College of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Natural Resources North Dakota State University

College of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Natural Resources North Dakota State University

Fargo, ND
student ratio
total students
Not Reported
average amount to complete degree
fall application deadline
acceptance rate
8 Departments and Programs
departments and programs


Program of Study

The College of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Natural Resources (CAFSNR) has a tradition of excellence in teaching, research, and extension. The three-tiered mission of a land-grant university (teaching, research, and outreach) is embodied by the faculty and staff. NDSU students have great opportunities to learn from and work with world-class scientists in state-of-the-art facilities. These interactions, along with a relatively low student-faculty ratio, provide opportunities for students to develop their critical-thinking skills, work in a team setting, and capitalize on hands-on learning experiences that will allow them to be competitive in a global economy.

The CAFSNR offers the following Master of Science (M.S.) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degrees:

- Agribusiness and Applied Economics (M.S.)

- Animal Science (M.S. and Ph.D.)

- Cereal Science (M.S. and Ph.D.)

- Entomology (M.S. and Ph.D.)

- Horticulture (M.S.)

- International Agribusiness (M.S.)

- Microbiology (M.S.)

- Molecular Pathogenesis (Ph.D.)

- Plant Pathology (M.S. and Ph.D.)

- Plant Sciences (M.S. and Ph.D.)

- Range Science (M.S. and Ph.D.)

- Soil Science (M.S. and Ph.D.)

The college also coordinates with other NDSU colleges to offer eight interdisciplinary graduate degree programs. These are M.S. programs in public health and in transportation and urban systems; Ph.D. programs in cellular and molecular biology and in transportation and logistics; and M.S. and Ph.D. degree programs in environmental and conservation sciences, food safety, genomics and bioinformatics, and natural resources management.

NDSU also offers agriculture-related graduate programs through other colleges: the M.S. in Agricultural Education and the M.S. and the Ph.D. in Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering.

Research Facilities

Students have access to unique research facilities at NDSU, including one of the continent's four beef cattle research complexes, where students, faculty members, and other researchers examine food safety, genomics, animal behavior, and a slate of other topics related to cattle production.

Graduate students interested in agribusiness and commodities can work with the NDSU Commodities Trading Laboratory to gain experience with risk management, trading and analysis software, and other components of the agribusiness market.

Plant sciences students can make use of the Research Greenhouse Complex at the NDSU Agriculture Experiment Station. The complex provides a place for researchers, faculty members and students to work with state-of-the-art equipment to study plant breeding, genetics, nutrition, and other horticultural and agricultural topics.

Students in the College of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Natural Resources have the opportunity to participate in internships with regional and national research, business, and public policy groups. For example, students from NDSU have served as interns for the Michigan State Department of Agriculture, the Archer Daniels Midland company, and Oregon's National Primate Research Center.

Financial Aid

The College of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Natural Resources has one of the largest scholarship programs on campus.

North Dakota State University prides itself on its large catalog of general and program-specific scholarship programs. These include such general graduate scholarships as the Mark and Mary Andrews Scholarships for students born in North Dakota, the Frank Bain Dissertation Fellowship for doctoral students, and the North Dakota Soybean Council Graduate Student Scholarship.

Within the CAFSNR, there are scholarships available to graduate students in agribusiness (the Jim and Gwen Howe Scholarship for Students Studying Risk and Trading), animal sciences (the Frank Bain Graduate Student Scholarship), and other disciplines (the Dr. Robert A. Henson Agronomy Research Scholarship). Students who want more information on available scholarships and application processes should contact the dean's office.

Research and teaching assistantship programs are available in the CAFSNR, with annual awards made to assistants nominated by their departments and chosen by the CAFSNR selection committee.

For detailed information on financial aid opportunities, prospective students should visit

Cost of Study

For up-to-date information on costs, visit the website:

Living and Housing Costs

Information about on-campus housing for graduate students can be found at There is no specific graduate residence hall, but graduate students can live in the University apartments. In addition, there are numerous housing options in the Fargo community.

Student Group

In fall 2014, there were 2,283 graduate students among NDSU's total student population of 14,747; about 1,875 students (approximately 400 graduate students) were in the College of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Natural Resources. International students come from more than 80 countries and compose more than 25 percent of the graduate student body. Campus groups for students interested in natural resources and agriculture number more than 30. They include the Farmers Union Collegiate Chapter, the Natural Resources Management Club, and the Animal Sciences Graduate Student Association.

Students intern at a variety of organizations nationwide. Recent internships include the Oregon National Primate Research Center in Beaverton, Oregon; the Michigan Department of Agriculture in Lansing, Michigan; Phibro Animal Health, Archer Daniels Midland, and CHS in Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota; and AgCountry Farm Credit Services and Evergreen Implement in Mahnomen, Minnesota.

Student Outcomes

The job outlook for agriculture, food systems and natural resources graduates remains strong with continued expansion of food and agriculture technology, the need for well-educated personnel in leadership positions and increased opportunities in the natural resources arena.

Graduates work in many diverse areas, such as biotechnology, crop consulting, medicine, law, education, sales, finance, equipment design, resource management, product development, marketing, research, animal management and international trade.


The University's location in an urban agricultural center with proximity to both production agriculture and processing provides unique and marketable "hands-on" experience for students in the College of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Natural Resources to be involved in research projects and industry internships.

North Dakota State University is located on the eastern edge of North Dakota in Fargo, the state's largest community. With its sister city, Moorhead, Minnesota, directly across the Red River, Fargo is one of the largest metropolitan centers between Minneapolis and Seattle and offers a family friendly environment with excellent schools, safe neighborhoods and a low crime rate; an active arts and cultural scene, including a symphony, civic opera company, art museums and community theater; and many places to shop and eat, including numerous restaurants, coffee shops and a newly refurbished downtown district.


