Agroecology M.S. at UW-Madison

The Agroecology M.S. Program at UW-Madison, created in 2007, trains students to research and engage with agricultural systems in a broader environmental and socio-economic context. Key to this endeavor is interdisciplinary expertise, which the Agroecology Program achieves through working with affiliated faculty members from nearly 20 departments across campus.

The combination of focused project work and interdisciplinary coursework is the greatest strength of the program.  Every student works closely with faculty on an individual project that results in a thesis or final project directed toward a scientific publication or a professional deliverable.  Meanwhile, our core curriculum brings together all students working across the disciplines to analyze food and agricultural systems from biophysical, social, and economic perspectives.  Our core courses have small enrollment (10-20 students) and high levels of interaction among students and between students and faculty.  A typical cohort consists of 8-10 incoming students.

The Agroecology Program offers a Master of Science degree with two tracks that differ in coursework requirements and the nature of the final project – the Research Track and the Public Practice Track.  Alumni of both tracks have had professional success in the public and private agricultural sectors, including positions in research, outreach, education, and project management.

Please contact the Graduate Coordinator, Caitlin Collies, if you are interested in applying or would like more information about the program.

Upcoming Events

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Read the graduate students’ letter, Towards Racial Justice in UW Agroecology, to learn more.

Available RA positions

Steven Hall is recruiting an MS student to work on agricultural water quality research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Department of Plant and Agroecosystem Sciences. Potential projects involve testing novel management strategies to decrease agricultural nitrate leaching. The Agroecosystem Water Quality lab is a collaborative team committed to excellence in basic and applied research and extension (see Competitive applicants will have a BS degree in the biological or earth sciences, a record of research success, strong communication and quantitative skills, and a clean driving record. Interested students may apply to either the Agroecology MS program or the Nelson Institute Environment and Resources MS program. Prior to submitting an application, please email a resume and cover letter to We encourage applications from potential candidates of all races, class, gender, sexuality, ability, nationality, religion, and other group identities; and we encourage applications from candidates who can demonstrate a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Mark Rickenbach is seeking a graduate student to contribute to the social science and process implementation aspect of a new project on the role of Artificial Intelligence in Extension and outreach. Full announcement Here