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Find­ing an afford­able agri­cul­ture degree, or degree in agribusi­ness, can be chal­leng­ing with the cost of col­lege today, but Bachelor’s Degree Cen­ter knows your needs. Since agri­cul­ture stu­dents are usu­al­ly from rur­al areas, and may well be the first per­son in their fam­i­ly to go to col­lege, cost has to be a con­sid­er­a­tion. You may be pay­ing your own way, using sav­ings or work­ing, but you can get your bachelor’s in agri­cul­ture with­out bury­ing your­self in debt.

The pro­grams we’ve ranked come from some of the most respect­ed agri­cul­ture schools in the world, but that doesn’t meant they’re unaf­ford­able. In fact, pub­lic state uni­ver­si­ties and small region­al uni­ver­si­ties are the back­bone of agri­cul­tur­al edu­ca­tion, and they work to keep their tuition low. There’s prob­a­bly an afford­able option right in your home state.

Methodology: Ranking the Most Affordable Agriculture Degree Programs

Bachelor’s Degree Cen­ter has ranked the most afford­able agri­cul­ture degrees by their tuition cost, but that’s not the only impor­tant fac­tor. BDC edi­tors fea­ture only accred­it­ed, rep­utable insti­tu­tions so stu­dents will know their degree is worth their while.

1. Purdue University

The Agri­cul­ture pro­gram at Pur­due Uni­ver­si­ty is ranked #12 in the world and offers over 30 con­cen­tra­tions in the field of agri­cul­ture. Stu­dents are offered the oppor­tu­ni­ty to major in areas of agri­cul­ture that include farm man­age­ment, bio­chem­istry, plant sci­ence, insect biol­o­gy, soil and water sci­ences, and more. The afford­able agri­cul­ture degree pro­gram also fea­tures 54 dif­fer­ent edu­ca­tion­al options, the oppor­tu­ni­ty to study abroad and engage in research. Grad­u­ates from the pro­gram can find employ­ment oppor­tu­ni­ties in a wide range of fields work­ing direct­ly in agri­cul­ture or in areas that are relat­ed to agriculture.

Pur­due Uni­ver­si­ty is a pub­lic uni­ver­si­ty in Indi­ana and is the flag­ship school in the Pur­due Uni­ver­si­ty sys­tem. The school offers over 200 under­grad­u­ate major pro­grams, over 70 mas­ter’s and doc­tor­al degree pro­grams, and pro­fes­sion­al degrees in vet­eri­nary med­i­cine and phar­ma­cy. The Carnegie Research Clas­si­fi­ca­tion for Pur­due Uni­ver­si­ty is “R1: Doc­tor­al Uni­ver­si­ties — Very high research activ­i­ty. Many stu­dents who grad­u­at­ed from Pur­due Uni­ver­si­ty have gone on to win major awards.

What We Like: Pur­due fea­tures a sea-grant and space-grant affiliation.

Degree: Mul­ti­ple Majors

Agri­cul­ture at Pur­due University

2. North Carolina State University

The Col­lege of Agri­cul­ture and Life Sci­ences at North Car­oli­na State Uni­ver­si­ty offers mul­ti­ple aca­d­e­m­ic pro­grams along with research and exten­sion ser­vices that teach stu­dents how to han­dle the chal­lenges posed by the field of agri­cul­ture. The depart­ments at the school include ani­mal and eco­log­i­cal sys­tems, food, bio­chem­i­cal and engi­neered sys­tems, human and resource sys­tems, and plant, insect, microbe and soil sys­tems. Stu­dents can select the major that appeals to them the most as a career in any one of the depart­ments and take advan­tage of intern­ship oppor­tu­ni­ties to prac­tice what they learn.

North Car­oli­na State Uni­ver­si­ty (NCSU, NC State or State) is part of the North Car­oli­na pub­lic uni­ver­si­ty sys­tem and is the largest cam­pus in the Car­oli­nas. The school has a sea-grant and space-grant affil­i­a­tion, and has a Carnegie Research Clas­si­fi­ca­tion of “R1: Doc­tor­al Uni­ver­si­ties — Very high research activ­i­ty”. The school offers 106 bach­e­lor’s degrees, 104 mas­ter’s degrees, 61 doc­tor­al degrees, and a Doc­tor of Vet­eri­nary Medicine.

What We Like: NCSU is part of the Research Triangle.

