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The Bachelor of Science in Agriculture

Total Course Requirements for the Bachelor's Degree: 120 units

See Bachelor's Degree Requirements in the University Catalog for complete details on general degree requirements. A minimum of 39 units, including those required for the major, must be upper division.

A suggested Major Academic Plan (MAP) has been prepared to help students meet all graduation requirements within four years. You can view MAPs on the Major Academic Plans page or you can request a plan from your major advisor.

Courses in this program may complete more than one graduation requirement.

General Education Pathway Requirements: 48 units

See General Education in the University Catalog and the Class Schedule for the most current information on General Education Pathway Requirements and course offerings.

This major has approved GE modification(s). See below for information on how to apply these modification(s).

  • ANSC 101 is an approved major course substitution for Life Sciences (B2).
  • AGRI 482W is an approved major course substitution for Upper-Division Social Sciences.

Diversity Course Requirements: 6 units

See Diversity Requirements in the University Catalog. Most courses taken to satisfy these requirements may also apply to General Education .

Upper-Division Writing Requirement:

Writing Across the Curriculum (Executive Memorandum 17-009) is a graduation requirement and may be demonstrated through satisfactory completion of four Writing (W) courses, two of which are designated by the major department. See Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning and Writing Requirements in the University Catalog for more details on the four courses.  The first of the major designated Writing (W) courses is listed below.

The Option in Agricultural Science and Education

  • Any upper-division Writing (W) course.

The second major-designated Writing course is the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GW) (Executive Order 665). Students must earn a C- or higher to receive GW credit. The GE Written Communication (A2) requirement must be completed before a student is permitted to register for a GW course.

Grading Requirement:

All courses taken to fulfill major course requirements must be taken for a letter grade except those courses specified by the department as Credit/No Credit grading only.

Course Requirements for the Major: 78 units

Completion of the following courses, or their approved transfer equivalents, is required of all candidates for this degree. Additional required courses, depending upon the selected option are outlined following the major core program requirements.

Major Core Program: 33 units

Lower-Division Core: 24 units

4 courses required:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
Principles of operation, adjustments, calibration, and safety of wheel and track-type tractors including implements and equipment commonly used in California agriculture. 2 hours lecture, 3 hours laboratory. (000164)
A college success course for agricultural majors new to California State University, Chico. The course will explore the academic and social opportunities and resources available to promote successful completion of the student's educational goals. 1 hour discussion. Credit/no credit grading. (000198)
Prerequisite: GE Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning Ready.
Summary of numerical data, distributions, linear regression, and introduction to statistical inference. Statistical software is used. 1.5 hours lecture, 1.5 hours discussion. This is an approved General Education course. (005501)
Plant structure, growth, reproduction, and responses to the environment. How humans modify plants and the environment to grow crops. 2 hours lecture, 3 hours laboratory. This is an approved General Education course. (007765)

1 course selected from:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
Prerequisites: GE Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning Ready, Intermediate Algebra.
A survey of the principles of chemistry, primarily for students in agriculture, industry and technology, and pre-nursing. 3 hours lecture, 3 hours laboratory. This is an approved General Education course. (001826)
Prerequisites: GE Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning Ready; second-year high school algebra; one year high school chemistry. (One year of high school physics and one year of high school mathematics past Algebra II are recommended.)
Principles of chemistry for students in science and engineering programs. Topics include atoms, molecules and ions, reactions, stoichiometry, the periodic table, bonding, chemical energy, gases, and solution chemistry. The laboratory sequence supports the above topics including both qualitative and quantitative experiments, analysis of data, and error propagation. 3 hours lecture, 3 hours laboratory. This is an approved General Education course. (001816)

