Agricultural and Extension Education Major

Learn by teaching.

Agricultural and Extension Education is hands-on education in teaching tomorrow’s agricultural professionals. Graduates take leadership roles in schools, extension agencies, the ag industry, and government agencies, or continue their studies at graduate school.

Seed the future.

Agricultural and Extension Education grads supply the learning and inspiration for the next generation of leaders in agriculture and beyond.

We start you with the science and business tools ag professionals need. Then, we give you a hands-on exploration of the skills, methods, and mindset needed to be an expert educator, including a required 15-week student teaching internship. You'll earn an Instructional I teaching certificate to teach in Pennsylvania’s public schools. Career opportunities for our graduates remain strong in Pennsylvania and beyond.

Agricultural and Extension Education is the right major if you’re: 

  • passionate about working with youth, community stakeholders, and fellow educators
  • interested in advocating for the agriculture industry
  • want to equip students with the problem-solving skills necessary to address global challenges
Teaching agriculture, natural resources, and land management.

One major. Two options. Infinite destinations.

This option is suitable for teaching  agriculture with an emphasis on natural resources and environmental science.

Environmental Science option

Lay the groundwork for a career teaching natural resources and environmental science. Coursework focuses on biological and physical ecosystems; social, political, and legal aspects of environmental science; environmental impact management; and environmental learning.

Example Courses

  • Environmental Impact Management
  • Introductory Soil Science
  • Biology: Populations and Communities
  • Methods of Teaching Agriculture and Environmental Science
Prepares you to teach forestry, as well as horticulture, animal and plant production.

Production option

Prepare to teach in specialized areas of agriculture such as animal and plant production, forestry, and ag mechanics. Grads teach agriculture in high school programs, through cooperative extension offices, as industry professionals and representatives, and continue to grad school.

Example Courses

  • Introduction to International Agriculture
  • Ag Systems Management
  • School-Based Program Planning and Instructional Development

Teacher certification

In cooperation with the College of Education, AEE offers a Pennsylvania Department of Education approved pathway to teacher certification. This program leads to an Instructional I teaching certificate to teach agriculture and/or environmental education in Pennsylvania’s public schools.

Ag Journeys

“My biggest thing about being a teacher is that I want to change lives. I want to be that person for someone.”

– Madelyn Bentz

Get ready for the classroom, outside the classroom.

What you learn in class is just one part of your Penn State education. Clubs and extracurricular activities provide a great way to make friends and have fun. More importantly, they’re a place to link up with like-minded students, returning alumni, and teaching professionals who bring invaluable career insights.

Additionally, there are opportunities for research, domestic and foreign travel, and more to gain experience and academic credit.

Craft your experience.  

Related clubs and teams 

  • Ag Advocates
  • Collegiate 4-H
  • Literacy, Education, and Agricultural Development Society
  • Sustainable Agriculture Club
  • See all clubs and teams

Student teaching

All Ag and Extension Education students complete a 15-week high school student teaching internship. These are completed in Pennsylvania and across the nation.

Recent internships  

  • Agricultural corporations
  • Community agricultural agencies
  • City zoos
  • FFA
  • Arboretums
  • State government bureaus

Domestic study away

  • Arizona
  • Colorado
  • Montana
  • Tennessee
  • Wisconsin

Popular study abroad

  • Belize
  • Malaysia
  • South Korea
A degree in Agricultural and Extension Education can help prepare you for ag education careers all over the world.
This degree comes with exciting work and study abroad opportunities.
As an extension educator you could teach animal science to passionate puppy owners.

A practical, workforce-ready degree—and a college experience you’ll love.

Penn State Agricultural and Extension Education grads are teaching, working, leading, and learning all over the world, right now.

Our alumni out in the world

  • Agricultural education
  • Corporate sustainability
  • Extension education
  • Soil conservation organizations
  • Non-profit associations
  • Public and private education institutions
  • Trade publications

Agricultural and Extension Education Career Options

Harness the power of a truly unique education at one of the world’s most prestigious universities. Here are just a few career examples.

School-based agricultural educator

An ag science educator teaches agriculture, food science, and natural resources to school students.

What will I do?

  • Write lesson plans and create/vet instructional materials to make learning effective
  • Manage and recruit for FFA program
  • Facilitate classroom discussions
  • Remain current on agriculture science, technology, market trends, and legislations
  • Manage ag facilities (farms, grow beds, labs, animal equipment storage, etc.)

Ag industry sales representative

An ag industry sales representative combines science-based knowledge of animals, plants, soils, equipment, and more with industry business knowledge to market products to agricultural enterprises.

What will I do?

  • Stay current on ag trends
  • Provide exceptional customer service
  • Research and understand competing companies and products
  • Consult with customers on specific needs and desired outcomes
  • Work with vendors to procure desired products

Extension educator

An extension educator provides science-based education to people, businesses and communities.

What will I do?

  • Assess the educational needs of my target community
  • Develop/adopt curriculum for face-to-face and/or virtual classroom learning
  • Conduct engaging, impactful learning experiences
  • Create/leverage effective marketing materials for classes

Farm manager

A farm manager oversees all aspects of a farm business, including the maintenance of all buildings and equipment, the well-being of livestock and the safety of farm employees.

What will I do?

  • Set and monitor animal nutrition programs
  • Coordinate veterinary care
  • Maintain equipment
  • Hire, train and supervise farm employees
  • Maintain records
  • Remain up-to-date on industry trends and regulations

Agricultural and Extension Education Students in the News

August 10, 2020

College of Ag Sciences students receive Gilman grant for international study

Two students in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences, Janelle Answer and Justin Kurtz, have received the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship.

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November 22, 2019

Penn State sophomore finds a future in agricultural education

Justin Kurtz’s first encounter with the FFA transformed the way he thought about agriculture, the world and, most importantly, himself. Kurtz, an agricultural and extension education major in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences, first began working on a farm at the age of 10 in Kent County, Maryland.

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August 20, 2019

College of Agricultural Sciences recognizes outstanding students for 2019

Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences recently recognized recipients of the Outstanding Senior Award and Outstanding Student Awards for the 2018-19 academic year.

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December 7, 2018

Project brings together agriscience educators from U.S., Malaysia

Preservice teacher candidates and current teachers from Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Iowa, Wisconsin and Michigan learned about agriculture and agricultural education in July as part of the AgEd2Malaysia Human Development Project, a collaborative effort among Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia in Johor Bahru, Malaysia, and the Global Agriculture Learning Center at Hawkeye Community College in Waterloo, Iowa.

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Marra Baker
  • Director of Student Recruitment and Activities