Agricultural & Extension Education

Welcome to UMD's Agricultural & Extension Education Program!

Dr. Melissa Welsh

Thank-you for your interest in our program. Maryland is often referred to as a miniature America due to the vast variety of agriculture and natural resources from the shorelines on the east to mountains in the west. Our agricultural and extension education programs reflect the opportunity for students to explore the diverse agricultural offerings across the state. From small rural schools to intercity complexes, we can offer you the opportunity to experience teaching in a variety of settings with outstanding & dynamic teachers from across the state. Additionally, many national association headquarters and Federal agencies are a quick trip on the metro from College Park. I’m excited to meet you and assist you as you embark on your personalized journey to becoming an Agricultural and Extension Educator!

Dr. Melissa Leiden Welsh
Assistant Clinical Professor
Agricultural & Extension Education

What is Agricultural & Extension Education?

Individuals with a degree in Agricultural & Extension Education at UMD complete a variety of content courses within the following focal areas: agribusiness systems, animal systems, food science and biotechnology systems, environmental and natural resource systems, leadership and career development, plant systems & power, structural and technical systems. In addition to formal foundational education courses, students engage in experiential learning activities within non-formal settings. The land grant system of Extension through the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources at UMD provides an opportunity for students to explore current challenges facing Maryland residents (as well as those beyond our state borders) and the outreach efforts using science to problem solve. Extension educators work in rural and urban settings to help citizens define problems and explore solutions using evidence based science.

FFA convention and teen focus group


Student teaching activity.

Purpose of the Agricultural and Extension Education Program

The agricultural and extension education program focuses on preparing students with their intent to facilitate agricultural educational experiences for their chosen audiences. Individuals with the goal to obtain a state certification in teaching will complete a series of educational courses designed to increase their experience in developing and delivering agricultural lessons in the K-12 setting. Individuals may opt to educate others through non-formal settings in industry, Cooperative Extension system or through outreach education with non-profits. UMD faculty work closely with students to align coursework to match their chosen career trajectory.

Student Experience

"The University of Maryland was an easy choice for me. I am extremely passionate about the agriculture industry so I wanted to be at a school that had those same founding principals and beliefs. The University of Maryland has enabled me to continue to promote premier leadership, personal growth, and career success in future generations of leaders as I look to pursue a career in agriculture education. The best investment we can make in our society is in youth. I can’t thank the University of Maryland enough, and I can’t wait to continue on to graduate school this summer! "

Undergraduate Program


Student in the classroom.

We offer two undergraduate options:

Option 1: Certified teacher

The undergraduate program for teacher certification offers a bachelor of science with the double major of 1) Agricultural Science and Technology with the specialization in Agricultural and Extension Education and 2) Secondary Sciences Education. Coursework has been designed to be completed in 4 years with successful progression of coursework and teaching internship experiences. 

Option 2: Non-formal educator in Extension/ Industry

The second option provides students the opportunity to study additional agricultural courses and complete industry or extension internships. Students in this program complete a bachelor of science in Agricultural Science and Technology with the specialization in Agricultural and Extension Education. 

Additionally, our program works closely with community colleges and the UMD Institute of Applied Agriculture to provide a smooth transition of students into the AGST coursework. Students are encouraged to contact us early with their ambition to transfer with their Associates degree or IAA certificate so that coursework from the beginning can be aligned to maximize community college credits and IAA coursework.

Graduate Program


Student presenting.

We offer two graduate options:

Option 1:

Teacher certification within a collaborative Master’s program with the College of Education. Enrolled UG students can select the integrated masters certificate program (IMCP) option to complete a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Science and Technology with the specialization in Agricultural and Extension Education and then complete their Master of Education in Curriculum and Design. This integrated program has been designed to be completed in 5 years with successful progression of coursework and teaching internship experiences. Students are able to take a few more agricultural courses (than in the 4yr program) in their undergraduate years due to completing many of the advanced educational courses within the yearlong master’s curricula.

Option 2:

Master of Extension Education. This 30 credit advanced degree program focuses on non-formal teaching preparation. Individuals complete 4 core courses (12 credits) and work with an advisor to create their remaining personalized coursework. The unique needs of each student’s academic goals guide the course selections and learning experiences. 

Learn more about the Master of Extension Education program!

Contact us today!

Dr. Melissa Welsh

Dr. Melissa Leiden Welsh
Assistant Clinical Professor & Advisor for Agricultural & Extension Education
301-405-6969 |


High School Teachers/Educators:

Would you like us to visit your students? Please fill out the following form:

Schedule an UMD AgED Visit Form


Interested in learning more about our programs? Visit us!

Department of Plant Science & Landscape Architecture. For a tour of the Department of Plant Science & Landscape Architecture, please fill a webform. We look forward to your visit!

College of Agriculture & Natural Resources. Contact AGNR staff for an appointment at!

University of Maryland Tours. Don’t forget to schedule a campus tour! Also, check out the AGNR Prospective Students page for useful resources including information on financial aid and scholarships. 

Contact us today! Schedule a campus tour  Visit with the College of AGNR