Master of Science in Plant Breeding- online option


Professionals who would like to advance their careers now have access to the world renowned plant breeding program at Iowa State University without becoming a resident on-campus student. The Master of Science in Plant Breeding offers a rigorous, integrated curriculum taught by plant breeding faculty within the Department of Agronomy.  The program offers fundamental skills in plant breeding, the study of advanced concepts such as genomic selection, and analysis of problems in plant breeding as they arise by global society.

The curriculum consists of 9 3-credit courses, and 3 credits of creative component, for a total of 30 credits.

The program prerequisites include undergraduate coursework in algebra, chemistry, biology, statistics and crops/horticulture.  Generally, students who have completed a degree from a College of Agriculture will meet the requirements.  Students who do not have the undergraduate coursework will need to complete any missing prerequisites before starting the program.

Recommended courses within the program include:

AGRON 501-Crop Growth & Development
AGRON 513-Quantitative Methods
AGRON 544-Host-Pest Interactions
AGRON 506X-Crop Genetics
AGRON 520-Plant Breeding Methods
AGRON 521-Principles of Cultivar Development
AGRON 524-Applied Plant Molecular Genetics & Biotechnology
AGRON 528X-Quantitative Genetics for Plant Breeding
AGRON 523-Molecular Plant Breeding
AGRON 599-Creative Component

For a list of course descriptions and semesters offered please review our plant breeding curriculum page.

Important Application Information:

  • Tuition Information- Please note: All online students, regardless of geographic location will receive in-state/resident rate tuition.
  • Please review the admissions requirements for the MS Plant Breeding distance option program.

MS- Plant Breeding Graduate College Procedures

  • Once admitted to the program students will need to make sure to follow Graduate College procedure as they matriculate through the program. Please use the above linked resource to guide you through the process.
Contact Info: 

Dr. Thomas Lübberstedt
Department of Agronomy
1204 Agronomy Hall, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa 50011
515-294-5356 or


Michelle Zander
Brenton Center for Agricultural Instruction & Technology Transfer
0004 Curtiss Hall, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa 50011 or 515.294.7656