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One Degree or Two

The choice between earning one degree (MS) or two (MS-MBA) is up to you.

MS-MBA student studyingThe Center for Food and Agricultural Business offers you the option to earn two degrees online through its MS-MBA in Food and Agribusiness Management program or a single MS in Agricultural Economics. You may begin with the MS-MBA and change to the MS option in the spring of the second year, so you don't have to decide right away. You will follow a predetermined plan of study throughout the program. Each option is offered through a partnership between Purdue University and Indiana University (IU).

Program Design

Online Course Material

Since more than 85 percent of course content is delivered online, you can continue to participate in the program despite travel or work assignments. You have the flexibility to work at your own pace and in your own environment because the content is delivered asynchronous (you don't have to be anywhere at a specific time except for residency sessions). You also have access to download course material at any time. The material remains available through the duration of the program, so you can continually replay lectures, unlike in a traditional classroom.

Cohort and Modules

You will complete your degree program in a cohort, which means you stay with the same group of students you started with throughout your classes; ultimately, graduating together. This provides an extraordinary network of support. Plus, students in the program typically have at least 10 years of industry experience, and they will share those experiences with you.

Your classmates are the current and future leaders of many food and agribusiness companies—including yourself!

Courses are organized into 12-week modules. During each module, you’ll take two courses from either Purdue, IU or one from each school. You should expect to spend 20 hours per week on average (10 hours per course) on reading, homework, posting to the discussion forum, etc. You have a weeklong break between each module. You complete the requirements for your MS in agricultural economics from Purdue in the spring of your second year. Then, you will complete two more Kelley modules to earn your MBA from IU. 


Regardless of your degree choice, you will complete five, one-week residencies, giving you vital face-to-face time with the professors and other students.The first four residencies alternate between Purdue’s West Lafayette, Ind., campus and the IU Kelley School of Business campus in Bloomington, Ind. A fifth residency takes place on the campus of a Purdue international partner institution, currently the University of São Paulo in Brazil. Learn more about residencies

Capstone Project

You don't have to complete a thesis or dissertation to earn your degree(s), although you will develop a capstone project. This project focuses on a significant issue or opportunity facing your company or sponsoring organization. Supported by Purdue professors, you’ll develop a solution to the problem or issue. Many of these projects have had important financial impacts on the sponsoring organizations and represent the best methods of integrating work and education. Capstone projects are kept confidential and do not become the property of Purdue University. Learn more about the project

Food and Agribusiness Focus

The 21 credits of Purdue courses are taught by agricultural economics professors who speak the language of the food and agribusiness industries and understand the problems these industries face. You’ll be able to dig deeply into issues you see on a daily basis or are likely to encounter in the future, which is a major advantage over other MBA programs.


Faculty at both Purdue and IU will lead your classes. Both schools have committed to providing you with the highest-quality learning experience. Meet the program faculty

Purdue University logo     Indiana University logo

  Frankly, if not for the MS-MBA program, I don’t know if I could have handled the added responsibility with the same tact and skill. I was able to take the things I learned in class and apply them in my new positions. Suddenly, things made a lot more sense. As a result of being in the program, I understood my role better, as well as how I could be more effective in it.  

John Guglielmi

Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing - QC Corporation
MS-MBA Class of 2002-2004