Farming schools offer undergraduate and graduate programs that might focus on such areas as farm and ranch management, power and machinery, agricultural systems management and precision agriculture; more recently, majors in renewable energy technology are available.
10 Schools with Farming Programs
The following schools offer programs in farming, agriculture, and its related fields.
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Degrees Offered||Undergraduate Tuition and Fees (2015-2016)*|
|Texas A & M University||College Station, TX||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Graduate Certificate, Master's, Doctoral||$10,176 (in-state), $28,768 (out-of-state)|
|Iowa State University||Ames, IA||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||$7,736 (in-state), $20,856 (out-of-state)|
|Central Texas College||Killeen, TX||2-year, Public||Certificate, Associate's||$2,280 (in-district), $2,940 (in-state), $6,420 (out-of-state)|
|Johnson & Wales University||Providence, RI||4-year, Private||Associate's, Bachelor's||$29,566|
|Fox Valley Technical College||Appleton, WI||2-year, Public||Diploma, Associate's||$4,373 (in-state), $6,299 (out-of-state)|
|Texas Christian University||Fort Worth, TX||4-year, Private||Certificate, Bachelor's||$40,720|
|Northeast Wisconsin Technical College||Green Bay, WI||2-year, Public||Certificate, Diploma, Associate's||$4,280 (in-state), $6,206 (out-of-state)|
|Butler Community College||El Dorado, KS||2-year, Public||Associate's||$3,235 (in-district), $3,565 (in-state), $5,185 (out-of-state)|
|North Central Texas College||Gainesville, TX||2-year, Public||Certificate, Associate's||$1,680 (in-district), $2,832 (in-state), $4,800 (out-of-state)|
|College of Southern Idaho||Twin Falls, ID||2-year, Public||Certificate, Associate's||$2,880 (in-district), $3,880 (in-state), $6,720 (out-of-state)|
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics
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School Selection Criteria
When deciding on a farming school to attend, there are a few considerations to take into account:
- Because there are many program options within the field of farming, ranging from agribusiness to soil science, prospective students should examine a program's curriculum in order to make sure that it meets their educational needs.
- Prospective students may want to look for schools that provide hands-on training opportunities in farming and/or crop sales.
- Students may also want to look for schools that host a collegiate chapter of the Future Farmers of America (CFFA), or another farming-related student organization.
- When choosing between research-based master's and doctoral degree programs, prospective students should make sure that there are faculty members at the school with whom they share research interests.
Associate's Degree Programs
Students who are interested in farming can earn an associate's degree in agriculture, agribusiness or a closely related field. These programs typically provide a broad overview of the farming industry, including soil science, crop production, sales and business management. In addition, students must fulfill general education requirements.
Bachelor's Degree Programs
Within a school's department or college of agriculture, students may be able to choose from a wide range of bachelor's degree program options related to farming. For a general program, students can major in agricultural studies, but some schools also offer more specialized majors, such as dairy science, seed science, agricultural systems technology, agricultural business and agricultural biochemistry. Many programs include hands-on farming training.
Master's Degree Programs
Master's degree programs in farming-related subjects can vary significantly in their area of focus. Individuals who are interested in conducting lab-based farming research may consider pursuing a Master of Science (MS) in Crop Science, which would culminate in a final research thesis or project. Another option is a Master of Agriculture (MAg) degree in a subject such as animal sciences, where aspiring farmers could choose an emphasis such as livestock management or dairy production. There are also master's degree programs that emphasize the business of farming, such as MBA programs with a focus on agribusiness.
Doctoral Degree Programs
Like master's degree programs, emphasis areas in farming-related doctoral degree programs vary widely. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) programs are available in subjects such as agricultural economics, animal breeding, plant breeding, poultry science, agronomy and soil science. These programs include advanced research and culminate in a final dissertation. It is also possible to complete a Doctor of Education (EdD) in Agricultural Education.
Certificate programs for students who are interested in farming are available at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Some schools offer undergraduate certificate and diploma programs in areas such as farm operation, agriculture equipment service and ranch management for individuals who are looking for basic, career-specific training. There are also graduate certificate programs available for experienced professionals who wish to advance their expertise in a particular area of the field, such as sustainable agriculture.
Farming programs can focus on a wide variety of subjects and award undergraduate and graduate degrees and certificates. Choosing the right school for you may depend on program type, cost and whether the school allows students to gain practical experience on a farm.