About Us

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Master of Science Degree in International Agricultural Development

The UC Davis Masters program in International Agricultural Development (IAD), hosted in the Plant Sciences Department, prepares students for careers in global agricultural and rural development. This interdisciplinary program is designed to provide students with knowledge and skills that enable them to implement, facilitate and manage programs that enhance agricultural development and rural life. Students are prepared to accomplish diverse improvements, facilitate innovation in agricultural, natural, social and economic systems, and make a meaningful difference in the world.

The program includes both breadth and depth components. Breadth components, which comprise core courses required of all M.S. students, aim to establish an understanding of the issues in international agricultural development. These include the history and theory of development, project development and management, fundamentals of farming systems, and agricultural economics. In the depth component, students pursue an area of specialization within the agricultural and social sciences. The areas include, but are not limited to, agricultural and resource economics, agricultural engineering, agronomy, animal science, anthropology, aquaculture, avian science, community development, ecology, economics, entomology, environmental design, environmental toxicology, food science, gender, geography, horticulture, hydrologic sciences, human nutrition, plant pathology, plant biology, plant protection and pest management, political science, pomology, preventive veterinary medicine, range science, sociology, soils and biogeochemistry, sustainable agriculture, vegetable crops, and viticulture.

Practical and on-site experience with development issues is encouraged and facilitated by the group’s affiliated faculty, who possess a wide range of experience in international development and agriculture, and program partners such as the Blum Center for Developing Economies, HORT-CRSP, D-Lab, Agricultural Sustainability Institute, Student Farm and Russell Ranch, the International Programs Office, UC Cooperative Extension, and others.

Students are assigned a faculty advisor based on their specialization interest areas. Advisors serve as academic mentors to guide students in structuring and implementing their course plan. Students who choose to write a thesis must also identify a faculty member to serve as their major professor (who is the student’s mentor during thesis research).

See detailed degree requirements here.


Program Organization

Graduate students at UC Davis are officially students of Graduate Studies and work under faculty members organized in groups and departments. The Master of Science degree in IAD is administered by a graduate group composed of faculty in 12 departments. Graduate students must satisfy the requirements of both Graduate Studies and the IAD Graduate Group.

The IAD Graduate Group has over 30 faculty members, who are involved in teaching, research, and extension, and have a direct interest in international agricultural development. We encourage applicants to identify IAD faculty with relevant interests and background prior to applying. It is imperative that students who intend to write thesis identify an IAD faculty member who is willing to serve as major professor. If a potential major professor is not a member of the IAD Graduate Group, they can apply to join the group. 


Achieving Diversity

The IAD Graduate Group at UC Davis values a diversity of viewpoints, backgrounds, and experiences among its students—as this diversity strengthens and enriches our research, scholarship, and teaching. A diverse graduate student population also enhances the academic experiences for all students. Our group encourages interactions, interdisciplinary work, and group activities outside of class and students' primary research emphasis.

We are committed to achieving diversity and a multicultural academic environment that supports the success of all graduate students. The graduate group promotes strategies to enrich the diversity of our students, staff, faculty and programs and embraces the UC Davis Principles of Community and the diversity policy expressed by the University of California Regents:


“The diversity of the people of California has been the source of innovative ideas and creative accomplishments throughout the state’s history into the present. Diversity – a defining feature of California’s past, present, and future – refers to the variety of personal experiences, values, and worldviews that arise from differences of culture and circumstance. Such differences include race, ethnicity, gender, age, religion, language, abilities/disabilities, sexual orientation, gender identity, socioeconomic status, and geographic region, and more.

Because the core mission of the University of California is to serve the interests of the State of California, it must seek to achieve diversity among its student bodies and among its employees. The State of California has a compelling interest in making sure that people from all backgrounds perceive that access to the University is possible for talented students, staff, and faculty from all groups. The knowledge that the University of California is open to qualified students from all groups, and thus serves all parts of the community equitably, helps sustain the social fabric of the State.

Diversity should also be integral to the University’s achievement of excellence. Diversity can enhance the ability of the University to accomplish its academic mission. Diversity aims to broaden and deepen both the educational experience and the scholarly environment, as students and faculty learn to interact effectively with each other, preparing them to participate in an increasingly complex and pluralistic society. Ideas, and practices based on those ideas, can be made richer by the process of being born and nurtured in a diverse community. The pluralistic university can model a process of proposing and testing ideas through respectful, civil communication. Educational excellence that truly incorporates diversity thus can promote mutual respect and make possible the full, effective use of the talents and abilities of all to foster innovation and train future leadership.

Therefore, the University of California renews its commitment to the full realization of its historic promise to recognize and nurture merit, talent, and achievement by supporting diversity and equal opportunity in its education, services, and administration, as well as research and creative activity. The University particularly acknowledges the acute need to remove barriers to the recruitment, retention, and advancement of talented students, faculty, and staff from historically excluded populations who are currently underrepresented.”


Graduate Student Guide

For additional information about study, research and student life at UC Davis, please see the Graduate Student Guide It summarizes the regulations and guidelines governing graduate study at UC Davis as well as descriptions of the many non-academic resources available to UC Davis graduate students and their families.