College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences

Agricultural and Food Systems

Major in Agriculture and Food Security

Students in this major are the protectors of the world’s plant-based food supply. The Agriculture and Food Security major prepares students to manage plant pests and diseases from a holistic perspective.

Syrphid on alyssum. Click image for high resolution version. Photo: Betsy Beers/WSUStudents learn to understand the complexity of relationships within agricultural ecosystems, how external factors influence these systems, and how to effectively manage pests and diseases without incurring undue risks to human or environmental health. Course offerings begin with a strong scientific base in biology and chemistry, and expand to focus on crop science, soil science, integrated pest management, and plant pathology.

The major is an exciting blend of classroom instruction and field experience that is tailored to the eventual employment goals of the student. Graduates who can evaluate and diagnose pest and plant disease problems and recommend economically and ecologically sound ways to correct them are in great demand. Excellent employment opportunities exist with state, federal, and international agricultural, environmental, and regulatory agencies, agrichemical companies, agricultural and environmental consulting firms, food processing, forest product, and vegetable and seed companies, and a wide range of other agribusiness enterprises.

Employment and Career Possibilities within this major

  • Crop Consultant or Researcher
  • Seed Producer
  • Farm Owner or Manager
  • Soil Chemist, Researcher, or Manager
  • Greenhouse Manager
  • Soil Conservationist
  • Nursery Operator
  • Weed Scientist
  • Plant Breeder
  • Government Agency Employee
  • Plant Nutrition Specialist
  • AgriChemical Company Employee

Examples of Required/Preferred Classes for Freshmen

  • AS 101: Introductory Animal Science
  • CropS/Hort 102: Cultivated Plants
  • CropS/Hort 202: Crop Growth & Development
  • Chem 101: Introduction to Chemistry [P]
  • Chem 102: Chemistry Related to Life Sciences [P]
  •  AFS 101: Introduction to Agricultural and Food Systems

Preparation/Prerequisite Courses for Transfer Students

  • Chem 101 and 102
  • Biol 106 and 107
  • EconS 101
  • Stat 212

Please see the WSU Transfer Equivalencies Menu to find equivalent courses at community colleges or other institutions. It is recommended that transfer students work with an advisor at WSU to ensure that the correct community college courses are taken to fulfill requirements.

Required Math

  • Stat 212: Introduction to Statistical Methods [N]

Student Organizations/Clubs Associated with this Major

  • Horticulture Club

Information for New Students

  • This is a Bachelor of Science Degree in Agricultural and Food Systems with a major in Agriculture and Food Security. A professional internship is required for graduation. Depending on the student’s interests, the student’s faculty academic advisor can be part of any of the following departments: Entomology, Crop & Soil Sciences, or Plant Pathology.


Learn how WSU is working to further develop modern agriculture through the use of integrated pest management.

Agricultural and Food Systems, PO Box 646242, Washington State University, Pullman WA 99164-6242, 509-335-4562, Contact Us
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