Education

Best Agronomy Degree Programs of 2022

Learn more about the top Agronomy programs, what to expect, job prospects, and how to choose the program that’s right for you.

Agronomy is the study of the science and technology of producing crops. Agronomists work with farmers and agricultural scientists to develop new and improved methods of crop production. Agronomists also work to improve the quality of soil, and to develop new and improved varieties of crops.

Agronomy is a growing field, as the world’s population continues to increase and the demand for food grows. Agronomists are in demand in a variety of settings, including government agencies, private companies, and universities.

Agronomy degrees can prepare students for a variety of careers in agronomy, including crop science, soil science, and agricultural engineering. Students in agronomy degree programs learn about the different aspects of crop production, including soil science, plant science, and agricultural engineering.

How to Choose the Right Agronomy Program

When it comes to choosing the right agronomy bachelor’s degree program, there are many factors to consider. The most important factor is what you hope to do with your degree after graduation. If you want to work in the field of agriculture, you will need to choose a program that offers coursework in agricultural science and agronomy. If you are interested in a career in research, you may want to consider a program that offers a more interdisciplinary approach, with coursework in biology, chemistry, and physics.

Other important factors to consider include the cost of the program, the location of the school, and the length of the program. Some programs may offer accelerated tracks or generous credit transfer policies that can help you graduate sooner. If you are considering a program at a community college, you may be able to save money on tuition.

Finally, you should research the accreditation status of the program. Make sure the program is accredited by a reputable agency, such as the American Society of Agronomy, before you apply.

Best Bachelor’s in Agronomy Programs

The best programs for Agronomy ranking is based on key statistics and student reviews using data from the U.S. Department of Education. Some of the metrics influencing how the rankings are determined include graduation rate, average salary for graduates, accreditation, retention rate, and cost.

Rank 1
University of Wisconsin
Madison, WI

The Bachelor of Science in Agronomy from University of Wisconsin is a degree geared toward those interested in working in the field of agriculture. The coursework covers topics such as the genetics, genomics, biochemistry, and physiology of plants, as well as the interactions between cropping systems, climate, and the environment. The goal of the program is to prepare students for careers in science, education, agriculture, agribusiness, and environment and conservation.

Rank 2
Huntington University
Huntington, IN

The Bachelor of Science in Crop Science and Agronomy from Huntington University is a holistic approach to agriculture that combines agronomy with the natural sciences. Students in the program study the science behind crop production and get out in the field to experience agriculture firsthand. With a degree from Huntington University, students will be prepared to pursue a career in agronomy, crop consulting, soil science, agricultural research, plant breeding, extension specialist, precision ag specialist, and more.

Rank 3
Murray State University
Murray, KY

The Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Science from Murray State University is offered in both a traditional and 100% online format. Students in the online program have the flexibility to complete coursework at times that are most convenient for them. Those pursuing their degree on the Murray campus can get involved in organizations such as the Agribusiness Club, Collegiate FFA, and Alpha Gamma Rho. The school has extensive facilities, including four farm complexes located within a mile of campus, and offers students the opportunity to participate in research and discovery projects.

Rank 4
Buena Vista University
Storm Lake, IA

The Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Studies from Buena Vista University is designed for students who have earned an AAS or AS. This interdisciplinary program provides students with the expertise needed for both the agricultural business and agricultural science fields. Courses in the program focus on real data, and students have the opportunity to put the theory and practices they learn into action on the school’s ag experiment station. Faculty in the program come from the industry, and the program has a practical focus.

Rank 5
University of Missouri
Columbia, MO

The Bachelor of Science in Agriculture from University of Missouri is a flexible degree that allows students to tailor their course of study to their interests. Concentration areas can be chosen from the 11 other degree programs offered by the college in order to create a unique college experience. The degree provides students with the skills needed to pursue a variety of careers in the agricultural industry, such as production and management, sales and marketing, or research. There are many opportunities for hands-on learning through internships and employment, as well as through student-operated businesses on campus.

