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Agronomy B.S.

Agriculture and Natural Resources
Academic Affairs
  • Program Type: Baccalaureate
  • Requirements for this program are current for Fall 2022
  • Required credits to graduate with this degree: 120
  • Required credits within the major: 69
  • This program requires summer terms.
  • Degree: Bachelor of Science
The BS in agronomy is a career-oriented program that combines science-based agriculture training and education with a strong liberal arts background to produce graduates skilled in the highly technical field of agronomy. Agronomy students build a broad understanding of crop science areas such as crop production, agricultural chemicals, soil fertility, integrated pest management, seed conditioning and technology, and other areas related to production and quality in the food and fiber industry. The flexibility of the program enables students to build knowledge and skills in related areas such as agricultural business, precision agriculture, agricultural systems management, and soils. Program outcomes: graduates will: Find, interpret, and utilize published sources of agronomic information. Synthesize agronomic information into short-form written and oral communications that demonstrate clarity and proper grammatical structure. Find and utilize technological tools commonly used to assist with agricultural crop production (e.g. spreadsheets, software programs, and smartphone apps). Comprehend the underlying principles of agronomic cropping systems, such as soil fertility and plant nutrition, crop growth and development, plant/soil/environment interactions, seed and grain quality, and management of weeds, insects, fungi, and other pests.
Program Delivery
This program is available:
  • via classroom (the majority of instruction is face-to-face)
Admission Requirements
For information about University of Minnesota admission requirements, visit the Office of Admissions website.
General Requirements
All students are required to complete general University and college requirements. For more information, see the graduation requirements.
Program Requirements
Students must complete 40 upper-division credits. A maximum of two D grades are allowed for core courses required in the program, subplan/emphasis, and technology requirements. This includes grades earned at UMC or transferred in from another institution.
Agronomy Core
Take exactly 16 courses totaling exactly 51 credits
AGRO 1030 - Crop and Weed Identification (3.0 cr)
AGRO 1183 - Field Crops: Production Principles (3.0 cr)
AGRO 1540 - Seed Conditioning and Technology (4.0 cr)
AGRO 2573 - Entomology (3.0 cr)
AGRO 2640 - Applied Agriculture Chemicals (3.0 cr)
AGRO 2840 - Grain and Seed Evaluation (4.0 cr)
AGRO 3023 - Plant Breeding and Genetics (4.0 cr)
AGRO 3130 - Forages (3.0 cr)
AGRO 3230 - Introduction to Plant Pathology (3.0 cr)
AGRO 3444 - Crop Production (4.0 cr)
AGRO 3630 - Integrated Crop Management (Capstone) (3.0 cr)
AGRO 3640 - Weed Science (3.0 cr)
GNAG 4652 - Senior Seminar (1.0 cr)
SOIL 1293 - Soil Science (3.0 cr)
SOIL 3414 - Soil Fertility and Plant Nutrition (4.0 cr)
Choose one of the following:
BIOL 2020 - Plant Anatomy and Physiology [BIOL SCI, PEOPLE/ENV] (3.0 cr)
or BIOL 2022 - General Botany [BIOL SCI, PEOPLE/ENV] (3.0 cr)
Internship
Take exactly 3 course(s) totaling exactly 3 credit(s) from the following:
Pre-Internship Seminar
· GNAG 2899 - Pre-Internship Seminar (0.5 cr)
or GNAG 3899 - Pre-Internship Seminar (0.5 cr)
· Internship
Take 2 or more credit(s) from the following:
· GNAG 3900 - Internship (0.5-3.0 cr)
· Post-Internship Seminar
· GNAG 3901 - Post Internship Seminar (0.5 cr)
Liberal Education
This program requires a minimum of 40 credits of liberal education and completion of the ten goal areas of the Minnesota Transfer Curriculum. The following are specific required liberal education courses.
Take exactly 6 course(s) totaling exactly 20 credit(s) from the following:
· BIOL 1009 - General Biology [BIOL SCI, PEOPLE/ENV] (4.0 cr)
CHEM 1001 - Introductory Chemistry [PHYS SCI] (4.0 cr)
COMP 1011 - Composition I [COMMUNICAT] (3.0 cr)
COMP 1013 - Composition II [COMMUNICAT] (3.0 cr)
· Choose one of the following:
· COMM 1101 - Public Speaking [COMMUNICAT] (3.0 cr)
or COMM 2002 - Interpersonal Communication [COMMUNICAT] (3.0 cr)
· Choose one of the following:
· MATH 1031 - College Algebra [MATH THINK] (3.0 cr)
or MATH 1150 - Introduction to Statistics [MATH THINK] (3.0 cr)
Technology
If applicable, the course chosen to fulfill the technology requirement may also satisfy a major requirement.
