Plant breeding professionals looking to further their education but not wanting to relocate now have an opportunity to earn a master’s or doctorate degree from Texas A&M University through a new distance learning program.
“We know there is a worldwide shortage and demand for plant breeders at the Ph.D. level,” said Dr. Wayne Smith, associate department head for the soil and crop sciences department within the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. “There are many people with a bachelor’s or master’s degree working with major companies who could help fill those positions. This distance degree will give them the opportunity to remain employed wherever they are and still earn their next degree.”
Texas A&M will begin offering the degree programs in the spring 2013 semester. Distance students will take the same courses, taught by the same professors, as the plant breeding students on campus. Course content, homework and examinations also will be the same.
“We will be the first research degree—master’s or doctorate—offered at a distance in these fields in the U.S.,” Smith said. “We are able to do this because it is an extension of the model we have with Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Texas A&M University.”
Individuals interested in graduate degrees in plant breeding through the distance learning program should contact Smith at email@example.com or (979) 845-3450; Dr. David Byrne, associate department head for horticultural sciences, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (979) 862-3072; or LeAnn Hague, distance education coordinator in the soil and crop sciences department, at email@example.com or (979) 845-6148.