The Washington State University Catalog

Organic and Sustainable Agriculture

The online catalog includes the most recent changes to courses and degree requirements that have been approved by the Faculty Senate, including changes that are not yet effective.

Organic and Sustainable Agriculture (120 Credits)

Significantly different than conventional agriculture, organic food production is one of the fastest growing segments of agriculture, with retail sales increasing by 20 percent annually since 1991. In many ways, Washington State has been a leader in this burgeoning new industry. This revolutionary new major is the first of its kind to be offered in the United States. Students in this major take a diverse array of courses in the natural, environmental, economic, and social sciences, as well as a number of courses focused on organic production practices.

Students wanting a hands-on degree experience thrive in the organic major. WSU has over a four-acre certified organic teaching farm where students learn to produce certified organic vegetables, fruit, herbs, and flowers that they distribute through local food banks, on-campus food service, a 100-member CSA (community supported agriculture), and a local farmers’ market. Students have the opportunity to tailor their program of study to specific areas of emphasis, such as organic animal and dairy production, economics and marketing, crop production, food science, pest management, soil management, etc. in consultation with their advisor.

The Organic and Sustainable Agriculture Program at WSU prepares students to work on or develop their own organic farm. It also prepares students for employment opportunities with nonprofit organizations and government agencies involved in environmental and food safety, as well as private-sector food processing, marketing, organic certification, and product development industries.

Students may be admitted to the Organic and Sustainable Agriculture major upon making their intentions known to the department.
First Year
First TermCredits
ANIM SCI 101 or FS 1103
CHEM 101 [PSCI] or 105 [PSCI]4
ECONS 101 [SSCI]3
ENGLISH 101 [WRTG]3
HORT / CROP SCI 1023
Second TermCredits
CHEM 102 or 1064
HISTORY 105 [ROOT]3
HORT / CROP SCI 2024
SOIL SCI 1013
Second Year
First TermCredits
AFS 2013
BIOLOGY 106 [BSCI] or 120 [BSCI]4
Humanities [HUM]3
STAT 212 [QUAN]4
Second TermCredits
[COMM] Course (COM 102 [COMM] or H D 205 [COMM] recommended)3 or 4
Arts [ARTS]3
BIOLOGY 1074
ENTOM 3513
SOIL SCI 2013
Complete Writing Portfolio
Third Year
First TermCredits
AFS 3363
CROP SCI 3053
CROP SCI 3603
Horticulture Production Elective13
PL P 4293
Second TermCredits
AFS 4453
Diversity [DIVR]3
ECONS 35223
SOIL SCI 302 [M]3
SOIL SCI 4782
Fourth Year
First TermCredits
AFS Core Systems Elective33
CROP SCI 4033
SOIL SCI 443 [M]3
SOIL SCI 4792
Electives5
Second TermCredits
AFS 401 [CAPS]3
SOIL SCI 4413
SOIL SCI 4802
SOIL SCI 4983
Electives4

Footnotes
1Horticulture Production Electives: HORT 310, HORT 313, HORT 357 (spring), or as approved by advisor.
2ECONS 350, which is only offered in the fall, may be used as an alternative for ECONS 352.
3AFS Core Systems Electives: AGTM 310, ANIM SCI 464 [M], 472 [M], 474 [M], BIOLOGY 372 [M], CROP SCI 302, ECONS 351, HORT 320, SOE 300, SOIL SCI 368, or other systems courses approved by your advisor.

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