5 Best Master’s in Agricultural Engineering in 2024

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Updated: April 16, 2024, Reading time: 8 minutes

Agricultural Engineer checking produce

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While every engineering field is important, Agricultural Engineering remains at the top. Agricultural engineers’ understanding of the rural environment, the agriculture and livestock farming industry, and the agrifood sector allow them to get the most out of the soil, climate, water, and plants for food for society. 

Agricultural Engineering student doing fieldwork

The world is vastly evolving, and technology has replaced many traditional agricultural practices. As such, pursuing a Master’s in Agricultural Engineering can be a lucrative and impactful choice for those interested in advancing agricultural practices, sustainability, and securing plant-based food production.

Grad School Center is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Comparing the Top Master’s in Agricultural Engineering Programs

SchoolProgramTuitionAcceptance RateStandout Program feature/sAvailable Online?
North Carolina State UniversityMaster of Biological and Agricultural Engineering– $525.50 per credit hour (resident)
– $1,635.17 per credit hour (non-resident)
50%– Self-supported learning
– Best for students seeking a course-based curriculum
Texas A&M UniversityMEng in Biological and Agricultural Engineering$799.38 per credit hour15%Allow students to take up to two courses in another department.YES
University of FloridaMaster’s in Agricultural and Biological Engineering– $530.69 per credit hour (in-state)
– $1,255.41  per credit hour (out-of-state)
30%Offers a thesis-based curriculum best for students who want to enhance their research skills.NO
Iowa State UniversityMaster’s in Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering– $7,038 per semester (in-state)
– $15,710 per semester (out-of-state)
12%– Offers various research opportunities
– Offers up to 50% tuition scholarship and research assistantships
University of GeorgiaMS in Agricultural Engineering– $8,682 per semester (resident)
– $24,630 per semester (non-resident)
6%Offers two distinctive areas of specialization: Food Systems Engineering and Natural Resource ManagementNO

5 Best Master’s in Agricultural Engineering

North Carolina State University

Raleigh, NC

Master of Biological and Agricultural Engineering

Tuition$525.50 per credit hour (resident)
$1,635.17 per credit hour (non-resident)
Credit Hours30

North Carolina State University’s Master of Biological and Agricultural Engineering is a non-thesis program and can be completed via distance learning. The course format is mainly designed for active biological and Agricultural Engineering professionals. 

This program is an excellent choice for consulting and industry professionals who seek to deepen their expertise and advance their careers without the requirement of conducting a research project. However, if you’re planning for a doctorate, consider other options on the list.

Online courses of the NCSU’s Master of Biological and Agricultural Engineering program include: 

Students are often self-supported. Students who want to accelerate their programs can take up to 12 credit hours per semester and graduate in three semesters. 

Texas A&M University

College Station, TX

ME in Biological and Agricultural Engineering

Tuition$799.38 per credit hour
Credit Hours30

Another great option for working engineers is Texas A&M University’s Master of Engineering in Biological and Agricultural Engineering, which offers a distance learning option. This degree is also best for students seeking an application-based MEngr program. 

The Master of Engineering degree focuses on professional development, problem-solving, and creativity. Its curriculum integrates various areas such as environmental resources, food engineering, bioprocess engineering, and biomaterials science. You can also expect to learn about machine and energy systems, systems analysis, and food, feed, and fiber processing. 

In addition to its core focus, students can choose up to two courses from other departments for a more specialized learning opportunity. All assignments, including projects and exams, are handed in via the e-campus system for online learning.

University of Florida

Gainesville, FL

MS in Agricultural and Biological Engineering

Tuition$530.69 per credit hour (in-state)
$1,255.41  per credit hour (out-of-state)
Credit Hours30

The University of Florida is known for offering vast major options, including agriculture programs. The Master’s in Agricultural and Biological Engineering at UFL is a sought-after program thanks to its flexibility and affordability. 

The program is also popular for its inclusive approach to Agricultural Engineering learning. Students with any engineering background can apply for the program. Those without an engineering background will be referred to the agricultural operations management and applied science areas. 

Students in the MS degree program can pursue the degree with or without a concentration. Concentrations include:

If you’re looking for a research-intensive program, this MS in Agricultural and Biological Engineering may be the best fit. 

