Best Online Agricultural Diplomas and Certificates

Agriculture is an essential and age-old industry. The generation of crops and management of animals is what sustains human beings on the earth. Agriculture has always been scientific but because of technology, the ancient practices of agriculture have developed into a more specified operation. Specific knowledge, methods and techniques come together to ensure the proper and safe management and performance of agricultural operations. The diplomas and certificates offered at these schools are able to be completed online. They give specialized knowledge into specific aspects of agriculture. According to U.S. News and World Report, the growth rate of agricultural and food science technicians is projected to grow 5% from 2014 to 2024. The median wage in 2016 was $37,550. These 5 online programs will get you involved with the industry that feeds the world.

Methodology:

  • All information is cited from the unbiased, independent NCES.gov’s College Navigator
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 University of Massachusetts Amherst

Program Standouts:

The University of Massachusetts Amherst offers a 100% online Certificate in Sustainable Food and Farming. The program is geared toward adults who are looking to make a career change, returning Veterans, high school graduates and anyone who is interested in food, farming, homesteading or gardening. The online classes are particularly attractive to the fastest growing farm demographic in New England: farms managed by women. Online classes are beneficial to those who are busy making the world around them a healthier place. Classes are taken through UMass Online.

Campus Location: Amherst, Massachusetts

Accreditation:

  • Accredited by New England Association of Schools and Colleges

Acceptance and Graduation Rates:

  • Acceptance Rate: 60%
  • Graduation Rate: 76%

Admission Requirements:

  • Complete Online Registration

Types of Aid: Institutional loans; federal and state grants; institutional and external scholarship opportunities; tuition waivers; tuition reimbursement programs; military and veterans’ benefits.

Program Options:

University of Massachusetts Amherst also offers a fully online Associate of Science and Bachelor of Science degree in Sustainable Food and Farming. All credits earned may be applied to either the Associate or Bachelor of Science Degrees.

Degree Outcomes:

Students who acquire an online certificate in sustainable food and farming will be qualified to apply their knowledge to subjects such as holistic fruit production, agricultural chemistry and global food systems.

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE CERTIFICATE IN SUSTAINABLE FOOD AND FARMING AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS AMHERST.

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Washington State University

Program Standouts:

Washington State University offers an online Certificate in Organic Agriculture which provides training in the agricultural sciences. The certificate includes an understanding of complex agriculture and food systems. It is an 18-credit undergraduate program ideal for agriculture professionals wishing to learn about organic methods, anyone interested in organizing a community supported agriculture farm, home gardeners, WSU agriculture students and anyone with an interest in organic agriculture. The program at WSU was the first organic agriculture degree in the nation.

 Campus Location: Pullman, Washington

Accreditation:

  • Accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

Acceptance and Graduation Rates:

  • Acceptance Rate: 72%
  • Graduation Rate: 67%

Admission Requirements:

  • Application
  • $25 application fee

Program Sample Courses:

  • Soil: A Living System
  • Organic Gardening and Farming
  • Introduction of Agroecology

Degree Outcomes:

The online Certificate in Organic Agriculture at Washington State University equips students for professions ranging from starting a farm to food industry management.

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE CERTIFICATE IN ORGANIC AGRICULTURE AT WASHINGTON STATE UNIVERSITY.

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University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Program Standouts:

The University of Illinois, through its College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences offers a Certificate of Professional Development in Urban Agriculture. The certificate is a graduate certificate that provides students, agriculture professionals and entrepreneurs with advanced course training in crop sciences relevant to the production of food crops in the urban environment.

Campus Location: Champaign, Illinois

Accreditation:

  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission

Admission Requirements:

  • Complete Professional Development Certificate Form

Acceptance and Graduation Rates:

  • Acceptance Rate: 60%
  • Graduation Rate: 75%

Program Options:

The University of Illinois also offers graduate certificates in Horticulture or in Crop Sciences.