1 course selected from:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
Prerequisites: CHEM 107 or CHEM 111 or equivalent.
A survey of organic chemistry emphasizing the structure, properties, and reactions of all major functional groups of organic molecules. Not applicable towards a degree in chemistry or biochemistry. 3 hours lecture, 3 hours laboratory. This is an approved General Education course. (001828)
Prerequisites: CHEM 111 with a grade of C- or better.
A continuation of CHEM 111. Topics include kinetics, equilibrium, acid-base chemistry, electrochemistry, chemical thermodynamics, coordination chemistry, and nuclear chemistry. The laboratory sequence supports the above topics including both qualitative and quantitative experiments, analysis of data, and error propagation. 3 hours lecture, 3 hours laboratory. (001817)

6 units selected from:

Any combination of lower division courses in Agriculture (AGRI), Agricultural Engineering Technology (AGET), Animal Science (ANSC), Plant Science (PSSC), and Agricultural Business (ABUS). Choose courses in consultation with your advisor.

Upper-Division Core: 9 units

3 courses required:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
Prerequisites: ANSC 101 or PSSC 101; CHEM 107 or CHEM 111.
Mendelian inheritance, gene structure and action, sex-related inheritance, linkage and mapping, aneuploidy, polyploidy, population and quantitative inheritance, inbreeding and heterosis. 3 hours lecture. (000211)
Prerequisites: Completion of lower-division core or faculty permission.
An interdisciplinary treatment of physical and biological environments used for agriculture. Historical and ecological nature of agriculture its impact on the landscape and society. Comparison of sustainable and non-sustainable agricultural practices. 2 hours lecture, 3 hours laboratory. (000206)
Prerequisites: Completion of GE Written Communication (A2) requirement, senior standing or instructor permission.
An examination of major issues confronting agriculture emphasizing critical thinking, research, and balancing complex, and often opposing views of the role of agriculture in society. The course uses group work and presentations to enhance written and oral communication skills. This is the capstone course for AGRI, ANSC, and ABUS majors. 3 hours lecture. This is an approved Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement course; a grade of C- or higher certifies writing proficiency for majors. This is an approved Writing Course. (000229)

Major Option Course Requirements: 45 units

The following courses, or their approved transfer equivalents, are required dependent upon the option chosen. Students must select one of the following options for completion of the major course requirements.  Use the links below to jump to your chosen option.



The Option in Agricultural Science and Education: 45 units

This option prepares students for careers in the broad field of agriculture or for careers in teaching at the secondary level. The option prepares students for diverse careers in agricultural production where the integration of animal, plant, and agri-business knowledge and skills is required.

2 courses required:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
The role of agricultural business in the economy. Introductory economic and business principles and their application to the solution of agricultural problems. 3 hours lecture. This is an approved General Education course. (000014)
An overview, using a scientific perspective, of farm animals. Highlights anatomy and physiology of farm animals, reproduction, nutrition, animal health, animal products, animal behavior, and pertinent social issues, such as animal rights. Includes human opportunity to influence trait inheritance, population densities, and productivity. 2 hours lecture, 3 hours laboratory. (000419)

39 units selected from:

In consultation with your advisor, select courses from the prefixes: ABUS, AGED, AGET, AGRI, ANSC, and PSSC or any of the following: CMST 330, EDTE 302, EDTE 451, EDTE 530, EDTE 534, ENGL 471, JOUR 255W, JOUR 260W, JOUR 265, JOUR 341W.

A maximum of 12 lower division units are allowed. Students are strongly encouraged to gain practical skills and knowledge through an approved internship or directed work experience. Courses must be selected based on the career goals of the student and should have a recognizable theme such as agricultural education, sustainability, resource management, environmental horticulture*, agricultural communications, or agricultural mechanization*.

*12 units in these areas may be transferred from a community college. Students not seeking a teaching credential are encouraged to take AGRI 490W - Agricultural Experimental Research as an elective to strengthen their analytical skills.

Teaching Credentials for Agriculture

There are two credentials available for students who wish to pursue a career as an agricultural education teacher in California: the Single Subject Teaching Credential and the Agriculture Specialist Instruction Credential. The Single Subject Teaching Credential in Agriculture authorizes the holder to teach in the classroom. Candidates who fulfill the requirements for the Agriculture Specialist Instruction Credential are prepared to teach in out-of-classroom settings such as serving as an FFA advisor and Supervised Agricultural Experience Program supervisor.

