Agricultural Science & Technology

Agricultural Science & Technology

Specializations | Student Experience | Contact Us

"As the global population soars, food production will need to increase to feed the extra mouths. But if the world is to meet those demands, it must do so efficiently and sustainably" - NY Times

Agricultural Science and Technology is a science based curriculum that allows students to obtain technological skills in a broad area of agricultural studies. Agricultural Science and Technology students are required to take courses in agronomy, plant science, agricultural economics, animal sciences, environmental science, and pest management. The high number of restricted and non-restricted electives in this curriculum allows students the flexibility to develop an academic program compatible with their personal interests and goals.  

Katie Quinn, AGST student, reflects on AGNR.

What do we do?

Specializations available:

Agricultural & Extension Education

Areas of study:

  • Agriculture Science

  • Agriculture Education (High School Ag Educator)

  • Leadership in the agricultural community on a local and state level.

If you love agriculture and you enjoy teaching people about the significance of agriculture, then Agricultural & Extension Education is for you!

Our program gives you two options to pursue Agricultural & Extension Education: 1) Double Major Path; or 2) Integrated Masters Path. Agricultural & Extension Education is a University of Maryland program that is a cooperative effort of the College of Agriculture and Natural resources and the College of Education. It is designed to prepare students to teach agriculture and related subjects in high school. Many high schools in Maryland and other states offer an agricultural curriculum that is associated with the FFA.

There are two paths that students can take in preparation for a career as a high school agriculture teacher. In the Double Major Path, students may major in both Agricultural Science and Technology (AGST) and Secondary Education. In the Integrated Master's Path, students can earn a B.S. degree in AGST and a M.A. degree in Education.


If you love agriculture and you enjoy teaching people about the significance of agriculture, then Agricultural Education is for you. Agricultural teachers get to work with and help develop young minds. They also quite often develop in to leaders in the agricultural community on a local and state level.

Double Major Path

Students wishing to double major in AGST and Secondary Education may be able to accomplish this in 4 years. The teaching internship in the last semester of the student's senior year will occur at a Maryland high school with an agricultural curriculum. The double major path is best suited for those students entering the University of Maryland as freshmen that know then or soon after that they want to teach. Students that earn a degree with a double major in AGST and Secondary Education are prepared to apply to the State Board of Education for accreditation.

Integrated Masters Path

All teachers in Maryland are expected to get their Masters degree either prior to accepting a teaching job or while they are employed by a school. The Integrated Masters path involves obtaining a B. S. degree in AGST and a Secondary Education M. A. degree. Those students accepted in to the Secondary M. A. degree program can complete this degree in one year after earning their B. S. degree in AGST. The teaching internship in the last semester of the student's senior year will occur at a Maryland high school with an agricultural curriculum. The Integrated Masters path may be best suited for students that have transferred into the University of Maryland, or have made the decision late during their undergraduate studies that they want to teach.

You can learn more here:

 Would you like to learn more? Contact us!

Dr. Melissa Welsh

Dr. Melissa Leiden Welsh, Agricultural & Extension Education
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 form below:

Schedule an UMD AgED Visit Form

Diana Cortez

Diana Cortez, General Questions

Academic Advisor & Lecturer

301-405-4359 | 


Areas of study:

  • Crop Science

  • Sustainable Production

  • Precision Production Agriculture

Agronomy students will be educated in a broad range of agricultural disciplines which will provide them with a comprehensive education in crop, soil and animal sciences. 

What is Agronomy?

Here at the University of Maryland, the focus of the program will be for students to gain a sustainable perspective of agronomy. Students will take a holistic approach to the design of their course work.  This approach will integrate the science of agronomy by taking courses in Animal Science, Crop Science, Soil Science, Agricultural Economics and Pest Management. This program of study has electives that allow the student to design their curriculum and to develop depth of knowledge in areas that meet their future goals. For example, some students may choose to focus more on agronomic crops or animal sciences, while others may take more courses in environmental sciences or international agriculture. By taking such a comprehensive approach to their education graduates will be prepared to work in the agricultural industry in such areas as agricultural extension, management, marketing, regulatory, support services, teaching, etc. In addition, students completing their Agriculture Science and Technology degree with a specialization in agronomy focusing on the basic sciences will be prepared to enter in to graduate school.

Who are AGST students?

AGST students have diverse backgrounds and professional goals. Some students are interested in managing a farm, teaching in a FFA program, environmental aspects of farming, university extension, agricultural communications, marketing, or graduate school. Some students transfer in from community college others start as freshman. A number of students double major in AGST and another university major. However, all AGST have an interest in learning more about agriculture.

Would you like to learn more? Contact us!

