Bachelor's degree programs in agriculture are not commonly offered in an online format, although there are a few available programs. Specializations may be available in soil science, animal science, environmental management in agriculture, agricultural education or agricultural business. The most common programs are available in agricultural business management.
Some online agriculture programs are degree-completion programs, typically requiring the equivalent of an associate's degree for entry. While fully online programs exist, some programs offer students the opportunity to complete an internship for credit. Also, agricultural education programs may have teaching licensure and non-licensure tracks; students in the licensure track need to complete student-teaching experiences.
Bachelor of Science in Agriculture
Through an online Bachelor of Science in Agriculture program, students acquire the skills to brainstorm solutions to common agricultural problems, manage agricultural production on independent farms and trade agricultural products. The program is intensive to the sciences but also covers business concepts, including marketing, tips for selling agricultural products, making a profit and growing healthy products. To be eligible for this degree program, candidates must have at least a high school diploma or its equivalent, although some programs require applicants to hold an associate's degree.
Program Information and Requirements
An online agriculture bachelor's degree program usually takes about four years to complete. Although it's available entirely online in most cases, some programs may utilize supplemental learning methods, such as teleconferences or DVDs. Students may also need to complete an internship - or, in the case of an agriculture education program, a student-teaching experience.
In order to complete online studies, enrollees log onto the school's Web-based platform via which they select courses, access materials, interact with classmates and turn in assignments. Students must have a working computer, reliable Internet access and a valid e-mail address. They may need to install computer software programs, such as Microsoft Office Suites, Adobe Flash and Adobe Reader. A media player may also be required to view pre-recorded lectures and other course content.
List of Common Agriculture Courses
Through an online bachelor's degree program, agriculture students can take courses on a completely flexible schedule. They have no requirements to attend lectures at a certain time or turn in assignments by certain due dates, although they may need to complete all studies within a set amount of years to obtain a degree.
Marketing in Agriculture Course
Students familiarize with the food marketing system and learn the percentage of the proceeds a farm makes off of what they sell. They learn how to set costs to make a profit.
Agricultural Finance Course
This course covers key concepts in the financial management aspects of running a farm. Students discuss trends in the food industry and agricultural business in the U.S.
International Agriculture Course
Students examine the agricultural developments and systems in several countries around the world. They also discuss how these impact the agricultural world on whole, and the subsequent effects if something should happen to hurt any one system.
Agricultural Policy Course
Students learn about the various agricultural policies covering products in the United States. They learn how the policies are made and about the issues that influence them.
Career Information for Graduates
Opportunities for graduates include becoming agricultural public relations officers, high school agriculture teachers, farmers or agriculture sales representatives. According to May 2015 reports from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), public relations specialists made a median annual salary of $56,770. Elementary and secondary teachers earned a median of $54,890 and $57,200, respectively.
The BLS states that the median salary for farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural managers was about $64,170 in 2015, but demand for these positions is expected to decline by 2% between 2014 and 2024.
Continuing Education Information
Online degree programs in agriculture are also available at the graduate level. Individuals who want to continue their distance-learning can pursue a master's degree in agriculture, agriculture education or crop sciences.
Online bachelor's degree programs in agriculture sometimes feature teaching-licensure tracks and internships for credit, with common courses in policy, finance and marketing. However, it's important to note that agricultural business management programs are most common. Students learn how to manage production and trade on independent farms.