Academic Programs

  • The Department of Agriculture, Food and Resource Science offers three undergraduate degrees in agribusiness, urban forestry and general agriculture.  Graduate degree programs are offered at the master's level for food and agricultural sciences and at the doctoral level for food science and technology.

     

    Graduate Programs

    Food and Agricultural Sciences

    Center for Food Science and TechnologyThe departments of Agriculture, Food and Resource Sciences and Human Ecology at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore offer a graduate program leading to the degree of Master of Science (M.S.) in Food and Agricultural Sciences.

    Program Description

    The Departments of Agriculture and Human Ecology at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore offer a graduate program leading to the degree of Master of Science (M.S.) in Food and Agricultural Sciences.  Concentrations include: Agricultural Economics, Agriculture and Extension Education, Animal and Poultry Science, Food and Nutrition, Natural Resource Science, and Plant and Soil Science.  In typical situations, the prerequisite to graduate work is the completion of a curriculum substantially equivalent to that required of undergraduate students enrolled in the Departments of Agriculture and Human Ecology at UMES.  A student may qualify for graduate study, however, even though his/her undergraduate degree has been earned in a discipline other than agriculture or human ecology.  Supporting or prerequisite work may be required, depending upon the student's background and area of interest.  A minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 (A=4.0) is required for regular acceptance, but at the discretion of the Admissions Committee, a student with a lower grade point average may be admitted on a provisional basis. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores (general test only), three letters of recommendation and a completed application form are required of all applicants.  Foreign students must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and score a minimum of 550 or 213 (computer test).

    The program offers a thesis or non-thesis option for completion of degree requirements.  The thesis option is designed for students who wish to conduct a research project and is required of all students holding graduate research assistantships. Students are required to complete a minimum of 24 hours of course work and 6 hours of thesis credits for a total of 30 hours.  The non-thesis option is designed for students who do not wish to complete a thesis research project. Students who choose this option must complete a minimum of 36 hours of course work which includes a "creative component" (e.g., scholarly paper). 

    Each student is assigned an advisor/major professor according to his/her area of concentration.  Major professors may be either regular or associate members of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore Graduate Faculty.  The student, in consultation with the major professor, selects his/her Graduate Committee no later than the end of the second semester following enrollment.  Each student's program of study is planned in conference with the major professor and Graduate Committee. For additional information on completion of degree requirements, students should consult the booklet, Guidelines for the Graduate degree programs in Food and Agricultural Sciences andFood Science and Technology.  All students, regardless of the area of concentration or program option chosen, must maintain an overall 3.0 grade point average, complete degree requirements within 5 years of initial enrollment and pass a final oral examination.

    Structure of the Program

    Core Courses:

    Research Methodology          3 credits
    Statistics                             3 credits
    Seminar                              Three 1‐credit courses

    Areas of Concentration:

    • Agricultural Economics
    • Agriculture and Extension Education
    • Animal and Poultry Science
    • Food and Nutrition
    • Natural Resources Science
    • Plant and Soil Science  

    Thesis Option - Minimum of 30 credit hours:

    • Core courses - 9
    • Concentration courses - 12
    • Electives - 3
    • Thesis - 6 

    Non‐Thesis Option ‐ Minimum of 36 credit hours:

    • Core courses - 9
    • Concentration courses - 18
    • Electives - 6
    • Creative Component - 3

    Application Deadlines

    Fall Semester     - April 15

    Spring Semester  - October 30

    Summer Sessions  - April 15


    Research Activities

    Faculty in the Departments of Agriculture and Human Ecology conduct basic and applied research in each of the concentration areas. Annual appropriations by the Cooperative State Research Extension and Education Service (CSREES)/USDA and extramural grants support research activities by faculty and graduate students. Faculty in the Departments of Agriculture and Human Ecology maintain close working relations with faculty at the University of Maryland College Park and other 1862 land-grant institutions, the Cooperative Extension Service and the Agricultural Experiment Station.  A number of UMES faculty have access to and utilize facilities of the various units that comprise the Agricultural Experiment Station.  Scientists with agricultural expertise from other University System of Maryland campuses, the USDA and the Co-op Fish and Wildlife Service may serve on graduate committees for students enrolled in the program. Faculty, staff and students also collaborate with scientists from USDA, as well as from universities outside the University System of Maryland. 


    Facilities and Equipment

    Faculty in the Departments of Agriculture and Human Ecology maintain office space in Trigg Hall, the Crop and Soil Science Research Building, the Poultry Science Research Building, The Richard A. Henson Center, and the Food Science and Technology Building. 

