MS in Natural Resources with Emphasis in Agroforestry

Dr. Shibu Jose
203 Anheuser-Busch Natural Resources Building
Columbia, MO 65211
(573) 882-0240

Emphasis Area Focus

Agroforestry, as a farming system that integrates crops and/or livestock with trees and shrubs, has a long history of interdisciplinary research at the University of Missouri. The interdisciplinary emphasis area capitalizes on existing agroforestry research collaborations across The School of Natural Resources (SNR) departments in building an academic program that could attract and serve quality graduate students from Missouri, the nation and the world. The agroforestry emphasis area offers both a thesis and non-thesis option. The program also offers an online option designed for professionals working in natural resources around the globe who already have an undergraduate degree in a related field. Please visit the online webpage for more information:

Admission Requirements

  • Bachelor's degree in a relevant discipline from an accredited institution
  • Undergraduate GPA: 3.0 on a scale of 4.0
  • Graduate Record Exam score (GRE)*: verbal plus quantitative total of at least 1100 (300 on the new GRE)
  • Students whose GPAs and GRE scores do not meet the requirements will be evaluated individually

*The GRE requirement may be waived under exceptional circumstances. Applicants will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

How to Apply

To the Graduate School:

  • All application materials must be submitted to the Apply Yourself online application system.
  • Statement of interest
  • Résumé or CV
  • GRE scores
  • TOEFL scores (if applicable)
  • A minimum of three letters of recommendation and the accompanying evaluation sheets from people who can attest to the candidate’s scholastic ability and experience relevant to graduate study.
  • Publications (optional)

Application Deadlines

Applications must be received by the following dates:

  • March 15 for the summer semester
  • May 15 for the fall semester
  • Oct. 15 for the spring semester

Thesis option:

Students in the thesis option will complete 30 credit hours of course work with no more than 12 credits for thesis research. Students choosing the M.S. thesis option will prepare a written research proposal and make an oral defense of that proposal within 12 months of their initial enrollment in the program. Students in the thesis option will write a thesis based on their research and participate in a public oral defense of their thesis announced at least two weeks prior to the defense date.

Non-Thesis option:

Students in the non-thesis option will complete 30 credit hours of course work with no more than 6 credits for a project. Students choosing the non-thesis option will be required to write a project plan and to make an oral defense of that plan within the first year following their initial enrollment in the program. Students choosing the non-thesis option will write a technical report based on their project and participate in a public oral defense of their report to be announced at least two weeks prior to the defense.

Timeline Requirements: 

  1. Within six month of initial enrollment in the emphasis area, students must submit a plan of study.
  2. Within one year of initial enrollment in the emphasis area, students must present a written proposal of their research or project proposal to be reviewed and approved by members of the students' Masters Committee.
  3. Students will submit a written thesis or project report following the guidelines specified by the Graduate School. All students must present a public oral defense of their dissertation or project announced at least two weeks prior to the defense date. Electronic media may be used to facilitate the defense for online/distance education students when appropriate.
  4. All students will submit an annual report of their progress as required by the MU Graduate School.

Agroforestry Emphasis Area Coursework Requirements

Students seeking the agroforestry graduate emphasis will develop their course of study to incorporate 12 hours of a core curriculum of designated courses. This has been designed to include theoretical foundations in both the biophysical and socioeconomic components of agroforestry. The curriculum leads the student through a progression of learning and applying concepts related to (A) Agroforestry Fundamentals; (B) Biophysical Foundation; and (C) Socio-economic Foundation (Table 1).

Each student's coursework requirements, including the selection of specific courses in the above categories, will be listed in the student's plan of study and approved by their graduate committee.

Table 1. The 12-cr core curriculum for the Agroforestry Emphasis M.S. program

A. Agroforestry Fundamentals
FOREST 4385/7385Agroforestry I: Theory, Practice and Adoption3
B. Biophysical Foundation
Choose Two
FOREST 8385Ecological Principles of Agroforestry3
ENV_SC 4396/7396Agroforestry for Watershed Restoration3
NAT_R 8325Introduction to Geographic Information Systems3
FOREST 4390/7390Watershed Management and Water Quality3
SOIL 4313/7313Soil Fertility and Plant Nutrition3
ENV_SC 7320Hydrologic and Water Quality Modeling3
FOREST 8401Topics in Forestry1-99
C. Sociol-economic Foundation
Choose one
FOREST 4387Agroforestry Economics and Policy3
NAT_R 4353/7353Natural Resource Policy/Administration3

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Faculty membership of the graduate Agroforestry Emphasis Area

Faculty Name


Aguilar, Francisco, Assistant Professor


Anderson, Steve, Professor


Coggeshall, Mark, Assistant Research Professor



Gantzer, Clark, Professor


Gold, Michael, Research Professor


Goyne, Keith, Assistant Professor


Jose, Shibu, Director/Professor


Larsen, David, Professor


Lin, Chung Ho, Research Assistant Professor


Miles, Randy, Professor


Motavalli, Peter, Associate Professor


Muzika, Rose-Marie, Professor


Stelzer, Hank, Associate Professor


Udawatta, Ranjith, Associate Research Professor