Sustainable Agriculture


Program Information:

Program Statement:
    Our interdepartmental program builds on a solid foundation of agricultural science and provides students opportunities to cross traditional disciplinary boundaries. Our program was the first in the U.S. to offer both an MS and PhD in Sustainable Agriculture and is the only graduate program that allows students to pursue a true interdisciplinary curriculum that includes the biological, social, and economic elements of sustainability.
Degrees Offered:
  • Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
  • Master of Science (M.S.)
Program Handbook(s):
Learning Goals:
  • An ability to frame problems and ask critical questions concerning agricultural sustainability
  • Knowledge of biophysical as well as socioeconomic aspects of agricultural sustainability
  • An expertise in sustainable agriculture that transcends disciplinary boundaries
  • An appreciation of the intellectual history of efforts to improve agricultural sustainability
  • An ability to work interdependently and collaboratively
  • The capacity to address complex agricultural problems by using systems thinking and other approaches
  • An ability to critique different problem-solving methods and approaches, and recognize and display visionary leadership with moral and ethical integrity
How long does it take to earn a degree?
  • Median time to earn the doctorate: 5.2 years (Methods)
  • Median time to earn the master’s: 3.0 years (Methods)

Program Contact:

Contact: Lynette Edsall
Phone: 515.294.1191
E-mail Address:

Admission Requirements:

Graduate College Requirements:
  • 4 year Bachelor’s degree (or equivalent)
  • Academic Records/Transcripts
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA (Program may alter requirement.)
  • Proof of English Proficiency.
Program Specific Requirements: International Requirements:
  • Financial Statement: Application
  • English Proficiency Minimum:
    TOEFL Paper (PBT) 570
    TOEFL Internet (iBT) 88
    IELTS 6.5
    PTE 59
    Duolingo (approved through spring 2025) 105

Application Information:

Application Deadlines:
    January 15. NOTE: For fall 2024 and beyond, please choose ONLY the Sustainable Agriculture Graduate Major when you apply. Sustainable Agriculture is a direct-admit graduate program, where students are admitted into the group of a major professor as well as into the SUSAG major. As such it is imperative that prospective students identify a potential professor BEFORE applying to the program. Applicants should review our faculty directory to identify faculty working in areas that align with their interests and goals. Once relevant faculty members have been identified, applicants should contact those faculty directly to inquire about open graduate positions and funding opportunities for their planned term of entry. Only applicants that contact faculty, apply for the program and are then nominated by a faculty member will be considered for admission to the program.
Application Details:
    This program is open to domestic and international students.

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