Take 1 or more course(s) totaling 3 or more credit(s) from the following:
· AGEC 2310 - Agribusiness Financial Records (3.0 cr)
· CA 1xxx
· CA 2xxx
· NATR 2630 - Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (3.0 cr)
Agronomy Electives
Take 2 or more course(s) totaling 6 or more credit(s) from the following:
· AGEC 2530 - Professional Agriselling (3.0 cr)
· AGEC 3310 - Advanced Agribusiness Financial Records (3.0 cr)
· AGEC 3540 - Farm Business Management (3.0 cr)
· AGEC 4740 - Grain and Livestock Marketing (3.0 cr)
· AGRO 3030 - Statistical Analyses and Research Techniques in Agriculture and Natural Resources (3.0 cr)
· ASM 3360 - Applications in Precision Agriculture (2.0 cr)
· ASM 3365 - Applications in Precision Agriculture Laboratory (1.0 cr)
· ASM 3511 - Yield Monitoring and Data Interpretation (1.0 cr)
· ASM 3512 - Remote Sensing Applications in Precision Agriculture (1.0 cr)
· ASM 3513 - Precision Farming Data (1.0 cr)
· SOIL 3550 - Soil Genesis, Morphology and Survey (4.0 cr)
· SWM 3224 - Soil and Water Conservation (4.0 cr)
Agriculture/Natural Resources Electives
Take 9 or more credits from the following subject areas: AGEC AGRO ANSC ASM EQSC GNAG HORT NATR SOIL SWM TURF
Program Sub-plans
A sub-plan is not required for this program.
 
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· Agronomy B.S. Sample Plan

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· Agronomy B.S.
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AGRO 1030 - Crop and Weed Identification
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall
Morphological characteristics used in mature plant, seedling, and seed identification. Identifying economically important crops and weeds in all stages of growth throughout the United States.
AGRO 1183 - Field Crops: Production Principles
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Principles and cultural practices used in growing certain row crops, small grains, oil crops, and specialty crops.
AGRO 1540 - Seed Conditioning and Technology
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Spring Even Year
Seed laws, certification standards, purity analysis, germination tests, vigor tests, principles of seed conditioning, handling equipment. Tours of facilities processing small grains, sunflowers, grasses, and legumes. Recommended prereq: AGRO 1030
AGRO 2573 - Entomology
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: AGRO2573/NATR2573
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall
Insect taxonomy, anatomy, and physiology. Emphasis on insects of economic importance, especially in the Upper Midwest. Control methods, including integrated pest management. prereq: Agro 1183 or Hort 1010
AGRO 2640 - Applied Agriculture Chemicals
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
Applied use of agriculture chemicals. Safety, toxicity, efficacy, phytotoxicity, recommendations, environmental interactions. Recommended prereq: AGRO 1030
AGRO 2840 - Grain and Seed Evaluation
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Spring
Analytical techniques, procedures, and practices in interpreting U.S. grain standards. Identifying seeds of crops, weeds, and diseases. Lab practice in grading grain according to U.S. standards and determining grain quality. Recommended prereq: AGRO 1030
AGRO 3023 - Plant Breeding and Genetics
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Every Spring
Principles of plant breeding. Emphasizes application of genetic principles to plant breeding. Genetic variation, selection methods, cultivar development. Examples from common field/horticultural crops. Recommended prereq: BIOL 1009
AGRO 3130 - Forages
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall
Characteristics, distribution, preservation, and uses of forage crops for pasture, silage, hay, and soil improvement. Cultural practices, disease and insect control, seed production, forage storage. Interrelationships between animals and plants as they relate to selection, production, and utilization of forage crops.