Iowa State University

Ames, IA

MS in Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering

Tuition$7,038 per semester (in-state)
$15,710 per semester (out-of-state)
Credit Hours30

Iowa State, home to the nation’s first Agricultural Engineering program, continues to advance knowledge through a strong MS in Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering. This program is designed for students who want to enhance their research abilities.  

As a student, you have the opportunity to participate in fundamental and applied research areas, such as: 

In addition to its intensive curriculum and research opportunities, students can access research assistantships with competitive stipends. Moreover, master’s students receive a 50 percent tuition scholarship. 

University of Georgia

Athens, GA

Master of Science in Agricultural Engineering

Tuition$8,682 per semester (resident)
$24,630 per semester (non-resident)
Credit Hours33

The University of Georgia’s MS in Agricultural Engineering is among the best but most expensive programs, especially for out-of-state students. But despite its above-average tuition costs, a lot of students are still competing for a spot. 

Qualified students can choose between a Thesis and a Non-Thesis Option, which must be decided before the start of coursework. Additionally, students can choose their own emphasis courses and plan interdisciplinary coursework. 

The two emphases are Food Systems Engineering and Natural Resource Management. 

Agricultural Engineering students in action

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Agricultural Engineering Worth It?

The ROI of an Agricultural Engineering degree will depend on your personal interests. However, we would say that Agricultural Engineering is worth pursuing for several reasons. 

Agricultural Engineering is one of the biggest engineering industries, offering various specializations and disciplines. Engineers in the agricultural sector are responsible for identifying effective systems and implementing technology to maximize investment in time, money, and energy. 

Those with a master’s degree in the field have various career opportunities. They can focus on research, development, and innovation, working for government agencies, research institutions, universities, or private companies. 

Moreover, a master’s degree will also open up career opportunities in consulting, design, and project management. And with a 6 percent job growth from 2022 to 2032, you can expect vast employment options.

How Much Does a Master’s in Agricultural Engineering Pay?

Federal data show that the average annual salary for agricultural engineers with a bachelor’s degree is $83,260. However, with a master’s degree in Agricultural Engineering, you can typically pursue higher salaries. This is because a master’s degree allows you to work in research and development roles within the sector, which provides extra benefits and incentives.

Master’s degrees in Agricultural Engineering equip you with advanced skills, specialized knowledge, and potential for leadership roles. The exact pay scale can vary depending on years of experience, specific job roles, geographic location, and industry sector.

Is there any continuing education after a master’s degree?

There are several avenues to build on your master’s degree knowledge, including in Agricultural Engineering. In fact, a lot of career options would encourage you to have additional education on top of your master’s degree. Great examples of continuing education include advanced certificates, diploma programs, and PhD programs.

Advanced/Graduate Certificates

An advanced/graduate certificate is one of the best ways to boost your knowledge and gain an edge in the competitive Engineering job market. These programs, which often only last 3-6 months, provide you with specialized knowledge and skills in specific areas of expertise. Moreover, it’s the most practical way to keep current and aware of current trends, technologies, and methodologies. 

You can pursue certificates in Agricultural Engineering, including precision farming, agricultural machinery and equipment, sustainable agriculture practices, and irrigation and water management. Most master’s degrees aim to help students maximize their learning experience, offering graduate certificates at low or no cost! 

Agricultural Engineering is vastly evolving. Agricultural engineers who want to stay on top of things are pursuing certificates in agriculture technology, such as geospatial technology. This kind of technology makes it possible for agricultural engineers to quickly identify sections of land requiring greater care or improvement by combining remote sensing, GPS, and geographic information systems (GIS).

Doctoral Programs 

If you want to pursue postsecondary teaching or have higher roles in leading research, you must pursue a doctorate, mainly a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) available online and on-campus.

A doctoral program can offer exceptional chances to learn about and build expertise in applied research. This allows you to apply cutting-edge technologies to problems related to agriculture. Furthermore, specialization in a particular subfield within the sector, such as soil science or water resources, might lead to prospects for work inside that industry.

A doctorate can boost your reputation and offer you more persuasive power when discussing important problems. As a terminal degree, it can also give you greater expertise and insight into the administration of farming and agricultural operations and enable you to counsel industry leaders on policy matters.

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