Rank 6
University of Central Missouri
Warrensburg, MO

The Bachelor of Science in Agronomy degree from University of Central Missouri provides students with the knowledge and skills necessary to pursue careers in the chemical, pesticide, and fertilizer industries. The program emphasizes hands-on learning, giving students the opportunity to participate in row crop and forage production and research. The college farm participates in a leasing program with John Deere, providing students with the opportunity to experience the latest technology available in agricultural equipment. Students can also gain experience by assisting in agronomic field test plot research and helping with variety testing trials.

Rank 7
Greenville University
Greenville, IL

The Bachelor of Science in Agribusiness from Greenville University is an online applied business management degree adapted for the agribusiness industry. The program provides hands-on, experiential learning opportunities for success in domestic and international agricultural business environments. The curriculum is industry-driven and grounded in interdisciplinary learning. Students have the opportunity to serve in consulting roles for leading agribusiness companies by participating in the Experience First program. The program includes studies in business and market plan development, entrepreneurial lab exercises, and agricultural commodity market simulations.

Rank 8
Texas Tech University
Lubbock, TX

The Bachelor of Science in Plant and Soil Science from Texas Tech University is a platform for successful careers in agronomic crops, soils, horticulture, entomology and other related fields. This program makes it possible for students to turn a love of plants and fresh air into a lucrative career. With a degree in Plant and Soil Science, students may focus on their desired concentration area including: Crop Science, Horticulture, Horticulture and Turfgrass, Soil and Water, and Viticulture and Enology.

Rank 9
University of Nevada-Reno
Reno, NV

The Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Science from University of Nevada-Reno is a cross-disciplinary major that provides students with a hands-on, science and business look at the full spectrum of agriculture. Students will take coursework in a variety of disciplines, such as animal science, wildlife science, soils, botany and ecology. The program offers four different emphases: agricultural education, animal science, plant science, and general agriculture.

Rank 10
Unity College
Unity, ME

The Bachelor of Science in Agronomy degree from Unity College is a four-year program that prepares students for a career in agronomy. The goal of the program is to produce graduates who can help individuals and businesses increase productivity through agricultural solutions. The program also prepares graduates to pursue graduate studies and to take the Certified Crop Advisor (CCA) examination.

What to Expect From a Bachelor’s in Agronomy Program

Agronomy programs at the bachelor’s level typically take four years to complete and require about 120 credits. The coursework emphasizes topics like soil science, crop production, and agricultural business. Many programs also require students to take classes in related areas, such as biology, chemistry, and physics.

Most agronomy programs also include an internship or practicum experience. This gives students the opportunity to gain real-world experience working with crops and soil. Agronomy programs typically do not offer concentrations, but some schools allow students to choose electives that match their specific interests.

Agronomy programs require students to have strong math skills. Students should also be interested in working outdoors and be comfortable with physical labor.

Common Agronomy Courses

Agronomy programs focus on the study of crops and soil. Students in these programs learn about plant science, soil science, and crop management. They also take classes in agricultural economics and agribusiness. The following list includes some of the courses typically taken by agronomy majors.

Soil Science

This course covers the study of soils in relation to their physical, chemical, and biological properties. Emphasis is placed on soil genesis and classification, soil fertility and productivity, and environmental quality. Upon completion, students should be able to identify and describe the major soil orders, understand the soil-forming processes, and explain how these processes influence the properties and behavior of soils.

Climate and Weather

This course covers the physical aspects of climate and weather and their effects on plant growth. Emphasis is placed on temperature, solar radiation, water, air, wind, and storms. Upon completion, students should be able to apply the principles of meteorology to agricultural production.

Crop Ecology

This course covers the ecological principles underlying the management of field crops. Emphasis is placed on the interaction of crops with their physical and biotic environment. Topics include environmental factors affecting crop growth and development, cropping systems, and cover crops. Upon completion, students should be able to apply ecological principles to optimize field crop production.

