As a student in agronomy, you can learn how to find answers to the important challenges facing agriculture. Whether you’re interested in plant biology, ecology, genetics, biotechnology, crop management and protection, or other aspects of crop production systems, an education in agronomy offers many learning opportunities and career options. In agronomy, you can interact with professors and students in small class settings. Your professors will also be your advisors, helping you to learn both inside and outside the classroom, as well as make important education and career decisions.
Diverse Opportunities For Agronomy Graduates
A major in Agronomy offers diverse opportunities for careers in many fields. An Agronomy major also provides an excellent foundation for graduate study in the biological sciences. Agronomy graduates find jobs and successful careers in many areas:
Plant breeding and genetics
Sales, marketing, and international agribusiness
Crop management and protection
Agricultural research and teaching
Tailor Your Academic Program to Fit Your Career Goals
As an Agronomy student, you have the opportunity to tailor your academic program by choosing specific courses to complete your major requirements. Specifically, in the Foundation section of the Agronomy major requirements, you have the ability to choose courses in different areas of study. These areas of study include:
Ag Social Science
Biological Systems Engineering
Bacteriology, Biochemistry, Genetics
Classroom Learning is Just the Beginning
The agronomy program emphasizes hand-on learning. Students in agronomy at UW-Madison work closely with agronomy professors, who are national and international leaders in their research areas. Agronomy researchers work in many areas including crop biotechnology and genetics, sustainable cropping practices, plant biochemistry, crop management and protection, and international agriculture. Most agronomy students also work with Wisconsin’s farmers, crop production specialists or the agribusiness community.
Examples of learning experiences:
- Plant science research opportunities are available both on and off campus. These can be field or laboratory experiences. Many students gain experience in both the lab and the field.
- Summer internships provide both a learning opportunity and work experience that is invaluable when seeking employment. Most interns are paid and receive degree credit.
- Independent research under the direction of leading researchers. Part-time and summer jobs associated with plant science research are available both on and off campus. These jobs can offer experience in the lab or in the field.
- The junior-year semester-abroad programs provide the challenges and rewards of experiencing another culture.
- The Badger Crops Club, a student group that organizes professional and social activities. Seminars and informal discussions that provide insight into current research and agricultural issues.
The College of Agricultural and Life Sciences provides more than 300 scholarships averaging $900 per year. Many of these are awarded to Agronomy students and some are specifically designated for Agronomy majors. In addition, the UW-Madison provides $20 million in grants, $50 million in low interest loans, and $2.5 million for salaries of students employed in work-study projects. Part-time jobs in plant research both on and off campus are also available.
For more information, see the Office of Student Financial Services home page and the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences financial aid page.