Graduate Certificate Overview

What is a Graduate Certificate?

A Graduate Certificate is formal recognition of focused graduate study in a specialized area, in this case, Agronomy. The Certificate is not a master's degree; a certificate requires fewer credits than a master’s degree and has no creative component or thesis requirement. 

Agronomy Graduate Certificate goals:

Students who successfully complete this certificate will be able to:

  • Understand the scientific principles underlying crop management and physiology, plant improvement, climatology, soil management and fertility, and integrated pest management.
  • Understand group dynamics and facilitate the accomplishment of individual and collective goals.
  • Communicate effectively with scientists, professionals, farmers, other professionals, and the general public for the purposes of learning and training.
  • Communicate electronically and utilize various Internet information services.

Structured yet flexible

MS Agronomy courses follow the Iowa State University Academic Calendar.

  • Fall Semester: August-December
  • Spring Semester: January -May
  • Summer Semester: May-August

Within each semester, a course calendar is built with weekly due dates for course requirements. It is important to note that courses are not self-paced. Students can expect to spend between 8-12 hours/week/class to complete the reading assignments, participate in discussions, submit assignments, and any other requirements.

When students register for classes, they are expected to meet course deadlines. Should events occur in which a course deadline cannot be met, communication with the course instructor is critical as soon as a conflict arises.

Course Delivery

Canvas is the course delivery system used by ISU. All course materials are hosted in Canvas and organized by modules. Some courses have an additional required textbook. An explanation of Canvas is available at Canvas’ technology page for first-time users and video tutorials are available under Online Documentation

Time to Complete Certificate

Typically, students enroll in one or two courses per semester while working full time. Students can spend as little as 18 months (2 courses/semester) or as much as 3 years (1 course/semester) to complete the Certificate. Iowa State University Grad College policy has a 7-year time limit to complete a Graduate Certificate.