Online Master’s Degree in Agriculture (MS)

Agricultural Leadership, Education & Communications (ALEC)

Herbert College of Agriculture

Program Overview

Ready to advance in the field of Agriculture? Consider an online master's degree program. Build on your bachelor's degree and professional experience with a Master of Science online degree from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Agricultural Leadership, Education, & Communications (ALEC) students in the Master of Science online and in-person tracks will advance their skills in agricultural teacher preparation, leadership, communication, extension, or educational development.

Credit Hours


Cost Per Credit Hour*

In-State $700

Out-of-State $775



Admission Terms

Fall, Spring, Summer

*Cost per credit hour is an estimate based on maintenance and university fees. Some programs may have additional course fees. Please contact your department for additional information on any related fees, and visit Tuition and Fees in Detail at One Stop.

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Become a Leader in Agricultural Education & Communication

The program offers a Master of Science degree with a major in Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communications (ALEC). The courses offered in the ALEC program are asynchronous, making it convenient for students to complete the MS degree while working full-time. The graduate program is designed primarily for those individuals seeking to advance their leadership and communication skills or advanced study in agricultural teacher preparation for secondary schools and Extension/outreach. However, the program is beneficial to any student interested in leadership, communication, extension, or educational development. The overall goal of the Master of Science in ALEC is to help students increase their knowledge and develop their intellectual abilities to prepare them for productive careers through which they can make significant contributions to the welfare of society. The preparation of present and prospective agricultural professionals for proficiency in their chosen fields is the ALEC’s primary mission. The ALEC Master’s degree program has been specifically designed to deliver research-based education so students are empowered to succeed.

Featured Courses

During the Master of Science in Agricultural Leadership, Education, and Communication program you will have the opportunity to take courses such as the following:

ALEC 512: Program Planning of Agricultural Leadership, Education & Communication Organization

Historical and philosophical foundation of adult education in American agriculture, key figures, issues, legislative movement, organizations and programs. Theories and models of program development and evaluation and their use in planning, organizing, implementing and evaluating a program’s content and learning activities; development and interaction of the work plan.

ALEC 533: Teaching & Learning Theory: Applications in Agricultural Disciplines

Introduction to theories of teaching and learning and related research. Explores the neuroscience of learning, behaviorism, social cognitive theory, information processing theory, constructivism, cognitive learning processes, experiential learning, motivation, self-regulation, and developmental theories. Additionally, explores the applications of teaching and learning theory in the context of teaching agricultural subject matter. 

ALEC 521: Youth Development

Introduces youth development (ages 6-18) principles and focuses on the major developmental domains of physical, cognitive, emotional and social development. Major theories relevant to the domains of development are introduced and discussed and application of these principles in context of family, school and community. 

ALEC 523: Women in Leadership

Examination of theories and practical experiences of women in leadership positions. Understanding the theoretical underpinnings of women in leadership by examining literature, case studies, autobiographies and personal experiences. 

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Ready to Be a Leader in Agricultural Education & Communication?


Lifetime TN Fan Becomes Vol as Online ALEC Student

High School teacher and longtime Tennessee Volunteer fan Hunter Dove chooses the Agricultural Leadership, Education & Communication (ALEC) program at the Herbert College of Agriculture in pursuit of higher education.

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image of online student hunter dove