Best Schools for Agricultural Studies Degrees

The field of agricultural studies examines the basic production, quality and safety of food. Learn about school rankings and degrees offered at three top schools with programs in this field. Schools offering Landscape Design degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Are Some Characteristics of the Best Schools for Agricultural Studies?

Top agriculture schools have productive faculty conducting important research to improve food supply and quality. They have extensive laboratory and field resources, often in both plant and animal science, so you'll have opportunities for hands-on learning. As a student at one of the following schools, you'll likely have many major options in the agricultural field, which helps define your career interests. These schools often have relationships with local farms for teaching and research purposes.

What Are Three of the Best Schools for Agricultural Studies?

Cornell University in Ithaca, NY

Cornell is an Ivy League school that's ranked number 15 by U.S. News & World Report on the list of best national universities in 2016 ( The agricultural sciences program is also ranked number 3 among best global universities by U.S. News. Cornell's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) guides students in choosing an appropriate internship whether it's local or international. The school's Agriculture Experiment Station contains federally-funded projects worth approximately $6 million. It has oversight over a renewable bioenergy initiative, 14,000 acres of varied farm and forest ecosystems, a greenhouse and a student-operated farm. With 15 departments and 2 schools, CALS offers a wide choice of degrees, including the following:

  • B.S. in Agricultural Sciences
  • B.S. in Agricultural Sciences - Animal Sciences
  • B.S. in Agricultural Sciences - Crop Production and Management
  • B.S. in Agricultural Sciences - Sustainable Agriculture
  • M.S. in Animal Science
  • Master of Professional Studies in Agriculture
  • Master of Professional Studies in Agriculture and Life Sciences
  • Ph.D. in Animal Science

Iowa State University in Ames, IA

In its 2016 rankings, U.S. News & World Report rated Iowa State (ISU) number 2 for its undergraduate and number 3 for its graduate biological/agricultural engineering programs. ISU was further noted by U.S. News as one of 19 colleges with outstanding learning communities - including in agricultural business, agronomy, microbiology and horticulture - that provide immersion opportunities ranging from course clusters to dedicated dormitory space.

The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences has 15 departments with more than a dozen agriculture majors, as well as 26 affiliated centers and institutes focusing on such topics as agricultural marketing, food and agricultural policy research, seed science and the egg industry. The university also operates several research and demonstration farms, including the nation's first biomass processing station. Degree options include:

  • B.S. in Agricultural Studies
  • M.S. in Agricultural Education
  • M.S. in Agricultural Meteorology
  • Ph.D. in Agricultural Education
  • Ph.D. in Sustainable Agriculture

University of California in Davis, CA

In the U.S. News & World Report's 2016 edition of best national universities, the University of California-Davis (UC Davis) ranked 41st; the undergraduate agricultural sciences program ranked 5th and the graduate program 7th nationally. The College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and the Office of Graduate Studies offer a variety of majors and specializations. Some of the student resources include a student farm, an arboretum, a pilot winery and vineyard, and a center for urban horticulture. Studying abroad is encouraged through the UC Davis Education Abroad Center. Here are just some of the degree options for undergraduate and graduate students:

  • B.S. in Animal Science
  • B.S. in Agricultural and Environmental Education
  • B.S. in Plant Sciences
  • B.S. in Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems
  • M.S. in Agricultural and Environmental Chemistry
  • M.S. in Horticulture and Agronomy
  • Ph.D. in Agricultural and Resource Economics
  • Ph.D. in Animal Biology

10 More Schools with Agricultural Studies Degrees

College/University Institution Type Location
Purdue University 4-year, Public West Lafayette, IN
Texas A&M University 4-year, Public College Station, TX
University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign 4-year, Public Champaign, IL
University of Florida 4-year, Public Gainesville, FL
Virginia Tech 4-year, Public Blacksburg, VA
University of Nebraska 4-year, Public Lincoln, NE
North Carolina State University 4-year, Public Raleigh, NC
Ohio State University 4-year, Public Columbus, OH
Michigan State University 4-year, Public East Lansing, MI
Washington State University 4-year, Public Pullman, WA

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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