Graduate Catalog
2020-2021
 
Policies, Procedures, Academic Programs
Agricultural and Life Sciences
College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
The building is located on the corner of Washington Street and West Campus Drive, the former site of a student parking lot. When it was opened in 1981, it was called the Animal Science Building. It was later named Litton-Reaves Hall.
1060, Mail Code:0334 Blacksburg VA 24061
Litton-Reaves Hall
Degree(s) Offered:
• MS
MS Degree in Agricultural and Life Sciences
Minimum GPA: 3.0
Offered In:
Virtual
Email Contact(s):
Web Resource(s):
Phone Number(s):
540/231-1104
540/231-1104
Application Deadlines:
Fall: Jul 15
Spring: Dec 15
Summer I: Apr 15
Summer II: May 15
Directions
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The Graduate School
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Litton-Reaves Hall

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Graduate Program Director : Jennifer Jones (Assistant Director)
Professors: Renee Boyer; Walter Daniels; Douglas Pfeiffer; Kerry Redican; Rickie Rudd; Susan Sumner; Gregory Welbaum; Anthony Wolf; Kang Xia
Associate Professors: Antonius Baudoin; Alan Ealy; Matthew Eick; Joseph Eifert; John Galbraith; William Hession; Eric Kaufman; Sally Paulson; Donna Westfall-Rudd; James Westwood
Assistant Professors: Angela Anderson; Thomas Archibald; Luciana Bergamasco; Tiffany Drape; Erica Feuerbacher; Curtis Friedel; Madlyn Frisard; Vitor Mercadante; Carlin Rafie; Richard Rateau; Hannah Scherer; Roger Schuerch; Karen Vines
Adjunct Professors: Dixie Dalton (Virginia Tech)
Affiliated Faculty: Azenegashe Abaye; Kristen Chang; Jennifer Jones; Joshua Kardos; Megan Seibel; Jennifer Zabinsky
Assistant Professor of Practice: Michelle Rockwell
Collegiate Faculty: Julien Cadot

Agricultural and Life Sciences Introduction

This master's degree program has been designed for potential students who are place bound, but would still like to pursue a rigorous graduate-level degree. Courses and the final project are arranged to meet the goals of the student.  The student selects one of six concentration areas on which to focus: (1) Applied Nutrition and Physical Activity; (2)
Education; (3) Environmental Science; (4) Food Safety and Biosecurity; (5) Leadership Studies; and (6) Plant Science and Pest Management. In addition to course work in the chosen Concentration Area, courses are required from a Core Curriculum and a final project and report is required.

Program Course Listing

This interdisciplinary degree program is a college level degree within the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Please visit http://cals.vt.edu/academic-programs/online/courses.html for a current listing of approved courses.
Offered In (Virtual)

Degree Requirements

Minimum GPA: 3.0
Institution code: 5859
Testing Requirements:
  • TOEFL
    • Paper
      • 550.0
    • Computer
      • 213.0
    • iBT
      • 80.0
The student designs a program of at least 30 credits. Seven credits must include courses in the core, including one credit hour of ALS 5904. Each student selects 12 credit hours from their selected concentration area. Six credit hours are selected as electives, generally from another concentration. Five credit hours are taken in the form of research hours within the concentration area, culminating in a final scholarly report.

Concentrations

Applied Nutrition and Physical Activity

 The Applied Nutrition and Physical Activity concentration is designed for students with a science, health-related, community, or education background who wish to advance and expand their nutrition and physical activity knowledge and skills.  Courses offer an evidence-based perspective on applied nutrition and exercise across the healthspan.  A focus on critical inquiry, problem solving, leadership, and successful business practices in nutrition and physical activity is carried throughout.

Upon completion of the OMALS degree with a concentration in Applied Nutrition and Physical Activity each student will be able to:

  • Demonstrate a foundational understanding of nutrition and physical activity sciences and their application to health promotion.
  • Demonstrate an in-depth knowledge in applied nutrition, physical activity, or public health policy as dictated by the student’s area of specialization.
  • Apply research methods in nutrition, physical activity, or public health to design, implement, and evaluate projects or programs.
  • Apply nutritional, exercise, or public health policy practices to assess and implement best practice interventions for health and well-being.
  • Communicate nutrition, exercise, or public health messages across diverse audiences.

Education

 Increasingly, individuals within the agricultural and life sciences are asked to train others on new techniques or equipment, develop programming that engages the public, or communicate new concepts in a variety of different settings to a diverse group of people.

The Education concentration is designed for individuals desiring to advance their teaching/learning, leadership, extension and communications skill sets in this dynamic and evolving field. This in-depth program will provide concrete strategies for assisting individuals and communities with diverse needs and interests, and providing them with the abilities to acquire and retain the information shared, including youth and adult program management, program curriculum design, STEM integration in agriculture education, and service to international service and partnerships. 

