Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems (BS): Agroecology Research & Production Concentration

To see more about what you will learn in this program, visit the Learning Outcomes website!

The Bachelor of Science in Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems is offered jointly through the Departments of Crop and Soil Sciences and Horticultural Science.  This multidisciplinary major offers students diverse courses, hands-on learning, community engagement opportunities, internships, and research experiences to address the grand challenges of agriculture and food systems. Students can choose from three career path concentrations – Agroecology Research and Production, Community Food Systems, and Urban Horticulture. 

The Agroecology Research and Production concentration is for students interested in the deeper science of sustainable agriculture production practices, research, and graduate school opportunities in agriculture, entomology, horticulture, soil sciences and related sciences. Students will have the opportunity to learn from a wide diversity of faculty leading cutting edge sustainable agriculture research, many at the Center for Environmental Farming Systems (CEFS), a national recognized sustainable agriculture research, education and extension facility. 

Community Food Systems is a broad concentration for students interested in connecting production with issues in the greater food system, such as food security, policy, community education or extension. Students can also participate in social science, agricultural economics, agriculture education research and others with food system with researchers at CEFS and NC State that support this concentration. 

The Urban Horticulture concentration integrates horticulture production and agriculture business education for students interested in starting or managing their own sustainable horticultural farm, working with community gardens, and more.  There are many focused horticulture classes, research and internship opportunities as well for this concentration.  

Program Highlights:

  • Students in our program gain valuable hands-on experience in sustainable and organic production in our hands-on Agroecology Education Farm, a student farm near campus where all the food produced goes back into NC State Dining cafeterias and the food pantry on campus.  
  • Students interested in Agroecology can also join the Agroecology Student Club at NC State who organize various sustainable agriculture and food system activities each semester. 
  • As a required part of the curriculum, students will complete either an internship program or research experience to gain practical and professional development experience. Students will have no problems finding an opportunity with the numerous sustainable agriculture researchers and community stakeholders that collaborate with NC State focused in sustainable agriculture and food systems. 
  • Seniors will complete a Senior Capstone Project through which they draw on both their major courses and their concentration to address a problem or issue that they identify.  
  • Agroecology and Sustainable Food System students have the opportunity to student abroad with the various global food and sustainable agriculture focused study abroad programs in Ireland, Scotland, England, Mexico and others. 

For more information about our program, visit our website.

Contact

Dr. Michelle Schroeder-Moreno
Professor and Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems Director
Department of Crop and Soil Sciences
2406 Williams Hall, Campus Box 7620
919.515.2755
msschroe@ncsu.edu

Plan Requirements

Orientation
ALS 103Freshman Transitions and Diversity in Agriculture & Life Sciences1
or ALS 303 Transfer Transitions and Diversity in Agriculture & Life Sciences
Mathematics & Natural Sciences
MA 107Precalculus I3
Select one of the following:3
Elements of Calculus
Calculus for Life and Management Sciences A
Calculus I
BIO 181Introductory Biology: Ecology, Evolution, and Biodiversity4
BIO 183Introductory Biology: Cellular and Molecular Biology4
or PB 200 Plant Life
CH 101Chemistry - A Molecular Science3
CH 102General Chemistry Laboratory1
AEC 360Ecology4
Communication/Advanced Writing
COM 110Public Speaking3
or COM 112 Interpersonal Communication
Select one of the following:3
Communication Methods and Media
Communication for Engineering and Technology
Communication for Business and Management
Communication for Science and Research
Major Requirements
CS 230Introduction to Agroecology3
CS 415Integrated Pest Management3
CS 430Advanced Agroecology4
HS 410Community Food Systems3
HS 480Sustainable Food Production (capstone)1
ARE 201Introduction to Agricultural & Resource Economics3
SSC 200Soil Science3
SSC 201Soil Science Laboratory1
STS 323World Population and Food Prospects3
SSC 427Biological Approaches to Sustainable Soil Systems3
or SSC 332 Environmental Soil Microbiology
SOC 241Sociology of Agriculture and Rural Society3
SSC 428Service-Learning in Urban Agriculture Systems1
Select one of the following:3
Environmental Ethics
Eating through American History
Humans and the Environment
Select one of the following:3
Professional Internship Experience in Crop and Soil Sciences
Research Experience in Crop and Soil Sciences
Horticulture Internship
Research Experience in Horticultural Science
CSSC 290Professional Development in Crop & Soil Sciences1
Concentration Electives
Foundational Electives 11
Restricted Electives 21
GEP Courses
ENG 101Academic Writing and Research 14
GEP Humanities6
GEP Health and Exercise Studies2
GEP Additional Breadth (Humanities/Social Sciences/Visual and Performing Arts)3
GEP U.S. Diversity (verify requirement)
GEP Global Knowledge (verify requirement)
Foreign Language Proficiency (verify requirement)
Free Electives
Free Electives (12 Hr S/U Lmt)6
Total Hours120