Dr. Bill Phillips

Dr. Bill Phillips, Agronomy 
Director, Assistant Clinical Professor, and Advisor for Agronomy
301-405-1061 |

If you are intersted in Environmental Science & Policy: Environment and Agriculture you may also contact Dr. Phillips for more information!

Sign up for an appointment

Diana Cortez

Diana Cortez, General Questions

Academic Advisor & Lecturer

301-405-4359 | 

Environmental Horticulture

Areas of study:

  • Greenhouse and Nurseries

  • Sustainable Orchard and Vegetable Crop Production

  • Viticulture

  • Urban Agriculture

Environmental Horticulture prepares students for advisory and managerial positions in agronomic, greenhouse, nursery, orchard and vegetable crops. Students focus their studies on plant growth and development and plant protection.

The Environmental Horticulture specialization (Formerly Plant Sciences: Horticulture and Crop Production) is designed to lead students toward becoming an owner-operator or a manager in fields such as: environmental horticulture; greenhouse management; container nursery production; fresh fruit and vegetable production; and plant protection.  For students who have a strong interest in education, numerous possibilities for rewarding careers also exist in agricultural extension, public gardens, and ornamental horticulture.

Why Study Environmental Horticulture?

The Green Industry is a vibrant and growing component of local and global agriculture.  In the State of Maryland it generates more than a billion dollars in annual sales and continues to increase in value despite continued urbanization.  Much of this growth is fueled by the production of horticultural plants in nurseries, greenhouses and on farms.  Students have the possibility of developing a career in the production, handling and management of a variety of plants and crops.

The Environmental Horticulture academic specialization focuses on the science, technology and management of fruit, vegetable, flower and woody ornamental plant production. In contrast to the Agronomy curriculum, Environmental Horticulture encompasses a smaller, more intensive scale of cultivation and produces a greater diversity of crops. Environmental horticulturists typically produce non-commodity crops which have a much a higher value per unit land area, but are time-sensitive and require precise postproduction handling and marketing. The goal of this curriculum is to provide students with a balanced approach to science and technology that will enable them to become successful managers of horticultural crop production enterprises. Students receive a blend of classroom and hands-on training in the basic principles associated with commercial production systems. The applied aspects of the curriculum include training in plant propagation, greenhouse crop production systems, containerized nursery production, and the application of high tunnels for extending the fruit and vegetable crop production season. Courses in plant science, soil science, plant protection and food safety practices provide the students with the academic resources to implement the production technologies. Graduates of this program pursue careers in urban agriculture, horticultural enterprises and public education programs. There is currently a growing demand for these graduates in the Maryland’s emerging wine and microbrew enterprises. Students can prepare for plant science graduate programs by taking additional courses in Math and Chemistry. These individuals have been employed in government agencies such as the USDA, FDA and university extension programs.

Career Opportunities

  • Environmental  Horticulture

  • Extension Education

  • Food Safety and the Postharvest Handling of Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

  • Ornamental Horticulture

  • Plant Protection of Agronomic and Horticultural Crops

  • Public Horticulture

  • Sustainable Agriculture and the Direct-Marketing of Horticultural Crops

  • Value-added Products from Fruits, Vegetables and Grains

Would you like to learn more? Contact us! 

Dr. Diana Cochran

Dr. Diana Cochran, Environmental Horticulture

Assistant Clinical Professor & Advisor for Environmental Horticulture

301-405-6244 | 

Sign up for an appointment

Diana Cortez

Diana Cortez, General Questions

Academic Advisor & Lecturer

301-405-4359 | 


This minor will provide students with an appreciation and understanding of sustainable agricultural crop production.

The core courses provide students with a basic foundation in plant science while supporting courses allow students to broaden their focus in different areas of agriculture. Students can select their courses in either agronomy or environmental horticulture.

Learn more

Student Experience

Roman Johnsonbaugh, AGST student, reflects on AGNR.
Plant sale organized by students.

All AGST have an interest in learning more about agriculture.

AGST students have diverse backgrounds and professional goals. Some students are interested in managing a farm, teaching in a FFA program, environmental aspects of farming, university extension, agricultural communications, marketing, or graduate school. Some students transfer in from community college others start as freshman. A number of students double major in AGST and another university major. 

Sidra Isenberg, AGST student, reflects on AGNR.


Program Learning Outcomes

Program Learning Outcomes

  • Students will develop technical and knowledge-based skills in the required areas of study.

  • Students will use technical and basic learned knowledge to collaborate, solve problems, and then articulate conclusions.

  • Students shall develop effective communication skills and demonstrate the ability to present ideas with clarity to an appropriate audience.

  • Students will connect and build relationships with external groups in the appropriate fields of study.