This program is designed to advance your position as an agricultural leader, educator, and communicator.  Upon completion of the OMALS degree with a concentration in Education each student will be able:

  • Examine the scholarly literature and illustrate connections to the practice of teaching and learning
  • Design, implement and evaluate educational curriculum, programming and outreach in agricultural and life sciences
  • Integrate research based agricultural, leadership, and community educational models into practice
  • Perform and evaluate research applications in agricultural, leadership, and community education
  • Evaluate the use of technology in agricultural, leadership, and community education curriculum

Environmental Sciences

The Environmental Science concentration will provide students with the knowledge and skills to solve real-world environmental issues. As a student in this program, you will interact with faculty and professionals in the field. Working through hands-on activities you will gain a greater understanding of environmental science theory and practical application. This tailored educational experience will position you to effectively and strategically lead in this field.  Upon completion of the OMALS degree with a concentration in Environmental Science each student will be able:

  • Demonstrate breadth and depth of interdisciplinary knowledge related to complex environmental issues and processes.
  • Design, implement, and evaluate an assessment and mitigation plan for diverse at-risk ecosystems.
  • Apply a variety of regulatory practices, standards, or policies related to water and soil quality and use.
  • Identify, analyze, and evaluate evidence-based literature and practice related to water and soil quality.
  • Apply research methods to design, implement, and evaluate sustainable approaches of environmental management for a variety of at risk ecosystems.

Food Safety and Biosecurity

 The Food Safety and Biosecurity concentration will build on a student’s knowledge of food safety, security, sanitation, and microbiology. It is designed for individuals interested in the microbiological safety of food, water and the environment, including the development and enforcement of laws and regulations affecting food production and processing, the implementation of food safety management programs, and the biosecurity of food supplies in developing countries.

Upon completion of the OMALS program with a concentration in Food Safety and Biosecurity each student will be able to:

  • Demonstrate breadth and depth of knowledge of evidence-based food safety and food biosecurity practices.
  • Apply scientific literature to critically evaluate the practices of legal and regulatory issues on food safety and food biosecurity
  • Demonstrate in-depth knowledge of fundamental concepts relevant to food safety and food biosecurity practices across diverse agriculture scales (local, state, national, and global).
  • Design, implement, and evaluate food safety and food biosecurity management programs and practices.
  • Identify sources of food safety and food biosecurity information and distinguish reliable sources from unreliable sources.

Leadership Studies

 The Leadership Studies concentration prepares individuals with interdisciplinary skills to be well-rounded agricultural professionals, developing leaders, educators, and communicators to lead, teach and communicate about current agricultural issues facing society today. 

Students will gain the expertise necessary to lead in a diverse and multicultural environment. Programmatic emphasis is placed on leadership in a global society, problem-solving, and the role of agricultural professionals as agents of change in our communities throughout the world.  Upon completion of the OMALS degree with a concentration in Leadership Studies each student will be able to:

  • Demonstrate leadership for effective problem solving with groups, organizations, and communities.
  • Critically analyze leadership theory and practices through scholarly inquiry.
  • Examine social responsibility in diverse and multicultural environments.
  • Design, implement, and evaluate collaborative leadership efforts in real-world settings.

Plant Science and Pest Management

 The Plant Science and Pest Management concentration will prepare students in agriculture-related roles to have a broader understanding of the diverse industry, including issues concerning production, business, economics, communication, pest management, and regulations.  

Students will gain a sophisticated understanding of this interdisciplinary field with specialized skills in areas such as weed science, plant pathology, and crop management.  Upon completion of the OMALS degree with a concentration in Plant Science and Pest Management each student will be able to:

  • Demonstrate in-depth multidisciplinary knowledge of fundamental concepts relevant to plant science and pest management practices across diverse agriculture scales (local, state, national, and global).
  • Examine and apply the evidence-based literature to resolve relevant complex plant science and pest management issues within multiple agricultural sectors.
  • Design, implement, and evaluate plant science and pest management programs and practices across diverse scales of agriculture.
  • Analyze the research applications/models/procedures to demonstrate interconnections between plant science, pest management, and human ecology, and animal health.
  • Apply multimedia strategies to communicate topics and concepts that enhance plant science and pest management practices in diverse communities and scales of agriculture.

Agricultural and Life Sciences Facilities Introduction

This degree program offers flexibility in that most courses are offered asynchronously, allowing work to be completed during a time that is convenient for the individual student. Students must have access to a computer and online resources. High speed access is highly recommended; some course materials may not work smoothly with slower dial up systems.

Agricultural and Life Sciences Facilities

The program is completely web-based and allows students to successfully earn the degree without visiting the Blacksburg campus.
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Course Listing for Agricultural and Life Sciences

 
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