U of G launches hands-on master's program in plant agriculture


The Ontario Agriculture College (OAC), at the University of Guelph (U of G) has announced a new master’s program, focused on plant agriculture.

Scheduled to start in Fall of 2024, the program — housed in the Department of Plant Agriculture — will address the demands of employers in the private and public sectors who are looking for professionals with advanced expertise in plant breeding, crop production, and plant science. It allows recent graduates and professionals to quickly upgrade their education and training without the need for conducting academic research through a traditional thesis-based program.

The program is expected to attract interest from recent graduates and professionals from across Canada and the world, seeking a master’s program that enhances career opportunities in the plant agriculture sector.

The flexibility of the program allows students to study on a full- or part-time basis and to select courses that match specific career goals in breeding and genetics, biochemistry and physiology, or crop production systems for both agronomic and horticultural crops.

Students can complete the program in three or four semesters, allowing international students to be eligible to apply for a post-graduate work permit.

Dr. John Cranfield, acting dean of OAC, says they are consistently hearing that employers are seeking graduates that have scientific knowledge as well as the hands-on training in plant and agricultural science.

“This program will fill this gap and provide graduates with valuable skills in collaboration and communication needed for career success,” says Cranfield.

An advisory council of agriculture and plant science leaders will help guide program development as well as connect students to employment opportunities.

OAC will continue to offer its thesis-based MSc and PhD in plant agriculture for students wishing to pursue careers in research in the private or public sector.

The first intake of students to the master of plant agriculture is slated for September 2024 pending approval from the Ontario Universities Council on Quality Assurance.

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