4. Plan Your Program

As you plan you program, keep in mind:

  • For your 1st semester, it is recommended that you take 1 course so you can get used the the flow of lessons and systems you will be using.
  • If you are working full time, you should plan to take 1 or 2 courses, but no more than 2.  You can spend 8-12 hours/week/class.

    Program Planning Tools:

    Course workload Summary*

    Program Planning Spreadsheet*

    Agronomy Graduate Certificate Students: Your courses are 501, 502, 503, 511, 512, and 544.  You can disregard information not related to these courses.


    General Guidelines

    MS and Certificate Students: Using the Program Planning Spreadsheet

    1. Semester & Year: Fill these out to make your plan (you can sort the sheet so it’s in chronological order)
    2. Course ID & Name:  This is a list of all courses in the program
    3. Prerequisites:  IMPORTANT!  Pay attention to the prereqs for courses later in the program.
    4. Semester Offered:  This is subject to change due to changes in instructors.  Any changes will be communicated to students directly.
    5. Status: Fill this in each time you complete a class.  You can enter your grade or just mark it complete. 
    6. Note: This is a very informal way to keep track of your progress.  At some point you will be asked to submit formal programs of study with the Graduate College.  You will be informed when this is necessary.
    7. This document will be updated as course offerings change.  You will be notified of updates.

    MS Students only:  Timing for specific courses:

    • Agronomy 599M Seminar, 1 credit:  This is the start of your creative component project. 
      • We recommend that you start on your project by the time you have completed 12 credits (4 classes).
      • You must have a topic idea to register for this and registration is by permission only.
      • Take this with only 1 class.  Don't try to add it to a semester when you are taking 2 courses.
      • You will be writing your proposal for your project and select your committee members.
    • Agronomy 594:  This is the program on-campus practicum. 
      • Please plan to attend when you are halfway through the program - around 18 credits or later. 
      • Enrollment priority will go to those students who are closer to finishing their program.
    • Agronomy 599M, 2 credits:
      • The final 2 credits are reserved for the semester you defend your creative component.
      • Please add this during your last semester of coursework or later.

    Need feedback?

    Draft your plan as soon as convenient for you.  You can send a copy to msagron@iastate.edu and your advisor can look over your plan and give you feedback.  Keep in mind that although your advisor helps you with your plan, it is your responsibility to register each semester.  Please refer to your plan each time you register for courses. 

    Please continue to the next section: Course Delivery Systems