The Single Subject Teaching Credential in Agriculture includes two components; a Subject Matter Preparation program and a Professional Education program. Students can complete the Subject Matter Preparation program by completing the Option in Agricultural Science and Education. Students completing another option or major in agriculture should consult the agricultural credential advisor to identify additional course requirements. Candidates may also demonstrate subject matter competence by successfully passing the appropriate California Subject examinations for Teachers (CSET). The subject matter preparation advisor is responsible for verifying that subject matter preparation has been completed.

The Professional Preparation component of the Single Subject Teaching Credential includes professional education courses and a student teaching experience. This portion of the credential program is administered by the Department of Education within the School of Education. For prerequisites and other admission requirements for professional education programs, see the "Education" chapter of this catalog and the Focus on Teaching.

You may want to consider adding the following courses to your undergraduate program: EDTE 451, EDTE 530, and ENGL 471. All of these courses are prerequisites for the credential program.

All credential candidates recommended by CSU, Chico are authorized to teach all students, including English language learners, in the regular classroom. You may also want to qualify for the BCLAD (Bilingual, Cross-cultural, Language, and Academic Development) emphasis if you have skills in Spanish language and culture.

The requirements for the Agriculture Specialist Instruction Credential include a series of agricultural education courses (listed below), occupational experience, and a student teaching experience. Student teaching is combined with the student teaching experience required for the Single Subject Teaching Credential in Agriculture.

If you are interested in obtaining your credentials, confer with the appropriate credential advisor(s) early in your university career. Credential advisors can assist you in planning an educational program that will prepare you for both the BS in Agriculture and the teaching credential requirements. Students pursuing this career objective should also complete the single subject program pre-requisite courses and pass the California Basic Education Skills Test (CBEST).

Agricultural Education Courses

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
Objectives, nature, and scope of teaching vocational agriculture. Types of programs and career opportunities in vocational education. 3 hours lecture. (000203)
An individualized class in gaining teaching experience through observation and critique of high school students and teachers in the classroom, at FFA events, and in supervised occupational experiences. 2 hours lecture. (000204)
Up-to-date approaches in integrated program development based on occupational opportunities and community needs. Philosophy, organization, and administration of agricultural education programs. Development of curriculum, supervised occupational experience, Future Farmers of America (FFA), and summer programs. 1 hour seminar, 2 hours activity. (000220)
Prerequisites: AGED 201 or faculty permission.
Preparation for student teaching in agriculture. Orientation to classroom situations. Development of plans for teaching, including daily lessons and unit plans, utilization of source information, and resources. Class demonstration in teaching procedures, analysis, and evaluation. 1 hour seminar, 2 hours activity. (000208)
Prerequisites: AGET 120, AGET 150 or equivalent.
Curriculum development and methods of teaching and motivating students in agricultural mechanics. 2 hours seminar, 3 hours laboratory. (000230)

45 units of required subject matter competency may be obtained by completing courses in the areas of:

  • Agricultural Business: 9 units. Recommended: ABUS 101*, ABUS 261, ABUS 321
  • Agricultural Mechanics: 8 units. Recommended: AGET 120, AGET 150*
  • Animal Science: 8 units. Recommended: ANSC 101*, ANSC 230
  • Plant Science: 8 units. Recommended: PSSC 101*, PSSC 250
  • Natural Resources: 3 units. Recommended: AGRI 331*

*Required in either the core or in the option.

Plus 9 units of additional courses in one of the above areas (a specialization). This credential requirement may be met using coursework in the major and in the option.

Students are strongly encouraged to gain practical skills and knowledge through an approved internship or directed work experience in areas where additional experience is needed to become a successful agricultural teacher. With the approval of your advisor, single subject credential program pre-requisite courses may be used as electives in this option.

