Major in Agriculture
(Major Code: 7500)
All students must be formally admitted to the program. Admission to the program is highly selective on a competitive basis and includes an application packet and personal interview (see graduate school admission policies for details). The Ph.D. program requires a minimum of a bachelor’s degree plus a master of science degree (thesis preferred) with at least one degree in an agriculture discipline prior to admission the Ph.D. program. The degree will require a minimum of 90 semester credit hours beyond the baccalaureate degree. (Students with a D.V.M. or other agriculture-related professional degree may be admitted and will be considered on a case-by-case basis with consideration by the potential adviser, department head, dean of the college and dean of the graduate school. Students with other backgrounds also may be considered but may be expected to develop expertise in agriculture either before or after admission to the program.
Students entering the doctoral program will undergo assessment by their major adviser and graduate advisory committee to identify the student’s strengths and weaknesses and to develop a plan of study most suited to reaching the educational objectives of the program.
The student’s advisory committee will administer a qualifying examination for advancement to candidacy after completion of at least 34 semester credit hours of course work listed on the degree plan exclusive of all leveling courses, research and dissertation, and at least four months prior to the student’s graduation. The examination will be administered by the student’s advisory committee and will consist of questions that address the systems approach to agriculture as well as questions related to the student’s area of study. The committee will also administer an oral examination no sooner than 10 working days after completion of the written portion of the examination. A majority vote of the members of the student’s advisory committee is required for advancement of the student to candidacy. Should a student fail the qualifying examination, a period of at least four months must elapse before the examination is administered a second time. Should the student fail to pass the examination the second time, the student will be automatically dismissed from the program.
Upon admission to the doctoral program, students must be continuously enrolled taking a minimum of three semester credit hours during each fall and spring semester. Full-time students must take a minimum of nine semester credit hours during the fall and spring semesters and six semester credit hours during the summer session(s). After advancement to candidacy, students in residence must continuously enroll in dissertation hours adequate to maintain full-time student status, complete a substantial multidisciplinary research project and write a dissertation of appropriate length and rigor. Students not in residence must make appropriate arrangements with their advisers, which recognizes adequately the investment of resources and time made by the University and the faculty and subject to full administrative approval by the department head, dean of the college and dean of the Graduate School. A final defense of the dissertation and final examination of the candidate will be conducted by the student’s advisory committee. Should the student fail the final examination, the advisory committee shall outline the deficiencies to be corrected for the student to re-defend the dissertation. A minimum of four months must elapse before a second defense may be attempted. Should the student fail to pass the second time, the student will be automatically dismissed from the program.
Work completed in the doctoral program of another recognized graduate school will be considered on the recommendation of the departments concerned, but no assurance can be given that such work will reduce the course or residence requirements at West Texas A&M University. In no case can transferred credit reduce the minimum residence requirement of 45 semester credit hours.
- Bachelor’s degree and a M.S. degree (thesis preferred) with at least one degree in an agricultural discipline from an accredited institution(s).
- Major professor agreeing to supervise coursework and dissertation research projects.
- Individuals with a D.V.M. degree (U.S. only), other agricultural-related professional degree, or M.S. non-thesis degree may be admitted on a case-by-case basis with approval by the major professor, department head, dean of the college and dean of graduate school.
- Domestic students
- Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended.
- International students
- Official transcripts, mark sheets, graduation certificates, etc. (with certified English translations) from all colleges and universities attended.
- Minimum TOEFL (79 iBT) or IELTS (6.0) score.
- GPA of 3.5 from master’s degree or 3.0 GPA on master’s coursework (not including thesis, research, problems, or directed studies hours).
- Completion of Department of Agricultural Sciences “Application for Graduate Studies” including three reference forms provided by the department.
- The Department no longer requires the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).
- Decisions about whether you are eligible for a graduate research assistantship are not made until all of your documentation has been evaluated by the Department of Agricultural Sciences.
- After all documentation has been evaluated, your application packet will be forwarded to the appropriate faculty for review.
- Meeting the minimum admission requirements does not guarantee admission into the Ph.D. degree program in Agricultural Sciences.
A core of 24 semester credit hours, including 12 semester credit hours of formal core courses:
A minimum of nine additional semester credit hours with a minimum of three hours each in at least two of three departmental disciplines (AGBE, ANSC, PSES) to insure multidisciplinary breadth. Courses are to be chosen from:
A minimum of six semester credit hours of graduate-level statistics equivalent to AGRI 7318 and AGRI 7301 (formerly 8301) or above must be completed in residence for the Ph.D. degree. If this requirement is satisfied during the M.S. degree, six semester credit hours of electives, including research, may be substituted at the discretion of the student’s advisory committee and approval of the department head, dean of the college and dean of the Graduate School.
A minimum of six semester credit hours of Ph.D.-level courses to be chosen from:
At the discretion of the committee, the six semester credit hours may be in a single discipline.
Additional Credit Hour Requirements
Forty-five semester credit hours of electives from 6000-level or above courses, including research credits. No more than nine semester credit hours may accrue from AGRI 8095 , AGBE 8095 , ANSC 8095 , PSES 8095 or other independent or directed studies, and no more than six semester credit hours may accrue from directed studies in a single discipline.
Credit for Master of Science Degree
Up to six semester credit hours thesis, plus up to two semester credit hours seminar, plus up to 32 semester credit hours from lecture, laboratory or independent study courses may be applied to the 90 required semester credit hours beyond the baccalaureate degree upon request of the student’s graduate advisory committee and approval of the department head, dean of the college and dean of the Graduate School.