Farm Management

This course covers the application of business principles to the management of agricultural enterprises. Emphasis is placed on financial analysis, record keeping, marketing, and risk management. Upon completion, students should be able to apply financial analysis techniques to make sound management decisions, maintain accurate records, and develop and implement a marketing plan.

Principles of Insect Science

This course covers the basic principles of entomology with an emphasis on the importance of insects in agriculture. Topics include the anatomy, physiology, ecology, and behavior of insects; insect identification; and the economic impact of insect pests. Upon completion, students should be able to identify common insect pests and beneficial insects, explain the basic principles of entomology, and describe the economic impact of insect pests.

Career Options for Agronomy Graduates

Graduates of agronomy programs work in a variety of fields and industries, including agriculture, food production, and environmental science. They may also work in fields such as research, education, and Extension.

Farm Manager

Farm managers are responsible for the day-to-day operations of a farm. They oversee the planting, growing, and harvesting of crops, as well as the raising of livestock. Farm managers also develop and implement farming strategies, plan and budget for farm activities, and ensure that the farm complies with all local, state, and federal regulations. In addition, farm managers often serve as the primary point of contact between the farm and its customers, suppliers, and other partners.

Agricultural Engineer

Agricultural engineers work on projects and problems that relate to agriculture. They might design equipment or structures, develop new ways to increase crop production, or find ways to reduce soil erosion. Agricultural engineers might also work on environmental projects, such as developing ways to reduce pollution from farms.

Soil Conservationist

Soil conservationists work to prevent soil erosion and degradation. They develop plans to protect and conserve soil resources, often with an emphasis on agricultural land. In addition to working with farmers and ranchers, soil conservationists may also work with developers, foresters, and other land-use planners to find ways to reduce soil erosion. They may also work with government agencies to develop and implement policies to protect and conserve soil resources.

Farm Advisor

Farm advisors work with farmers to improve the efficiency and profitability of their farms. Advisors typically have a specialty, such as crops, livestock, or irrigation, and they use their expertise to help farmers make decisions about seed selection, crop rotation, animal husbandry, and water use. Advisors also help farmers understand and comply with government regulations, and they may provide training on new technologies or methods.

Environmental Consultant

Environmental consultants work with clients—usually businesses, but sometimes also government agencies or individuals—to help them understand and comply with environmental regulations. In many cases, consultants are brought in to help a company or individual navigate the process of obtaining the necessary permits for a project. For example, if a company wants to build a factory in an area that is environmentally sensitive, an environmental consultant would be hired to help them obtain the permits required by the government. In other cases, consultants may be hired to help a company clean up an environmental mess they have made, such as an oil spill.

Insights From an Agronomy Graduate

Frankie Church is a Farm Manager at Church Family Farms. He has a bachelor’s degree in agronomy from Penn State University. Frankie has over 20 years of experience in the agricultural industry.

ClimbtheLadder: How did you make the most of your Agronomy degree program so that it prepared you for post-graduation jobs?

Frankie Church: I took advantage of every opportunity that I could while I was in college. I joined the Agronomy Club and the Soil Judging Team. I also did an internship with a local farm. I think all of these experiences helped me to stand out when I was applying for jobs after graduation.

ClimbtheLadder: What type of person is successful and thrives in an Agronomy career?

Frankie Church: A person who is successful in an Agronomy career is someone who is passionate about the agricultural industry and is always willing to learn new things. They should also be able to work well with others and have excellent communication skills.

ClimbtheLadder: Was there anything about your Agronomy program that you didn’t expect or anticipate?

Frankie Church: I didn’t expect the program to be so broad. I thought I would just be learning about crops, but I ended up taking classes in soil science, environmental science, and even business. I think the breadth of the program was really helpful in preparing me for a career in agriculture.

Previous

Best Cinematography Degree Programs of 2022

Back to Education
Next

Best Biomedical Science Degree Programs of 2022