AGRO 3230 - Introduction to Plant Pathology
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall
Nature, diagnosis, and management of plant diseases. Identification, control, and life cycles of representative plant diseases significant in the Upper Midwest that illustrate plant pathology principles. Recommended prereq: Agro 1183 or Hort 1010
AGRO 3444 - Crop Production
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall
Principles, including best cultural practices for crops of particular economic importance to the region. Oilseed, small grain, and specialty crops. Recommended prereq: AGRO 1183, SOIL 1293
AGRO 3630 - Integrated Crop Management (Capstone)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Spring
Capstone. Patterned after the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture (NACTA) crops contest. Students will be tested in major areas of agronomy featured in NACTA contest. For each test area, students must reach a predetermined minimum score to earn a passing grade. Enforced prereq: Senior or Instructor consent
AGRO 3640 - Weed Science
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Spring
Mechanical, cultural, biological, and chemical weed control practices. Factors affecting control. Classification and modes of action of herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, and plant growth regulators. prereq: [BIOL 1009, CHEM 1401, SOIL 1293] or instructor consent
GNAG 4652 - Senior Seminar
Credits: 1.0 [max 1.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Survey of current literature. Preparation/delivery of special topics. Preparation of abstracts, papers, and visual aids. Evaluation of seminars. Use of library and other resources, including computer information search. Use of new technology. prereq: Sr or instructor consent
SOIL 1293 - Soil Science
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Formation, classification, and composition of soils, with emphasis on environmental quality, chemical and physical properties affecting growth and nutrition of plants, management principles and practices used to increase productivity and conserve soil and water resources for agronomic crops. Recommended prereq: Chem 1001
SOIL 3414 - Soil Fertility and Plant Nutrition
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Soil fertility management and its effect on crop growth. Uptake and use of specific important nutrients; use of fertilizers, their composition and characteristics; importance of residue management to maintain high productivity; environmental impact of certain agronomic practices. Enforced prereq: SOIL 1293 Recommended prereq: CHEM 1001
BIOL 2020 - Plant Anatomy and Physiology (BIOL SCI, PEOPLE/ENV)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Spring
Overview of plant anatomy and physiology with particular attention paid to angiosperms and their basic structure and function. prereq: 1009
BIOL 2022 - General Botany (BIOL SCI, PEOPLE/ENV)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Principles of plant biology. Organization, function, growth/development, and reproductive biology of plants and plant-like organisms. Lab included. prereq: 1009 or 1009H
GNAG 2899 - Pre-Internship Seminar
Credits: 0.5 [max 0.5]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall
Expectations/responsibilities of internships. Preparing for a job search. Presentations about internship experiences by those who have recently completed 3900. Discussions between students, staff, and invited guests.
GNAG 3899 - Pre-Internship Seminar
Credits: 0.5 [max 0.5]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall
Expectations/responsibilities of internships. Preparing for a job search. Presentations about internship experiences by those who have recently completed 3900. Discussions between students, staff, and invited guests.
GNAG 3900 - Internship
Credits: 0.5 -3.0 [max 6.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Supervised professional work experience in agricultural business, governmental agency. Report/consultation with faculty advisor/employer. prereq: 3899, [soph or sr]
GNAG 3901 - Post Internship Seminar
Credits: 0.5 [max 0.5]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall
Student who have recently completed internships prepare/deliver a PowerPoint presentation of experience/knowledge gained. Discussions between post/pre-internship students, staff, and invited guests. prereq: GnAg 3900
BIOL 1009 - General Biology (BIOL SCI, PEOPLE/ENV)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Major concepts of modern biology. Molecular structure of living things. Energy recruitment/utilization. Flow of genetic information through organisms/populations. Principles of inheritance, ecology, and evolution. Lab. prereq: High school science courses
CHEM 1001 - Introductory Chemistry (PHYS SCI)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
For students who do not need professional-level general chemistry. Atomic and molecular structure, inorganic nomenclature, chemical equations, quantitative relationships, phases of matter, solution chemistry, chemical dynamics, acid/base chemistry, oxidation-reduction process. prereq: High school algebra, high school chem
COMP 1011 - Composition I (COMMUNICAT)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Process of clear, concrete, and convincing writing. Generation and discovery of subjects, revisions, editing.
COMP 1013 - Composition II (COMMUNICAT)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Writing a research paper/s. Formulating/answering a research question. Developing an organizational/argument strategy for topic/audience. Supporting research question/argument with scholarly sources. prereq: 1011
COMM 1101 - Public Speaking (COMMUNICAT)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Topic selection, research, organization, rehearsal, and extemporaneous delivery of informative and persuasive speeches.
COMM 2002 - Interpersonal Communication (COMMUNICAT)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Fundamental concepts/skills of communication used in social/career contexts. Perception, listening, verbal/nonverbal, climate, conflict.
