The general agriculture program is designed to serve students who wish to pursue a college education in the broad area of agriculture. Traditionally, students who have been undecided about their future plans have selected this major to explore the various career options available to them in agriculture before selecting a major. Some students desiring to tailor a degree to meet their career objectives in production agriculture have majored in general agriculture. In addition, some transfer students from two-year institutions find the greater flexibility of the general agriculture major useful in obtaining a bachelor's degree.
General agriculture provides a broad based program in agriculture for students who wish to have a diversified program of study that emphasizes several agricultural disciplines. In addition, general agriculture provides for an exploratory program in agriculture for students undecided about which of the 19 majors available in the College of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Natural Resources is best for their individual plans. General agriculture also provides the opportunity for students to pursue an agricultural major and to also complete the requirements to be able to teach high school agriculture.
Students receive broad exposure to four or more disciplines and have a large number of unrestricted electives that may be utilized to prepare for specific careers. The flexibility of the curriculum is a point of interest for many students. Several students transferring from two-year institutions have found that they could complete the requirements for a bachelor’s degree in general agriculture more quickly than other majors. However, transfer students are still encouraged to consider majors in the specific disciplines if that is their career objective.
General Agriculture Program
In addition to a broad set of general education courses, students complete course work in four agricultural disciplines. This is somewhat similar to completing partial minors in four of the academic programs in the College of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Natural Resources. Students must complete 15 credits in two of the disciplines and nine credits in two other disciplines. A capstone course must be completed in one of the disciplines. In addition, students take several electives in agriculture. Some students choose this option at the beginning of their university career while waiting to decide to have a major in one of the disciplinary areas.
Students who want to pursue a career teaching agriculture at the high school level may pursue the agricultural education option in general agriculture. Students complete courses in general education plus required agriculture classes in at least four disciplinary areas. In addition, students will complete the required education courses to obtain a certificate to teach agriculture in a high school.
Faculty and Facilities
General agriculture does not have its own faculty since the faculty in the College of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Natural Resources are housed in academic departments. General agriculture relies on departments to teach basic and advanced courses within their disciplines. A coordinating committee with faculty representing several areas of agricultural sciences administers the general agriculture program. Advisors for students are selected within various disciplines. These faculty members work with students in developing an appropriate plan of study and assist students in exploring various career opportunities.
Financial Aid and Scholarships
Loans, scholarships, grants, and work-study are available through the NDSU Office of Student Financial Services. Students requiring financial assistance should contact the Office of Student Financial Services or Bison Connection directly. In addition, the College of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Natural Resources has several scholarships available for outstanding students based primarily on academic performance. Contact the Office of the Dean, College of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Natural Resources for information and application forms.
Extra Curricular Activities
Students are highly encouraged to become active members in at least one student organization, several of which are sponsored by the academic departments in the College of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Natural Resources.
Employment opportunities for students in general agriculture remain strong and are similar to those of other production agriculture majors. Generally, the demand for graduates from the College of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Natural Resources exceeds the number of available graduates. Students can greatly enhance their employability by obtaining at least one summer internship during their formal education.
Employers indicate that the most important characteristics desired in graduates include excellent oral and written communication skills, ability to meet and work with people under a variety of conditions, initiative, work ethic, and an adequate background. Most recent general agriculture majors have returned to the farm; therefore, we do not have a reliable sample for typical starting salaries. The Career Center reported that the average starting salary for general agriculture graduates in 2012 was $44,000 per year.
General Education Requirements
First Year Experience
Agri. 189 - Skills for Academic Success
Comm. 110 - Fundamentals of Public Speaking
Engl. 110, 120 - College Composition I, II
Engl. 320 - Business and Professional Writing
Science & Technology
Chem. 117, 117L - Chemical Concepts and Applications or
CSci. 114 - Microcomputer Packages or
3 or 4
PlSc. 315 - Genetics
Humanities & Fine Arts
Social and Behavioral Sciences Sciences
Agri. 150 - Agriculture Orientation
Math. 103 - College Algebra or higher
Discipline Area Courses
The following introductory agricultural science courses are recommended: Econ. 201, AgEc. 242 or 244; ANSC 114 or 223; ASM 115 or 125; CFS 210; Ent. 210 or 350; Micr. 202 and 202L; PlSc. 110, 111, 210 and 211, or 225; PPth. 324; Soil. 210; or VetS. 135, or 136. Students are encouraged to select at least one course within most disciplines.
Basic science courses in biology, chemistry, entomology, microbiology, botany or zoology are recommended.
General Agriculture Minor
A minor in general agriculture may be obtained by satisfactorily completing 24 credits with at least six credits in each of any four disciplines offered by the College of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Natural Resources.
This sample curriculum is not intended to serve as a curriculum guide for current students, but rather an example of course offerings for prospective students. For the curriculum requirements in effect at the time of entrance into a program, consult with an academic advisor or with the Office of Registration and Records.
Morrill Hall is located on the south end of campus on Albrecht Boulevard (Campus Map)
Dr. David Buchanan
Associate Dean for Academic Programs
College of Agriculture, Food Systems and Natural Resources
North Dakota State University
Morrill Hall 315
Dept. 2200, PO Box 6050
Fargo, ND 58108-6050
Office of Admission
North Dakota State University
Dept 5230, PO Box 6050
Fargo, ND 58108-6050