    Biotechnology and radio-immunoassay laboratories and Nutrition laboratories are fully equipped with instrumentation for both basic and applied research.  Laboratories in the Crop and Soil Science Building accommodate research efforts in agronomy, plant genetics and breeding, soil science, host-insect interactions, plant pathology and plant-environment interactions. 

    The UMES teaching and research farm possesses over 200 tillable acres for crop use. 

    State-of-the-art animal facilities include a totally confined 60-sow farrow-to-finish swine unit (which is the only swine research facility operated within the University System of  Maryland), a beef cattle farm, a 10,000 and 100,000 bird commercial broiler house, a closed-loop re-circulating aquaculture system and a 2.5 acre greenhouse facility. 

    Two computer laboratories (Trigg Hall and Richard A. Henson Center) are equipped with Gateway or Gateway compatible computers, laser jet printers, a color printer, color scanner, an auto-cad system, and various software for word processing, desktop publishing, graphics, spreadsheets, econometrics and other statistical work.  These laboratories and the new Food Science and Technology Building are connected to the UMES mainframe with capabilities for networking throughout the campus, state, region and nation.

    List Graphic  Food and Agricultural Sciences/Course Descriptions

     

     

    Food Science and Technology

    Food Science and Technology Program GraphicThe Food Science and Technology Ph.D. Program (FDST) at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore is an academic program housed in the School of Agricultural and Natural Sciences. It is jointly administered through the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Human Ecology. This program is an essential component of the UMES effort to become a Carnegie Doctoral/Research University - Intensive classified institution.

    The mission of the FDST Doctoral program is to prepare students for successful careers and life-long learning experiences within the food industry, academia and government. Studying for an advanced degree in Food Science and Technology prepares graduates for employment as food scientists, food chemists, food microbiologists, processing engineers, research scientists, educator, and related positions. The goal of our teaching, research and outreach programs is to enhance the safety, quality and availability of foods. Emphasis is given to commodities of importance within our region, including poultry, seafood, produce, and small farm animals.

    The FDST courses cover a wide range of topics and are designed to give students an overview of basic principles of Food Science leading to discussion of advanced topics and novel technologies relevant to manufacture and distribution of processed foods. This includes the discussion of the composition of foods; reactions of components during the growing, harvesting, storage, transportation and processing phase; processes and technologies employed during the industrial manufacture of food; risks that threaten the wholesomeness of foods and management of those risks; development of new food products; regulatory issues important to the food industry; and more. Food safety research from farm to table is conducted in our program. Activities include the detection of pathogenic microorganisms and the development and evaluation of processes to control/eliminate them. Similarly, spoilage microorganisms that impede the quality of foods are being studied. Animal stress and its relationship to meat quality is being studied, as well as the effect of breeding and feeding practices on meat quality.


    The Center for Food Science and Technology

    The building was constructed to house the FDST program. It features laboratories, offices, processing facilities, classrooms, a library, a computer room and a large Animal Exhibition Hall. Laboratories for Food Microbiology, Food Safety, Food Quality, Food Chemistry, Food Processing, Sensory Evaluation and others provide excellent infrastructure to do research related to the safety and quality of foods. Modern classrooms with state-of-the-art audiovisual equipment support quality teaching and offers space for workshops and similar outreach activities.

    The Application

    Applicants must apply to the School of Graduate Studies at UMES to be accepted into the program. Online application forms are available. For more information see  Graduate Studies at UMES

     


    Application Deadlines 

    Fall Semester    - April 15

    Spring Semester - October 30

    Summer Sessions - April 15

     

    Scholarships

    Some scholarships are available to qualified students. Awards are given according to the guidelines for each scholarship.

     

    Program Retention and Graduate Committee Role 

    The program requires completion of a dissertation as partial fulfillment for the doctoral degree.  Each student is initially assigned a major advisor who is responsible for advising the student on all aspects of the student's progress throughout the program. The major advisor must be a Regular member of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore Graduate Faculty.

    The student must have a major professor (Regular Graduate Faculty Status) and select a Graduate Committee no later than the end of the second semester of enrollment.  Before the end of the second semester of enrollment, each student's program of study is planned in consort with the major professor (advisor) and the Graduate committee, including any transfer credits to be applied to the degree program.  The Graduate committee must have five members, three of whom must hold UMES Regular or Associate Graduate Faculty status membership, and a majority of the Committee must be UMES full-time faculty in academic departments.   The major professor chairs the committee. Annual student progress reviews will be conducted by the committee to ensure satisfactory progress of students toward degree completion. All students must maintain a cumulative 3.0 GPA, pass a written and an oral comprehensive examination and complete degree requirements, including dissertation within seven years of initial enrollment if full-time, otherwise nine years if part-time.

