Agricultural Science Major

A hands-on approach to the wide world of agricultural science.

A broad background in the science, management, business, philosophy, and practice of agriculture. Graduates thrive in every imaginable ag-related business, lead government agencies, teach aspiring ag professionals, or continue to graduate school.

A broad education in agriculture, with a laser focus.

Agriculture is a moving target. Demand for products and services, and the expertise needed to get it all done, changes daily. The Agricultural Science major provides a hands-on, science and business look at the full spectrum of agriculture, so you have an incredible range of knowledge to draw on. As trends shift, you’ll have the background to adjust.

You won’t be a jack of all trades, master of none. Every Agricultural Science major completes a minor to concentrate on a specific area that matches professional aspirations and personal interests.

Agricultural Science is the right major if you’re:

  • seeking the broadest possible exposure to all areas of agriculture
  • looking to tailor-make an academic experience that matches your passions and professional interests
  • preparing for a career in agribusiness or other aspects of the food and fiber industries
  • planning to continue your studies at professional schools
Become part of an industry that's a world leader in providing food and fiber to millions of people.

A premier academic experience.

Career-Driven Curriculum

The formula for success as an agricultural professional is the mastery of the science, leadership skills, and emerging trends critical to successful ag enterprises. Those are the competencies we teach.

Example Courses

  • Developing Youth Leadership through Organization and Program Structure
  • Introduction to International Agriculture
  • Food Facts and Fads
  • Plant Stress: It’s Not Easy Being Green
  • Introduction into Ethics and Issues in Agriculture
  • The Fungal Jungle: A Mycological Safari from Truffles to Slime Molds


Students majoring in Agricultural Science must complete an 18-21 credit minor from within the college. This is an incredible opportunity to customize your curriculum, separate your résumé from the pack, and dig deep into your interests.

Minors to broaden and focus your Penn State Ag experience

  • Agribusiness Management
  • Agronomy
  • Animal Science
  • International Agriculture
  • Leadership Development
  • Poultry and Avian Science
  • Entrepreneurship and Innovation—Food and Bio-Innovation

See the complete list of minors offered by the College of Agricultural Sciences.

Ag Journeys

“The Ag Science major gives me a taste of everything.”

– Mitchell Valentin

The syllabus is only a starting point.

Grads let us know that what they learned outside the curriculum has a huge impact. There are clubs and teams for just about any interest you can imagine. Dive in, learn, meet people, and have fun.

Same goes with our internship opportunities. Companies compete to bring Penn Staters onboard for the summer, and many students return to campus with a summer of practical experience and a job offer waiting in the wings. There are also research and study abroad opportunities to gain experience and academic credit. 

Craft your experience.

Related clubs and teams 

  • Agribusiness Management Club
  • Horticulture Club
  • Livestock Judging Team
  • Student Farm
  • Sustainable Agriculture Club
  • See all clubs and teams

Recent internships

  • Agribusiness companies
  • Extension offices
  • Farms
  • Non-profits
  • Plant Production
  • Public agencies
  • Universities

Popular study abroad 

  • Belize (Agricultural Education)
  • Lincoln University, Christchurch, New Zealand (Agricultural Sciences, Animal Science, Ecosystems, Food Science, Plant Science)
Agricultural science students enjoy study abroad opportunities such as hiking a tropical rainforest in Puerto Rico.
Penn State students enjoying a rainforest experience in Costa Rica.
Penn State students marveling at the Angkor Wat water management system.

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

Penn State Agricultural Science grads are leading family farms, running greenhouses, walking the halls of government, thriving in graduate programs, and teaching others, all over the world.

Our alumni out in the world

  • Agriculture sales companies
  • Agricultural finance
  • Cooperative extension
  • Conservation agencies
  • Food, agricultural, and natural resource–related commodity groups
  • Government agencies
  • International agricultural agencies
  • Land-use and appraisal organizations
  • Production farming
  • Public relations

Agricultural Science Career Options

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

Organic farm certification specialist

An organic farm certification specialist determines if agricultural operations meet government and industry organic standards.

What will I do?

  • Review applications from farm operations desiring organic status
  • Inspect farms to determine if the equipment, materials, plants, animals and producers meet recognized organic standards
  • Stay current on organic farming practices, regulations, and laws

Agricultural loan officer

An agricultural loan officer services farm loans offered by government agencies and/or banks.

What will I do?

  • Loan servicing, counseling and technical assistance to borrowers and manages an extensive portfolio of loans
  • Determine a borrower’s financial soundness and assist borrowers in achieving loan approval
  • Expand access to farm loans to farmers who are unaware of eligibility for farm program loans.

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 current on industry trends and regulations

Industrial sales representative

An industrial sales representative sells specialized equipment and services to customers ranging from multinational corporations to family farms.

What will I do?

  • Solicit potential customers and travel to customer locations
  • Demonstrate products and services and close the sale
  • Stay current on competitor offerings
  • Assist customers with any questions or concerns after the sale

Agricultural Science students in the news

April 18, 2024

Project to improve cropping named 2024 Ag Springboard pitch contest winner

Penn State students’ entrepreneurial spirit shone brightly at the 2024 Ag Springboard student business pitch contest, which took place in early April in State College. Taking home this year’s first-place award was the team that created CropNSoil, a platform to support international multicropping. Students Kanika Gupta and Kartikey Pandey, both computer science majors in the College of Engineering, and Samuel DeLozier, an agribusiness management major in the College of Agricultural Sciences, received $7,500 to further their project.

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April 11, 2024

Ag Science alumna uses her experiences at Penn State to open equine business

After graduating from Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences in 2021 with a bachelor’s degree in community, environment and development, and minors in international agriculture and anthropology, Gillian Warner opened Warner Equine out of Tadpole Lane Farm in Pennsylvania Furnace in 2022.

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April 11, 2024

Immersion experience offers lessons for aspiring agriscience teachers

Sarah Beaver could have opted for a beach getaway for spring break. Instead, the first-year student in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences dedicated her time to imparting lessons on global citizenship to high school students in Houston, Texas.

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April 10, 2024

Three Penn Staters earn national Goldwater Scholarships

Penn State undergraduates Nate Carey, Bridget Reheard and Mabel Tong have earned the 2024 Goldwater Scholarship, a national award that recognizes undergraduates who show exceptional potential as leaders.

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