Agricultural Communications

Students wishing to pursue a career in agricultural communications are encouraged to take the following courses as part of their option electives. Agricultural communications prepares students to enter the field by blending agriculture, journalism, and communication studies.

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
Effective oral communication. Introduction to human communication theory. Practice in gathering, organizing, and presenting material in speeches to persuade, inform, and interest. 1 hour lecture, 2 hours discussion. This is an approved General Education course. (002206)
This course introduces students to the communication studies major or minor. It reviews and discusses the major theories, research, and related principles of the field to create general awareness for students new to the communication discipline and emphasizes the practical and professional applications of the field, enabling students to make connections among the discipline, their daily life, and potential career choices. 3 hours lecture. (002001)
The mass media are changing more rapidly now than at any time in the past century, and this course gives a context to those changes and provides an overview of what citizens need to know for understanding the role of the mass media in their public lives. Students explore the structure of media organizations; the professional and ethical values of journalists; the needs, desires, and influences of culture on media consumers; and the impact of evolving media technologies on public discourse. This includes critical analysis of the relationship of journalism and society and their effect on democracy, as well as the psychological, political, economic, and cultural values of citizens. 3 hours lecture. This is an approved Writing Course. This is an approved General Education course. (021263)
Prerequisite: ENGL 130W or JOUR 130W.
Techniques of information gathering and writing for various audiences in the mass media. Required course for the Options in News-Editorial and Public Relations. Students must earn a grade of C or higher to advance to subsequent writing courses in the Department of Journalism. Students who do not receive at least a C may repeat the course. 3 hours lecture. This is an approved Writing Course. (004838)
Prerequisites: Sophomore standing; JOUR 260W (may be taken concurrently) for Journalism majors.
A survey of public relations: problems and issues, organization and operations, skills and techniques, careers and opportunities. 3 hours lecture. (001995)
Prerequisites: Completion of GE Written Communication (A2) requirement, JOUR 260W, JOUR 265 .
Principles and practices of writing styles for public relations. Emphasis will be on writing tailored to an organization's communication needs. Required for majors. Journalism majors in the public relations option who earn below a C- in JOUR 341 are required to repeat the course and are expected to earn a C- or higher to receive writing proficiency credit. 3 hours lecture. This is an approved Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement course; a grade of C- or higher certifies writing proficiency for majors. This is an approved Writing Course. (004844)

Advising Requirement:

Advising is mandatory for all majors in this degree program. Consult your undergraduate advisor for specific information.

Honors in the Major:

Honors in the Major is a program of independent work in your major. It requires 6 units of honors course work completed over two semesters.

The Honors in the Major program allows you to work closely with a faculty mentor in your area of interest on an original performance or research project. This year-long collaboration allows you to work in your field at a professional level and culminates in a public presentation of your work. Students sometimes take their projects beyond the University for submission in professional journals, presentation at conferences, or academic competition. Such experience is valuable for graduate school and professional life. Your honors work will be recognized at your graduation, on your permanent transcripts, and on your diploma. It is often accompanied by letters of commendation from your mentor in the department or the department chair.

Some common features of Honors in the Major program are:

  • You must take 6 units of Honors in the Major course work. All 6 units are honors classes (marked by a suffix of H), and at least 3 of these units are independent study (399H, 499H, 599H) as specified by your department. You must complete each class with a minimum grade of B.
  • You must have completed 9 units of upper-division course work or 21 overall units in your major before you can be admitted to Honors in the Major. Check the requirements for your major carefully, as there may be specific courses that must be included in these units.
  • Your cumulative GPA should be at least 3.5 or within the top 5% of majors in your department.
  • Your GPA in your major should be at least 3.5 or within the top 5% of majors in your department.
  • Most students apply for or are invited to participate in Honors in the Major during the second semester of their junior year. Then they complete the 6 units of course work over the two semesters of their senior year.
  • Your honors work culminates with a public presentation of your honors project.

While Honors in the Major is part of the Honors Program, each department administers its own program. Please contact your major department or major advisor to apply.

Catalog Cycle:20