Degree: Mul­ti­ple Majors

Col­lege of Agri­cul­ture and Life Sci­ences at North Car­oli­na State University

3. Iowa State University

The Col­lege of Agri­cul­ture and Life Sci­ences at Iowa State Uni­ver­si­ty offers almost 30 major con­cen­tra­tions that include genet­ics, hor­ti­cul­ture, ani­mal sci­ence, seed sci­ence, culi­nary food sci­ence, and more. The agri­cul­tur­al con­cen­tra­tions focus on busi­ness, tech­nol­o­gy, soci­ety, explo­ration, and agron­o­my for the pro­duc­tion of crops, the busi­ness of agri­cul­ture, agri­cul­tur­al laws, and the buy­ing and sell­ing of agri­cul­tur­al com­modi­ties. All con­cen­tra­tions have a spe­cif­ic focus, but the stud­ies option allows stu­dents to cus­tomize their edu­ca­tion­al track and select an area of empha­sis to make into their major.

Iowa State Uni­ver­si­ty (Iowa State) is a pub­lic uni­ver­si­ty and is the largest in the state of Iowa. It’s a pub­lic land-grant flag­ship research uni­ver­si­ty and has a space-grant affil­i­a­tion. The Carnegie Research Clas­si­fi­ca­tion gives the school an “R1: Doc­tor­al Uni­ver­si­ties — Very high research activ­i­ty”. The school’s sports teams par­tic­i­pate in the NCAA Divi­sion I — Big 12 conference.

What We Like: The school offers 100 bach­e­lor’s degrees, 112 mas­ter’s, and 83 doc­tor­al degree pro­grams. It also has a pro­fes­sion­al degree pro­gram in vet­eri­nary medicine.

Degree: Mul­ti­ple Majors

Col­lege of Agri­cul­ture and Life Sci­ences at Iowa State University

4. Oklahoma State University

Fer­gu­son Col­lege of Agri­cul­ture at Okla­homa State Uni­ver­si­ty offers 16 majors and over 50 study options for stu­dents seek­ing a career in agri­cul­ture. The col­lege also offers pre-pro­fes­sion­al pro­grams that act as state­ments of inten­tion so a stu­dent can indi­cate a career goal while work­ing on get­ting a bach­e­lor’s degree. Degree tracks range from ani­mal hus­bandry, food pro­cess­ing, envi­ron­men­tal sci­ences, ranch oper­a­tions, hor­ti­cul­ture, and more. Some pro­grams have a five-year plan, but an accel­er­at­ed pro­gram that allows stu­dents to fin­ish in four years is available.

Okla­homa State Uni­ver­si­ty (OSU) is the flag­ship uni­ver­si­ty in the OSU Sys­tem and is also a land-grant research uni­ver­si­ty. The school has a Carnegie Research Clas­si­fi­ca­tion of “R1: Doc­tor­al Uni­ver­si­ties: Very high research activ­i­ty” and has a space-grant and sun-grant nation­al par­tic­i­pant affil­i­a­tions. OSU offers bach­e­lor’s, mas­ter’s, and doc­tor­al degree pro­grams across six colleges.

What We Like: The school’s sports teams par­tic­i­pate in the NCAA Divi­sion I — Big 12 conference.

Degree: Mul­ti­ple Majors

Fer­gu­son Col­lege of Agri­cul­ture at Okla­homa State University

5. North Dakota State University

The Col­lege of Agri­cul­ture, Food Sys­tems, and Nat­ur­al Resources at North Dako­ta State Uni­ver­si­ty offers over 20 majors in agri­cul­tur­al con­cen­tra­tions. Pro­grams include agri­cul­tur­al and biosys­tems engi­neer­ing, gen­er­al agri­cul­ture, equine sci­ence, vet­eri­nary tech­nol­o­gy, agri­cul­tur­al eco­nom­ics and more. The col­lege offers stu­dents the oppor­tu­ni­ty to learn from world-class sci­en­tists in state-of-the-art facil­i­ties for hands-on learn­ing expe­ri­ences that enhance what’s learned in the class­room. Cur­ricu­lums focus on teach­ing stu­dents how to be com­pet­i­tive in a glob­al econ­o­my and have the capa­bil­i­ty to use the lat­est tech­nol­o­gy while learn­ing how to embrace the ever-chang­ing world of agriculture.

