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Agronomy Day 2010

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Online M.S. in Crop Sciences Program

The Office of Continuing Education, in conjunction with the College of ACES offers many opportunities for the adult learner to continue their education through degree offerings, non-credit courses/workshops and certificate programs. One of the degree options is the Online M.S. in Crop Sciences. This program enables students to strengthen their education part time through online blended course delivery and optional site-based programming. Students are able to take courses in areas related to crop production, plant breeding, entomology, plant pathology, horticulture, and crop management. The program has delivered University of Illinois courses to agriculture professionals for over thirty years (in its previous site-based format) and has a twenty-three year history of granting M.S. degrees in Crop Sciences. Students may enroll in individual courses for personal or professional advancement, complete a certificate of professional development in Crop Sciences, or one may apply for admission to the Master's degree program in Crop Sciences. To date, hundreds of students have completed individual courses, and over 130 students have received a Master's degree.

Students who successfully complete three qualifying courses may also desire to receive a Professional Development Certificate with an emphasis in Crop Sciences or Horticulture. The Online M.S. in Crop Sciences program also works in conjunction with the Natural Resources and Environmental Studies Online M.S. program and the Agriculture Education Online M.S. program to offer a diverse set of courses.

The Department of Crop Sciences is looking to the future and the needs of the non-traditional student and working professionals by delivering the entire degree requirements through online distance education technologies. Online courses are typically a blended distance education model consisting of "live" class meetings in a virtual classroom setting where student/faculty interaction is maintained to a high level. Additionally, an asynchronous (independent) component for course readings, assignments and a student (chat) web-board is also part of many courses. By using a blended distance education model of asynchronous (independent) plus synchronous (live) lecture sessions via the internet, the rigor and quality of the program is maintained as well as a high success level of the students in the courses. Optional site-based courses may still be offered occasionally in Illinois, but are not required for graduation. Online course offerings are available to in-state students, and out-of-state students at the same tuition rates. For more information on the Crop Sciences courses, degree or certificate offerings please visit or contact Heather Miller, program director at 217-265-6568 or

Agronomy Day 2010