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Agriculture and Society

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College of Agriculture— Agriculture & Society

This undergraduate degree emphasizes the application of social science knowledge to issues related to agriculture and society. The interdisciplinary major draws largely on courses from sociology, political science and economics. Its goal is to prepare students to become leaders in addressing complex issues related to the social and human dimensions of agriculture at both the local and global level. Students will learn social science concepts and skills to understand, analyze and communicate complex ideas, information and data related to agricultural systems.

Internships are an important part of the Agriculture & Society major. The curriculum offers the flexibility needed to accommodate the special interests and needs of each student.

The curriculum is designed to provide students with the following skills and competencies:

  1. Recognize, analyze and evaluate the critical human and social factors (e.g. practices, policies, laws, institutions) impacting agriculture.
  2. Understand the social dimensions of agriculture and its connections with food and environmental systems.
  3. Develop problem solving, critical thinking, and leadership skills to positively influence human impacts on agriculture.
  4. Understand the perspectives of diverse stakeholders and develop strategies to communicate clearly and effectively to a range of audiences.

Students will develop the necessary skills to become effective leaders with companies, local, national and international non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and government agencies that work on agricultural, food and environmental related issues. Graduates can work as public policy analysts, government relations, public relations, program analyst, program specialists, marketing, sales, agriculture, educators, and executive directors.

Curriculum in Agriculture & Society

Administered by the Department of Sociology

Total Degree Requirement: 128 cr.

Only 65 cr. from a two-year institution may apply which may include up to 16 technical cr.; 9 P-NP cr. of free electives; 2.00 minimum GPA.

International Perspective: 3 cr.
U.S. Diversity: 3 cr.
Communications Proficiency (C or better):
6 credits of English Composition6
Three credits of Speech Fundamentals3
ENGL 150Critical Thinking and Communication3
ENGL 250Written, Oral, Visual, and Electronic Composition3
SP CM 212Fundamentals of Public Speaking3
or AGEDS 311 Presentation and Sales Strategies for Agricultural Audiences
P R 305Publicity Methods3
or AGEDS 327 Survey of Agriculture and Life Sciences Communication
LIB 160Information Literacy1
Humanities and Social Sciences: 6 cr.
3 credits from approved humanities list3
3 credits from approved social science list3
Ethics: 3 cr.

3 cr. from approved list.

Life Sciences: 6 cr.
BIOL 101Introductory Biology3
or BIOL 211 Principles of Biology I
Three credits from approved life sciences list3
Total Credits6
Mathematical and Physical Sciences: 12 cr.
MATH 150Discrete Mathematics for Business and Social Sciences3
or MATH 140 College Algebra
STAT 101Principles of Statistics4
or STAT 104 Introduction to Statistics
Five credit hours from:5
Introduction to Weather and Climate
Introduction to Weather and Climate
Total Credits12
Agriculture and Society Required 34-35 cr.
SOC 110Orientation to Public Service and Administration in AgricultureR
SOC 230Rural Society in Transition3
SOC 325Transition in Agriculture3
SOC 382Environmental Sociology3
SOC 415Dynamics of Social Change3
ECON 101Principles of Microeconomics3
Strongly recommended:
Laboratory in Principles of Microeconomics
ECON 235Introduction to Agricultural Markets3
ECON 362Applied Ethics in Agriculture3
POL S 215Introduction to American Government3
POL S 319Law and Politics3
POL S 344Public Policy3
AGEDS 451Agricultural Law4
Total Credits34
Agriculture and Society Electives 12 cr.
AGEDS 312Science With Practice3
ECON 102Principles of Macroeconomics3
ECON 321Economics of Discrimination3
ECON 334Entrepreneurship in Agriculture3
ECON 336Agricultural Selling3
ECON 337Agricultural Marketing3
ECON 385Economic Development3
ECON 460Agricultural, Food, and Trade Policy3
POL S 235Introduction to Ethics and Politics3
POL S 241Introduction to Comparative Government and Politics3
POL S 251Introduction to International Politics3
POL S 310State and Local Government3
POL S 335Science, Technology, and Public Policy3
POL S 420Constitutional Law3
SOC 302Research Methods for the Social Sciences3
SOC 310Community3
SOC 334Politics and Society3
SOC 345Population and Society3
SOC 348Global Poverty, Resources and Sustainable Development3
SOC 401Contemporary Sociological Theories3
SOC 411Social Change in Developing Countries3
WGS 301International Perspectives on Women and Gender3
Agricultural Science Electives: 9 c r.

Complete 9 cr. from AGRON, AN S, ENT, FS HN, HORT, or NREM.

Minor or Area of Concentration: 15 cr.

Complete 15 cr. for minor or area of concentration.

Agriculture and Society, B.S.

SOC 110RENGL 2503
ENGL 1503MATH 1503
LIB 1601ECON 1023
BIOL 101 or 2113SOC 3253
ECON 1013Agriculture Science Elective3
POL S 2153 
Agricultural Science Elective3 
 16 15
POL S 3103P R 3053
STAT 1014SP CM 2123
Physical Science Elective3Ethics Elective3
SOC 4153Physical Science Elective3
Area of Concentration3Area of Concentration3
 16 15
SOC elective3POL S elective3
POL S elective3POL S elective3
US Diversity Elective3International Perspective Elective3
Area of Concentration3Area of Concentration3
Free Electives2ECON 235 or 3803
 14 15
ECON 235 or 3803ECON 362 or ECON 385 or ACCT 2843
SOC 4643AGEDS 4514
Agricultural Science Elective3Humanities Elective4
Area of Concentration3Free Elective6
Free electives3 
 15 17

Graduate Study

The department offers work for the degrees master of science and doctor of philosophy with majors in sociology and rural sociology and minor work for students majoring in other departments. For M.S. and Ph.D. departmental requirements, see Program of Graduate Study for Degrees in Sociology and Rural Sociology, available from the department office. The department offers concentrations in a number of areas, e.g., community studies and development; sociology of families, inequality, food systems, agriculture and environment; methodology; social change and development; criminology; the economy, organizations and work; and social psychology. The Department of Sociology does not offer a nonthesis master’s program.

Graduates have a broad understanding of sociology, address complex societal problems, and communicate effectively with scientific colleagues and the general public in both formal and informal settings. They understand sociological theory, conduct research, and are prepared to educate college students and contribute to public policy. Although the department stipulates no language requirement for either the degree master of science or the degree doctor of philosophy, specifying competence in one or more languages may be desirable in some instances.

The department also participates in the interdepartmental program in interdepartmental majors in sustainable agriculture, transportation and water resources, and interdepartmental minors in gerontology (see Index).