North Dako­ta State Uni­ver­si­ty (NDSU) is a pub­lic uni­ver­si­ty and is part of the North Dako­ta Uni­ver­si­ty Sys­tem. Its Carnegie Research Clas­si­fi­ca­tion is “R2: Doc­tor­al Uni­ver­si­ties — High research activ­i­ty”. The school offers 94 bach­e­lor degree majors, 84 under­grad­u­ate minors, 87 mas­ter’s degrees, 52 doc­tor­al degrees, and 21 grad­u­ate cer­tifi­cate pro­grams. Ath­let­ic teams at NDSU par­tic­i­pate in the NCAA Divi­sion 1 — Big 12 conference.

What We Like: NDSU is a land-grant uni­ver­si­ty that was orig­i­nal­ly found­ed as an agri­cul­tur­al college.

Degree: Mul­ti­ple Majors

Col­lege of Agri­cul­ture, Food Sys­tems, and Nat­ur­al Resources at North Dako­ta State University

6. University of Florida

The Col­lege of Agri­cul­tur­al and Life Sci­ences at Uni­ver­si­ty of Flori­da offers mul­ti­ple agri­cul­tur­al majors for stu­dents who are inter­est­ed in bring­ing the future to the field of farm­ing and ranch­ing. Some of the afford­able agri­cul­ture degree con­cen­tra­tion pro­grams include botany, agri­cul­tur­al edu­ca­tion and com­mu­ni­ca­tion, dietet­ics, food sci­ence, food and resource eco­nom­ics and more. Most of the degree pro­grams teach stu­dents learn how to apply mod­ern tech­nol­o­gy to improve the field of food pro­duc­tion and management.

Uni­ver­si­ty of Flori­da (UF) is a pub­lic uni­ver­si­ty and is part of the State Uni­ver­si­ty Sys­tem of Flori­da. The school has a Carnegie Research Clas­si­fi­ca­tion of “R1: Doc­tor­al Uni­ver­si­ties — Very high research activ­i­ty” and has a sea-grant and space-grant affil­i­a­tion. It offers grad­u­ate pro­fes­sion­al pro­grams, 103 bach­e­lor’s degree pro­grams, 123 mas­ter’s degrees, and 76 doc­tor­al degree pro­grams. The school’s ath­let­ics teams par­tic­i­pate in the NCAA Divi­sion I FBS — SEC conference.

What We Like: The school also offers pre-pro­fes­sion­al stud­ies for stu­dents who want to earn an advanced degree in the field of agriculture.

Degree: Mul­ti­ple Majors

Col­lege of Agri­cul­tur­al and Life Sci­ences at Uni­ver­si­ty of Florida

7. University of Georgia

The Col­lege of Agri­cul­tur­al and Envi­ron­men­tal Sci­ences at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Geor­gia offers over 20 degree pro­grams in the agri­cul­tur­al sci­ences. Stu­dents have the option to enter into under­grad­u­ate pro­grams that include avian biol­o­gy, applied biotech­nol­o­gy, dairy sci­ence, ani­mal health, poul­try sci­ence, water and soil resources, and more. Stu­dents can also take minors that com­ple­ment their major. The school also offers pre­pro­fes­sion­al study pro­grams. Most pro­grams offer the oppor­tu­ni­ty for hands-on learn­ing in and out of the class­room and par­tic­i­pate in research pro­grams to fur­ther the sci­ence of agriculture.

UGA fea­tures a sea-grant, space-grant, and sun-grant affil­i­a­tions, and has a Carnegie Research Clas­si­fi­ca­tion of “R1: Doc­tor­al Uni­ver­si­ties — Very high research activ­i­ty”. Stu­dents can engage in bach­e­lor’s, mas­ter’s, and doc­tor­al degree pro­grams at UGA. The school’s sports teams par­tic­i­pate in the NCAA Divi­sion I FBS — SEC conference.

What We Like: The Uni­ver­si­ty of Geor­gia (UGA) is one of the old­est pub­lic uni­ver­si­ties in the U.S. and is the flag­ship cam­pus for the Uni­ver­si­ty Sys­tem of Georgia.

Degree: Mul­ti­ple Majors

Col­lege of Agri­cul­tur­al and Envi­ron­men­tal Sci­ences at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Georgia

8. Michigan State University

The Col­lege of Agri­cul­ture and Nat­ur­al Resources at Michi­gan State Uni­ver­si­ty offers 20 dif­fer­ent under­grad­u­ate majors and minors in the field of agri­cul­ture. Many of the pro­grams offer stu­dents the oppor­tu­ni­ty to apply their edu­ca­tion on cam­pus, in the state of Michi­gan, and around the world. Some of the under­grad­u­ate majors include agribusi­ness man­age­ment, ento­mol­o­gy, crop and soil sci­ences, ani­mal sci­ence, and more.

