Apr 25, 2023
Purdue launches online international agribusiness degree

Purdue University is taking applications for its new fully online Professional Master of Science in International Agribusiness aimed at agribusiness professionals worldwide.

The application deadline is July 1 for the inaugural cohort beginning in August.

The new degree is for learners wanting to enhance their skills in data analytics, quantitative data analysis and data-based decision-making. This knowledge is applicable whether they work in industry or government, management or marketing, and in a range of areas from commercial agriculture to food product development and production, and from natural resources management to managing supply chains. The degree teaches a skill set applicable to working in the fast-paced global economy as well as the dynamic international agribusiness and food industry.

While the 100% online option is new, the mature, rigorous curriculum has been taught and refined for a decade by faculty in Purdue’s Department of Agricultural Economics who excel at teaching, research and engagement, covering all aspects of their field. Each of the instructors also has multiple years of experience teaching in online and hybrid modes.

In addition to the required courses, students choose one of two specialized online graduate certificates, in Spatial Data Science or in Biotechnology Quality and Regulatory Compliance, the latter from Purdue’s top-ranked (U.S. News & World Report) Agricultural and Biological Engineering Department. The graduate certificate satisfies 12 credits of the 36 credits needed to earn the full master’s degree in international agribusiness. The two graduate certificates also can be taken separately from the master’s program.

Learners should be able to complete the degree in 18-24 months, said Nicole Widmar, professor and associate head of agricultural economics at Purdue and graduate program chair. Because the coursework is online and asynchronous, students can complete it where and when it works best for them. That makes Purdue’s program readily accessible for working professionals or for new graduates who are ready to start work but also want to earn an advanced degree.

Some previous knowledge of quantitative methods is helpful, Widmar said, but individuals do not need to have a bachelor’s in agricultural economics to enroll in the master’s program. Core courses are:

  • Applied Quantitative Methods for Decision Making
  • Economics for Food and Agribusiness Managers
  • Communication and Issues Engagement for Agricultural Professionals
  • Problem Solving and Project Management for Decision Makers
  • Quantitative Managerial Decision Making
  • The Macroeconomic Trade and Policy Environment of the Food System
  • Strategic Food and Agribusiness Management

In addition, the core requirements include a capstone course with an analytic paper, which can be either academic in nature or work related, in lieu of a thesis.

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