    Undergraduate Programs

    Agribusiness

    Agribusiness GraphicThe Agribusiness Degree Program combines instruction in the agricultural sciences and economics with particular emphasis on the management of agricultural production and marketing firms, decision-making, and problem solving in public policy. The core curriculum of the program is developed from courses offered in the Departments of Agriculture, Food and Resource Sciences;  Business, Management and Accounting; and  Mathematics and Computer Science.

    By combining these areas in the curriculum, the agribusiness program is designed to: (1) meet the requirements for agribusiness competency essential for today's production agriculture, and (2) provide students sufficient expertise to allow them to enter management levels of diverse agribusiness firms. In addition, the curriculum includes a broad range of elective courses, which allows the student in agribusiness to structure a program consistent with his/her personal interests and goals.

    Agribusiness students are also strongly encouraged to be involved in an internship or cooperative education program with a university-approved agribusiness firm, a federal or state agency, or an international organization during their junior or senior year. This arrangement provides students with training, experience, and a first-hand look at various career opportunities.

    Degree Requirements

    Students majoring in Agribusiness must complete a total of 120 credit hours of University courses. This includes a minimum of 42-43 semester hours of General Education Requirements, 14 semester hours of Departmental Core courses, 48 semester hours of Major Core courses, 6 semester hours of Supportive courses, and 10 semester hours of free electives.

    Career Opportunities

    A degree in Agribusiness prepares students to teach, to conduct research, to pursue graduate and professional degrees, to work in government and business, and numerous other related jobs such as: Business and Technology, Marketing and Management, International Trade and Development, Economic Research, Commodity Brokerage, Computer Science, Public Relations Specialist, Market Forecaster, Technical Representative, Extension Educator, Market Reporter, Financial Analyst, and Financial Representative. 

    General Agriculture

    General Agriculture Degree GraphicThe General Agriculture Degree Program is designed to prepare students in the application of scientific principles, practices, and techniques requisite for careers in the agri-industry job market and for continued study at the graduate level. Students enrolled in this program may select a course of study in one of the following concentrations: Agricultural Education, Plant and Soil Science, and Animal and Poultry Science.

    DEGREE REQUIREMENTS

    Students majoring in General Agriculture must complete a total of 120 credit hours of University courses. This includes a minimum of 41-43 semester hours of General Education Requirements, 14 semester hours of Departmental Core courses, 24 - 48 semester hours of Major Core courses, 18-35 semester hours of supportive courses, and 3-5 semester hours of free electives, depending on the Option Area chosen.

    The Option Areas include:

    Agriculture Education Option: 42, 14, 45, and 19 semester hours of General Education Requirements, Departmental Core Courses, Major Core Courses and Supportive Courses, respectively.

    Agricultural Studies Option: 41, 14, 27, and 38 semester hours of General Education Requirements, Departmental Core Courses, Major Core Courses, and Supportive Courses, respectively.

    Animal and Poultry Science Business/Technology Option I: 43, 14, 27, 30 and 6 semester hours of General Education Requirements, Departmental Core Courses, Major Core Courses, Supportive Courses and Free Elective Courses, respectively.

    Animal and Poultry Science Pre-Veterinary/Pre-Professional Option II: 43, 14, 24, 35 and 4 semester hours of General Education Requirements, Departmental Core Courses, Major Core Courses, Supportive Courses and Free Elective Courses, respectively.

    Plant and Soil Science Option: 43, 14, 25, 34 and 4 semester hours of General Education Requirements, Departmental Core Courses, Major Core Courses, Supportive Courses and Free Elective Courses, respectively. 

    CAREER OPPORTUNITIES

    A degree in General Agriculture prepares students to teach, to conduct research, to pursue graduate and professional degrees, to work in government and business, and numerous other related careers or jobs such as: Agricultural Education, Veterinary Medicine, Animal Management and Production, Livestock Production Management, Animal Health Product Sales, Feed Sales/Management, Livestock Equipment Sales/Mgt, Livestock Procurement, A.I. Breeding Technician, Livestock Feedlot Operations, Market Forecasting, Food Safety, Plant Breeding and Biotechnology, Greenhouse & Nursery Management, Landscape Design, Water Quality, Nutrient Management, Food and Fiber Processing, Natural Resource Sciences, Extension Education, Housing & Environmental Quality, Livestock Insurance, Quality Assurance, Farm Management, Stable Management, Market Reporting, Meat Grading, geospatial information technologies, soil chemists, soil biologists, plant biochemists, plant pathologists, entomologists, horticulturists, agronomists, soil hydrologists, and soil microbiologists. 