MATH 1031 - College Algebra (MATH THINK)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Basic algebraic operations, linear/quadratic equations/inequalities, variation. Functions/graphs. Theory of equations. Exponential/logarithmic functions. Systems of equations. Mathmatical modeling/applications. prereq: 0991 or ACT math score of 20 or higher
MATH 1150 - Introduction to Statistics (MATH THINK)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Descriptive statistics, elementary probability, normal distribution, binomial distribution, confidence intervals, tests of hypotheses, correlation, regression, chi-square, ANOVA. prereq: 0991 or ACT math score of 20 or higher
AGEC 2310 - Agribusiness Financial Records
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Applied course in record keeping. Use of computerized system to record business transactions; manage agricultural inventories, receivables, payables, and payroll; and generate coordinated financial statements.
NATR 2630 - Introduction to Geographic Information Systems
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Application/use of computer-based information systems, data delivery, and geographic information systems in natural resource management and regional planning. Labs focus on developing basic competence using current suite of ArcGIS software and finding, retrieving and utilizing data currently available from public resource management agencies. Recommended prereq: NATR 1244, MATH 1031
AGEC 2530 - Professional Agriselling
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Use of technical and agricultural knowledge in agricultural sales. Need-satisfaction approach to selling. Planning and conducting informational meetings, exhibiting at farm and trade shows, importance of service and timeliness in agribusiness, and practice in making agrisales presentations.
AGEC 3310 - Advanced Agribusiness Financial Records
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Spring
Students learn to prepare cash flow budgets, prepare enterprise reports for analysis, prepare and interpret Farm Financial Standards reports, and learn about the connection between production field and/or livestock records and financial records using a computer software program specific to agriculture. Enforced prereq: AGEC 2310
AGEC 3540 - Farm Business Management
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Principles of farm accounting. Financial/income statements, cash flow statements, depreciation methods, farm income tax, enterprise analysis, farm management decision making, budgeting/planning, computer analysis of farm business. Enforced prereq: AGEC 2310 or ACCT 2102
AGEC 4740 - Grain and Livestock Marketing
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Students develop commodity marketing plan for grain or livestock farming operations. Topics include cash markets, grid pricing, grade premiums/discounts, contracting, crop/livestock insurance, and futures/options.
AGRO 3030 - Statistical Analyses and Research Techniques in Agriculture and Natural Resources
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Spring
Experimental design and methodology in agriculture and natural resources research. Basic philosophy, data interpretation and analysis, and application of research information to practical management situations. prereq: Math 1150, Jr or Sr
ASM 3360 - Applications in Precision Agriculture
Credits: 2.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Spring
Introduction to applications of precision agriculture. Making data-driven on-farm decisions using the knowledge and tools of crop science and agricultural engineering.
ASM 3365 - Applications in Precision Agriculture Laboratory
Credits: 1.0 [max 1.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
Introduction to hands-on applications of precision agriculture. Examples include mapping fields, grid, and zone soil sampling techniques, yield monitor calibration, and creating and executing UAV flight plans. Recommended prerequisites: ASM 3360, NATR 2630
ASM 3511 - Yield Monitoring and Data Interpretation
Credits: 1.0 [max 1.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Spring
Calibration of commercially available yield monitoring equipment. Operation fundamentals of various yield sensors. Interfacing sensors, data loggers, global position devices. Saving, storing, retrieving, pooling yield data. Working with data from multiple vendor models/formats. Use of commercially available software to make yield map interpretation. Recommended prereq: ASM 3360, 3365, NATR 2630
ASM 3512 - Remote Sensing Applications in Precision Agriculture
Credits: 1.0 [max 1.0]
Typically offered: Every Spring
Fundamentals of remote sensing and satellite imaging in monitoring/managing cropping system variability. Applications of commercial mapping and GIS software in processing/interpreting production scale economic variables. Recommended prereq: ASM 3360, 3365, NATR 2630
ASM 3513 - Precision Farming Data
Credits: 1.0 [max 1.0]
Typically offered: Every Spring
Cropping systems data in precision agriculture. On-farm input/output record keeping, profit analysis using commercial software. On-farm trials/testing of agronomic variables using precision agriculture technologies. Recommended prereq: ASM 3360, 3365, NATR 2630
SOIL 3550 - Soil Genesis, Morphology and Survey
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Every Spring
Processes of soil formation, morphology and use of soil survey information. Practical field experience describing soil properties. Required field trips. Enforced prereq: SOIL 1293
SWM 3224 - Soil and Water Conservation
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
Management principles and practices used to increase productivity and conserve soil and water resources for agronomic crops. Maintaining wildland and environmental quality through use of shelterbelts. Enforced prereq: SOIL 1293