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Master of Applied Science / Community Development (Great Plains IDEA)

Program Details

University of Nebraska offers a Master of Applied Science degree with an emphasis in Community Development for students and professionals in agriculture who are interested in developing an advanced understanding of complex systems involved in agricultural science and management. Students will take part in a program that will increase their understanding of advanced science and innovation within agriculture by studying topics in chemistry, biology, and the processes involved in the raising of crop and livestock agriculture.  Students will study genetics, economics, industrial agriculture, specialty crops, and a variety of other topics relating to agriculture science.

The program consists of courses which will boost student’s understanding of agriculture through the study of natural and applied science. Classes include topics including ecological agriculture, grant writing, community analysis, community and natural resource development, cost-benefit analysis, scientific illustration, crop and weed genetics, turf grass and landscape weed management, pesticide application, urban and industrial etymology, medical etymology as well as others.   

Through completion of the program, students will have demonstrated qualifications in the science of agriculture.  These qualifications include but are not limited to: the ability to demonstrate an understanding of economics, accounting and finance and how they relate to the business of agriculture, to show an understanding of the process of planting crops and the crop cycle, and to show an understanding of livestock agriculture and the process of raising livestock.

This program is offered through the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance (Great Plains IDEA); regionally accredited schools working in partnership to provide students with online opportunities. Students apply at their school of choice.

The online Community Development program is offered through:

  • Iowa State University
  • Kansas State University
  • North Dakota State University
  • South Dakota State University
  • University of Nebraska-Lincoln


To participate in this online master's program, students must have:

  • Undergraduate degree in life sciences or an undergraduate degree (or higher) in a related area, such as biological or physical science, and experience in applied science
  • Undergraduate coursework in basic sciences (biology and chemistry) and in agriculture appropriate to the area of concentration
  • Sufficient evidence of academic ability, typically a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale
  • Approval of the Master of Applied Science Graduate Committee and the Graduate College

Accreditation & Licensing

North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission