CFAES Graduate Programs

The College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences offers several graduate degree options. At CFAES, you can perform research at a collection of 11 agricultural research stations across the state of Ohio. One of these research campuses, our CFAES Wooster Campus, houses over 80 graduate students in Wooster, OH. Our faculty have broad research interests, ranging from bioengineering sustainable materials to international agricultural trade and policy.

For general information, contact Kayla Arnold, CFAES Graduate Education Coordinator. For more information on specific programs, please contact our departments below.

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Agricultural Communication, Education, and Leadership Horticulture and Crop Sciences
Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics Plant Pathology
Animal Sciences Environment and Natural Resources
Entomology Environmental Science
Food Science and Technology OSU Nutrition Program
Food, Agricultural, and Biological Engineering  

Department of Agricultural Communications, Education, and Leadership

Graduate programs in ACEL are designed for agricultural teachers, Extension personnel, and agriculture industry leadership professionals. The master’s degree is designed to prepare graduates for teaching, research, extension, communication, administrative, and leadership positions in the public and private sectors, while the PhD prepares students for careers as administrators, specialists, university faculty, and researchers. ACEL also offers a graduate minor in Social Science Research Methods.

  • MS (on campus and online)
  • PhD Program
    • Specializations in: International Development, Agricultural Communication, Community and Extension Education and Leadership, and Agricultural Education


Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics

AEDE is a globally recognized leader in the disciplinary areas of agricultural, environmental, and development economics. Students acquire rigorous training in economic theory and advanced quantitative methods and learn to apply these skills to a wide range of real-world economic problems. Degree recipients go on to assume teaching, research, and managerial positions with universities and colleges, research institutions, government agencies, multilateral international institutions, nongovernmental organizations, and private companies and corporations.

  • Master​​​​​ of Applied Economics (MAE)
    • A one-year professional program geared toward individuals who want to gain skills in practical application of advanced economic theory and data analysis to find solutions for an array of societal challenges. Engaged faculty and corporate partnerships provide a hands-on learning environment where students apply classroom content to real scenarios faced by organizations. Students take coursework that provides a solid foundation in economic theory and develops advanced quantitative analysis skills which prepares students for careers as applied economists in government and business.
  • PhD Program
    • Sample research areas: agricultural policy and trade; food economics and agribusiness; environmental and natural resource economics; international and regional economic development; experimental and behavioral economics; and risk management
Department of Animal Sciences

The department of Animal Sciences offers both PhD and MS degrees. Students have continued their education in graduate, medical, and veterinary school and career opportunities for our graduates include: pharmaceutical sales, geneticist, animal trainer, laboratory animal manager, USDA meat inspector, product developer, biomedical researcher, and many more. Research in the Department of Animal Sciences aims to increase the economic profitability of agricultural animals and quality of their products, improve animal welfare, and lessen the environmental impact of animal systems.

  • MS & PhD Programs
    • Sample research areas: growth, development, and meat science; breeding, genetics, and reproduction; animal welfare and behavior; nutrition and microbiology; waste management and biofuels; and human-animal interactions
Department of Entomology

Much of the research conducted in this department, from pest management to molecular entomology, is driven by an ecological paradigm of production efficiency, economic viability, social responsibility and environmental protection. Individual and collaborative research programs are further synergized by a breadth of experience and operations. From traditional problem solvers to designers and leaders, from basic to applied science, across two campuses and beyond into medicine and human health, from the molecule to ecosystem levels, from local to global issues, and from heuristic science to intellectual property. The unique ability to operate along the full scope of these axes provides a great deal of flexibility in the education we provide and in the potential for developing solutions and opportunities for the future. Our department offers both an MS and PhD, as well as a professional Master's in collaboration with the department of Plant Pathology.

  • Master in Plant Health Management (MPHM, on campus and online)
    • Professional Science Master's program that integrates both academic and professional training for careers in plant health management, geared towards students and working professionals who wish to develop plant health expertise for advancement or a career change.
  • MS & PhD Programs
    • Sample research areas: agricultural landscape ecology; biological control and integrated pest management; field crop entomology; insect molecular physiology; and insect population genetics and adaptation
Department of Food Science and Technology

FST offers a wide variety of specialized cutting-edge research programs that focus in areas such as food and health, emerging novel food processing and packaging technologies, and, food safety and quality programs. Our program also collaborates with the food industry and is committed to meeting the needs of our food and agricultural stakeholders in Ohio. Our students benefit from the strong connection we have to the food industry as well the opportunities to learn from and collaborate with a team of faculty who represent a diverse range of research interests.

