Frequently Asked Questions

Couldn’t find what you were looking for? Here is a list of questions prospective and new graduate students often ask us. If you can’t find the answer here, contact us.

    • You can find all of the requirements and an application checklist on the admissions page.

    • The Master of Science program usually takes two years (two fall, two spring and one summer semesters). The Master of Science distance degree (e-Learning) is completed in two calendar years (six semesters total). The Ph.D. program is designed to take three years (three fall, three spring and two summer semesters).

    • Graduate assistantship responsibilities vary per graduate student. There are three types of assistantships; teaching, extension and research. Teaching assistantships include 3030: Oral Communication, 3033: Writing in Ag and Life Sciences, 3414, and other undergraduate courses within the department. Research and extension assistantships will vary with specializations and advisers. Many students on research appointments have the benefit of working on a grant, or assisting faculty with their research in their particular area of interest.

    • It’s a good idea to begin looking for your supervisory committee once you begin your program. Your committee should be established by the end of your second semester in the graduate program. Choose a committee that closely reflects your research interests and professional goals. Your supervisory chairperson (adviser) will assist you in this decision.

    • It depends upon your FTE (full time equivalent). If you are on a .50 assistantship (part-time) assistantship, you are required to devote 20 hours a week to your assistantship duties and responsibilities. It is required that students be in the office working on these duties for the assigned time.

    • A final comprehensive examination must be passed by any candidate taking the non-thesis option. It must be taken the semester in which the degree will be awarded. The exam tests the student over the coursework and research during their studies. The exam is four hours in length.

    • Master of Science (thesis option) and PhD students must complete an extensive research project resulting in a thesis or dissertation. When a student reports and defends his/her findings from their study, this is referred to as the defense. This must be completed the semester the student expects to graduate. All members of the supervisory committee must be present during the defense. The student provides a presentation of his/her research (the presentation is open to the public) and is followed by defending the research to the student’s supervisory committee.

    • In lieu of a thesis, non thesis students complete a final exam and a non-thesis project. This must be completed the semester the student expects to graduate. All members of the supervisory committee must be present during the project presentation.

    • Students are encouraged to work closely with their adviser and supervisory committee throughout their graduate program. Students can also use the support of the Graduate Coordinator and Graduate Support Staff.

    • The qualifying examination is comprehensive in scope with questions on theories and principles, as well as applications and generalities. The student takes this exam when most, if not all course work is completed. Students should prepare by reviewing all courses in one’s major and closely allied subjects as if preparing to take a final examination in each subject. This generally requires a few months of review for most students. You will work closely with your supervisory committee is preparing for this exam.

    • Students may register for courses on ONE.UF ( during the selected time scheduled by the university. Special topics and research courses (6905, 7979/7980) can only by registered by the Academic Support Services Coordinator. Please see him/her for more details.

    • Yes, in fact it is encouraged to take courses outside the Department of Agricultural Education and Communication. Your supervisory committee will work diligently in helping you find courses not only in AEC, but in other departments and colleges throughout the university.