Foundational Electives

Group I (Max: 4 Units )
CH 220Introductory Organic Chemistry3
CH 221Organic Chemistry I3
CH 222Organic Chemistry I Lab1
Group II (Max: 4 Units )
CS 213Crop Science3
HS 431Vegetable Production4
Group III (Max: 4 Units )
PY 131Conceptual Physics4
PY 211College Physics I4
ST 311Introduction to Statistics3

Restricted Electives

300+ Level Electives
AEC 380Water Resources: Global Issues in Ecology, Policy, Management, and Advocacy3
AEC 400Applied Ecology3
ANS 408Small Ruminant Management3
CS 312Grassland Management for Natural Resources Conservation3
CS 411Crop Ecology3
ENT 425General Entomology3
ENT 526Organic Agriculture: Principles and Practices3
ES 300Energy and Environment3
FS 462Postharvest Physiology3
FS 520Pre-Harvest Food Safety3
FS 530Post-Harvest Food Safety3
FS 562Postharvest Physiology3
FSA 520Pre-Harvest Food Safety3
FSA 530Post-Harvest Food Safety3
HS 431Vegetable Production4
HS 432Introduction to Permaculture3
HS 451Plant Nutrition3
HS 462Postharvest Physiology3
HS 532Introduction to Permaculture3
HS 551Plant Nutrition3
HS 562Postharvest Physiology3
PB 321Introduction to Whole Plant Physiology3
PB 345Economic Botany3
PB 346Economic Botany Lab1
SSC 341Soil Fertility and Nutrient Management3
SSC 342Soil and Plant Nutrient Analysis1
SSC 461Soil Physical Properties and Plant Growth3
SSC 462Soil-Crop Management Systems3
FOR 318Forest Pathology3
PP 315Principles of Plant Pathology4
or PP 318 Forest Pathology

Semester Sequence

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
Fall SemesterHours
BIO 181 Introductory Biology: Ecology, Evolution, and Biodiversity 4
ALS 103
Freshman Transitions and Diversity in Agriculture & Life Sciences
or Transfer Transitions and Diversity in Agriculture & Life Sciences
1
ENG 101 Academic Writing and Research 4
MA 107 Precalculus I 3
Foundation Elective 3
 Hours15
Spring Semester
BIO 183
Introductory Biology: Cellular and Molecular Biology
or Plant Life
4
Select one of the following: 3-4
Elements of Calculus  
Calculus for Life and Management Sciences A  
Calculus I  
GEP Humanities 3
COM 110
Public Speaking
or Interpersonal Communication
3
GEP Health and Exercise Studies 1
 Hours14
Second Year
Fall Semester
CSSC 290 Professional Development in Crop & Soil Sciences 1
CH 101
CH 102
Chemistry - A Molecular Science
and General Chemistry Laboratory
4
CS 230 Introduction to Agroecology 3
Select one of the following: 3
Environmental Ethics  
Eating through American History  
Humans and the Environment  
GEP Humanities 3
GEP Health and Exercise Studies 1
 Hours15
Spring Semester
ARE 201 Introduction to Agricultural & Resource Economics 3
AEC/PB 360 Ecology 4
SSC 200 Soil Science 3
SSC 201 Soil Science Laboratory 1
Foundation Elective 4
 Hours15
Third Year
Fall Semester
SOC 241 Sociology of Agriculture and Rural Society 3
SSC 427
Biological Approaches to Sustainable Soil Systems
or Environmental Soil Microbiology
3
CS/HS 410 Community Food Systems 3
Foundation Elective 4
Select one of the following: 3
Communication for Engineering and Technology  
Communication for Business and Management  
Communication for Science and Research  
Communication Methods and Media  
 Hours16
Spring Semester
CS 430 Advanced Agroecology 4
SSC/HS 428 Service-Learning in Urban Agriculture Systems 1
STS 323 World Population and Food Prospects 3
Restricted Elective 3
Restricted Elective 3
 Hours14
Fourth Year
Fall Semester
CS/HS 480 Sustainable Food Production (capstone) 1
Restricted Elective 3
Restricted Elective 3
Restricted Elective 3
CSSC 492
Professional Internship Experience in Crop and Soil Sciences
or Research Experience in Crop and Soil Sciences
3
Free Elective 3
 Hours16
Spring Semester
CS 415 Integrated Pest Management 3
GEP Additional Breadth 3
Restricted Elective 3
Restricted Elective 3
Free Elective 3
 Hours15
 Total Hours120

Career Opportunities

Interested in the deeper science of sustainable agriculture production, research, and graduate school opportunities in agriculture, entomology, horticulture, soil sciences and related sciences? Then Agroecology Research and Production is for you. Career tracks include:

  • Agriculture and environmental science research
  • Farm management
  • Governmental (USDA, NRCS, EPA) research and education
  • International agricultural work
  • Plant Breeder
  • Weed Ecologist
  • Environmental Scientist
  • Ecologist
  • Conservationist
  • Community Garden Director
  • Agriculture policy and education specialist
  • Farmer/farm worker advocacy professional