Michi­gan State Uni­ver­si­ty (MSU) is the flag­ship cam­pus of the pub­lic uni­ver­si­ty sys­tem. It’s a land-grant research uni­ver­si­ty with a sea-grant and space-grant affil­i­a­tion, and has a Carnegie Research Clas­si­fi­ca­tion of “R1: Doc­tor­al Uni­ver­si­ties — Very high research activ­i­ty”. The school offers bach­e­lor’s, mas­ter’s, and doc­tor­ate pro­grams. The school’s ath­let­ic teams com­pete in the NCAA Divi­sion I — Big Ten Conference.

What We Like: Stu­dents have the option to take one degree track and take class­es from anoth­er degree track offered by the col­lege as their minor.

Degree: Mul­ti­ple Majors

Col­lege of Agri­cul­ture and Nat­ur­al Resources at Michi­gan State University

9. Louisiana State University-Baton Rouge

The Agri­cul­tur­al Busi­ness degree pro­gram at Louisiana State Uni­ver­si­ty — Baton Rouge trains stu­dents to enter into a wide vari­ety of careers found in agri­cul­ture. The afford­able agri­cul­ture degree pro­gram is designed to bring agri­cul­ture and busi­ness into one degree pro­gram and teach stu­dents how to bring togeth­er the eco­nom­ic side of agri­cul­ture with the dis­ci­pline and frame­work of oper­at­ing a busi­ness. The major offers four con­cen­tra­tions that include: agribusi­ness finance, food indus­try man­age­ment, inter­na­tion­al busi­ness, and rur­al devel­op­ment. These con­cen­tra­tions are edu­ca­tion­al path­ways into careers for pri­vate and pub­lic roles.

Louisiana State Uni­ver­si­ty (LSU) is the flag­ship cam­pus of the pub­lic uni­ver­si­ty sys­tem of Louisiana. The school is a pub­lic land-grant research uni­ver­si­ty and has a Carnegie Research Clas­si­fi­ca­tion of “R1: Doc­tor­al uni­ver­si­ties — Very high research activ­i­ty” and has a sea-grant and space-grant affil­i­a­tion. The school’s sports team com­pete in the NCAA Divi­sion I FBS — SEC conference.

What We Like: LSU spon­sors around 800 research projects each aca­d­e­m­ic year.

Degree: Agri­cul­tur­al Business

Agri­cul­tur­al Busi­ness degree pro­gram at Louisiana State University

10. University of Arkansas

The Agri­cul­tur­al Pro­gram at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Arkansas is housed in the Dale Bumpers Col­lege of Agri­cul­tur­al, Food and Life Sci­ences. It fea­tures 14 majors that include poul­try sci­ence, food sci­ence, human nutri­tion and dietet­ics, ani­mal sci­ence, and more. Stu­dents also have 24 minors to choose from in addi­tion to their major. The col­lege pre­pares grad­u­ates for work in their respec­tive major, but also pre­pares them to work in fields that include vet­eri­nary, den­tal, legal, and med­ical fields. Stu­dents get the oppor­tu­ni­ty to learn through expe­ri­ence in hands-on labs, lead­er­ship devel­op­ment, and internships.

The Uni­ver­si­ty of Arkansas (U of A, UA, or UArk) is a pub­lic flag­ship research uni­ver­si­ty with a land-grant and a space-grant affil­i­a­tion. The school offers over 200 majors for bach­e­lor’s, mas­ter’s, and doc­tor­al stu­dents. The Carnegie Research Clas­si­fi­ca­tion for U of A is “R1: Doc­tor­al Uni­ver­si­ties — Very high research activity”.

What We Like: The school enrolls over 27,000 stu­dents each semes­ter and main­tains a ratio of 19 stu­dents to each fac­ul­ty member.

Degree: Mul­ti­ple Majors

Agri­cul­tur­al Pro­gram at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Arkansas

How Do I Save Money on an Agriculture Degree?

An afford­able agri­cul­ture degree can be found, but you have to have a good strat­e­gy. If there is a junior col­lege in your town, you could live at home and go there for two years to get your core cours­es. This would save a tremen­dous amount of mon­ey, To get an afford­able agri­cul­ture degree, attend a state uni­ver­si­ty in the state you live in. Out-of-state tuition is much higher.

