The new program also promotes cooperation with the College of Media & Communication.
Texas Tech University's Department of Agricultural Education and Communications has launched a new agricultural communications master's level graduate program aimed at distance learning students.
The online degree track provides cutting-edge development of professional communications skills for related careers in agribusiness, government service, education and extension from one of the nation's best agricultural communications programs.
“This is the next step in expanding our program for students desiring to attain a master's degree in agricultural communications from a nationally-ranked program,” said Steven Fraze, chairman of the department inside the College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources.
The advanced degree is designed to prepare graduates for entry into or advancement in a variety of mass media, marketing and public relations positions, Fraze said.
Separately, Fraze said, the master's degree program in agricultural communications is flexible and can be tailored to meet each student's unique situation. Specialization areas, such as marketing, mass media and public relations, are available through cooperation with Texas Tech's College of Media and Communication.
The new degree program is intended primarily for students who enter with a bachelor's degree in agricultural communications, journalism, agricultural communications/journalism, advertising, broadcasting, public relations or related field. However, students with an undergraduate degree outside of these areas may still pursue the degree.
The new master of science in agricultural communications requires a minimum of 36 hours of graduate course work and has a thesis or non-thesis option. The non-thesis option requires completion of six additional credit hours and successful completion of an examination over their completed course work at the end of the degree program, or the student may complete a high-level communications project.
“Our new master's of agricultural communications degree at a distance gives us an amazing opportunity to take a degree program delivered by one of the top-ranked agricultural communications programs in the nation and make it available to anyone, regardless of where they're located,” said Scott Burris, associate professor and graduate studies coordinator with the Department of Agricultural Education and Communications.
In 2014, the agricultural communications undergraduate program offered by Texas Tech's Department of Agricultural Education and Communications was ranked as the best in the nation, according to a University of Arkansas study. Forty programs across the country were identified in the study, titled, “Characteristics of U.S. Agricultural Communications Undergraduate Program.”