a student inspecting a plant in a greenhouse

Master of Plant Agriculture (Course-based)

Cultivate your career in the plant and agriculture sector

Plants and crops play a critical role in our ecosystem and are essential for a sustainable food system. The University of Guelph’s Master of Plant Agriculture (MPAg) program provides you with career-focused knowledge and expertise in plant breeding, crop production and plant science for you to pursue leadership positions in the private and public sector. Cater your studies to match your own unique interests and career-focus – specialize your program in breeding and genetics; biochemistry and physiology; or crop production systems. This program is ideal for recent graduates or working professionals that wish to gain scientific, cross-discipline skills in a hands-on learning environment to advance your career.

 Flexible options 

Complete your degree part-time or full-time and specialize your studies in breeding and genetics; biochemistry and physiology; or crop production systems.

 Learn from Canada’s best

With over 150 years of developing leaders, U of Guelph’s Ontario Agricultural College is ranked as one of the world's leading schools in agriculture and food.

 Course-based options

Program format allows you to complete the program in 3-4 semesters.

 Reach your career goals

Gain important soft skills in communications, collaboration and problem-solving skills as well as scientific expertise in plant biology, physiology, crop production and more.

 Connect with the sector

Connect with employers in the public and private agri-food sector through site visits, field studies and guest speakers from industry leaders.

 Hands-on learning

Learn about existing and emerging technologies in the agri-food and plant production sector through course-based, collaborative projects that enhance your employability and analysis skills.


Focus your courses to match your career goals in either; breeding and genetics; biochemistry and physiology; or crop production systems (complete 4.0 credits).

The program is generally completed in 3-4 semesters*


*eligible to apply for a Canadian 3 year post graduate work permit (PGWP)

  • Biological and Cultural Control of Plant Diseases 
  • Foundation in Plant Agriculture 
  • Plant Agriculture International Field Tour 
  • Advanced Plant Breeding 
  • Physiology of Crop Yield 
  • Metabolic Processes in Crop Plants 
  • Applied Bioinformatics 
  • Fruit and Vegetable Technology 

Graduates of the program will advance their careers and pursue leadership roles in a variety of sectors related to agri-food and plant production.

Employers of graduates of the MPAg program may include: 

  • Syngenta
  • Health Canada / Canadian Food Inspection Agency
  • Corteva Agrisciences
  • Bayer Crop Science
  • Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA)
  • Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC)

Students in the MPAg program are eligible for internal and external scholarship and bursaries. The Office of Graduate Studies provides information on tuition and living costs. MPAg students are not guaranteed funding for their studies.

Stay up-to-date on this new program.

Johnston Hall in the distance, framed by trees in the foreground

Canada's leader in agriculture and plants.

The University of Guelph is ranked 1st in Canada (17th in the world) for agricultural sciences and ranked 2nd in Canada in plant and animal sciences. We are "Canada's food university."

By enrolling U of Guelph's Master's in Plant Agriculture, you gain valuable expertise, insights and career-focused skills you can apply to your future in the global sector.

Max Jones in blue dress shirt
Graduate students in my lab work on a wide range of things. Some are working on regeneration from single cells. Some are working on optimizing conditions for medicinal plant production. Some are working on conservation of endangered species. It's important to preserve plants because with climate change, a lot of them are facing the threat of extinction.

Dr. Max Jones
Professor, Department of Plant Agriculture
Hear more from Dr. Jones

Mary Ruth smiles and laughs
I work mostly on diseases and some of them can lead up to one-hundred percent crop loss, so it's really important to have effective environmentally friendly, sustainable methods to manage those risks to crops.

Dr. Mary Ruth McDonald, Faculty
Professor, Department of Plant Agriculture
Hear more from Dr. McDonald

Future Student Information

The first intake of students to the new Master’s in Plant Agriculture (MPAg) is September 2024 pending Ministry approval.

Applicants must meet the admission requirements of a baccalaureate in a honours program (or the equivalent) in a relevant field of study from a recognized university or college with an average standing of at least a 'B' (70%) average. Undergraduate upgrading prior to applying may be necessary to ensure sufficient background.

All applications will be reviewed by the MPAg Program Committee and will be evaluated based on: 

  • Two (2) referee assessments 

  • A statement of interest in the program and/or career goals 

  • Work experience in appropriate and related fields 

*You are still eligible to apply if you have an honours bachelor's degree in an unrelated field of study but have taken courses in related areas and/or gained relevant work experience since completing the degree. 


The first intake of students to the new Master’s in Plant Agriculture (MPAg) is September 2024 pending Ministry approval. 

  • International applications are due by February 1 (for September/Fall entry)*
  • Domestic applications are due by April 30 (for September/Fall entry)

*We encourage international applicants to apply well in advance of the posted deadline to allow sufficient time to arrange for any necessary documentation i.e., transcripts.



Students from around the world choose to complete their graduate studies at the University of Guelph. More than 550 graduate students from 83 different countries call Guelph home.

International students are encouraged to apply to the University of Guelph's MPAg program well in advance of the applications due date of February 1st (for September/Fall entry) to allow for sufficient time to arrange for necessary documentation, such as your transcript and visa information.

For more resources and information on how to apply to the program, visit the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.



Additional Program Options

You may also be interested in the MSc Plant Agriculture (research-based) program.

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