Innovative Integrated Agricultural Sciences M.S. approved by THECB

Posted by Jayme Blaschke
Office of Media Relations
July 17, 2018

SAN MARCOS – The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board has authorized Texas State University to offer an innovative new Master of Science degree program with a major in Integrated Agricultural Sciences.

The program will be the first in Texas to incorporate a multidisciplinary approach to help students develop technical and leadership skills necessary for solving complex food and agricultural issues.

The degree program was approved by the Texas State University System Board of Regents in May. The program, pending final review by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, is expected to begin enrolling students in fall 2018.

"Agriculture is getting more and more complex," explained Madan Dey, dean of the Department of Agriculture in the College of Applied Arts. "We need a multidisciplinary focus to solve complex issues. None of the graduate programs we have in the state of Texas offer that opportunity.

"Employers are finding that graduate students with specialized degree in agriculture are not appropriate for their needs," he said. "They need a multidisciplinary person who is able to address complex agricultural issues."

Texas State received significant input from public and private agricultural stakeholders while developing the degree proposal, Dey said. The result is a master of science program that combines and integrates research and education concerning land use strategies, crop and animal production, distribution, sales, economics, policy and the environment. Program graduates will have the theoretical and practical knowledge and skills necessary to analyze, optimize and implement complex agricultural systems. Through a rigorous interdisciplinary agriculture curriculum and exposure to real-world applications, students will develop technical and leadership skills demanded by the rapidly-evolving agricultural industry.

"We like to be ahead of the curve," Dey said. "This degree is the first of its kind in Texas. It is unique. We looked into all the providers of graduate agriculture education and did not find a single institute in the state of Texas that offered this kind of degree.

"We thought it appropriate to offer a program which would generate graduates who would be highly demanded by the job market," he said. "We are quite confident that graduate enrollment in our department will increase substantially."

About Texas State University

Founded in 1899, Texas State University is among the largest universities in Texas with an enrollment of 38,694 students on campuses in San Marcos and Round Rock. Texas State’s 188,000-plus alumni are a powerful force in serving the economic workforce needs of Texas and throughout the world. Designated an Emerging Research University by the State of Texas, Texas State is classified under “Doctoral Universities: Higher Research Activity,” the second-highest designation for research institutions under the Carnegie classification system.