Anoth­er piece of strat­e­gy is to go to the school with “state” in the name. This would mean pick­ing Iowa State over the Uni­ver­si­ty of Iowa, for exam­ple. Both are state insti­tu­tions, but the one with “state” in the name is gen­er­al­ly cheap­er by design. The ones with “state” in the name usu­al­ly also have bet­ter agri­cul­ture depart­ments. This is true, for exam­ple, at Okla­homa State Uni­ver­si­ty, as opposed to the Uni­ver­si­ty of Oklahoma.

What Can I Do With an Agriculture Degree?

While farm­ing is often the first thing that comes to mind, there are sev­er­al career path­ways in agri­cul­ture. Any­thing relat­ed to the health and growth of plants or ani­mals is agri­cul­ture. The best careers in agri­cul­ture may not relate to farm­ing at all. You could become a bio-chemist, or own a busi­ness sell­ing farm equip­ment, which would prob­a­bly make more prof­it than a farm. The best careers in agri­cul­ture may relate to farm­ing or may not. Many peo­ple who grew up on a farm get an agri­cul­ture degree and go back to improve their farm.

Jobs you can get with an agri­cul­ture degree are lim­it­ed only by your imag­i­na­tion. To answer, what can I do with an agri­cul­ture degree, basi­cal­ly any­thing you want. What jobs can you get with an agri­cul­ture degree could depend on some of the class­es you take. There are dif­fer­ent con­cen­tra­tions even in the agri­cul­ture major.

You could be a farmer or a farm man­ag­er with an agri­cul­ture degree. A coun­ty exten­sion agent, who helps farm­ers solve prob­lems is anoth­er option.

Some oth­er careers include:

  • Water resource specialist
  • Envi­ron­men­tal engineer
  • Agri­cul­ture engineer
  • Food sci­en­tist
  • Wildlife biol­o­gist

Are There Scholarships for Agriculture?

Maybe it is because so many areas relat­ed to agri­cul­ture, but there are many schol­ar­ships for agri­cul­ture stu­dents. It is a good idea to research to find that schol­ar­ship for agri­cul­ture stu­dent well before col­lege starts, maybe in your junior year of high school. There are schol­ar­ships for female agri­cul­ture stu­dents as well.

There are agri­cul­ture schol­ar­ships for high school seniors who are get­ting ready for college.

Accord­ing to a sto­ry in USNews, there are plen­ty of schol­ar­ships for agri­cul­ture majors. Agri­cul­ture is a lot more than farm­ing, and that may be why agri­cul­ture schol­ar­ships for col­lege stu­dents appear read­i­ly avail­able. Agri­cul­ture relates to all the food we eat, so that may be a rea­son peo­ple are inter­est­ed in fund­ing scholarships.

There are foun­da­tions that fund agri­cul­ture schol­ar­ships for women. There are also some for minorities.

Schol­ar­ships for women in agri­cul­ture are just one way of open­ing up the field to more peo­ple. You might also check for schol­ar­ships for any groups you or your fam­i­ly might belong to. There are times when schol­ar­ships are not award­ed because there were no applicants.

There are some schol­ar­ships that are very large and will pay most of your expens­es. There are, how­ev­er, a lot of small­er schol­ar­ships — for $500, $1,000, and so forth. The Daugh­ters of Amer­i­can Agri­cul­ture Schol­ar­ships offers a $1,000 award. The Nation­al Pota­to Coun­cil offers a $5,000 schol­ar­ship. State wheat, corn, cot­ton asso­ci­a­tions also often award small schol­ar­ships. It is a good idea to apply for a lot of them, and hope­ful­ly, you will get a few. You may search online for schol­ar­ships and look around you. Some­times local orga­ni­za­tions have small­er schol­ar­ships of $1,000 or less, but those will add up if you get a few.

There are also gov­ern­ment pro­grams, such as the USDA schol­ar­ship pro­gram which is a renew­able $5,000 schol­ar­ship that could offer even more. There are some pri­vate foun­da­tion schol­ar­ships, such as the Saul Wil­son Schol­ar­ship which awards $10,000 for a few stu­dents each year. When look­ing for schol­ar­ships make sure you are apply­ing for a schol­ar­ship and not a loan.

Relat­ed Rankings:

25 Best Bach­e­lor’s in Agri­cul­ture and Agribusiness

15 Best Online Bach­e­lor’s in Agri­cul­ture and Agribusiness

10 Fastest Online Bach­e­lor’s in Agri­cul­ture and Agribusiness