Those desiring a master's degree or a doctorate degree from Texas A&M University in plant breeding will no longer have to make the move to College Station.
"We know there is a worldwide shortage and demand for plant breeders at the Ph.D. level," says Wayne Smith, associate department head for the soil and crops sciences department within the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
As the global population increases, so does the demand for food, fiber, and fuel, says Smith. Texas A&M, one of the top-tier U.S. universities training future plant breeders, has developed a plan to help meet the challenge and demand with a new distance education program in plant breeding.
"There are many people with bachelor's or master's degrees working with major companies who could help fill those positions," he says. "This distance degree will give them the opportunity to remain employed wherever they are and still earn their next degree."
Smith says the traditional plant breeding degrees within the college, whether in the soil and crop sciences or horticultural departments, require one semester of residency for a master's and two semesters of full-time enrollment with on-campus residency for a doctorate. The distance degree waves that residency requirement.
"While our entire faculty believes personal interaction with students is optimum, we understand there are clientele or potential students out there with a job and personal situations that are not allowing that to happen," he says.
Texas A&M will begin offering distance education for a master of science in plant breeding, non-thesis option and thesis option, and a doctorate in plant breeding in the spring of 2013.
"A person can be in Amarillo or the Philippines, and with the proper paperwork, they can now earn their degree," Smith says.
For more information, contact Smith at 979-845-3450 or Email to firstname.lastname@example.org or David Byrne at 979-862-3072, Email email@example.com or LeAnn Hague, distance education coordinator in the soil and crop sciences department, 979-845-6148, firstname.lastname@example.org.