UMass Logo2002/03 Undergraduate Course Catalog Banner
[Home][Courses & Programs][Academic Information][Undergraduate Admissions][General Information][Site Index] [APPLY NOW]

Department & Program Listings
[Program Listings: A-D]
[Program Listings: E-L]
[Program Listings: M-R]
[Program Listings: S-Z]
[Program Listings: Show All]



International Agricultural Studies

Contact: Associate Dean James Marcum

Office: 113 Stockbridge

Phone: 545-4204

The Field

The human population of the world is increasing at a rate of approximately 225,000 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.

The Program


Students choose a major from among the agricultural majors offered in the College of Food and Natural Resources and carry a specialty of International Studies to supplement the chosen major.

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 the following two courses:

RES EC 121 World Food Opportunities and


PLSOIL 370 Tropical Agriculture

Students must complete five of the following courses:

ANTH 104 Culture, Society, and People

ANTH a regionally focused course (such as 470 or 473)

ECON 366 Economic Development

EDUC 229 International Education

PLSOIL 597T World Agricultural Systems

POLSCI an internationally focused course (such as 354, 356, 357) or one of the Political Science Departments's courses on a Third World region

SOCIOL a social change course (such as 327 or 332)

Many other courses in the same departments, especially those which focus on a specific part of the developing world, are appropriate for this specialization in International Agricultural Studies. Students who take at least seven of the listed courses or approved substitutes have their completion of the Special Program in International Agriculture noted on their transcripts and receive a letter to that effect.

An overseas professional experience in an agricultural development program (at the village level, if possible) is considered essential preparation for a career in International Agriculture. Students with this career goal are urged to volunteer for two years' service in the Peace Corps or a similar organization upon completion of the B.S. degree.

Career Opportunities

B.S. degree holders find few overseas job opportunities except with the Peace Corps and similar volunteer organizations. Most students who wish to pursue careers in the field of International Agriculture should plan to continue their education beyond the B.S. degree.