    • General Agriculture/Required Courses:  Agriculture Education Option
    • General Agriculture/Required Courses:  Agricultural Studies Option
    • General Agriculture/Required Courses:  Animal and Poultry Science Business Technology Option I
    • General Agriculture/Required Courses:  Animal and Poultry Science Pre-Veterinary/Pre-Professional Option I
    • General Agriculture/Required Courses:  Plant and Soil Science Option

    Urban Forestry

    Urban Forestry Degree GraphicDEPARTMENTAL REQUIREMENTS

    Students majoring in Urban Forestry must complete a total of 120 credit hours of University courses.  This includes a minimum of 42 credit hours of General Education Requirements, 15 credit hours of Departmental Core courses, 47 credit hours of Major Core courses, and 16 credit hours of Supportive courses.

    DEGREE REQUIREMENTS

    Urban Forestry majors in the Department of Agriculture, Food and Resource Sciences must complete a total of 15 semester hours of departmental core courses which include; AGEC 213, AGME 283, AGRI 301, ANPT 114, PLSC 184 and PLSC 185. 

    CAREER OPPORTUNITIES

    A degree in Urban Forestry prepares students to teach, to conduct research, to pursue graduate and professional degrees, to work in government and business, and numerous other related careers or jobs such as;  Greenhouse & Nursery management, Landscape Design, Nutrient Management, Food and Fiber Processing, Natural Resource Sciences, Extension Education, Housing & Environmental Quality, geospatial information technologies, soil chemists, soil biologists, plant biochemists, plant pathologists, entomologists, horticulturists, agronomists, soil hydrologists, and soil microbiologists.

    Agricultural Studies


    The Agricultural Studies Concentration is designed to allow students to explore the Food, Fiber, Natural Resources, Environmental, Biological, Social and Natural Sciences without specializing in any particular concentration area. Ag Studies is a “student centered” individualized curriculum that will allow the student, in consultation with a faculty advisor, to select courses from approved programs to customize a program of study that best fits the student's career goals. While this concentration offers a great deal of program flexibility, restriction is built into the curriculum to ensure that each student's program meets University requirements for the baccalaureate degree. Ag Studies students must satisfactorily complete a minimum number of upper level (300 and above) courses to complete the program. By completing courses in the department and Ag Studies core, students obtain a strong foundation of agricultural knowledge and skills. On-the-job training, which provides hands-on experiential learning, can be obtained through internships. Internships are highly recommended so that students can apply classroom knowledge and develop industry and/or government contacts while acquiring technical and field experience that will prepare them for a highly competitive and diversified workforce. A student's program should be planned in consultation with his/her departmental advisor, and approved by the AGST Oversight Committee and the Department Chair.

    Agricultural Education


    The Agricultural Education Concentration leads to the Bachelor of Science degree in General Agriculture and concurrent teacher certification. This concentration prepares students to become qualified teachers and to successfully assume the complex role of a teacher in the classroom of the twenty-first century. Agricultural Education includes general education, professional education, and specialized education. The curriculum for each student will vary depending on needs and interest. The flexibility of the curriculum provides the student an opportunity to select courses in various areas of agriculture. The primary goal of the undergraduate teacher education program is to insure success within the teaching profession by 1) providing a comprehensive knowledge base that insures competency in agriculture subject matter areas, and 2) providing the opportunity to develop sophisticated clinical skills. Students enrolled in this program are provided a carefully planned course of study that emphasizes excellence in both theoretical and applied learning.

    Animal and Poultry Science Concentration

    The Animal and Poultry Science Concentration is designed to provide students with the basic concepts of animal and poultry science, the fundamentals of modern production systems, and the applied management techniques used in today's animal and poultry industries. Two major program options leading to a Bachelor of Science degree in General Agriculture are offered.

    Option 1 is a career-oriented program designed to provide students with a thorough knowledge of poultry and animal production combined with a working knowledge of economics and agri-business. Students successfully completing this program will receive a B.S. degree in General Agriculture and will be prepared for advancement in a career in poultry and animal production.

    Option 2 is a pre-professional program which includes the prerequisite courses required to apply to the various veterinary colleges or to poultry and/or animal science graduate programs in the areas of nutrition, physiology, diseases, and genetics.

    Students may apply to veterinary schools in the USA and abroad. It is the responsibility of the student to determine the admission requirements of any veterinary schools of interest prior to application.

    Plant and Soil Science Concentration

    The Plant and Soil Science Concentration provides students with baccalaureate degree training in appropriate concentrations qualifying them for careers in agronomic and horticultural sciences, marketing production, governmental service, research, and/or graduate studies. Courses in this program are designed to incorporate laboratory, hands-on experiences, internships, and coop-education. This curriculum is designed to provide students with a broad background in the basic sciences and general education. The flexibility of the program allows students to focus in basic or applied plant sciences.