The Washington State University Catalog

Organic Agriculture Systems

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 Agriculture Systems (120 Hours)

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 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.
First Year
First TermHours
ANIM SCI 1013
CHEM 101 [PSCI] or 105 [PSCI]4
ECONS 101 [SSCI]3
ENGLISH 101 [WRTG]3
HORT / CROP SCI 1023
Second TermHours
CHEM 102 or 1064
HISTORY 105 [ROOT]3
HORT / CROP SCI 2024
SOIL SCI 1013
Second Year
First TermHours
AFS 1013
BIOLOGY 107 [BSCI] or 120 [BSCI]4
Humanities [HUM]3
STAT 212 [QUAN]4
Second TermHours
[COMM] Course (COM 102 [COMM] or H D 205 [COMM] recommended)3 or 4
AFS 2013
BIOLOGY 1064
Creative & Professional Arts [ARTS]3
SOIL SCI 2013
Complete Writing Portfolio
Third Year
First TermHours
BIOLOGY 1403
CROP SCI 305 or PL P 4293
CROP SCI 3603
ENTOM 343 [M]3
Horticulture Production Elective13
Second TermHours
AFS 4453
ECONS 35223
ENTOM 3513
SOIL SCI 302 [M]33
SOIL SCI 4983
Fourth Year
First TermHours
AFS 3363
AFS Core Systems Elective43
CROP SCI 4033
Diversity [DIVR]3
Electives3
Second TermHours
AFS 401 [CAPS]3
CROP SCI / SOIL SCI 4121
SOIL SCI 4413
SOIL SCI 4806
Electives2

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.
3SOIL SCI 414 and 415 can be taken as an alternative to SOIL SCI 302 [M]. However another [M] course will be required.
4AFS Core Systems Electives: AGTM 310, ANIM SCI 464 [M], 472 [M], 474 [M], BIOLOGY 372 [M], CROP SCI 302, ECONS 351, HORT 320, NATRS 300, SOIL SCI 368, or other systems courses approved by your advisor.

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