  • MS & PhD Programs
    • Sample research areas: advanced food processing technologies; food packaging and chemistry; food safety and microbiology; sensory science; and functional foods for health
Department of Food, Agricultural, and Biological Engineering

FABE is an international leader in the advancement of the science and application of engineering in systems involving food, agriculture, environment, and construction. One of the greatest advantages to students in the Department is their ability to tailor their programs to their specific areas of interest which might have components of air quality management, agrichemical application technology, composting, food engineering and processing, greenhouse engineering, wastewater and solid waste management or watershed systems.

  • MS & PhD Programs
    • Sample research areas: agricultural safety and health; construction systems management; ecological engineering; food and process engineering; watershed systems and water quality; and wastewater/ solid waste management
Department of Horticulture and Crop Sciences

Graduate students in HCS have access to some of the highest quality faculty and research experiences in the world. The Graduate program provides training and leadership opportunities for the next generation of scientists who will address critical issues related to the production of food, feed, fuel, fiber, and pharmaceutical crops in ways that are economically viable, socially acceptable, and environmentally responsible. Graduate students and faculty study fundamental and applied aspects of the biology, production, and environmental impact of a wide range of crop and ornamental plants grown in Ohio and around the world.

Sample research areas: breeding and genetics; crop management and production; physiology, biochemistry, and molecular biology; turfgrass science and management; and weed ecology

Department of Plant Pathology

Our graduate program in Plant Pathology is one of the highest ranked in the nation based on research, student support and outcomes, and student activities. Our innovative research, education and Extension outreach programs focus on plant diseases, plant-microbe interactions and plant health management. This department offers both an MS and PhD, as well as a professional Master's in collaboration with the department of Entomology.

Sample research areas: plant molecular biology, genetics, and genomics; management systems for agricultural crop diseases (such as corn and soybean); ornamental crop pests and management; quantitative epidemiology, disease modeling & risk prediction; and fungal biology and parasitism.

School of Environment and Natural Resources

SENR is home to many faculty and students who share a common interest in improving our understanding of the environment, our natural resources, and our ability to protect and manage them. Our graduate programs prepare students with the expertise needed to follow pursuits in the public or private sectors in research, public policy development, environmental and natural resource management, and more. We offer both an MS and PhD, in addition to a professional Master in Environment and Natural Resources.

  • Master in Environment and Natural Resources (MENR)
    • A non-thesis degree that is appealing both to individuals already working in the field of environment and natural resources who are seeking promotion as well as individuals working in other fields who wish to enter the field of environment and natural resources in an applied or management-related way. Related work or volunteer experience in environment and natural resources areas is preferred, but not required.
  • MS & PhD Programs

Sample research areas: ecological restoration and ecosystem science; soil science; fisheries and wildlife science; forest science; environmental social science; and rural sociology


Interdisciplinary Programs

Environmental Science Graduate Program (ESGP)

The ESGP is a multi-college endeavor at The Ohio State University comprised of faculty from many departments including the colleges of Arts and Sciences; Engineering; Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences; Law; Public Affairs; Public Health; and Veterinary Medicine. The ESGP’s goal is the pursuit and dissemination of knowledge in the interdisciplinary fields of environmental science. Specifically, this academic program provides an interdisciplinary curriculum across physical sciences and engineering, biological sciences, and social sciences. This program is targeted towards students looking for an interdisciplinary approach to the environmental sciences.

Sample research areas: local food system development; food system assessment and sustainability; climate change science and policy; renewable energy; water quality and biogeochemical cycles; consequences of human activities to ecosystem services; global health; and environmental microbiology and toxicology

OSU Nutrition Program

OSUN offers a Ph.D. program with advanced training in the modern interdisciplinary nature of nutritional sciences. Graduate study will offer an opportunity to work with faculty across multiple colleges and disciplines with access to a veterinary medicine center, medical center, the Ohio Agricultural Research Center (OARDC), and state of the art research facilities with faculty whose research areas span nutrition, biochemistry, microbiology, epidemiology, genetics, and the -omics.

Sample research areas: animal growth, development, and lactation; functional foods and bioactive compounds; biochemical and molecular nutrition; clinical nutrition and chronic disease; and behavioral health and community nutrition