Sustainable Food Systems Sourcebook

Purdue University: Sustainable Food and Farming Systems (BS)

One of the world’s leading colleges of agricultural, food, life, and natural resource sciences.

625 Agriculture Mall, West Lafayette, 47907, United States

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One of the world’s leading colleges of agricultural, food, life, and natural resource sciences.

Sustainable Agriculture
Undergraduate Degree
General info

Investigate organic, local, and urban agriculture systems and study the resilience of the American food system. Gain hands-on experience at the new Purdue student farm. This is a comprehensive, science-based degree program that will prepare you to manage low-input farming enterprises and for a career in many other agricultural and environmental professional fields.

Each concentration includes the School of Agriculture Core Curriculum, the Horticulture Core Curriculum, and a group of specialized courses focused on the option area. A total of 120 academic credits, and 320 hours of horticultural work experience (six-month internship for Public Horticulture), is required for graduation. During the first two years, the coursework emphasis is on basic studies such as communications, biology, chemistry, soils, etc. in preparation for more advanced work. In addition, there are introductory level horticulture courses such as Fundamentals of Horticulture, HORT 101. During your junior and senior years, you will study more advanced material in horticulture and plant physiology, and in the liberal arts, international and broadening subjects. In addition, depending on your specific interests (such as graduate studies, business, etc.) and declared option, courses will be taken in areas such as business management, landscape horticulture and design, advanced plant science and biotechnology, or public horticulture. Most classes must be taken for a letter grade, but a portion of a student's elective coursework may be taken pass-no pass. The equivalent of a "C" grade is required for "pass." See the School of Agriculture catalog for more details about the pass-no pass option. A passing grade in all courses is a "D", but you need a 2.00 grade point average for graduation. Practical experience is a very important part of career preparation for students of horticulture. It can help the student decide precisely what aspect of horticulture is right for them. It also makes graduates more attractive to employers as they complete their degree and seek first-time positions. Work experience is required of all horticulture students. For most, 320 hours of work experience is needed. Summer work between regular semesters is the most common way in which this requirement is satisfied. A letter from the employer to the Student Services Coordinator must document it. The letter becomes a part of your permanent record. No student will be certified for graduation until the work experience letter is on file. Public Horticulture option students are required to complete a six-month internship in place of the 320 hours of work experience described above. See the Internship Programs section for more information about completing a Public Horticulture internship.