Agriculture Policy

Agriculture Policy

Agriculture remains a growing field that is detrimental to the survival of humanity, especially since the World Health Organization predicts that by 2050 a shortage of food will plague the world.  Additionally, the United States Department of Agriculture suggests that the demand for graduates in the agriculture or food industries will continue to increase. There is a deficit in the number of graduates to satisfy this demand. Creating an agriculture policy concentration in the Rural Public Policy and Planning program allows students to contribute to reducing the deficit while pursuing a career in agriculture that reaches beyond farming and managing a farm.

Historically, the Mississippi Delta is well-known for the abundance of natural resources, the agrarian economy, and lucrative agriculture production. Since the focus of the Rural Public Policy and Planning Program involves training practitioners to enhance the economic, demographic, and social success of the region, students, who pursue the agriculture policy concentration, are equipped to address the lingering disparities of the region. Furthermore, students will gain sufficient knowledge about how community and economic development through agriculture and food industries have the potential to improve the lives of residents within the region.


The Master of Arts in Rural Public policy and Planning (MRPP) curriculum consists of thirty-six (36) credit hours. The program’s core requirements consist of twelve (12) credit hours, six (6) credit hours of research and statistics, and six (6) credit hours of thesis or six (6) credit hours of practicum. The Agriculture Policy area of specialization consists of nine (9) credit hours.

Core Requirements (12 hours)

RP 503         Rural Policy Planning, Evaluation and Analysis   (3 hrs)

RP 504         Rural Community and Economic Development  (3 hrs)

RP 505         Economic Analysis of State and Local government (3 hrs)

RP 506         Intergovernmental Relations (3 hrs)

Research Requirements (6 hours)

RP 507         Research Methods for Public Policy  (3 hrs)

RP 508         Statistical Analysis (3 hrs)

Thesis or Non-Thesis Option (6 hours)

RP 509         Thesis: Master’s Thesis (6 hrs)

RP 510         Non-Thesis: Practicum (6 hrs)

Prerequisite for non-public administration/policy majors (3 hrs)

RP 515         Seminar in Public Administration (3 hrs)

Areas of Specializations                                                                  

Agriculture Policy (9 hours) 

RP 526         Rural Demography and Growth (3 hrs)

RP 529         Agriculture Policy (3 hrs)

RP 530         Agriculture Economic and Agribusiness (3 hrs)


Applicants seeking admission to the Master of Arts in Rural Public Policy and Planning Program at Mississippi Valley State University must be admitted to the University via this graduate degree program.

To be eligible for admission to this graduate program, the following requirements must be met:

  1. An applicant must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university.

  2. An application must be filed with the Office of Admissions.

  3. An official transcript of a conferred undergraduate degree and any transcripts the student is seeking credit for to the intended program of study must be on file in the Office of Student Records/University Registrar.

  4. An applicant must satisfy a minimum undergraduate cumulative grade point average of 2.75 or higher on a 4.0 scale.

  5. An applicant must submit three letters of recommendation from persons who are qualified to certify as to your abilities and character.

  6. An applicant must a "Personal Statement" and a "General or Scholarly Writing Sample".

  7. The department of the graduate program applied for must formally accept the student for admission to the graduate program of study. The actual acceptance letter is forwarded by the Office of Admissions.

  8. An immunization record must be submitted and/or on file.

Students who show academic promise but fail to meet all the requirements based on the aforementioned indicators may be admitted on a conditional basis.  Students will be required to complete nine (9)hours toward the degree while on provisional status and must earn a minimum of a “B” or above in each class.  After the provisional period, the faculty will review the student’s progress and determine if he or she should be allowed to continue.  Those students who are allowed to continue will then be unconditionally admitted to the program. Conditionally admitted students are not eligible for financial aid.

Priority Date for Admission

Admission to a degree program is made in the fall or spring semester. The priority date for fall applications is March 15. The priority date for spring applications is October 15. 

Admission of Undergraduates to Graduate Courses

Undergraduate Mississippi Valley State University students who have completed all required courses thus far and are within six hours of graduation may enroll in a maximum of six semester hours of graduate work. To be eligible to take graduate courses, undergraduate students must have a grade point average of at least 2.75 overall and in their major field. 


For application materials or program-specific information, interested candidates should contact:

The Office of Graduate Admissions and Recruitment, (662) 254-3347, or Program Coordinator, Dr. Richard Mushi, Master of Arts in Rural Public Policy and Planning, (662) 254-3352/3357/3547.

For general information contact: MVSU Admissions and Recruitment Office, 662-254-3347.