NDSU's graduate faculty members are innovators who are recognized and respected nationally and internationally for contributions to their fields of study. With a student-faculty ratio of 11 to 1, students in the College of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Natural Resources receive individual attention from faculty who are engaged in the region's agriculture. In addition, most faculty members have both teaching and research appointments, which allows them to bring the latest, most relevant information into the classroom.

Faculty members within the animal science program conduct research in a number of areas, including nutrient metabolism in ruminant animals, equine neonatal physiology, beef cattle production, food animal pharmacology, and range nutrition. In the range science program, faculty research topics include fire behavior and ecology, drought effects on range lands, livestock grazing systems, and agricultural interaction with ecosystems and wildlife.

The University

North Dakota State University is distinctive as a student-focused, land-grant, research university, ranked by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education among the top 108 public and private universities in the country. NDSU is in the elite category of Research Universities/Very High Research Activity, with several programs ranked in the Top 100 by the National Science Foundation. NDSU is fully accredited as an institution by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools. As a public land-grant university, NDSU provides cultural and educational outreach to the residents of the state, region, and beyond. Combined with a strong commitment to student success and the advancement of research of all disciplines, NDSU offers a dynamic environment for students to participate in improving themselves and the world around them.

NDSU's Graduate School offers 51 doctoral degrees, 84 master's degrees, an education specialist degree, and 12 certificate programs.


Admission to the Graduate School is a selective process intended to identify applicants who are outstanding among recipients of baccalaureate degrees. The following minimum qualifications are required of all students seeking an advanced degree:

1. The applicant must have a baccalaureate degree from an educational institution of recognized standing.

2. The applicant must have adequate preparation in the chosen field of study and must show potential to undertake advanced study and research as evidenced by academic performance and experience.

3. Each program may set higher qualifications and may require the submission of additional evidence of academic performance.

A student shall be permitted to register for graduate study only after formal admission. Programs make recommendations on all applications, but the final admission decision is the responsibility of the Dean of the Graduate School.

Application requirements include the online application, application fee, a statement of purpose, letters of recommendation, official transcripts, and test scores (GRE, GMAT, TOEFL, IELTS, PTE Academic), if required.

Location & Contact

College of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Natural Resources

North Dakota State University

1340 North University Avenue
Fargo, ND 58108
United States

Dr. Kenneth Grafton


Phone: 701-231-8790
Fax: 701-231-8520

Elizabeth Worth

Marketing, Recruitment, and Public Relations Coordinator

Phone: 701-231-8476
Fax: 701-231-6524

Request More Info

Departments & Programs

Degrees & Award

  • Degrees Offered
    • Major Degree Levels Offered
    • Agricultural Sciences Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
      Master of Science (MS)
  • Degrees Awarded
    • Master's Degrees 45
    • Doctoral Degrees 10
    • First Professional Degrees Not reported
    • Other Advanced Degrees Not reported
    • * Shows the number of degrees awarded for the last academic year that data was reported.
  • Earning Your Degree
    • Part-time study available? Yes
    • Evening/weekend programs available? No
    • Distance learning programs available? Not reported
    • Terminal master's degree available? No
  • Degree Requirements
    • Master's Degrees Not reported
    • Doctoral Degrees
    • First Professional Degrees Not reported
    • Other Advanced Degrees Not reported


45% of applicants are admitted.
  • Acceptance Rate
    • Applied 113
    • Accepted 51
    • Acceptance Rate 45
    • Enrolled 43
  • Applying
    • Application Fee - Domestic $35
    • Application Fee - International $35
    • Electronic applications accepted? Yes
    • Applications processed on a rolling basis? Yes
  • Application Deadlines
    • Type Domestic International Priority Date
    • Fall deadline Not Reported Not Reported Not Reported
    • Winter deadline Not Reported Not Reported Not Reported
    • Spring deadline Not Reported Not Reported Not Reported
  • Entrance Requirements
    • Master's DegreesNot Reported
    • Doctoral's DegreesNot Reported
    • First-Professional's DegreesNot Reported
    • Other Advanced DegreesNot Reported
    • International DegreesNot Reported

Tuition & Fees

  • Tuition & Fees *
    • Tuition & FeesNot Reported
    • *Average dollar amount (tuition & fees) required to complete the degree
  • Financial Support
    • Financial award applicants must submitNot Reported
    • Application deadlines for financial awardsNot Reported
    • Types of financial support availableCareer or Field-Related Internships, Federal Work-Study, Financial Support for Part-time Students, Institutionally-sponsored Loans

Student Body

  • Gender
    • Total Graduate Students259
    • Female Percentage47%
    • Male Percentage53%
  • Participation
    • Total Graduate Students259
    • Part-time Percentage27%
    • Full-time Percentage73%
  • Ethnicity
    • Hispanic / Latino2%
    • Black / African American2%
    • White / Caucasian68%
    • American Indian / Alaskan Native1%
    • Asian1%
    • Native Hawaiian / Other Pacific Islander0%
    • Two or more races6%
    • Unknown20%


  • Faculty Breakout
    • Total Faculty98
    • Full-time Percentage99%
    • Part-time Percentage1%
    • Female Percentage27%
    • Male Percentage73%


  • Existing Research
    • Focus of faculty researchHorticulture and forestry, plant and wheat breeding, diseases of insects, animal and range sciences, soil science, veterinary medicine
    • Externally sponsored research expenditures last yearNot Reported