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International Agricultural Studies

Contact: Professor Stephen Herbert
Office: 207 Bowditch
Phone: (413) 545-2250

The Field

The human population of the world is increasing at a rate of approximately 200,000 people per day. Estimates suggest that the world food production must almost double in the next thirty years if we are to maintain our current (inadequate) nutritional levels, and it must triple if we are to achieve an adequate diet for everyone. A specialization in the International Agricultural Studies Program prepares agricultural scientists for careers involving increased production and improved distribution of world food and other biological resource products. The challenge and potential satisfaction of involvement with the worldwide effort to increase food consumption and improve food distribution should appeal to students whose goal is to serve humanity. An overseas professional experience in an agricultural development program (at the village level if possible) is considered essential for a career in International Agriculture.

The Program


Students completing the Special Program in Agriculture will have it noted on their transcript and will receive a letter to that effect. Students choose a major from among those offered in the College of Natural Resources and the Environment (or an approved area of agricultural study).

In addition to courses required for the student’s major, the following courses have been selected to help prepare students to work effectively in other cultures and areas of the world.

Students must complete four of the following six courses:
ANIMLSCI 101 Introduction to Animal
FOOD-SCI 102 World Food Habits
PLSOILIN 265 Sustainable Agriculture
PLSOILIN 350 Soil and Crop Management
PLSOILIN 370 Tropical Agriculture
RES-ECON 121 Hunger in a Global Economy
Students must also complete two of the following courses:
ANTHRO 104 Culture, Society, and People
ECON 121 The International Economy
EDUC 229 International Education
POLISCI 121 World Politics
POLISCI 253 International Environmental Politics and Policy
SOCIOL a social change course (such as 325 or 329)