Degree Outcomes:

Students who supplement their bachelor’s degree with the Certificate of Urban Agriculture will be equipped to engage their knowledge in the fields of Horticulture and Crop Science in urban settings.

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE CERTIFICATE OF PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT IN URBAN AGRICULTURE AT THE UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS URBANA-CHAMPAIGN

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Lakeshore Technical College

Program Standouts: 

Lakeshore Technical College is a provider of technical education offering over 100 career programs, education for personal and professional improvement, training for business and industry and basic skills education. One of the certificates offered at Lakeshore is the Agricultural Technician Certificate which is offered either traditionally or 100% online. Students who earn the certificate online will watch recorded lectures and have personal time with the instructor of the class for the completion of assignments and tests. The students enrolled in the Agricultural program at Lakeshore Technical College are gaining skills to become successful in agriculture occupations. In order to assist them in accomplishing this, the program gives students a basic understanding of financial operations specific to agricultural business. It also teaches them about crops, soil management, and livestock fundamentals. Lakeshore Technical College is offering its agricultural students a new place to study in the Wisconsin Agricultural Education Center beginning in the fall of 2018. The building will be adjacent to the multi-million dollar facility located just north of the Cleveland campus.

Campus Location: Cleveland, Wisconsin

Accreditation:

  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
  • Accredited in the Open Pathway through 2024-25
    • Open Pathway is a 10-year cycle with Assurance Review in Year 4 and a Comprehensive Evaluation in Year 10.

Acceptance and Graduation Rates:

  • Acceptance Rate: Open Admission
  • Graduation Rate: 46%

Admission Requirements:

  • Application
  • $30 fee
  • Official Transcripts
  • Placement Assessment Scores
  • Print Functional Ability Statement of Understanding for the program

Program Options:

The Agricultural Technician Certificate is embedded within the Agribusiness Science & Technology degree. This means that Agriculture Technician graduates have the opportunity to also complete their associate degree with one more year of college.

Degree Outcomes:

Having completed courses such as Intro to Animal Science; Intro to Soil Science and Agricultural Finance, graduates will be equipped to be successful in a variety of agricultural occupations.

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE AGRICULTURAL TECHNICIAN CERTIFICATE AT LAKESHORE TECHNICAL COLLEGE

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Madison Area Technical College

Program Standouts: 

Madison Area Technical College offers a top-quality, accredited education to nearly 40,000 students. Campus locations are in Madison, Fort Atkinson, Portage, Reedsburg and Watertown as well as online. In the Agriculture Systems Management Technical Diploma program at Madison College, students study four courses for less than one year to learn about business plans, economic principles, financial management and how to set and achieve agribusiness goals. Students in the program will apply what they learn to their own agribusiness operation or simulations that are developed by the instructor. Agriculture is a vital industry in Wisconsin’s economy and in other states as well which is why the Agriculture Systems Management Technical Diploma is also offered completely online. The diploma offers students the tools to succeed in the important field of agriculture. Online students also have the opportunity to complete the diploma without paying out-of-state tuition.

Campus Location: Madison, Wisconsin

Accreditation:

  • Approved Training Vendor for the USDA Farm Service Agency
  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
  • Accredited in the Open Pathway

Acceptance and Graduation Rates:

  • Acceptance Rate: Open Admission
  • Graduation Rate: 24%

Admission Requirements:

  • Application
  • Application Fee
  • High School Transcript/GED Score
  • Online Orientation

Program Courses:

  • Agriculture Business Management
  • Principles of Sustainable Soil and Crop Management
  • Principles of Animal Science and Management
  • Agriculture Finance and Economics

Degree Outcomes:

Students will gain an understanding of sustainable soil and crop management strategies and investigate how these strategies impact business. They will also learn about animal production principles necessary for success in the business of farming including animal health, genetics, reproduction and livestock safety.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE AGRICULTURAL SYSTEMS MANAGEMENT DIPLOMA AT MADISON AREA TECHNICAL COLLEGE