting food production, processing, distribution, and consumption. Prerequisites: Graduate standing.

FDSC 521 - Community Food Systems
Hours: 3
This course will introduce students to the concepts and issues associated with food security/insecurity at the community or local level. We will examine the social, economic, and technical issues faced by local food producers and consumers as well as strategies used to overcome these challenges. Prerequisites: Admission to Graduate School.

FDSC 589 - Independent Study
Hours: 1-4
Individualized instruction/research at an advanced level in a specialized content area under the direction of a faculty member. May be repeated when the topic varies

FDSC 597 - Special Topics
Hours: 0-4
Special Topics. One to four semester hours. Organized class. May be repeated when topics vary.

PLS 501 - Plant Science Instrumentation
Hours: 3
Principles, equipment, and techniques for measuring variables in plant, soil and environmental sciences. Advanced laboratory exercises measuring soil and plant physical and chemical properties will be explored. (Every fall).

PLS 502 - Ecological Plant Physiology
Hours: 3
This class covers plant physiological responses to the environment, including water, temperature and light, and how these affect plant production, growth and distribution.

PLS 503 - Plant Nutrition
Hours: 3
A study of essential elements for plant growth, including uptake and function. Nutrients will be studied in relation to sources of nutrient elements, application methods, effects on plant growth, and production of horticultural and agronomic plants.

PLS 504 - Advanced Hydroponic Crop Production
Hours: 3
Advanced knowledge on principles and practices of hydroponic crop production in controlled environment agriculture (CEA), including types of hydroponic systems, nutrient solution preparation and management, aerial environmental production factors and their manipulation, emerging indoor vertical farming. Specific cases of hydroponic production practices of major vegetables (leafy greens, culinary herbs, and fruit crops such as tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and strawberries) will be discussed. Prerequisites: PLS 1315 or PLS 1307.

PLS 515 - Pasture Management
Hours: 3
Pasture Management. Four semester hours. A careful study of the literature concerning the soil and vegetative problems in regard to establishing, restoring, and maintaining pastures. Consideration will be given to pasture plans for this section of Texas, fertilizers to use, and good pasture practices to be observed. Prerequisite: PLS 326.

PLS 521 - Microclimates in Agriculture
Hours: 3
This course is designed to help students understand, describe and analyze microclimates, including local and anatomical microclimates and the role they play in plant stress and productivity.

PLS 589 - Independent Study
Hours: 1-4
Individualized instruction/research at an advanced level in a specialized content area under the direction of a faculty member. Prerequisites Consent of department head. Note May be repeated when the topic varies.

PLS 597 - Special Topics
Hours: 0-4
Special Topics. One to four semester hours. Organized class. May be repeated when topics vary.

Agricultural Sciences

Rafael Bakhtavoryan
Associate Professor
B.S., Armenian Agricultural Academy, M.S., Ph.D., Texas A&M University

Brooke A. Clemmons
Assistant Professor
B.S., North Carolina State University; M.S., M.S., Ph.D., University of Tennessee

Desire Djidonou
Assistant Professor
B.S., University of Abomey-Calavi, Benin Republic; M.S., University of Florida; Ph.D., University of Florida

Douglas Eborn
Assistant Professor
B.S., Utah State University; M.S., Ph.D., Kansas State University

Keith Frost
Assistant Professor
B.S., M.S., Oregon State University; Ph.D., Texas Tech University

Derald Harp
Professor
B.S., M.S., Tarleton State University; Ph.D., Texas A&M University

Randy M Harp
Professor and Dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources
B.S., Ph.D., Oklahoma State University, M.S. New Mexico State University

Curtis Jones
Assistant Professor
B.S., M.S., Texas A&M University; Ph.D., Louisiana State University.

Douglas D. LaVergne
Associate Professor, Associate Dean and Department Head
B.S., Southern University A&M College; M.S., University of Arkansas; Ph.D., Texas A&M University

Jose A. Lopez
Professor
B.B.A., Ave Maria College; M.S., Ph.D., Texas Tech University.

Megan P. T. Owen
Assistant Professor
B.S., M.S., New Mexico State University, Ph.D., Mississippi State University

Kelly Reyna
Assistant Professor and Director of Sustainable Agriculture
B.S., Tarleton State University; M.S., Texas A&M University; Ph.D., University of North Texas

Robert L. Williams
Professor
B.S., Texas A&M University-Commerce; M.S., Texas A&M University-Commerce; Ph.D., Texas Tech University