Agricultural Education - BS

College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences

About This Degree

The agricultural education degree at USU offers a pathway to teacher certification in school-based settings as well as training for community-based agricultural education careers through two different emphasis areas. This degree program prepares students for a professional teaching practice in Agricultural Education as well as Career and Technical Education working in school-based settings such as high schools and technical education centers. This degree also prepares students as professional agricultural educators in non-formal or community-based settings such as extension, agribusinesses, or agritourist locations.

What You Will Learn

In addition to courses in agricultural education (formal and non-formal teaching methods), the curricula for both emphasis areas include courses in technical agriculture areas, including agricultural economics; agricultural mechanization; animal, dairy, and veterinary sciences; plant and soil science; and natural resources.


School-Based Agricultural Education:

The school-based agricultural emphasis prepares students to meet state teacher certification requirements to teach agriculture in the public schools. Students can become school-based agriculture teachers and FFA advisors in high schools and technical education centers. School-based agriculture teachers educate students on a wide variety of subjects, including, but not limited to animal science, plant science, agricultural biology, natural resources, horticulture, agricultural systems and technology, and leadership. They receive high-quality training at USU resulting in high job placement for school-based agriculture teachers across the state and nation. Students have the unique opportunity to work with mentor teachers starting their junior year as well as the opportunity to receive instruction and build relationships with mentor teachers before they enter the classroom as student teachers. Students may also obtain a biology teaching endorsement after they are licensed as agriculture teachers.

Community-Based Agricultural Education:

This emphasis prepares students for outreach and education in non-formal and adult education settings. Students will develop a diverse background in agriculture highlighting leadership, human relations, communication, analytical reasoning, critical thinking, effective writing, and teamwork. The curriculum includes courses in technical agriculture areas such as agricultural economics, agricultural mechanization, animal, dairy, and veterinary sciences, plant and soil science and natural resources. Additional courses in non-formal education include teaching methods, volunteer programs, community programming and evaluation, and youth development. Students are encouraged to engage in a variety of internships in community-based education with an agricultural business, public or private agency, commodity organization, nonprofit organization, or extension office.

Education Component

School-Based Agricultural Education Component:

To obtain a teaching license for agriculture (grades 6-12), students must complete 120 credits in technical agriculture, education, and general education courses. Students must be admitted into the Secondary Teacher Education Program (STEP) to complete the education components of the degree, part of which includes one semester of student teaching in a public school. STEP is administered by USU's School of Teacher Education and Leadership (TEAL) within the Emma Eccles Jones College of Education and Human Services. Students must apply to the STEP program the semester before taking STEP courses which is usually the fall of their junior year. Students generally spend their first two and a half years taking technical agriculture and general education courses (about 2/3 of the degree), with the final one and a half years focused on teacher education courses (about 1/3 of the degree) taught by faculty in both TEAL and the Applied Sciences, Technology and Education Departments. The agricultural education program is a composite degree, which means students do not need to declare a minor. This provides students with knowledge in several subject areas which expands their career options.

Career And Outcomes

Career Opportunities

With a degree in agricultural education, students can pursue the following careers:

  • High school agriculture teacher
  • Cooperative Extension professional
  • Ag Literacy coordinator
  • Agricultural education professor
  • Farm Business Management instructor
  • 2-year technical college agriculture instructor
  • Adult agricultural education instructor
  • Young Farmer instructor

The Career and Design Center provides counseling and information on hundreds of job and internship opportunities and even helps students apply and interview.

Job Outlook



We will build on your goals and experiences while working together to design an individualized semester-by-semester plan. Your personalized plan will help you see a path from where you are now on to graduation. Even if you are unsure of the major you would like to pursue, we can help with resources and ideas.

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Admission Requirements

In addition to Utah State University’s admissions requirements, the agricultural education program has additional requirements:

  • Freshmen: New freshmen admitted to USU in good standing qualify for admission to this major.
  • Transfer Students: Transfer students from other institutions and students transferring from other USU majors need a 2.75 total GPA for admission to this major.
  • STEP Requirements: In order to be accepted into STEP, students must go through an application process, which includes the following:
    • Complete of 60 semester credits with a minimum GPA of 3.0
    • Complete certain core courses (see department for more information)
    • Complete a speech and hearing test
    • Pass the Teacher Education Writing Exam
    • Provide an unofficial copy of  your transcript
    • Pass a criminal background check (this should be done one semester before submitting the application)

International students have additional admissions requirements.

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