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Frequently Asked Questions (On-Campus Program)

For Prospective Graduate Students

Q: How do I apply?

Step 1: Visit the University of Illinois Graduate College Information Page

All questions related to how to submit your graduate materials should be directed to the University of Illinois Graduate College, who manages the application process for all AGED graduate students.

Step 2: Apply Online

Complete the online graduate application and pay the nonrefundable application processing fee (payable online).

Step 3: Submit Application Materials

Specific supplemental items need to be submitted to the Graduate College to complete the application process. 

Q: What are the application deadlines?

The Agricultural Education Program uses a rolling admission process, where applicants will be considered throughout the academic year.  However, for best consideration – and for applicants wishing to be considered for financial aid, we use the following deadlines:

  • FALL of the current calendar year is June 15
  • SPRING of the following calendar year is November 15
  • SUMMER of the current calendar year is March 15
    (NOTE: This only appplies to online applicants; on-campus applicants are not considered for summer term.)

Q: What is the cost of tuition and fees for graduate students?

The cost for on-campus students can be found here.  The cost for online students can be found here

Q: Do I need a background in agriculture or education to apply for the graduate program?

The Agriculture Education Program prepares students for careers in these fields; it is not necessary to have a background in either agriculture or education to apply.  While the majority of our current students possess an undergraduate degree in one or the other (or both), many of our students do not. 

Q: How competitive is the selection process?

The Masters in Agricultural Education of Science program seeks a diverse class of highly qualified individuals with a passion for the field. The admissions committee reviews applications and considers an applicant’s work and life experience, commitment (evinced in past transcripts and the personal statement, the résumé, and letters of recommendation), as well as their academic qualifications. We do not accept a specific number of students per year. 

Q: How long will it take me to graduate?

For full-time, on-campus students, the program typically requires two years to complete.  Program duration may vary based on financial considerations, intensity of study and course availability.  Summer courses are typically available, but not required.

Many online students in our program work full-time while taking classes in the evening and over the summer.  A student who takes 1-2 courses per semester (Fall, Spring, Summer) will take approximately 2-4 years to earn his or her degree. 

Q: What are the requirements to be accepted to the online program?

The Graduate College at the University of Illinois stipulates that most accepted students have earned a 3.0 GPA or higher within their undergraduate degree, while crafting a meaningful personal statement and submitting three significant letters of support from past mentors, supervisors, or instructors.  Exceptions can be made for applicants with significant graduate course experience or extenuating circumstances.

Q: What opportunities are there for financial aid?

The Agricultural Education Program offers several opportunities for on-campus students in the form of teaching assistantships, research assistantships, and fellowships.  The Graduate College at the University of Illinois also offers several opportunities.  At this time, financial aid through the Program is unfortunately not offered for students matriculated into the online program.

Q: What does it cost to take classes?

The specific costs can be found on the University of Illinois Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning (CITL) website.  Costs for Agricultural Education online courses fall under the “Graduate Base Rate.”  To receive a Master’s Degree, students need to earn 32 total credits.

Q: Is a thesis or comprehensive exam part of the program?

There is no comprehensive exam in the AGED Master’s degree program like there is for other programs.  Completing a Master’s thesis is an option for students.  Those who do not complete a thesis complete a “Master’s Project” that often represents constructing a theoretical capstone educational program focused on their career and personal interests.

Q: What does someone do with a Master's Degree in Agricultural Education?

There are several ways graduates can leverage their degree for a rewarding professional career.  Students can advance to positions of administration and supervision in their current field.  They can add more training and human resource responsibilities to their professional portfolio.  They are better able to negotiate a raise or promotion.  By combining their degree with the State of Illinois licensure process, they can teach agriculture in Illinois public secondary schools.

Q: How do I transfer courses I have taken from other schools?

Not all credit can automatically be applied to a graduate program at the University of Illinois.  The official policy for transfer of credit into a graduate program can be found here.

Q: What courses will be offered each semester?

Each semester, this depends on the needs of our enrolled students and availability of our faculty and staff.  The AGED Program does not always offer the same courses at the same times and semesters each academic year.

Q: How many courses am I allowed to register for per semester?

There is no upper limit allowed.  However, most students have provided the advice that more than three courses for full-time on-campus students and two courses for part-time online students is not typically advisable.

Q: What if I start a class and I decide it is not for me?

Students who drop a course prior to the tenth day of instruction receive a full (100%) refund of the tuition and fees. Thereafter, no refund is allowed. For the exact refund dates for a given regular term, consult the website of the Office of Admissions and Records. For nonstandard length course sections, refund periods are determined proportionately.

Graduate students may drop a course without receiving a grade of W until the end of the twelfth week of instruction in the fall and spring semesters. Deadlines may be found in the graduate calendar.

Q: Who should I contact if I have questions about the graduate program?

Dr. David Rosch cooridnates the overall graduate program and can answer most questions. If you have questions about teaching licensure, please contact Dr. Erica Thieman.

 

For Current Graduate Students

Q: Where can I find academic deadlines?

The Office of the Registrar and the Graduate College Academic Calendar provide deadlines for previous, current, and future semesters.

Q: Where can I find information about my thesis or graduate project?

The Graduate College is a great place to start with almost any question about graduate-level academic requirements. You can also find specific information about theses and projects.

Q: Where can I find information about graduation requirements?

The Graduate College Handbook provides information about specific graduation requirements, along with many other important details related to the program. If you have specific questions about the Master of Science in Agricultural Education programs, contact Dr. David Rosch at dmrosch@illinois.edu, (217) 244-6909, in 174E Bevier Hall, or Dr. Erica Thieman at thieman@illinois.edu, (217) 244-3863 in 139 Bevier Hall.