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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
P R 305Publicity Methods3
LIB 160Information Literacy1
Humanities and Social Sciences: 6 cr.
3 credits from approved humanities list3
3 credits from approved social science list
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
STAT 101Principles of Statistics4
Five credit hours from:5
Introduction to Weather and Climate
Introduction to Weather and Climate
Total Credits12
Sociology 15 cr.
SOC 110Orientation to Public Service and Administration in AgricultureR
SOC 230Rural Society in Transition3
SOC 325Transition in Agriculture3
or SOC 382 Environmental Sociology
SOC 415Dynamics of Social Change3
SOC 420Complex Organizations3
or SOC 380 Sociology of Work
SOC 464Strategies for Community Engagement3
Total Credits15
Economics and Agricultural Education and Studies: 16 cr.
ECON 101Principles of Microeconomics3
ECON 102Principles of Macroeconomics3
ECON 235Introduction to Agricultural Markets3
or ECON 380 Environmental and Resource Economics
ECON 344Public Finance3
AGEDS 451Agricultural Law4
Total Credits16
Political Sciences: 15 cr.
POL S 215Introduction to American Government3
POL S 310State and Local Government3
POL S 371Introduction to Public Administration3
POL S 475Management in the Public Sector3
C R P 436Community Economic Development3
Total Credits15

Additional Pol S, Econ, or Soc at 300 level or above.

Agricultural Sciences: 9 cs.

Complete 9 cr. from MTEOR 206 Introduction to Weather and Climate or Agron, An S, AST, Ent, FS HN, Hort, or NREM.

Area of Concentration: 15 cr.

Complete 15 cr. from approved specialization area.

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).