You may want to also review the official catalog listing for Agricultural Science & Technology

Students first take a series of campus and department-required courses and then select a series of plant science electives that are best-suited to meeting their particular needs and interests.  This open-enrollment major accepts both freshman and transfer students.  The department has a mandatory advising policy, and each student is expected to meet with his or her advisor at least twice a year.

During the junior or senior year, students are required to enroll in at least one department-approved internship.   Students also take a capstone course to integrate knowledge and engage in problem-solving as team members.   

Hands-on Experience

Hands-on Experience:

Agriculture is an applied science and all AGST students have the opportunity to experience agriculture. All AGST students are required to do an internship. Students must also take a Capstone class their senior year. Capstone classes are designed to have students apply the knowledge that they have obtained in their studies to solving real-world problems. AGST students are also encouraged to learn outside the structured classroom setting. Many students work in University research labs or on University research farms. The close proximity of the United States Department of Agriculture Beltsville Research Center also provides many opportunities for our students.

AGST students have opportunities to join agriculturally-based student clubs, such as the Agronomy Club, Horticulture Club, Animal Husbandry Club and the collegiate 4H Club. We also have a very active Agricultural Honor Sorority, Sigma Alpha and several judging teams. Each spring semester the University of Maryland sponsors AG Day. This is a student-run event occurs on the campus and it includes many agricultural activities.

Your Future

Your Future:

The AGST curriculum is designed to help students reach their career goals. The broad base of agricultural courses that students take in this major prepares them for employment opportunities in many agricultural fields. Employment opportunities include agricultural management, regulatory, teaching, extension, technology support, marketing, etc. Some students may wish to continue their education in graduate school. The AGST major is well suited to prepare students for graduate school. Students completing their AGST degree with a concentration in agronomy focusing on the basic sciences will be prepared to enter into graduate school. AGST majors are also prepared to apply to get a masters degree in education, so they can teach agriculture in high school.

Contact us today!

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 out the form below. We look forward to your visit!

College of Agriculture & Natural Resources. Contact April Brohawn (, Assistant to the Dean for Recruitment, for an appointment to learn about how to join the AGNR family!

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. 

Schedule a campus tour  Visit with the College of AGNR

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Are you a prospective undergraduate or graduate student?
For prospective students who intend to complete their first bachelors degree; and/or students desiring to complete a post baccalaureate degree.
For prospective students who intend to complete a post baccalaureate degree, Masters, and/or PhD.
Which topics are you interested in?
agronomy, environmental horticulture, agricultural education, soil science, greenhouse management, container nursery production, fresh fruit and vegetable production, plant protection, food safety, education
Agronomic, Precision Agriculture, Sustainability, Sustainable Agriculture, Plant Protection (Includes - Weed Science, Plant Pathology, Entomology), Crop Production, Soils, Grain Production, Small Grains, Corn, Soybean, Barley, Oats, Wheat, Rye, Alfalfa, "Feed, Food, Fiber, Fuel", Science, Technology, Crop Physiology, Agronomist, Crop Specialists, Food Production, Pest Management, Agronomy Student, Land Grant, Field Crops, Row Crops, Agroecology, Interdisciplinary, Hay, Silage, Haylage
Agriculture, Extension, Education, Ag Education, Outreach, teachers, FFA
design, urban agriculture, planning, community, sustainable planning, management, community design, urban design, ecological design, creative design, Landscape architecture, Ecological Design Ecological restoration, Natural resources conservation, Green infrastructure, Bioretention, Phytoremediation, Mine reclamation, Green roofs, Living walls, Constructed wetlands, Floodplain restoration, Living shorelines, Streambank stabilization, Greenways, Urban Design, Waterfronts, Plazas, Streetscapes, Community parks, Corporate campuses, Sports complexes, Light rail stations, Green roofs, Urban greenways, Complete streets, Arts districts, Arboreta, Redevelopment zones, Boulevards, Tactical urbanism, Green streets, Creative Design Earthworks, Metal fabrication, Concept and meaning, Lighting design, Materials and methods, Public art, Soundscapes, Digital modeling and visualization, Civic monuments, Form generation, Pop-up parks, Placemaking, Theatrical urban spaces, Community Design, Community response to sea level rise, Cultural resource preservation, Action research, Neighborhood design, Workshops, Urban agriculture, Face-to-face interviews, Participatory design, Crime prevention through environmental design, Healthy cities, Therapeutic landscapes
biochemistry, cell biology, ecology, molecular genetics, pathology, and physiology, business, management, entrepreneurship, design, turfgrass, plant biology, trees and forest ecology, business management, food safety
physiology, growth and development, genetics, genomics, breeding, molecular genetics, molecular biology, biochemistry, metabolism, pathology